It is said that everyone has a gift. Whether it be a physical talent, mental strength or distinct expertise, there is something special planted in every person.
Barry Street, a 1979 graduate of Texas Tech University’s College of Agricultural Sciences & Natural Resources, spent countless hours working on the family farm growing up.
His background in agriculture paved the way to where he is today and the impact he is making within the Texas Tech and West Texas communities.
Street quickly learned the value and importance of hard work and family. By the age of 11, he was driving tractors and setting irrigation pipe.
“There were seven of us—mom and dad, and there were two boys and three girls,” Street said. “We lived in a little three-bedroom house. It was busy.”
Street recalls the long days of working with his older brother, Trent Street.
“I’m sure if Dad were here, he would say, ‘Well now, did you boys really work that hard?’” Street said. “We felt like we did. I mean we left early in the morning, and we came in late.”
Even though their parents never went to college, Street said he and Trent always knew they wanted to attend college.
“We started saving money for a college education, and I really don’t know how that got instilled into us because my mom and dad, neither one got to go to college,” Street said. “They both graduated there in Kress. But we kind of had that instilled in us somehow or another.”
“I serve because of what this university has done for me.”Barry Street
Street decided to attend Texas Tech, where he studied agricultural economics with plans to become a banker.
“There was no intention of going back to the farm,” he said. “And of course, those plans changed when I met my future wife.”
SuDe Street, a 1979 graduate from Texas Tech with a bachelor’s degree in elementary education, and Street were both members of the Block and Bridle Club, a student organization within CASNR.
“My wife came to Tech from Fort Worth to be a small animal vet,” Street said. “She and I met during the Little International [Showmanship Contest], an event put on by Block and Bridle.
“I won the showmanship in the pig show and got a trophy,” Street said. “SuDe asked, ‘Can I borrow your trophy?’ She had her picture made with the trophy and her pig. Anyway, that’s how that started.”
Street said SuDe had always wanted to live on a farm.
“I thought, ‘Well, you know, this is the girl that I’m going to marry,’” he said. “‘If she wants to live on a farm, I know how to farm.’ So I blame her for us going back to the farm.”
They moved to the Street family farm in Kress, Texas, and eventually purchased a cotton ginning facility in 1988.
Texas Tech’s Deep Roots
While Street continues to farm and run Street Community Gin, his passion for Texas Tech has never faded. He serves in several leadership roles in the Texas Tech community and selflessly gives back to the university.
“I love this university,” Street said. “Some people do stuff because they want something in return, but I don’t expect anything back. I serve because of what this university has done for me. Heck, if it hadn’t of been for Texas Tech, I’d never have met my wife, and I probably wouldn’t be back farming.”
The Streets have three children who also graduated from Tech. CassiDe Street, Ph.D., the youngest of the siblings, said her dad’s hark work ethic and dedication goes back to his parents, her grandparents.
“I mean, hard work was just instilled in him, that’s it,” CassiDe said.
CassiDe said she admires many of her dad’s qualities.
“I love his giving nature, his hardworking attitude and his kindness,” she said with tears welling up in her eyes. “He is consistently giving. He believes Texas Tech helped him out so much.”
CassiDe currently works for Texas Tech as the section manager for the Human Research Protection Program and credits her dad for inspiring her career path.
“My research area is in recruitment and retention,” she said. “I think my dad’s giving nature is the reason I went into that research area. There are kids out there that want to go to college, but they don’t have the resources or the means to.
“Because of my dad, I want to make sure that these kids know how to go to college, they know the financial plan, and they know how to navigate college once they get there.”
Street and SuDe established an endowed scholarship in 2013, available to students of all majors within CASNR.
“This is their way of not only helping Texas Tech,” CassiDe said, “but also, incoming students. My dad knows how hard it is to get to college. He knows everybody’s got challenges to get to college, so if he could make it easier for somebody to get to college, he’s going to do it.”
Street said his love for the university and for serving grows as he gets older.
“That love continues to grow, especially being involved in organizations like [the Texas Tech Alumni Association],” he said. “I get to meet graduates from all over the United States who I would have never met before. There are some really neat people who have gone to this university.”
Street currently serves as the past chair of the Texas Tech Alumni Association National Board of Directors. He has been on the board since 2009, serving in many different roles.
“Barry is a servant leader,” Curt Langford, CEO and president of the TTAA, said. “He has been a tremendous asset to our association. His humility and genuine love for God, his family and his alma mater are very inspiring.”
Street’s Undeniable Gift
Street continues to make an impact in the Texas Tech and West Texas communities. But he also leaves an impression on everyone he meets.
“I will always think back fondly of my first year on the job with Barry on the board,” Langford said. “Barry’s support, wisdom and constant willingness to help were very encouraging. Not only would he help the association navigate challenges, he inspired others to do the same.”
Langford said he was looking to purchase pumpkins in October to decorate the entrances of the Texas Tech McKenzie-Merket Alumni Center. He reached out to Street in search of a local contact in Floydada selling pumpkins.
Street’s response to Langford was, “Let me work on it.”
“That’s a common response from Barry,” Langford said. “Early on, I didn’t fully grasp what that meant. I’m thinking he’ll simply get me a name of somebody to contact.”
When Langford followed up a couple of days later, Street’s reply was, “It’s taken care of.”
“I go to work the next day, and Barry had purchased a pickup-load of pumpkins and had already arranged them at each of the three alumni center entrances. That’s an example of Barry’s servant leadership.”
CassiDe said her dad’s welcoming spirit and determination are inspiring to her and everyone he meets.
“Whatever my dad does, he’s going to be the best at it,” CassiDe said. “He’s going to go 110% and give it his all. That applies to helping people in any way possible. If someone is in need, he’s going to give everything he can to support them.”
Street claims he does not have a gift.
“But maybe that’s the gift God gave me,” he said, “just to know how to go out and work and put in a long day.”