LAREDO, Texas –Supervisory Agriculture Specialist Amando D. Garcia has donned his uniform for the final time after an impressive career of 43 years and 10 months of federal service. His coworkers have honored the occasion with a celebratory luncheon at the Agricultural Quarantine Inspection office at World Trade Bridge.
“Mando has served admirably for U.S. Customs and Border Protection, U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Plant Protection and Quarantine office and the Natural Resources Conservation Service,” said Port Director Gregory Alvarez, Laredo Port of Entry. “He has experienced and helped to carry out a true transformative evolution in agriculture inspection operations and mentored countless agriculture specialists in a career that spans more than four decades.”
Supervisory Agriculture Specialist Garcia attributed his long career in federal service in part due to the opportunity to serve in multiple temporary duty assignments in different locations across the county and the opportunity to develop new skills and work in different environments.
Amando D. Garcia began his federal career in April 1972 as an intern with the former USDA Soil Conservation Service (now the Natural Resources Conservation Service) in Nacogdoches, Texas where he had earned a bachelor of science degree in agronomy and animal science with a minor in forestry at Stephen F. Austin University. He soon took a permanent position with the former USDA Soil Conservation Service in Mission, Texas. Garcia then applied for and accepted a position as a plant protection and quarantine officer with USDA’s Plant Protection and Quarantine office in Laredo, Texas.
In 1980, Garcia served as USDA officer in charge at the Port of Ponce, Puerto Rico. In 1985 Garcia returned to Laredo as a PPQ officer and earned a promotion to first-line supervisory PPQ officer. He attended the USDA Graduate School Leadership Program and served in leadership development positions in Elizabeth, New Jersey and a 120-day stint as the acting USDA port director at Newark International Airport.
In 2003, USDA-PPQ operations merged into the newly formed U.S. Customs and Border Protection’s agriculture inspection operations. Garcia transitioned into a supervisory CBP agriculture specialist position, working passenger processing, airport, seaport, rail, commercial truck operations and served as a mentor and leader to many agriculture specialists as they rose through the ranks.
U.S. Customs and Border Protection is the unified border agency within the Department of Homeland Security charged with the management, control and protection of our nation's borders at and between the official ports of entry. CBP is charged with keeping terrorists and terrorist weapons out of the country while enforcing hundreds of U.S. laws.