William Ordner is no stranger to recognition for his many contributions to community. Humble by nature, he's unlikely to mention it to others unless someone else brings up the subject.
Regardless of his modesty, the former mayor, farmer and South Texas rancher simply can't avoid the spotlight, regardless how hard he tries.
In June of 2009, the Texas House of Representatives adopted a Resolution (H.R. No. 2974) recognizing and applauding the Ordner’s 26 years of service of as Mayor of Petronila, a small South Texas farming community that incorporated in 1983 to avoid being swallowed by a growing city (Corpus Christi) — allowing the community to exercise its right of self-government in an effort to maintain its unique identity as a small South Texas agricultural community.
The House Resolution cited Ordner's contributions to Petronila, along with other community leaders, for being instrumental in upgrading facilities of a local elementary school, for the development of an all-volunteer fire department, and for efforts that helped sustained a local country store that served the community and provided a small tax revenue.
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The Texas House recognized Ordner's civic involvement that, in their words, "helped to sustain the community as an ideal place in which to live and work."
It was the first, but certainly not the last, time Ordner would take center stage for his community involvement in the Coastal Bend.
July 19, at the Baylor Club inside McLane Stadium in Waco, the Texas County Agriculture Agents Association (TCAAA) recognized Ordner as one of the 2016 recipients of the "Man of the Year in Texas Agriculture Award," only the fourth time such an honor has been designated to an individual in District 11.
Ordner was selected for the award by the County Agricultural Extension Agents of District 11, which encompasses the Coastal Bend Region of Texas. He joins other distinguished recipients of the award including J.M. Price in 1967, Lucas Rayes in 1983, and most recently, Jimmy Dodson in 2003.
Nueces County Agent Jason Ott says TCAAA selects outstanding men or women throughout the State of Texas each year to be recognized for their outstanding and significant contributions to Texas Agriculture. The first awards were presented in 1962 at the TCAAA banquet in College Station.
"Bill has been a dedicated community servant serving on many boards, local committees, and as Mayor of the City of Petronila. He and his sons grow cotton, sorghum and wheat in the Coastal bend. Bill served on the Nueces County Field Crops Committee from 1983 through 1996," Ott reports in a release about the honor. "He and his family have constantly served as cooperators for on-farm demonstrations and applied research trials since 1973, when they used drag planters to put the first grain sorghum hybrid trial in with the help of county agent Bud Nolan."
Ordner also maintains a ranching operation in Beeville. "On numerous occasions since 1996, Bill has opened his ranch to agents in District 11 for professional development activities and fellowship. He has adopted many conservation practices on the ranch, encouraged by AgriLife Extension and the Natural Resources Conservation Service," Ott writes.
Ordner is also known among agriculture producers and supporters in South Texas as operator of Town & Country Pest Control. He fumigates all types of grain holding facilities including grain elevators, railroad cars and ocean going grain vessels.
Ott says Ordner frequently conducted demonstrations on proper sealing methods and fumigation techniques for grain elevators across the Coastal Bend in cooperation with Dr. Roy Parker, a retired Extension service entomologist.
"He has worked with many county agents and the Texas Department of Agriculture to put on safety workshops for grain elevator operations and employees through the Coastal Bend area, serving as both an event sponsor and guest speaker. He has also consulted in Mexico on proper grain storage techniques," Ott reported.