Rick Machen was born and raised in Central Texas. He received a Bachelor of Science from Angelo State University in 1981, and pursued graduate training at Texas A&M University in College Station, receiving a Master of Science in 1984, and a Ph.D. in Animal Nutrition in 1987. Rick began his career with a beef cattle research appointment with the University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Science at Ona. In 1989, he returned to Texas to pursue his passion for teaching and natural resource management as an Extension Specialist located in Far West Texas. In 1993, the Extension Service combined two positions, beef cattle, and goat and sheep specialists, and moved Rick and his family to Uvalde.
For almost three decades he provided leadership to regional and statewide learning opportunities such as A Gathering of Goat Producers, the Texas Beef Quality Producer Program, Texas A&M Beef Cattle Short Course, Beef Boot Camps for Retailers, the TAMU Grassfed Beef Conference and Rebuilding the Cow Herd.
In June 2016, Rick accepted a faculty position in the King Ranch® Institute for Ranch Management located on the campus of Texas A&M University-Kingsville. As professor and holder of the initial Paul C. Genho Endowed Chair in Ranch Management, Rick works closely with graduate students, teaches and cooperates in the development and conduct of KRIRM’s annual Holt Cat® Symposium and numerous Lectureships.
Rick and his wife Debra have two beautiful granddaughters, Evelyn and Corrie who live with their parents Sean and Mallory Dougherty in Kearney, Nebraska. Their son Kyle lives in Spring, Texas and works in the retail energy sector.