Dr. Chan C. Connolly

1998 Recipient of the Arthur T. Potts Award


Dr. Chan C. Connolly

Chan Connolly received his Bachelor of Science degree in 1940, his Master of Science in 1965, and his Doctor of Philosophy in 1968, all from Ohio State University. In 1968 he came to the Texas A&M Research & Extension Center at Weslaco as Associate Professor of Economics (Marketing). In 1974 Chan was promoted to Professor and became Resident Director for the Center. He served in this capacity for 15 years until his retirement in 1989.

During his tenure at the Texas Agricultural Research and Extension Center at Weslaco, Dr. Connolly was intimately involved in decisions that improved the overall efficiency and productivity of the Experiment Station in general and the horticultural industries in particular.

For example, in his early years as Resident Director, Chan auctioned off all old, mostly worn-out equipment and vehicles, and negotiated favorable purchases of new equipment that could be traded back to th original suppliers after a few years of use, at values near those of purchase. This action resulted in standardized equipment which lowered maintenance costs, while saving considerable money for use on other programs of the Experiment Station.

To improve the Center property, Chan implemented leveling of all land, replaced all irrigation lines and installed tile drainage wherever it was needed, all of which resulted in more efficient use of research funding and manpower.

As an economist, Chan worked closely with the vegetable industry to implement changes in Federal Marketing Orders that would permit the use of Market Order funds for production-oriented research. The Orders for onions, tomatoes and lettuce were amended as the direct result of Chan’s efforts on behalf of those industries.

Aside from his publications in fruit and vegetable marketing, Dr. Connolly supported the first installation of microsprayer irrigation in Texas citrus, which work was expanded to all tree crops on-station as well as to substantial acreage at Texas A&M University’s Hoblitzelle Farms. In addition, he negotiated the first participation contract in Texas citrus for Hoblitzelle Farms, which became the standard by which almost all non-cooperative citrus is harvested and marketed in
Texas today.

It was during Dr. Connolly’s tenure and under his leadership that the Texas Agricultural Experiment Station at Weslaco initiated research efforts in support of the Valley’s nursery industry. Collaborations with the Valley Nursery Growers Association provided the greenhouses, supplies, personnel and financial support.

In summary, Dr. Chan C. Connolly’s direct work and personal leadership has improved the ability of all researchers at Weslaco to conduct research programs that have benefited all agriculture in the Valley and his support and leadership in the horticultural industries have been instrumental in the success of these industries.