A Few of Dr. Jerry Parsons' Accomplishments
Dr. Parsons has worked tirelessly and continuously to educate Texans and cajole plants into submission. Already famous for naming plants after three First Ladies and cultivating a rainbow of colors of Bluebonnets, Jerry is already thinking ahead to the 200th anniversary of Texas as he continues to maintain seed of the three flag colors and is working to have the seed available for that event in 2036!
(1) Considering all media accomplished by Parsons in 33 years it is indisputable that he delivered the Extension educational message to the greatest potential audience of any specialist in history.
(2) Parsons was the first to deliver Extension educational information which was interrupted with commercial advertisements in 1977.
(3) Parsons popularized and marketed more new plants to the Texas gardening public than any Extension specialist in history.
(4) Parsons is the only Extension specialist in history to patent a plant.
(5) Parsons was the first to report millions of website contacts as official Extension, verifiable contacts which were reported directly to the Legislative Budget Board by Director Ed Smith.
(6) Parsons has generated the greatest financial impact on the Texas nursery industry of any specialist in history.
(7) Parsons created the first Texas flag in history planted using only the state flower of Texas, the bluebonnet. Parsons spent 20 years developing the white and red bluebonnet. See: http://www.plantanswers.com/sabbstory.htm
(8) Parsons is the only Extension specialist in the world to ever have three of his flowers named after First Ladies of the U.S. – the ‘Barbara Bush Lavender’ Bluebonnet (see: http://aggie-horticulture.tamu.edu/cemap/bluebonnet/BarbaraBush.htmland the ‘Laura Bush’ and ‘Pink Laura Bush’ petunia (see: http://www.plantanswers.com/petunia_bush.htm All of these selections have been planted at the White House during the two Bush presidencies. Soon there will be a ‘White Laura Bush’ petunia and a ‘Lady Bird Johnson Royal Blue’ bluebonnet.
(9) Parsons was the lead author on the most widely distributed publications in Extension history. Over 900,000 Spring and Fall Gardening Tabloids were distributed from county Extension offices and local retail garden centers beginning in the fall of 1979 and continuing to 2000. These publications were funded by public and private sources. The contents of these publications can be seen at: http://aggie-horticulture.tamu.edu/PLANTanswers/earthkind/ekgarden2.html