James D. Sartwelle, Jr., an award-winning business owner, a noted cattleman, and a giving public servant, received a Bachelor of Science degree in agricultural economics from the A&M College of Texas (TAMU) in 1963. Following his service as an officer in the U.S. Army, Mr. Sartwelle became an integral part of two family agribusinesses: Port City Stockyards Company in Sealy and Sartwelle Brahman Ranch. Since becoming president of Port City Stockyards in 1979, he worked closely with departmental faculty in pioneering the concepts of electronic livestock marketing and co-mingled stocker cattle sales. His company has been a willing participant in livestock marketing information studies, and has provided for numerous research projects. He also serves as General Partner of Sartwelle Brahman Ranch, a foundation herd of registered Brahman cattle under family ownership since 1924.
Numerous agricultural organizations have benefited from Mr. Sartwelle’s leadership. He has served as president of the Texas Brahman Association; president of the Texas Livestock Markets Association; vice-president of the Houston Livestock Show & Rodeo; and director of the Texas & Southwestern Cattle Raisers Association.
He also served faithfully on many councils and committees established by Texas A&M University. He was a member of the first TAMU College of Agriculture Development Council. He was called upon twice at critical junctures to serve on program review committees aimed at improving the responsiveness of TAMU agriculture programs. In 1992, he contributed to the “Chancellor’s Review of the Agricultural Program.” Through his involvement with the local Washington County Extension Beef Committee, his company provided cattle and facilities for numerous cow-calf educational events held by Extension. For these efforts and more too numerous to mention, he was named “Man of the Year in Texas Agriculture” by the Texas County Ag Agents Association in 1979. In 1993, he was honored with the John E. Hutchison Extension Visionary Award from the Texas Ag Extension Specialists Association.
Many of Mr. Sartwelle’s accomplishments are very visible and his awards well known. But, he works behind the scenes for the benefit of others also- including the department’s students and programs. Not many folks know that he was instrumental in getting the Congressional Intern Program launched at Texas A&M in the early 1990s. He worked with Ron Knutson and others in the Ag & Food Policy Center in getting the first internship established with Congressman Laughlin. As a member of the Educational Review Committee of the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo, Mr. Sartwelle provided valuable guidance in building a significant financial partnership between the Show and the department’s nationally recognized Master Marketer Program. HLS&R became a statewide sponsor for this activity.
James D. Sartwelle Jr. and his wife, Lavinia "Sugie" Sartwelle, continue to operate livestock markets in Sealy and Brenham today.