Fall 2018 Agriculturist Magazine - Texas Tech University

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College of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources Texas Tech University Fall 2018

Navigating Red Rivers

Tractors, service and telling agriculture’s story ALSO IN THIS ISSUE Where the Grass Grows Greener Planning the Fire Selling the Best Beyond City Lights

MEET THE AGRICULTURIST STAFF Back (L to R): Jacy Cabler (editor), Emma Chachere (associate advertising manager), Sterling Shrum, Hunter Schumann, Sydney Nelson, Evan Johnson, Keenan Schilling, Claire Porter, Brittni Allerkamp, Keni Reese, Lindsey M. Henry (associate editor), Paul Montgomery, Jacelyn Nesmith, Hannah Gray. Middle (L to R): Rusty Lanier, Layne Wilson, Saicy Lytle, Maddi Busby, Ivie Kate Mynatt (advertising manager), Jesse Terry, Makenzie Gass, Lindsay Hamer (digital content editor), Morgan Havelka, Quay Owen, Rachel Rush, Lindsay Kennedy (instructor). Front (L to R): Landee Kieschnick, Paisley Cooper (associate editor), Maclaine Shultz, Shannon O’Quinn, Taylor Dodson, Kathryn McCauley, Daisy Glaspie, Dakota Betancourt, Kami Durham, Kelsey Smith (graduate assistant). Photograph courtesy of Savant Photography.

LETTER FROM THE EDITOR CHANGE IS INEVITABLE. GROWTH IS OPTIONAL. Change is inevitable. It happens whether we’re ready for it or not. As agriculturists, it is vital to embrace change to maximize efficiency of production to feed a growing population with less land and resources each year. As agriculturists, it is essential to always be ahead of change. We cannot become stagnant because agriculture is the foundation of our world. As agriculturists, it is our job to be welcoming of change to better ourselves and our production and to be valuable and transparent when advocating for our industry. Growth is optional. Through change, we are provided the opportunity to grow, whether it be furthering our education, investing in better equipment, more land, or higher-quality livestock, or adopting new technologies and techniques. In the agricultural industry, growth is essential to be at the forefront of our nation. We must continually strive to grow individually and collectively to be the revolutionists of our ever-evolving world. On behalf of the magazine staff, I extend a sincere thank you to our readers and advertisers for allowing us this opportunity to grow. Producing The Agriculturist has been an amazing and invaluable learning experience. Professionally, our staff has grown exponentially. Throughout the production of this publication, as well as all courses offered by the Department of Agricultural Education and Communications, students have been provided hands-on, interactive and innovative learning experiences. These qualities have always, and will continue to produce competitive applicants and eager, ideal employees. Being a part of The Agriculturist editorial team as the editor has been an incredible honor and growth opportunity. I hope you enjoy our stories, reignite your passion for agriculture and strive to grow JACY CABLER | Editor with every given opportunity.

The Agriculturist is a student publication of the Department of Agricultural Education and Communications at Texas Tech University. Students enrolled in ACOM 4310: Development of Agricultural Publications produce this magazine from start to finish as part of their degree requirement. The magazine is funded solely by advertisers and sponsors and is a non-profit publication.

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46 ON THE COVER Bayer Museum of Agriculture volunteer, Red Rivers, loves sharing the rich history of agriculture























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awn breaks in Guthrie, Texas. It’s an overcast day as the staff of the Four Sixes Ranch gathers for breakfast. Outside, cowboys are getting horses ready to begin moving and checking herds on horseback, a tradition the Four Sixes prides itself on. Then, it is off to do a day’s work on one of the most legendary ranches in Texas. The Four Sixes Ranch was founded by Samuel Burk Burnett in the 1870s and is currently owned by his greatgranddaughter, Anne Burnett Windfohr Marion. This working ranch manages 10,000 Angus and Black Baldy cattle and annually breeds more than 1,200 Quarter Horse mares for the ranch use, performance and racing.

TOURS ON THE RANCH Occasionally, the Four Sixes allows tours of the famous West Texas ranch, and if you are in the horse production course at Texas Tech University, you might just go there on a class field trip. During a tour, a visitor can learn about the history of the Four Sixes, its day-to-day activities, and their horse breeding practices. Visitors are shown around the headquarters, the stallion barn and breeding facilities, and sometimes staff will even take a stallion or two out of their stalls to give visitors a good look. Kelly Riccitelli, Ph.D., an equine associate professor of practice in the Department of Animal and Food Sciences at Texas Tech, takes her classes on the 95-mile field trip to the ranch every spring to show them a real working ranch. “I think it’s important for students to see what is going on in the industry and what’s current in the industry,” Riccitelli said. Texas Tech is no stranger to the Four Sixes. The Texas Tech Equestrian Center has sent horses to the ranch to be


bred and even had the ranch perform an embryo transfer on a horse. Riccitelli said the Four Sixes is very progressive in their breeding practices and technology and have always been willing to help the Department of Animal and Food Sciences when needed. “They’re as good at breeding horses as anywhere in the country,” Riccitelli said. The Four Sixes’ Quarter Horse breeding program has cemented its name in ranching history with the use of advanced technology and a lot of experience. Dr. Glenn Blodgett, the Four Sixes’ horse division manager, is a prime example of tried and tested experience. Beginning his career with the Four Sixes in 1982, Blodgett credits technology for the increase in efficiency and productivity in the industry. “We’re breeding more mares total than we bred before,” Blodgett said. “We have more stallions on site and fewer mares on site but, yet, we breed more mares.”

REPRODUCTIVE SERVICES Some of the reproductive services the Four Sixes provides are artificial insemination, semen freezing and storage, mare management, embryo transfer, foaling and transported cooled semen. Benefits of artificial insemination include reduction of disease transmission, more mares bred, less hauling of horses, ability to add extenders and antibiotics to semen, and decreased risk of injury. Freezing and storage of semen is another important part of the Four Sixes’ operation. The ranch is affiliated with Select Breeders Services, which allows them to offer on-site freezing and storage of semen to the public. The Four Sixes’

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affiliation with SBS also enables their frozen semen to be shipped to Australia, Argentina, Brazil, the European Union, Mexico, New Zealand, Paraguay and Uruguay. “We have a motility analyzer so we can actually see the semen swimming around on a computer screen,” Blodgett said. Mare management includes basic upkeep of mares residing at the Four Sixes Ranch, for breeding, foaling or other management options. Embryo transfer consists of taking an embryo from one mare and implanting it into a recipient mare. The Four Sixes maintains its own recipient herd to be able to do this specific reproductive service when needed. Embryo transfers are regularly used when a performance mare is still working and owners would like to use that mare’s genetics to create offspring. The Four Sixes allows ranch mares to foal out in pastures that are monitored twice a day and has their racing mares foal in foaling stalls. Clients of the Four Sixes can choose either option based on their price point for their mare. “The Four Sixes is unique because their ranch horse mares are still foaling out in the pasture,” Riccitelli said. “I think it shows a great balance of using technology where it’s needed, but not over using it when it’s not needed.” The Four Sixes uses Federal Express, Network Global Logistics and its own currier service, Sixes Direct, as a way

to transport cooled semen. Sixes Direct serves the Oklahoma City, Dallas/Ft. Worth and Weatherford/Stephenville areas. Blodgett said it is not uncommon for Sixes Direct to ship semen to a ranch in those areas, and on the same day, bring semen back to breed a mare at the Four Sixes. “This is a more efficient way to get it same day to those places we are trying to serve,” Blodgett said.

“They’re as good at breeding horses as anywhere in the country.”


The Four Sixes’ dedication to providing the ranching, performance and racing horse industries with the best possible horses is one of the many reasons why the ranch has been so successful. George Humphreys, who began managing the Four Sixes in 1932, started building a herd of horses to someday make “the best horses in the country,” according to the Four Sixes website. In the 1960s, the Four Sixes officially added an equine breeding program to its resumé. One of the most famous stallions to come out of the Four Sixes, Dash For Cash, threw offspring that have earned more than $40 million. The Dash For Cash statue stands outside of the Four Sixes headquarters in Guthrie to remind visitors of the prestige of the ranch’s stallions and breeding program. In 1994, the Four Sixes was honored with the American Quarter Horse Association’s Best Remuda Award. Now, people come from all over the world to attend the Four Sixes’ horse sales, like the famous Return to the Remuda. Riccitelli said West Texas even benefits from having the Four Sixes in the area because of the tourism the ranch generates. Every day, advances are being made in the technology and practices used in the equine breeding industry and the Four Sixes is at the forefront of it all. Blodgett said there are not many businesses that have been around since the 1800s, yet the Four Sixes is still operating. “We’ve seen changes in the cattle and the horses,” Blodgett said. “The way we raise them. The way we Top left: When foaling in stalls, each mare and foal pairs are given their own runs in the mare market them. barn. Bottom Left: This original Four Sixes Ranch barn stands at the National Ranching Heritage Keni Reese Museum in Lubbock. Middle: Rain or shine, the work must be done. Here, a trailer is being prepped We’ve seen it Krum, Texas to transfer horses to and from sites during the work day. all change.”

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The Agriculturist | FALL 2018

It’s your department.

Reconnect with the family.


Dues used to help current students with scholarships, networking opportunities and professional development. call 806-742-2816 for more information mail checks to AEC Alumni Association Texas Tech University Agricultural Education & Communications Box 42131, Lubbock, Texas 79409 The Agriculturist | FALL 2018


Selling the Best

By Plane, Train or Automobile


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he crowd grew hasty as C Jason Spence in his auctioneer voice chanted his rhythmic cry, “50 now 50 thousand dollars and 55 thousand dollars. 50 thousand dollars bid now 55 thousand.” People from across the nation swarmed the auction ring to bid on the most competitive livestock within the industry. “50 thousand dollars, who will bid it at 55 thousand dollars? 50 thousand dollars, 55, 55 now make it 55 and a 55 make it 55. Going once, going twice, sold that goat for 50 thousand dollars.” Since the day Spence stepped foot in his local auction market at an early age, his lifelong passion for auctioneering turned itself into a successful career. “That’s all I’ve ever wanted to be,” Spence said. “Ever since I was a little kid, I’ve never wanted to do anything else.”

BEGINNING OF A LEGACY Raised in Tahoka, Texas, Spence’s fondest memories include his grandparents taking him to every livestock market, horse and equipment sale across West Texas and the United States. “Back in the day, livestock and equipment were traded primarily by the auction method,” Spence said. “The auction method is the truest form of price discovery. If there was an auction, we went, and that’s what I just decided I wanted to do in life.” In 1980, Spence sold his show animal at the San Antonio Livestock Show and Rodeo with Walter Britton auctioning the sale. That was when becoming an auctioneer became a long-term goal. “When I really and truly knew I was going to be an auctioneer, I was 10 years old selling my hog at the San Antonio Livestock Show,” Spence said. “Britton was auctioning, and that’s when I knew I was going to be an auctioneer.” As a freshman in high school, Spence went to work for Jack Aufill at the Lubbock Horse Auction. “Jack gave me the start in my auctioneer career,” Spence said. “I worked for him from the time I was a freshman in high school until I finished college at Tech. So eight and half years, which is shorter than a prison sentence for some crimes.” Spence graduated from Tahoka High School and continued his education at Texas Tech University. At Texas Tech, he was a member of the nationally recognized wool, horse and livestock judging teams. Spence was an officer for the rodeo club and the Masked Rider from 1992-1993. “Tech was the only place I wanted to go,” Spence said. “There were no other choices. Being the Masked Rider was another long-term goal of mine.”

Doug Hawkins, a close friend, was able to see the ambition and determination Spence had toward being an auctioneer while they attended Texas Tech. “It was obvious what he was going to do in life,” Hawkins said. “He worked hard at becoming the best and now sells some of the highest quality livestock in the business.” After graduating from Texas Tech with an animal business degree, Spence went to Oklahoma State University and earned his master’s degree in international agriculture. While at OSU, Ralph Wade, a legendary cattle auctioneer, heard Spence’s talent at a local sale. “Ralph heard me sell in Oklahoma one time, and he mentored me before I left for South Africa,” Spence said. “I will always be grateful to him for mentoring me. Anybody in the livestock auction business will tell you he is the best that has ever lived.” In the spring of 1995, Spence went to work for KarooOchse of South Africa, the largest livestock marketer on the continent. Because Spence learned Spanish on the family farm at an early age, he was able to catch on quickly with the dual language selling system. When Spence returned home from South Africa, he continued to let his rhythmic chat pursue his passion.

A STYLE ALL HIS OWN Spence is a graduate from one of the nation’s oldest and largest auction academies, the Missouri Auction School. While attending auction school, he worked for Ritchie Bros. Auctioneers, the world’s largest auction company, selling construction and industrial equipment. In 2006, Spence left Ritchie Bros. to sell on his own. That is when Spence and Company was officially launched. “I worked in El Paso for five years selling foreclosures at the courthouse and two auto auctions a week,” Spence said. “I was hired because I was bilingual. In 2016, I took

After preflight check is cleared, Spence is ready for take off to another sale.

“I’ve never wanted to do anything else.” The Agriculturist | FALL 2018


Spence has owned three planes in his flying career, but his current plane allows him to haul more gear to auctions.

the big step and left, so I could concentrate more on the livestock industry and other businesses.” Spence has sold from the East Coast to the West Coast, including 35 different states along with two Canadian provinces, the Netherlands, Mexico, South Africa and Australia. He has been selling the San Antonio Livestock Show and Rodeo for 20 years and other sales including Rodeo Austin, Sandhills Stock Show and Rodeo, San Angelo Star of Texas Wether Dam Sale, San Angelo Star of Texas Gilt Sale, and for the first time in 2018, the Oklahoma Youth Expo. He also travels across Texas selling numerous county sales. When Spence travels, he prefers to fly his own plane rather than drive. With the amount of sales he has accumulated, a plane is the most efficient form of travel. “I’ve had a love for aviation since I was 10,” Spence said. “I swore I was going to own a plane when we would have people come in to buy livestock. As a child, I thought, ‘That has to be cooler than having to drive.’” Spence sarcastically said now he has to fly because he has had so many speeding tickets that he cannot keep a

When Spence is not on the auction block, he can be found making client and business phone calls.


driver’s license. The plane he currently owns is a Cessna 210, which is bigger and allows Spence to haul more gear.

GIVING BACK While auctioneering is Spence’s way of life, he can be easily recognized on the auction block by the special boots he wears. He has turned his boots into a way of giving back. “I have always had and been known for a really unique pair of handmade boots,” Spence said. “I’ve had them since I was a kid. My boys have 16 pairs between the two of them.” Spence has 50 pairs of handmade boots made a year for his clients, himself and for fundraising events. “What I do at select fundraising events I sell in is donate a pair of handmade boots,” Spence said. “In over four years, I have been able to raise over $100,000 for all sorts of charities. I want to continue doing this for years to come.”

TRADEMARK OF SUCCESS Before every auction begins, Spence leads his crowd in a word of prayer. “A trademark of all of my sales is that we start them with a prayer,” Spence said. “My focus is my spirituality. I give the Lord credit for using the talents he gave me and blessing me with a great family: my wife, Robin, sons, Sterling ‘Gage’ and Spencer Danger, along with my family of livestock people.” Spence’s end goal with his auctioneer company is to build it into something his sons want to take over one day. “Selling is a combination of three things: your confidence without arrogance, your ability to read the crowd, and the most important, your ability to create a sense of urgency to bid,” Spence said. “We want to be the Quay Owen livestock marketing edge for Canyon, Texas competitive livestock.”

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MORE Than A Label



ou get way more than just a bottle of seasoning or a package of bacon when you buy a product with a Raider Red Meats label. You buy years of collaboration, months of cultivation, days of calculation, and hours of dedication. What started as a way to fund a teaching process has blossomed into a full-fledged auxiliary enterprise, called Raider Red Meats, which now has successful business relationships with several grocery stores and local restaurants. The Texas Tech University meat science and muscle biology program within the Department of Animal and Food Sciences needed a way to supplement the cost of the comprehensive, hands-on teaching conducted in its classrooms and labs. “In the beginning, we were kind of like any other meat lab where we were just trying to recoup the cost of teaching,” said Tate Corliss, director of Raider Red Meats. “We needed to teach pork fabrication, so we fabricated a pork carcass. We needed to try to recoup the cost from it, so we would sell those items.”

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and customers share similar sentiments about supporting Texas Tech and Raider Red Meats. “We’re a family of Red Raiders,” said Tina Carson, owner of Hotel Turkey, in Turkey, Texas. “Beyond the awesome quality we can always expect from Raider Red Meats, it makes us happy to be able to support our alma mater as well.” Students work in the meat lab and COWamongus! to help prepare cuts of meat for sale and fresh food for customers. Paid student assistant positions include cashiers, cooks, researchers, meat processors and fabricators. These students prepare the products that are shipped off-campus to outside retailers. Ben Weatherly, sales manager for Raider Red Meats, said the students have more interaction with their customers than he does. “Specifically with United, our students are the ones calling them, getting orders and delivering the orders,” Weatherly said. “It’s a direct relationship there.” The students who work in these positions are exposed to every aspect of a meat production operation. They learn how to do everything from harvesting an animal to delivering the finished product to the customer, including packaging, sales and keeping track of profit and loss statements. “Working here has allowed me to work with customers on a daily basis and get a feel for the production side of the industry,” said Jess Nighswonger, an animal science major with a meat science business option, from Keenesburg, Colorado. “The opportunities and experiences I’ve had have given me the desire to continue to work in the industry as a career after I finish school.” The Raider Red Meats program shapes the leaders of tomorrow’s meat industry. “We are really offering something unique to give our students real-world experience in a working meat company,” Corliss said. Student assistants are not the only ones who get to go through this remarkable learning opportunity. Courses in the Department of Animal and Food Sciences will have Corliss or Weatherly often visit with the class to explain topics such as the marketing of meat products, the difference in retail cuts, and the global meat market. The students who excel through this program do more than just earn an hourly wage or put package labels on products. They earn invaluable lessons about real-world business and how to feed a hungry community and world. “I just have a passion for the Sterling Shrum difference it makes in the students’ Boerne, Texas lives,” Corliss said.

"We are really offering something unique to give our students real world experience..."

Raider Red Meats products can be easily identified by the unique red and black label that is consistent on all of their products.

Raider Red Meats has existed in various forms since 1982. Almost 10 years ago, Raider Red Meats decided to expand their market opportunities beyond COWamongus!, the campus retail store and restaurant. Raider Red Meats is a member of the Texas Department of Agriculture GO TEXAN program that helps to promote Texas-made products. Former TDA field representative, Matt Williams, who now serves as the assistant director of development in the College of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources, helped Corliss find a market that would promote Raider Red Meats products in their stores. In 2010, they found success with a local distribution center that got their products into the United Supermarkets grocery store chain. “I had worked with United well enough to know they were really interested in local or Texas products,” Williams said. Corliss was able to secure spots on the shelves at nine Lubbock locations of United Supermarkets, Amigos and Market Street to sell their products. Brisket rub, steak seasoning, BBQ sauce, four styles of smoked sausage and three flavors of bacon are now available on these grocery store shelves. “Being a Red Raider and being proud of Raider Red Meats, I definitely hoped that this would work out,” Williams said. “I knew that with our meats lab and the leadership of Tate Corliss and his group, they would do everything they could to make it happen and successful.” Raider Red Meats products have a large consumer base in the Lubbock area because many people know what all goes into the product before the Raider Red Meats label is put on it. The products they purchase come from the collaboration of sound ideas, detailed planning and endless hours of dedicated work that is all paralleled by profound learning. “I always try to purchase Raider Red Meats products when I can,” said Lindsey Henry, a Raider Red Meats customer from Harper, Texas. “My husband was a part of the meats judging team when he was in college here, so I know first-hand what a great program it is and love having the opportunity to support them.” Raider Red Meats also has their products served in local restaurants. Some of the restaurants they sell to include the Texas Café and Bar – The Spoon, Choochai Thai Cuisine, Hotel Turkey and Lubbock Country Club. Consumers know it will always be a quality product, but more importantly, they know they are supporting a cause that goes beyond just producing for profit. Restaurant owners, meat buyers

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growing a love


A couple of cowboys were riding the canyons off the caprock in West Texas before daylight to bring in cows and calves for a full day’s work of branding. As the cowboys sat on top of a hill looking out over the canyon, the sun slowly crept above the horizon. Warm oranges and golds filled the early morning sky. One cowboy hollered over at the rest, “Isn’t this just beautiful?” When it started to sink in what he was referring to, he said, “You know, there’s not very many people in the world that are doing what we’re doing this morning.” In that moment, those cowboys realized how fortunate they were to live and love life on the ranch.

THE GREAT AMERICAN COWBOY The cowboy way of life can be tough due to the unpredictability of weather patterns, market prices and external parties involved in running a successful ranching operation. The dawn-to-dusk nature of the ranching lifestyle takes a toll on those whose livelihoods depend on it. Bedford Jones, owner and operator of the Jones Ranch near Spur, Texas, understands the impact and responsibilities associated with this specific lifestyle. “There’s always a challenge,” he said. “I think adversity is something we put up with, endure, and try to overcome. This isn’t just what we do—it’s our identity. It’s who we are. We’re here 24/7, and that’s not bad, but it sure can be tough on a family.”


The Jones Ranch is a thriving horse and cow-calf operation ranch in the West Texas counties of Borden, Crosby, Dickens and Yoakum, covering over 32,000 acres of range land and several thousand acres of wheat pasture. Bedford and his wife, Michele, live on their ranch with their four children, Henry, Ruth, Jettie and Susannah.

NOT FOR THE FAINT-HEARTED Bedford, 45, said he found his way back home to begin ranching alongside his family after graduating with a master’s degree in 1999. Though he was never pressured or forced to come back home, he said he always felt returning to the ranch was his life’s calling. “With a family operation, I grew up helping because that’s what we did,” Bedford said. “I always felt like that was my obligation. That was my responsibility to help. And I loved it. This is always what I thought I would do.” Bedford said his love and passion for his family’s operation and the amount of time and effort invested into their ranches is what keeps them operating today despite the hardships encountered throughout the years. The persistence of drought over the last two decades has forced ranchers to use all of the creative techniques they can muster to survive. For some, it has meant knowing as much about land management and grass as they know about the bloodlines of their herds. For others, it is knowing the right moment to sell cows and calves.

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Michele, Bedford’s wife of 17 years, grew up showing cattle, but did not come from a ranching background. She said the adjustment of becoming a ranch wife was extremely difficult. The family aspect of the operation proved difficult, too, she said, because things were not just about her anymore. However, nothing could have prepared her for the heartbreaking decision that had to be made when it came to selling some of their cattle. “We’re so blessed,” Michele said, “but it’s very slow coming.” Michele said she will never forget in 2011 when they were forced to sell part of their herd due to the drought and lack of water and grass. She was pregnant with Jettie, their second youngest child, as she tagged along with Bedford, Henry and Ruth to take their cows to Caviness Beef Packers. “I just bawled the whole way,” Michele said, “because you don’t ever expect that you’re going to have to get rid of the majority of your livestock, but we did. We had to do that to survive.” Bedford said West Texas is currently in a similar situation to 2011. He said the land is extremely dry again, and the absence of rain and vegetation leaves most ranchers questioning what is best for their practices. “It’s one of those things,” Bedford said, shaking his head. “You just never know from one year to the next.”

to keep them intrigued and to foster a love within their children for the ranching lifestyle. “They all have an interest in this,” Bedford said. “They enjoy it. I’ll take the little girls to go feed, and they like it. Henry knows he has responsibilities. We have to be careful because we don’t want chores to become a burden on them, but they need to understand those responsibilities. The way we try to do it is to make it enjoyable for them. As a matter of fact, they all four do all the chores together. It’s a team atmosphere around here. We are Team Jones.” Michele said one of her major prayers is for her kids to have a passion for the ranching lifestyle and to be close and understand each other enough to incorporate the team atmosphere throughout their lives. She said Bedford and his parents have worked very hard at putting together a whole lot from nothing, and it is her goal for her children to continue running the operation smoothly one day when she and Bedford transfer over ownership. “We want them to understand how fortunate they are to be in the position they are,” Michele said. “They are all land owners, and it’s scary that anyone can own a piece of land nowadays without knowing how to take care of it.” Bedford said it is a big responsibility for him and Michele to raise their children this way. He said his family has always felt it necessary to take care of their property and ensure the land is still usable and in good shape for the next generation. In doing this, there comes a great level of satisfaction being able to look back at what has been accomplished while cultivating the land, raising livestock, and raising beautiful children who love the Lord and have a passion for ranching. “For me, there’s a lot of little things that make it enjoyable and rewarding,” Bedford said. “I think Jacy Cabler you have to appreciate those things Spur, Texas or you wouldn’t do what we do.”

We’re so


but it’s very slow coming.

INSPIRING THE FUTURE Running a successful ranching operation takes a little bit of faith and a little bit of luck, but ultimately, ranchers are at the mercy of Mother Nature. Those families who root their hope and faith in the Lord tend to have a more positive and respectful outlook for this specific way of life. Though the ranching profession and lifestyle have their fair share of ups and downs, Bedford and Michele love what they do and hope to inspire their four children to feel the same. They said it is their job as parents to make the kids’ daily tasks and chores around the ranch fun and enticing MORNING RIDES. (TOP) Bedford uses his time with Henry to inspire him to love their land, livestock and lifestyle. Photo courtesy of Michele Jones.

TEAM JONES. (L) Back row (L to R): Henry (11), Michele, Bedford. Front (L to R): Jettie (6), Susannah (3), Ruth (8). Photo courtesy of Michele Jones.

HOME ON THE RANCH. (R) Bedford Jones knew his calling was to return home to the ranch after graduating college.

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New Kids on the

Block I

n 2015, a study published in the Journal of Applied Communications recognized Texas Tech as the No. 1 agricultural communications program in the nation. The Texas Tech ACOM program faculty took this No. 1 accomplishment as a challenge; how could they continue to produce top tier graduates while staying up-to-date with the demands of the industry? As a result, they began brainstorming innovative ways to keep their program on top. Thus, the idea of a “block” structure was born.

“When they go through the hiring process, they can speak from experience more-so than just having the basic courses.” Kennedy said a goal of this course structure is to help students understand the “big picture” concepts and how all these skills can be used when developing strategic, cohesive communications initiatives.


The four ACOM faculty members teach the block, each using their unique skill set and expertise. Each course is meant to compliment the others, just as it would be in a The faculty of the ACOM program came together and work setting environment. decided a block structure would be the best way to help Advanced Design Principles for Agricultural Communistudents transition from college life into their careers. cations is taught by Dr. Courtney Gibson. This class proFour ACOM faculty members teach the block: Courtney vides an in-depth examination of design principles and theMeyers, associate professor, Erica Irlbeck, associate ories, design applications and design topics relevant to the professor, Courtney Gibson, agricultural industry. Students assistant professor and Lindsay learn how to create effective Kennedy, instructor. design pieces for agricultural Modeled after the agriculaudiences and further utilize the tural education structure, the Adobe Creative Cloud software. ACOM block is a unique and Agricultural Communications innovative learning experience Campaigns is taught by Dr. Erica through a combined course Irlbeck. This course, better known structure of four classes that as “campaigns,” covers the princiincludes campaign development, ples, practices and applications of magazine production, advanced general marketing as it pertains to layout and advanced web design. developing communication cam“The block is a set of four paigns for a company or organization. This is a service-learning courses that the students have course where students work with to co-enroll in,” Irlbeck said. an actual client to create and “We have integrated our courses to make it feel like the students are communicating for an implement an integrated marketing campaign. organization, and we try to make it as true to the industry Convergence in Agricultural Media is taught by Dr. Courtas possible.” ney Meyers. This course is designed to focus on creating a reAfter working in the agricultural industry for 10 years, al-world, practical working experience using computer-based Lindsay Kennedy joined the Texas Tech ACOM faculty in electronic production tools to prepare students for a career in September of 2015. Kennedy was able to provide her indus- agricultural communications. try experience and perspective into the new course structure Development of Agricultural Publications is taught by as well as an understanding of what employers are looking Lindsay Kennedy, an instructor of agricultural communifor in recent graduates. cations. This capstone course examines students’ ability to “We wanted to put students in that real-world environment integrate various skills obtained in previous courses into before they were actually in that environment,” Kennedy said. one product with an emphasis on the computer software


“ It’s really an advantage giving students an experience that combines all classes together. “


The Agriculturist | FALL 2018

Each professor contributes their own experiences and skills to the ACOM block. (Left to Right) Courtney Meyers, Erica Irlbeck, Courtney Gibson, and Lindsay Kennedy.

applications commonly used in agricultural publishing. The ultimate goal of the course is to produce The Agriculturist magazine, giving students the opportunity to have their writing, advertisements, photographs and artwork published in a circulated publication. The Advanced Design Principles for Agricultural Communications course works closely with the Development of Agricultural Publications course by creating and designing layouts and creative components for the stories that make up the publication, The Agriculturist. The Agricultural Communications Campaigns course works closely with the Convergence in Agricultural Media course by teaching students how to utilize certain media tools to help create and examine a communications campaign. Gibson explained how each class in the block works together and the benefit its structure gives to students. “Writing skills tie in with your design skills that tie into your web and video skills, and you can use all of those to do effective messaging in reaching your audiences,” Gibson said. “We want you to be these truly prepared employees, going out into the world with this really cool skill set and experience.”

GOING FORWARD Jim Bret Campbell is the executive director at the National Ranching Heritage Center and a ‘96 ACOM Texas Tech alum. He explained that in a career, students must be prepared for a wide variety of environments. He said the transition from college life is hard but with this new block experience, it will be an intense application of the skills

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that students have been learning for the past four years, getting them ready for the real-world. This last semester for students now notches up intensity, which will be beneficial to students when they begin their careers. “It’s really an advantage giving students an experience that combines all classes together,” Campbell said. “It’s something that employers will take into consideration.” Campbell said employers in the industry are looking for people to contribute to their specific organization. With students who have been through the agricultural communications block, they are ready to bring fresh ideas to any company and have the willingness to learn in any situation. Throughout the semester, students in the block are required to work together in different teams for various assignments and projects. Although some say it is overwhelming at times, there is a method to this madness. Irlbeck worked in the industry for eight years before joining the ACOM faculty at Texas Tech. She said the block experience gives students a realistic expectation for what the real world is like. “Knowing that people are depending on you is an important factor,” Irlbeck said. “Students are able to see first-hand working relationships.” Meyers has been on the ACOM faculty at Texas Tech for 10 years. She explained how each professor expects a lot from students in this block structure and how the block is truly preparing students for the 21st century workforce. “I hope our students who go through the block become the leaders in the organizations who hire them,” Meyers said. Dr. Scott Burris, professor and associate chair of the Department of Agricultural Education and Communications, said Texas Tech’s ACOM program has always been on the leading edge. “The agricultural communications program is really a jewel of the College of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources,” Burris said. “This program is absolutely something that has bolstered the reputation of the university.” Texas Tech University has always had a strong, innovative agricultural communications program since the 90s, and it seems there is no slowing down. By keeping up with the demands of the industry, the new ACOM block seeks to produce graduates who are ready to face the transition from college into their careers. “I continue to be excited about the growth of the program,” Campbell said. “The admiration and respect I see all across the country speaks volumes about not only Layne Wilson the instructors, but also about the Centerville, Texas students as well.”



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Peanuts a Day Keeps the Allergy Away

eanut harvest had just started in Shallowater, Texas. Dust was rolling through the air, and the headlights of the combine could be seen for miles. Inside the Furgeson house, a newborn had broken out in hives, with her belly and legs covered in whelps. Landri Furgeson wanted to be like most kids who grow up on a farm. She would have the entire field as her playground. The tractors, sprayers and combines would allow her imagination to wonder. The Furgeson family has a diversified crop operation on farms in Terry, Bailey, Cochran and Hockley counties. The bread and butter of the family farm is cotton, grapes for their winery and peanuts — a staple rotation crop for the West Texas soil. The family, however, would have never dreamed their peanut crop was a threat to their daughter. When Landri was three months old, peanut harvest was in full swing on the South Plains, and she started developing extreme eczema. Traci, Landri’s mother, kept thinking her dry skin was just cradle cap. Her scalp was exceedingly irritated with eczema, something that is not normal but also not uncommon for a newborn. The Furgesons were eventually referred to a dermatologist who noticed Landri’s dry skin was out of her control and urged them to see an allergist. “Around seven months, Landri did a blood test that came back she was allergic to oats, peanuts, eggs and tree nuts,” Traci said. “The allergist made the comment that most children grow out of allergies, but this was affecting her daily life. So, something needed to be done.” Landri was 10 times more allergic to peanuts than any other allergen, said Anthony Furgeson, Landri’s father. During the fall of 2016, Traci said she started thinking about Landri starting school soon. This thought terrified her parents. “It was kind of scary when you think about peanuts and how kids are so dirty,” she said. “How do you know if any-

one has peanuts on their hands and then they are touching the toys?” Anthony and Traci said they tried to remove Landri and themselves from their 1,000-acre peanut farm as much as possible. Traci said Anthony would have to take his clothes off in the garage after coming in from the peanut fields, place them in a container, and go straight to the shower to assure no peanut dust was ever in the house. “Christmas parties or Thanksgiving were also scary,” Anthony said. “[But] we didn’t scare her to death about peanuts. If we did see something, we would just remove her from the situation.” Traci said she was looking at a Facebook group she joined one day for parents with kids that have a severe peanut allergy. She said she kept seeing the term “OIT” and wondered what it meant. OIT stands for oral immunotherapy. For children with a peanut allergy, it involves gradually increasing amounts of peanuts each day. According to the Kids with Food Allergies organization, OIT requires strict and careful supervision by a trained allergy specialist. Traci said she started doing research about OIT and called around to see who offered the treatment. Currently, no one does this treatment in Lubbock. The family eventually found a doctor in San Antonio. The Furgesons loaded up for their first OIT meeting in San Antonio in October 2016. Traci said she remembers being so scared and overwhelmed by the experience, but she and Anthony kept faith it would help Landri. At the time, Landri had just turned four, and the family was prepared for the routine change. “OIT is not a short game,” Anthony said. “It’s not something that you do for a year and then you are cured. We had to go

As a family, we went October to April, 26 trips to San Antonio for seven months. It was just one of those things that was so important to treat.


The Agriculturist | FALL 2018

(Left) Landri can now enjoy playing in the peanut fields with her family. Photo courtesy of Jessica Gray. (Middle) Landri is now able to hold and eat peanuts. She currently must eat eight whole peanuts each day. (Right) The Furgeson family overcame the unthinkable in just a short year.

into this treatment assuming that Landri would have to eat eight peanuts for the rest of her life every single day.” According to the Kids With Food Allergies website, early clinical trials have demonstrated OIT is safe and has a success rate in 70-80 percent of patients that are properly watched in a controlled environment. As for Landri, her treatment started off by introducing her to 2 milligrams of a peanut in a liquid form. That was just the first half of the treatment. The family said building up to one whole peanut was the hardest and longest part. The second half of the treatment for Landri was eating one peanut twice a day and eventually eating 12 peanuts a day in a 12-week span. Anthony said her final challenge was to eat 24 peanuts in one sitting at the doctor’s office. “OIT is different for every child,” Traci said. “[For] some kids it takes many years to do what we did in a year. Even though Landri is eating peanuts each day, she is still an allergic person.” The Furgesons said this treatment is indeed a routine change, but they never wanted the treatment to be a big deal. Before Landri eats a peanut, she has to have an hour resting heart rate and a full stomach. After she eats her eight peanuts, she then has to have a two-hour resting heart rate. The family also stressed following the protocols is key for success.

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“That’s the nuts and bolts of this treatment,” Anthony said. “You’re giving your child something that could potentially kill her. But as long as you follow the rules and stay within your protocols you should be safe. That doesn’t mean that she still can’t have a reaction.” One year after Landri started her treatment, an emotional Traci said it was a moment she would never forget. Landri was able to sit in the doctor’s office and eat 24 peanuts in one setting with no problems. She had graduated into what the doctor called “maintenance.” In maintenance, Landri must eat eight peanuts once a day, every day. “As a family, we went October to April, 26 trips to San Antonio for seven months,” Traci said. “It was just one of those things that was so important to treat.” Now that peanuts are in Landri’s daily diet, Traci and Anthony said they don’t have to worry anymore. “The fragrance allergies, the protein allergy in the air all went away,” Anthony said. “That to me was when I could step back and know everything would be okay.” If the treatment would have not worked, Anthony said Landri could not go to the farm and Traci’s brother would continue to head up the peanut harvest—a quick fix to the ultimatum. As for Landri, who can now take supper to the peanut fields with her mom, will continue her routine of eating eight peanuts a day. A life change that Anthony said will not keep her from living her energetic life. “Life dealt us these cards, but I never wanted Landri to feel sorry for herself,” Anthony said. “This is not a disability; your peanut allergy does not define you. She is brave and will keep doing whatever she wants, but Landee Kieschnick she will just have to eat a peanut Vernon, Texas every day. That is her vitamin.”


Learning Community

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• Explore career options • Form study groups • Live in an intellectually stimulating and challenging environment

• See your professors in-hall for study sessions, guest lectures, or faculty/student meals • Get connected with valuable resources on campus


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Beyond city lights:

Catherine Lechnars’ journey to Texas Tech


xhausted and anxious Catherine Lechnar glances down at her phone. It is 5:54 p.m., and Cinco Ranch FFA has only six minutes to spare before the Texas State FFA award ceremony begins. Unfamiliar with the Texas Tech University campus, the high school students wander lost and looking for the livestock arena. Before the contest results are announced, the students rush in the door and find a seat. Lechnar and her entomology team would go on to claim the second place spot at the state competition, however, this would not be her last memory at Texas Tech. Lechnar, who is a daughter of a nurse and AT&T Inc. tester, didn’t have a tie to agriculture or Texas Tech, but she followed her own interests and chose the university so she could study in the College of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources. Lechnar is now conducting her own research based on entomology.

THE START OF HER AGRICULTURAL JOURNEY Now a 19-year-old, Lechnar began her FFA journey as a freshman in high school. With the choice of band or agricultural education and a dream of raising a pig, Lechnar chose FFA. Little did she know the long-term impact the program would have on her life. Lechnar said for the next four years her FFA involvement was her main focus and took up all of her extracurricular time. “FFA takes up a lot of time at my school, and I’m sure it does at others too, so that’s what I chose to focus on,” Lechnar said. She competed in the chapter conducting, quiz, radio and entomology contests. Lechnar quickly realized her interest in entomology and found quick success in the career development event. Her team was just points away from a state title both her junior and senior years. With the freedom to follow her own dreams, Lechnar decided to go to Texas Tech. She said she would not have even known about Texas Tech if it was not for the FFA State Entomology Contest held on campus in the spring. It was then she met Scott Longing, Ph.D., assistant professor of entomology in the Department of Plant and Soil Sciences. “It is important to provide opportunities like FFA programs and facilitate them to nurture and expose


The Agriculturist | FALL 2018

students that otherwise wouldn’t know much about agriculture,” Longing said. Longing said hosting FFA contests is a great tool to allow faculty to meet talented prospective students who are interested in studying what they have learned so much about through FFA. Over the past few years, Longing has used that networking to give students like Lechnar an opportunity to get involved in entomology research. Without connections to FFA, Longing said he would not have met some of the greatest students he works with today. Despite touring other schools, Lechnar said Texas Tech felt like home to her. “When I came here, Catherine Lechnar’s research is guided by Dr. Longing, an entomology assistant professor, who has encouraged her I felt really welcomed,” to get a head-start on undergraduate research. Lechnar said. “I felt like the people really wanted to talk insects; toward the end of the winter season she recorded a to me personally.” sample of near 80 insects. “We thought there would be a decline in the number GOING ABOVE AND BEYOND AT TECH of pollinators because it was getting colder, and they would die,” Lechnar said, “but we ended up seeing the density Since starting at Texas Tech during the fall 2017, increase because there were less flowers for them to go to.” Lechnar has started her own research project that will After submitting her abstract, Lechnar presented her precontinue for the next four years and hopefully be a liminary research poster “Preliminary assessment of late-seapublished study. Lechnar said with Longing’s guidance son insect communities they formed the idea for her occurring on flowering plants research and worked together in a semi-arid region” at the to get a project started. Center for Active Learning and Lechnar uses a vacuum Undergraduate Engagement to collect pollinator insects conference in March. from pollen bearing plants After presenting, to evaluate how pollinator Lechnar received valuable population density changes feedback from conference throughout the seasons. judges that will help her This research will help form make adjustments to her restoration strategies for the project and create a more High Plains in order to rebuild impactful and evaluable insect habitats needed for study. Not only is Lechnar farming operations. already involved in un“By linking plants to poldergraduate research as a linators, we can really begin freshman, but she also hopes to go to graduate school and to understand very specifically what pollinators are being eventually get her Ph.D. effected by what we plant,” Longing said. “What Cather“The way I see it, if I start early, then I’ll be ahead ine will do is help to build a foundation of what we know about pollinator biodiversity and the habitat resources that later,” Lechnar said. The FFA mission is to make a positive difference in the they use.” lives of students by developing their potential for premier Lechnar said even in her preliminary research they have found different results than they expected. At the start leadership, personal growth and career success through agricultural education. Today, FFA strives to help the next generof her research in October, she collected a sample of five

“It is important for everyone to take a look at what they don’t know and take on new experiences to learn.”

The Agriculturist | FALL 2018


ation rise up to meet new agricultural challenges by helping members develop their own unique talents and explore their interests in a broad range of career pathways. FFA opened a door for Lechnar and sparked an interest she otherwise may not have come across living in the city.


“It is important for everyone to take a look at what they don’t know and take on new experiences to learn,” Longing said. Studying conservation science, Lechnar said she offers a unique understanding of current issues because of her new knowledge of the agriculture industry and her passion for conservation. Her dream is to save the mangrove forests, and she said she finds it crucial to understand agriculture’s role to do so. “I like that I am in the middle, and I am able to see both sides,” Lechnar said, “it gives me a lot of different insight.” Lechnar said she is the only one in her family who has taken a career path in the agriculture industry, but she has big plans and wants to make a difference. She advises incoming students to fully dive into their interests and passions, but to not be discouraged if their plans change. “Sometimes you just need to sit down and think about what you want and not what the other people around you are telling you to do,” Lechnar said. Lechnar said a lot has changed since she was a high school FFA competitor visiting Texas Tech, and she is happy with her decision to follow her dreams. “All I really remembered about Texas Tech when we came for FFA was always getting lost,” Lechnar said, “but now that I’m studying Paisley Cooper here, I can’t imagine any other place Klondike, Texas being better.”

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Global Perspective


hen walking down the hallways of the Agricultural Sciences building at Texas Tech University and peering through classroom windows, it is normal to see faculty who come from all around the world. The Department of Agricultural and Applied Economics is home to 22 faculty members, 11 of whom were born and raised outside the United States. The department’s faculty represents every continent on the planet except Antarctica and Australia.


“Learning is not all about theory, but practice as well.”

Students in the department are gaining a variety of global perspectives by having a wide spectrum of international faculty available to educate them. Preston Lawrence, a senior agricultural and applied economics major, spoke highly about the international faculty members within the department and how they have helped him see things in new ways. “By having so many professors from different parts of the world, I feel like they are able to bring different per-


spectives to the classroom,” Lawrence said. “Which is nice, especially when you’re learning about economics and economic trade.” Lawrence also said the international faculty have helped him gain a better understanding of how countries outside the United States run their economies and markets because the faculty were able to apply their experiences to the lessons they teach in the classroom. “It’s cool getting to listen to professors who come from other countries talk about how their countries did things compared to America,” Lawrence said. International faculty members not only bring their personal global experiences and perspectives, but they also create a desire for students to form their own. “I like that the professors talk about more than just their country’s economy by talking about the cultural experiences you can gain from going there,” Lawrence said. “ It makes me want to take the time one day to travel to these places and see for myself what they are talking about.”

The Agriculturist | FALL 2018


Lawrence believes the international faculty members help students develop an interest for what the world offers.

GOING ABROAD One of the biggest advantages students have in the department is their ability to study abroad. Students in the department have a large variety of study abroad options. Students can study in countries like Spain, China, Brazil, Ethiopia and Zimbabwe. Jamie Malaga, Ph.D., professor of agricultural and applied economics, is from Peru and said international faculty members enhance both the department and study abroad opportunities for students. Malaga, who helps lead a study abroad trip to Seville, Spain, every summer, said faculty members from other countries can often have a better understanding of the country they are visiting, which helps students. “For example, I speak Spanish,” Malaga said. “It can be hard for students to visit a Spanish-speaking country with-

out knowing any Spanish, so it helps that I am there and can help translate and help connect them with the culture.” Malaga also said the department now offers a new study abroad trip to China and having faculty members from China will help students adapt to the Chinese culture. Having faculty members who have first-hand experience of what the country is like gives a stronger connection and ability to navigate and learn in the country they are studying in.


Malaga said having faculty members from other countries enhances how he approaches teaching. “It’s a source of learning other experiences,” Malaga said. “Even American professors can learn [from international professors], so, even for faculty it’s beneficial.” Malaga is able to apply his fellow faculty members’ experiences to his course curriculum and feels it makes him a better instructor in the long run. “It only makes my portfolio richer,” he said. Malaga and Lawrence both spoke highly of the department’s international faculty, as well as the faculty as a whole, explaining the opportunities students can gain from the department’s diverse faculty members. “The faculty here in the Department of Agricultural and Applied Economic are second to none,” Lawrence said. “I’m confident in my choice to come to Texas Tech and know my degree will hold a lot of creditability.” The strong faculty base, learning environment and numerous global connections within the department have allowed its graduates to be successful in the workforce. As a result, Malaga said he believes Texas Tech students are exposed to more global opportunities. Malaga said students often learn more about real-world situations through experience rather than textbooks. Although time in the classroom is necessary, he believes experience is never a bad way of learning. “Learning is not all about theory, but practice as well,” Malaga said. Students within Texas Tech’s Department of Agricultural and Applied Economics not only value the education they gain from international faculty, but they also enjoy learning from them as well. “I know I’ve enjoyed and appreciated my time in the classroom at Texas Tech,” Lawrence said, “and that is why I chose to continue my education here in the Department of (Above) Dr. Malaga discusses with students a little bit about the Spanish Culture Agricultural and Applied Economics through their and what they can expect during their time abroad. (Below) Dr. Malaga and Brittni Allerkamp master’s program this students visit local winery near Seville, Spain, to learn more about co-ops and their Comfort, Texas coming fall.” economic impact on local vineyards. Photos courtesy of Dr. Malaga.

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IT BEGINS... West Texas couple uses farming heritage as the inspiration for their new clothing business


t was the fall of 1976, about a month before cotton harvest would gear up. Doug Hlavaty and a group of friends head to the Cow Palace, a local hangout in Lubbock, Texas. It was a typical night with friends until Valerie Jones, a slender brown-eyed girl with a style all her own, walked into the bar. Neither Doug nor Valerie went to the bar with the intent of finding their life partner, but in that moment their lives were changed forever. For years, 18-year-old men were required to sign up for the United States Draft, until changing to the Selective Service System we follow today. In 1976, after completing his physical, Doug was issued his draft number, 13. However, fate had another plan for him – two months after signing up, the draft was dissolved. From there, an unlikely partnership bloomed between a city girl with a flair for fashion and a Texas farm boy and flourished for the next 40 years.

A LONG-STANDING FARMING HISTORY Cotton farming is a Hlavaty family tradition. They have been cultivating the red soil of West Texas for almost a century and through Homestead Cotton Co. Doug and Valerie plan to honor this legacy for years to come. “My family moved here in 1920 when my dad was sixweeks-old,” Doug said. “We’ve been farming in West Texas ever since.” Doug’s farming career started at age 10, picking cotton and pulling weeds in his father’s fields, but after he received his driver’s license, he was upgraded to operating farm equipment. Since its establishment in West Texas, the Hlavaty farm has grown to over 5,000 acres between Doug and his brothers, who are partners in the operation.


MARRIED TO THE JOB Farmers face much adversity when producing a crop or raising livestock. The Hlavatys are no exception. However, the Hlavatys say their strong family ties kept them going through the years. The farming boom of the ‘70s caused a bust in the market in the ‘80s, making it difficult for many American farmers to turn a profit. Luckily, behind every good farmer is an even better spouse. The partnership of Doug and Valerie, through the commitment of marriage, helped the Hlavatys prosper through the tough years. In marriage, specifically between farmers, there are shifting roles such as finding ways to supplement income to help provide for the family. “I didn’t ever plan on being a high school teacher, but I did it for 10 years,” Valerie said. “It was really good as a supplemental source of income.” A farmer’s spouse plays a vital role in the operation both at home and on the farm. Valerie did what was best for her family and their livelihood, and through that, she is now finding a way to use her passion for apparel and love for the farm together. For years, Valerie was a high school teacher who also juggled the duties of a farmer’s wife and mother to three children. Today, Valerie still carries these roles, but now her focus has shifted and so has Doug’s. “I’m doing this to support her,” Doug said. “That’s just what we do for each other.”

FIELD-TO-FASHION Farming is a risky business, and Valerie and Doug have supported each other through it all. Previously, the farming

The Agriculturist | FALL 2018

operation has been the priority, but now the Hlavatys are bringing local products from the field to fashion through their startup business, Homestead Cotton Co. In 2016, the Hlavatys took a leap of faith and created their small business. Startups can be a risky investment, but smart businesspeople know when benefits outweigh the risks. “Hold your nose and jump,” Valerie said. “That’s the way it works.” The Hlavaty family isn’t alone in the realm of small business, which make up 62 percent of businesses in the United States. However, they are meeting a need for locally-grown products in an area driven by cotton production. The market for locally-grown food continues to increase, but the Hlavatys noticed the trend had not carried over into the clothing industry. As they visited local shops, they found it difficult to find products made from 100 percent cotton. Thus, the desire to establish Homestead Cotton Co. was solidified. Their company was not only built on the value of American-made products, but also to bring the consumer a high-quality cotton product. Creating these products is no small feat. To complete a full run of shirts, you must have 150 shirts per size from small to large, making a total of 450 shirts. An entire bale of cotton is required to complete the order of 450 shirts, each weighing roughly a pound. Homestead Cotton Co. has already partnered with a major seed company to produce branded polo shirts for employees to showcase the quality cotton grown in West Texas. The goal of their business is to continue working

toward providing Homestead’s products on a larger scale. Until then, the Hlavatys are actively working behind the scenes to design cotton towels along with a line of men’s and women’s clothing. “So that’s what we are trying to do,” Valerie said. “Provide people with a high-quality cotton shirt, and we are having fun doing it.” The Hlavatys say consumer participation is highly encouraged by Homestead Cotton Co. Consumers have a first-hand role in product development by offering input on their website homesteadcottonco.com/ourproducts.

“We need more cotton products.”


Agriculture and cotton have always been important to the Hlavatys. Today, both Doug and Valerie are using their passion for agriculture and apparel in an unconventional way through Homestead Cotton Co. There are many moving parts to running Homestead Cotton Co., such as product development, manufacturing and other outreach efforts to develop the Homestead Cotton Co. brand. Valerie and Doug started this project on top of all their other responsibilities, but they see it more like play rather than work. “Now, between running the farm and teaching classes, I’m doing this in the midst of all that,” Valerie said. “But it’s fine, I love it.” Providing people with locally-sourced cotton products is a secondary theme in the story of the Hlavatys. This is a story of how a Paul Montgomery boy met a girl in a bar, and the rest Memphis, Texas is history.

(Opposite) Valerie and Doug Hlavaty are committed to being stewards of the land. (Above-Left) During the fall, Doug can be found in the fields harvesting cotton used to make their products. Photo courtesy of Homestead Cotton Co. (Above - Right) Keeping business local – all products are American grown and American sewn.

The Agriculturist | FALL 2018


Do you know an

OUTSTANDING alumnus from the Department of Agricultural Education & Communications? The AEC department is seeking nominations for outstanding alumni who received a degree in Agricultural Education or Agricultural Communications at Texas Tech University. Submit nominations and a resume to erica.irlbeck@ttu.edu. Self-nominations are accepted.



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The Agriculturist | FALL 2018


Moving Up, Expanding Out


he Department of Animal and Food Sciences at Texas Tech University is considered one of the nation’s premier animal and food sciences departments. Equipped with state-of-the-art teaching and research facilities as well as widely recognized faculty and staff. AFS has recently felt unparalleled growth in student enrollment. Since 2013, the Department of Animal and Food Sciences has experienced an unprecedented 45 percent growth in undergraduate student enrollment, dwarfing the total enrollment growth of the university, which usually only sees a 3 percent average increase in undergraduate enrollment each semester. The student increase in AFS over the past five years is one of the largest growth margins by a department on campus. The department’s faculty and staff have seen first-hand the continuing enrollment progression. Michael Orth, Ph. D, is chair of the Department of Animal and Food Sciences at Texas Tech. “We’ve gone somewhere in the 400-500 student range to 684,” Orth said. “In particular, if you look at the last four years, our new enrollment was about 150 students four years ago. Three years ago, it was 170 students. Last year, it was 200 students. Now, in this current year, it is over 280.”

and the implementation of a veterinary school associated with Texas Tech. “We have livestock, horse and meat judging youth camps, so we have a lot of youth on campus,” Orth said. “In April, we have a lot of local contests here for 4-H and FFA. A lot of kids get exposed to the department. We feel like when people come to Texas Tech, that’s one of the best recruiting tools. If kids come here and they have a good time, they’re more likely to come back.” The new companion animal program within the department serves as a non-traditional route for pre-vet science students who may come from suburban or urban backgrounds, as well as students who may not have an interest in a livestock-centric animal science degree. Orth said the program has given an opportunity to a set of students that comes to the department looking to do something a little different with diverse learning and research opportunities. Another opportunity students may seek through the Department of Animal and Food Sciences is admission to the forthcoming veterinary school in Amarillo. In 2017, the Texas Legislature passed a budget allocating $4.1 million to the creation of a Texas Tech School of Veterinary Medicine. “I really think that just the idea that we might have a vet school has increased the popularity of our program,” Orth said. “And really for getting into vet school, the best major is animal science because of the animal background and teaching that you get.”

“Right now we are basically busting at the seams.”

REASONS FOR GROWTH The Department of Animal and Food Sciences at Texas Tech was ranked among the top 20 in the country, according to GraduatePrograms.com. The department is equipped with four multimedia classrooms, five specialized teaching and research labs, the largest retail meat cooler on a university campus, and a retail store. Additionally, AFS is staffed with faculty members at the forefront of research in topics including food safety, muscle biology, nutrition and breeding and genetics. According to Orth, there are three major reasons why the department has experienced such large enrollment increases: the annual youth camps and activities hosted by the department, the emergent companion animal program,


NOT SLOWING DOWN Although the overall growth of the department is recognized as a testament to its success, building and program limitations are being brought to the forefront of concern. “It’s been great to see the growth in the department, but right now we are basically busting at the seams,” Orth said. “We need more facilities. We need more space. That’s becoming a critical issue because if we keep growing at say a 15-20 percent clip, I don’t know what we’re going to do.”

The Agriculturist | FALL 2018

(Above) Built in 2002, the animal science building is located on Indiana Avenue and houses classrooms, offices, teaching laboratories and the largest meat cooler on a college campus. (Right) Students gather in the atrium to socialize, complete classwork or eat at COWamongus!, the restaurant located in the animal science building.

With the increased student enrollment, faculty and staff are faced with an ongoing lack of available classroom space, office space and teaching laboratories. The overall scarcity of room is becoming a challenge in maintaining the handson nature of the program and its production courses. Nick Hardcastle is a doctoral student in the Department of Animal and Food Sciences. He graduated with a bachelor’s and master’s degree in animal science from Texas Tech and has seen the department grow over the years. “It’s just crazy to see how much growth animal science has had,” Hardcastle said. “The classes I started off in at Tech only had like 20 people in them, and now that I’m teaching them it’s just these massive classes with like 50 to 60 kids.” When it comes to maintaining small class sizes to promote student engagement and interaction, faculty and staff, including Orth, have to ask difficult questions.

The Agriculturist | FALL 2018

“As many classes as we can have a laboratory or a handson component, and that just gets more and more difficult when you get really big,” Orth said. “Where do you do it? We only have one teaching lab. In the fall we have to ask, ‘Do we meet on Saturdays? Do we meet in the evening?’” With the increase in undergraduate enrollment, the department is developing new extra-curricular opportunities to engage a wider range of students. Recently, the academic quadrathlon team was restarted, and went on to win the southern section competition in 2017. Other opportunities for students include a wider range of study abroad programs, the potential for an animal welfare team, and wool, horse, livestock and meat judging teams. Hardcastle was a member of the 2013 Texas Tech meat judging team and a coach on the 2016 Reserve National Champion meat judging team. “I think now that there’s so many more students in the department, we’re also seeing a lot more interest in our judging programs,” Hardcastle said. “Our teams now have like 20 kids compared to the eight or nine that other teams have. A lot of those kids end up staying and getting a master’s, too, so the graduate program is seeing growth from that, too.” As the program and the agriculture industry continue to grow and new opportunities become available to students, the Department of Animal and Food Sciences expects to see continued growth in undergraduate student enrollment, Orth said. “You know, you’re always going to need food no matter what, and it’s always an important thing,” Orth said. “The animal and food science areas are global industries. You’re interacting. You’re importing, you’re exporting, you’re Shannon O’Quinn working with several different League City, Texas countries. It’s expanding.”




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Navigating 46

The Agriculturist | FALL 2018


ed Rivers strolls slowly, but purposefully, through the Bayer Museum of Agriculture as he points to gleaming tractors and offers information on the different exhibits. He runs his weathered hands over the glossy metal of the tractors, his voice filling the hall with the sureness of someone that has given this tour many times. At 88 years old, Rivers’ same hands have restored rusting equipment for the museum, driven a tractor as a child in the cotton fields, and greeted countless friends. Coming from a small town in West Texas, Rivers married Patricia in 1954. The couple has two children, George and Ruth. “I was born on January the 17th, 1930, in a little place called Tuxedo,” Rivers said with a slight smile as he pointed to the brightly colored dot marking his birth place on a map. Rivers was raised on a cotton farm and helped his father with the operation. “I grew up on the Model A John Deere; my dad bought a new 1937 model,” Rivers recalled. “I was 7-years-old, and within three weeks I was driving the tractor, and by the time I was 10-years-old, I was the tractor hand.” When he was 19-years-old, Rivers went to work at a John Deere dealership in Snyder, Texas; he began at the small tractor dealership as nothing more than a janitor. He soon moved up to a sales position and eventually became a manager. Today, he owns stock in the John Deere dealership. Rivers stresses he has never worked a day in his life and enjoys the relationships he formed with the people he met along the way.

“I never did dread going to work in the morning,” Rivers said. Serving farmers everyday was a pleasure for Rivers. “They weren’t just customers. They were friends.” Rivers restored a tractor in 1960 for the first time for the John Deere dealership. He would place the older tractor by the new merchandise so customers could make comparisons on what they were purchasing. It was only natural that Rivers became involved at the Bayer Museum of Agriculture. Rivers was friends with Alton Brazell, who developed the idea of collecting old farm equipment so the community could have an agriculturallyfocused museum. Rivers helped Brazell accumulate and restore agricultural artifacts and materials. Forty years ago, Lubbock civic leaders, including Brazell, recognized the region’s agricultural heritage was slipping away. In 1969, the Lubbock County Commissioners’ Court gave Brazell approval to begin collecting machinery that was a part of the technical transformation that took place on the farms of the South Plains. The tractors, combines, plows, drills and thousands of other farm-related artifacts soon became a part of the Lubbock County Historical Collection. Originally called the American Museum of Agriculture, the Bayer Museum of Agriculture opened the doors of its current facility, the Alton Brazell Exhibit Hall, at Lubbock’s Canyon Lake Drive on April 13, 2012. Lacee Hoelting is the executive director at the Bayer Museum of Agriculture in Lubbock, Texas. Rivers was a volunteer at the museum when Hoelting began working

(Left) Various tractor parts are showcased in a museum exhibit. Rivers restored his first tractor almost 60 years ago. (Right) Rivers leads tours through the exhibits of the Bayer Museum of Agriculture.

The Agriculturist | FALL 2018


. I e m t's

a go o d en

t be s u j

life for Rivers restores equipment in the museum’s expansive warehouse in downtown Lubbock.


“That’s the best part of this job,” Rivers said, with a grin. “Of course, I enjoy restoring the old equipment, too.” Rivers’ individual reasons for being involved at the museum center on his love for the work and the people he meets. He especially enjoys giving young children tours of the exhibits. “Little kids are my favorite,” Rivers said. “I tell couples all the time that come in here that life won’t get any better than raising those kids.” Rivers wants people to know that agriculture is where we come from. “You know, a hundred years ago, nearly everybody was involved in agriculture in one respect or another,” Rivers said. Rivers thinks it is important to keep telling agriculture’s story to keep people interested. He connects with people every day at the museum, builds relationships, and therefore instills the significance of agriculture. Each tractor in the museum Rivers has helped restore serves as a reminder and symbol of the connection with the tractor’s previous owner. “It’s just been a good life for me,” Rivers said softly as he y wa ee gazed across the exhibit hall, his eyes reflecting the shining of Sharp Fr a rsh the tractors. Ma Rivers began his life on a tractor, worked for another 60 years with tractors, and still restores them to this day. However, tractors are not the only things he restores. Rivers rebuilds agriculture’s historical stories that would otherwise be lost. Red Rivers is many things to many people. He is a conservator of artifacts, storyteller of agriEvan Johnson culture, and most importantly, a Floydada, Texas friend to all. Texas Tech Pkwy

there 10 years ago. Hoelting said he was one of the first people she met. “He has a lot of knowledge about specialty items and artifacts,” Hoelting said. As Hoelting grew to know Rivers, she realized he had been involved with the museum since its inception in 1969 when the commissioner’s court got approval to start collecting items for the county historical collection. Hoelting said Rivers would use his extensive knowledge of agricultural equipment to help collect and appraise items. He has also helped numerous farmers value their machinery and equipment. Rivers has been instrumental in recruiting and coordinating the museum volunteers, Hoelting said. “He’s also phenomenal at keeping in touch with all of them,” Hoelting said. “If someone doesn’t show up, he is the first one to call. He goes and visits people in the hospital. He just checks up on people.” Hoelting said Rivers is like a grandfather and always makes himself available to help. “He really cares about agriculture and history,” Hoelting said. “He does everything he can to help the museum; to help it grow and to preserve things.” Hoelting said Rivers is very creative and good with his hands. “He’s good at building,” Hoelting declared, while pointing to a lamp on her desk that Rivers created for her out of antique materials. “He is also very driven,” Hoelting said. “If you ask him to do anything, he’s doing it that day or looking into it that day. He does not put things off.” Rivers regularly gives tours to visitors, restores materials for exhibits, and collects equipment to enhance the museum. Rivers said the best part of being involved at the Bayer Museum of Agriculture is meeting people.

The Agriculturist | FALL 2018



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Made with




or many, love means going the extra mile. For Lubbock-owned Breedlove, love means sending humanitarian relief as far as 15,000 miles across the world. Since 1994, Breedlove has processed and distributed over two billion servings of food to over 67 countries. Breedlove’s vision is simple: to transform lives through hope and encouragement. Their recipe for change calls for food inspired by need, crafted by innovation, and made with love.

NEVER ENDING HUNGER Breedlove is the largest nonprofit food processor in the world with over 80 local and international partners. The demand for their services is only rising. “The demand on what we do is limitless,” said Bill Miller, Breedlove CEO. “It’s an infinite demand and world hunger is growing every day.” According to the World Health Organization, 815 million people faced famine in 2017, 38 million more people than 2016. Globally, 11 percent of the population is at risk of going hungry. The inability to receive proper nutrition can lead to stunted physical growth and mental development. Without the right nutrients to support their immune system, famine plagued communities are also left defenseless against disease. Famine is a problem shared by people on every continent, from every race, ethnicity, culture and religion. Each region facing food insecurity faces its own problems, having its own nutritional needs. Miller said this is why Breedlove works to specially formulate their products for each region where they ship food. “We have to have really specific nutritional facts and information that are country specific,” Miller said. “So there’s quite a bit of food science in this.”

Each country where Breedlove sends food aid has its own unique needs Breedlove works to accommodate. When creating the perfect recipes, Miller said Breedlove researches a region, then adapts their products to suit the peoples’ nutritional needs, taste preferences and religious observances. “We are halal and kosher certified and approved,” Miller said, “because we don’t know who the end user will be.” More than just being tasty, Breedlove’s two main products are intentionally designed to combat famine. Breedlove’s dehydrated blends have nutrients added in during production and can be prepared using only boiling water. One 40-foot container can hold 1 million servings, giving Breedlove and associates more bang for their buck. Their other main product, Vitanut Pro, is a peanut butter- like paste made specifically for those who are moderately or severely malnourished. The rich blend of ingredients and nutrients means Vitanut Pro can be used by pregnant women, children under the age of five, and people living with HIV or AIDS. “You’re going to get tired of peanut butter,” said Miller, “but you can live off of it.” After crafting the ideal blend for a specific region, the recipe for humanitarian relief is sent to the production line. Oralia Nerios, better known as Lala, has worked at Breedlove for almost 23 years. She said she has worked every job on the production line from packaging to working directly on the line. “I bless the food every single day,” Nerios said, “When I coming to work I’m praying for the people that work here. I’m praying for my family. I’m praying for the food we send out and the food to get where it needs to get to.”

“ “It’s an infinite

demand and world hunger is growing every day.”


The Agriculturist | FALL 2018

(Left) Oralia “Lala” Nerios has worked for Breedlove for 22 years and said she prays everyday over the work she does. (Center) Breedlove CEO, Bill Miller, is constantly working to maintain relationships with delivery partners, like USAID. (Upper left) Quality assurance workers, like Lorinda Davis and Blanca Perez, testing the latest samples from the production line. (Upper right) Packages of Breedlove’s dehydrated meals will ship from Lubbock, Texas to communities all over the world. (Lower left) Breedlove quality assurance technicians work both in the lab and on the production line. (Lower right) Counting growth cultures is how quality assurance technician Blanca Perez works to keep Breedlove’s food safe.

CARING ABOUT QUALITY Across the building, Lorinda Davis resides in Breedlove’s state-of-the- art lab where she has been working for the past five years. As a quality assurance assistant manager, her job is to keep a watchful eye over production quality. Davis said the tests are vital for the safety of the people receiving the food. If the food is contaminated, whoever eats it is at risk of getting sick. According to Davis, an overlooked pathogen poses a serious threat to a famine-weakened immune system. For Davis, looking at the pictures of people receiving Breedlove’s food makes her job worthwhile. “It just makes you feel good about what you do everyday,” Davis said. Quality control is a vital part of Breedlove’s production process with everyone concerned about safety, including CEO Bill Miller. “Our primary mission is to ship quality, safe food,” Miller said.

A TEAM EFFORT After being safely produced and packaged, Breedlove turns to its distribution partners to deliver their food all across the world. Intentionally working to develop these partnerships is vital for Breedlove’s success. The key thing Miller said he looks for in a distribution partner is consistency. More than just a passion for humanitarian aid, distribution partners must have resources and connections to safely deliver the packages of aid. Miller said some of the regions where Breedlove’s food is shipped require delivery trucks to be accompanied by armed guards for fear of the food being raided. “Food is a currency that anybody can spend,” Miller said. With the ever-rising demand for their products and uncertainty in a global environment, Breedlove is always in

The Agriculturist | FALL 2018

search of new partners willing to deliver their food to those who need it most. Miller said if anyone ever asks how to support Breedlove, connecting them with potential distribution partners never hurts. “We want to ship a quality, nutritional product, and we need good distribution partners,” Miller said.

FUTURE OF FOOD AND FAMINE Everything Breedlove does begins with a never-satisfied need. Miller said he is not naïve or narcissistic thinking Breedlove will permanently end world hunger, but he knows the work Breedlove does everyday feeds people. Whether people are receiving the food in Africa or in Lubbock, whether they are suffering from chronic famine or recovering from a disaster, Miller said he knows it makes a difference. “It doesn’t solve a problem, but it does give food that will suffice as a meal to people who need it.” Since taking on the role of CEO, Miller said working for Breedlove allows him to have more of a widespread impact than his previous jobs. “I think this is the first place that I have worked where you think, in about sixty days, what I did today could save hundreds of people,” Miller said. Although much is uncertain about the future, hunger and famine remain an unfortunate certainty. With the company firmly focused on providing innovative solutions to famine, Miller said looking to the future, Breedlove’s innovation will continue to evolve to reshape the needs of people around the world. Kathryn McCauley “We’re excited about the fuBridgeport, Texas ture,” Miller said.


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The Power of a Professor


r. Courtney Meyers has been described by her colleagues and students as a highly motivated individual who is passionate about what she does. “I am a bit of a work horse,” said Meyers, associate professor and graduate studies coordinator for the Department of Agricultural Education and Communications at Texas Tech University. “I have a pretty strong work ethic, and I set high expectations for myself and my students.” Her high expectations have led to a great deal of success. Meyers is a highly decorated faculty member who has received many prestigious awards, including the Texas Tech President’s Excellence in Teaching Award, the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s New Teacher Award, and the Chancellor’s Council Distinguished Teaching Award.

PERSISTENT PAST Meyers has touched the lives of many since her arrival as a new faculty member at Texas Tech in 2008. Dr. Cindy Akers, professor and associate dean for academic and student programs for the College of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources, knew Meyers as a master’s student at the University of Arkansas. They have since maintained a friendship as colleagues at Texas Tech. “When she was first hired, I was put as her faculty mentor,” Akers said. “But now I would say we’re just good friends. I respect her and now look to her for advice; the roles have kind of changed.” Meyers said she is grateful for the relationships made with people she has impacted through her time as a


professor and appreciates their recognition of all the hard work she puts into being the best she can be. “I never set out to be a teacher so I could win awards,” Meyers said, “but it is empowering to know that I can be the type of teacher that is worthy of that recognition.”

PASSIONATE PRESENT Dr. Meyers recently received Texas Tech University’s 2018 Integrated Scholar Award. Dr. Scott Burris, professor and associate department chair of the Department of Agricultural Education and Communications, said being an integrated scholar means the research the professor conducts on their own time is integrated with the lessons they teach in the classroom. “It’s a pretty big compliment for someone to be recognized for that distinction,” Burris said. “She works really hard, and she makes sure the work is done well.” Meyers spends much of her time preparing new and exciting ways to engage students in their coursework. “I often say that teaching is like medicine or law in that we practice at it,” Meyers said. “We are never fully developed as teachers. There are always things we could do a little bit better or a little bit differently.” Her efforts do not go unnoticed by the students she teaches. Paisley Cooper, a senior agricultural communication major, felt so strongly that Meyers has such a positive impact on the Department of Agricultural Education and Communications she nominated her for an on-campus award in 2017.

The Agriculturist | FALL 2018

(Left) Meyers has earned an impressive collection of awards during her time as an agricultural communications faculty member at Texas Tech. (Right) Meyers says seeing students being successful in the classroom is motivation to continually improve as a teacher.

“From the first day I met Dr. Meyers as an incoming freshman, I could tell that she dedicated her day-to-day life to help students like myself succeed,” Cooper said. “Dr. Meyers is a critical part in why our agricultural communications program is nationally recognized. Our department owes a lot to her leadership and expertise because it simply doesn’t get any better than her.” Cooper is one of many students Meyers has had a positive impact on. Meyers said being able to influence the lives of her students makes her excited to see what they can accomplish. “Perhaps they got a paper back that they did really well on when they didn’t expect to, or they get a job that they didn’t think was possible, but someone along the way encouraged them to do so,” Meyers said with a smile. “That motivates me to get up and come into work every day and do my part to be a positive influence in their life.”

“Dr. Meyers doesn’t skip the little things like learning each student’s name and working to build a relationship with each of us,” Cooper said. “She strives to be more than just a professor, but also a mentor and a helping hand. Dr. Meyers is always looking to improve her teaching tactics and form her lectures and assignments to fit the evolving skill base that is needed in the industry.” Meyers said one of her goals is to improve her classes by making sure they are exciting and compelling. She said if she is bored as a teacher, she knows her students are bored, and that is something she never wants to happen. “A lot of my time is invested in trying to remain up to date on the latest technology, trends, and best practices my students need to know,” Meyers said. “I also need to know what is happening in agriculture and how that can relate to their work.” Akers said she has enjoyed seeing the growth and development Meyers has made in her professional career. “I think she always wants to push the envelope and doesn’t want to stick to the status-quo,” Akers said. “She’s always looking to make things better. We have seen a lot of changes because of her competitive nature.” Meyers said she knows she has a competitive spirit, which has led to so much success in her field of work. “It’s not that I’m competing against anyone, it’s that I’m competing against the former version of myself,” Meyers said. “I always want to do better. If in that pursuit I get recognized, that Daisy Glaspie means that the work I put in and Mertzon, Texas the energy spent was worth it all.”

“It is empowering to know that I can be the type of teacher that is worthy of that recognition.”

FAVORABLE FUTURE While all the awards Dr. Meyers has received in the past are nothing short of prestigious, her work ethic proves there will be even greater accomplishments in the road ahead for her. Burris said she has helped the department in more ways than he could explain. “It’s easy to see why she has such a meaningful impact here,” Burris said. “Students like her, love her and enjoy her, but even more than that, they value and respect what they gain from being in her classes. That’s way more important than being liked.” Respect is a common theme among those who know Meyers personally. Cooper said one of the aspects that makes her so different from other professors is her attention to fine details.

The Agriculturist | FALL 2018




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No Substitute for Experience National Sorghum Producers & Sorghum Checkoff CEO, Tim Lust, celebrates 25 years of leading the sorghum industry


EOs are rarely given the opportunity to lead an organization for more than 10 years, according to Forbes. Fortunately for National Sorghum Producers, Tim Lust has beaten those odds by successfully helming the organization for 20 years. Headquartered in Lubbock, Texas, NSP represents the interests of sorghum and its farmers. Lust has been with NSP for 25 years and there have been big changes to the commodity over the years. Sorghum is going places because CEO Tim Lust is there. After graduating from Angelo State University, Lust attended Texas Tech University where he received his MBA. “I graduated at a time coming out of the ‘80s where the economy wasn’t very good,” Lust said. “I had a lot of education, and thought I probably needed to use that somewhere outside for a year or 18 months before I went back home. Somewhere along the way, 25 years, I missed that turn, apparently.” Prior to joining NSP, Lust’s goal was to go back home and take over the family farming and ranching operation, which included sorghum. “I came in [to NSP] on the research and marketing side, but obviously I also


The Agriculturist | FALL 2018

had a lot of practical experience with my family raising sorghum growing up,” Lust said. “We raised grain sorghum, sorghum silage and sorghum seed. I had been exposed to all aspects of the industry.” Lust started at NSP as the marketing and research director in 1993 and became CEO in 1998. “I certainly had the opportunity to move into a leadership role at a young age,” Lust said. It was a humbling experience, he said, as he was able to make mistakes which allowed him to become wiser and be where he is today. Lust said he is blessed to raise his family in West Texas and grateful he did not leave this part of the world. “I have a 19-mile and 17-minute commute,” Lust said. “There’s not many execs in America that can say that.” Lea Ann Lust, Tim’s wife, is the senior director of system relations in the Office of the Chancellor in the Texas Tech University System. She said aside from being a great husband and father, she had great confidence in Tim’s ability when he became CEO of NSP. “Tim has always been a natural leader,” Lea Ann said. “I knew he was going to be there for the long haul because he had a vision of what it could become. Tim is very focused. Once he took over, I knew there was going to be some major changes.” Lea Ann said the previous CEO was a close friend to the couple, and it was exciting to see Tim build on that position. NSP Senior Policy Advisor, Chris Cogburn, has known Lust since childhood and has seen first-hand Lust’s leadership and changes at the organization. Cogburn is also the manager of Sustainable Crop Insurance Services, a subsidiary of NSP, and served as a NSP board member from 1998-2004. “He is very good with working with people, from a CEO standpoint, and understanding how different people need to interact,” Cogburn said. “That is his key strength I believe.”

Another key strength of Lust is balancing his job with the needs of the board of directors and employees, Cogburn said. “Cohesion doesn’t just happen,” Cogburn said. “Tim works for that. Tim’s working to stick everyone together to make it better.” Lust recalls just how much NSP has changed since he took over as CEO. The organization has changed in both structure and personnel, especially after the formation of the United Sorghum Checkoff Program (USCP), which celebrated its 10-year anniversary in 2018. “When I first came here, there were seven people doing all the functions,” Lust said. Today, there are more people and resources between the two national sorghum organizations. The checkoff facilitates the centralization of state funds into one location to better execute sorghum research and market development, while NSP works on policy and legislative issues impacting the sorghum industry. “Organizations, just like farms, have to continue to evolve over time to make sense,” Lust said. “You had to pick your battles 25 years ago. Whereas today, we try to cover the waterfront. If it’s an issue related to sorghum, we try to be involved and try to improve the situation.” Over the years, Lust’s leadership approach has adapted to meet the changing needs of the industry and the two organizations. Under Lust’s guidance, he, the board of directors and staff have continually worked to “move the needle” in the sorghum industry by overcoming challenges and creating new opportunities for sorghum growers. Lust credits the strides made in the industry to his staff. They have worked to establish new markets and improve existing markets through checkoff efforts and influence policy and legislative issues through NSP. “It doesn’t really matter if you’re leading two people or 2,000 people, those basic [leadership] principles are the same,” Lust said. “Lead by example, do what you say you’re going to do, hold people accountable and recognize and reward staff that do an amazing job.” It is clear Lust has a lot of patience when navigating the legislative and global trade efforts for the commodity. He has some big tasks to spearhead between navigating the United States/Chinese trade situation and legislating for the upcoming farm bill. “In the commodity organization business, it takes time to make change,” Lust said. “Being able to be here as long as I have, I’ve been able to see changes take place in our commodity, and changes take place in our organization. It’s very rewarding, in terms of knowing I’ve Hunter Schumann had a small part in helping Fredericksburg, Texas sorghum producers.”



The Agriculturist | FALL 2018


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Back in the Scarlet & Black CASNR alum is happy to be back on campus


magine the guy across the room who has a constant smile on his face and can talk to anyone. He remembers everyone he meets, their name and their interests. His love of life radiates through his smile. Obviously, that guy cares for the people he interacts with, strangers and all. Matt Williams is that guy. His passion for helping students is evident in his choice to come back home to Texas Tech University as the assistant director of development for the College of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources. Through this role, he works to raise funds for scholarships, research projects, and anything else to help move CASNR further along. This choice was not a selfish one, but rather something he saw as an opportunity to give back to the university and college that gave him so much.


Growing up in Lockney, Texas, Matt helped his family farm, which allowed him to take care of the land and continue his family’s tradition of farming and ranching. “I learned how to drive a tractor at a young age, change water, and care for the land,” Matt said, “so I learned what it means to have good work ethic and just the awesome part of growing your own things and being able to harvest them and seeing the fruits of your labor. That got me where I am today.” The Williams also had a registered Angus cattle herd. Matt loved being able to show his Angus heifers and all of the memories that came from it. “It’s responsibility,” he said. “It’s learning how to take something, learn from it, and be successful at it. I learned at a young age, it’s the preparation you do at home, not

The Agriculturist | FALL 2018

From showing livestock in his youth to a career with the Texas Department of Agriculture and now CASNR, agriculture has always been a part of Williams’ life. Photo courtesy of Matt Williams.

when you get to the show. When you get to the show, it’s too late.” Starting as early as possible, Matt got involved anywhere he could. He wanted to meet new people and travel to new places. Being from a small town, Matt wanted to experience the world outside of Lockney, Texas. Stock shows allowed him to do that. He was able to meet new people and get involved with the agricultural community early on in life. “I will tell you, some of my favorite and best memories are at stock shows and being able to meet new people there,” Matt said. When it was time to choose a four-year university after attending Clarendon College on a livestock judging scholarship, Matt chose Texas Tech. He went to Tech to study agricultural education, and it was then when he solidified his love for the scarlet and black. He fell in love with all that the university and college had to offer. Matt later went to work for the Texas Department of Agriculture as a field representative along with other marketing roles. “My primary role was marketing and production,” Matt said. “So, anything to do to help market and advertise Texas ag products. We had a program called Go Texan and my goal was to be the marketing representative for the small businesses in the program.” Matt had always thought it would be fun to work for Texas Tech, but he also never thought he would leave TDA. While at TDA, he was able to communicate and educate others about agriculture. He built a strong network of companies and industry professionals who helped him along the way. When Jane Piercy, CASNR director of development and external relations, told Matt about a potential opening in

her department, Matt knew it was time for a change. “I just finally decided, ‘You know, that’s what I want to do,’” Matt said. “I want to be able to give back to students who are coming through now, help make a difference in their life going forward because somebody did that for me, so I felt like it was my turn to pay that back. I love Texas Tech, and the very thing it stands for, and I love agriculture, and this department is bar-none. It really became an easy decision.” Matt knew that not only would he have the chance to make an impact on the lives of Tech students and alumni, but they would also make an impact on his life as well. “Coming back to Tech as taught me that I probably took things for granted when I was here and didn’t appreciate it as much as I needed to,” Matt said. “It has taught me that this college will help you find where you need to be. You may not see it right as you get out, but it will help you find where you need to be, and that’s why I am here.” Dr. Cindy Akers, professor and associate dean for academic and student programs in CASNR, has known Matt since their years on the Clarendon College livestock judging team. “He [Matt] would always come over and meet every student that was working the booth and talk to them about their career plans,” Akers said. “This was before he was working at Texas Tech, and that shows that he genuinely cares. He would remember what those student’s interests were and if he met somebody he would run them over and introduce them to the student. He just cares about people.” The chance to come back home to Texas Tech was an opportunity Matt couldn’t pass up. To him, being a Red Raider is more than just wearing scarlet and black. It is helping those fellow Red Raiders around you, giving back in any way possible, and striving for honor. “I look back at all the things I have done,” Matt said, “and they have all helped me get to where I Maddi Busby am and if you can realize that then Boerne, Texas life is good.”

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PLANNING THE FIRE Prescribed Burning Course Blazes a Trail


The Agriculturist | FALL 2018


hroughout history, fire, in its physical form or just its idea, has developed a bad rap. Never mind the fact it provided warmth and a heat source to cook for ancient people, but do mind the devastation it can cause. The Texas Panhandle fires in May 2017 that took the lives of seven still burn our memories. Driving down the road and seeing “EXTREME WILDFIRE DANGER” on one of TXDOT’s big message boards brings chills to our spine as we think of the lives, livestock and spirit lost, but somehow simultaneously strengthened. Fire is not all bad though – the indigenous people who first inhabited the Americas knew that. After leaving their hunting and gathering ways and transitioning to a more agrarian lifestyle, they realized the importance fire served in helping their lands sustain the vegetables and grains they relied on. These days, producers carry on this knowledge and frequently conduct prescribed burns. A prescribed burn is a fire intentionally ignited and organized to follow a predetermined plan in accordance with National Environmental Policy Act.

to spring up from the ground. The rejuvenating effects of fire also help to aid producers in improving their soil quality. Prescribed burning also prevents dreaded wildfires. Without vegetation to burn, a spark will lack the fuel to spread, or be met by new, green plants which lack the dryness necessary to be a viable fuel source. Verble, a native of French Lick, Indiana, is teaching the next generation of fire starters to responsibly utilize its power in her courses, NRM 3323 and 5323. Despite the fact the class isn’t specifically required to complete any degrees within the department, it is undisputedly the most sought after course offered among NRM students. She already has a waitlist filled with prospective students for 2019. While there are no pre-requisite courses that must be satisfied in order to take the class, Verble’s approval is required. Approval is gained through a short application designed to help her gauge a prospective student’s goals and intentions should they take the course, and more importantly, their dedication to the measures of safety required. “I want someone who is really excited about the safety and the work,” Verble said. “It’s about 90 percent of what we do.”

“People are fearful of fire ouTside of a fireplace.”

BURNING BRIGHTER AND BRIGHTER Dr. Robin Verble, assistant professor in the Department of Natural Resource Management at Texas Tech, understands and addresses the fears that people have in regard to fire, but stresses how to conduct prescribed burns safely and effectively. “People are fearful of fire outside of a fireplace,” Verble said. “It’s always scared people because it has the potential to cause loss of economics and loss of life.” Outside the hearth, the practical and beneficial uses of fire abound. It allows nutrient-filled new vegetation

The Agriculturist | FALL 2018

A LEGACY OF EXCELLENCE IN FIRE ECOLOGY The class didn’t start with Verble’s arrival at Texas Tech in 2014. Dr. Henry Wright, who pioneered a plethora of modern fire ecology theories and practices, developed the course after he began teaching at Tech in 1967. He is and will be forever hailed for his hands-on, experiential learning approach. His legacy and expertise still shines through the course. “I am teaching this class with the ‘Henry Wright spirit,’” Verble said. “We’re getting out and burning, both


(Left) Courtney Jasik picks up the pace during the arduous pack test. (Right) Dr. Robin Verble loads up the fire engine as her students prepare to embark on a trip to practice burning.

with private and public landowners. We’re giving students hands-on experience in range burning.”

A FAMILY ATMOSPHERE Verble’s passion for teaching others about fire ecology began during her time at The University of Southern Indiana. While there, the instructor of introduction to fire ecology class taught several lessons on wildland fire. Wildland fires are non-structure fires that are not prescribed and take place in a rural area. Her interest didn’t grow solely in the lecture hall, though. At the same time she was beginning to learn about the concepts that would shape her career, her then-boyfriend and now-husband, Seth Pearson, had just joined a fire crew. Together, they would talk about the innumerable new things they were learning and studying. The fire ecology network spans far beyond Verble and her husband, who is currently a wildlife biologist in Ralls, Texas. In addition to the prescribed burning course, she also helps organize a trip to send upper-level students who are interested in a career in fire on an expedition across the country, where they develop industry contacts while using different methods to burn. Verble said conducting a prescribed burn is an art – everyone does it a little differently, depending on the regulatory entity supervising the burn and background of the person burning. “Fire is one of those super family atmospheres, where I know somebody who knows somebody,” Verble said, while laughing. “We tend to stay really close knit.”

GOALS AND OBJECTIVES In addition to working toward familiarizing students with the basic concepts of prescribed burning, planning and fire management, a secondary goal of the prescribed burning class is for students to gain certification through the National Wildfire Coordinating Group’s Type II Wildland Firefighting program. After receiving this certification, students are better qualified to work for a forest or park service.


One of the steps necessary to gain Type II certification is passing the “arduous pack test,” that requires students to complete a 3 mile hike in 45 minutes, all while carrying a 45 pound backpack. First-year graduate student Courtney Jasik, from Mertzon, Texas, recently took and passed the pack test with five seconds to spare. “I’ll be so sore tomorrow,” said Jasik, as she powered through the third and final mile of the hike. Jasik, while keeping an open mind in regards to where her career will take her, currently dreams of working as a rangeland management specialist. “It’s extremely challenging, but also reminds me of how important fitness is in most [natural resource management] pursuits,” Jasik said.

BLAZING A TRAIL Many students who take the course aren’t ditching their rubber-soled boots and leather gloves on the last day, though. Students who show initiative, interest and talent often stay on another semester to be a teaching assistant for the class. “I think most of the time [students] take the class and fall in love with it,” Verble said. “Students often seek not only summer internships, but full-time careers in fire ecology and firefighting.” The spring months have proved to be another tumultuous season with the risk of a disastrous wildfires burning ominously bright. A large population of Tech’s next generation of land conservationists will go through Verble’s class. As students within Texas Tech University’s Department of Natural Resource Management, they will employ countless practices, including prescribed burning, to be dedicated stewards of the land. Lindsey M. Henry Now, if we could just get some Harper, Texas more rain.

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Agricultural Education & Communications Graduate Organization

The Texas Tech University Agricultural Education and Communications Graduate Organization would like to congratulate some of our recent graduates on their accomplishements. The purpose of AECGO is to support agricultural education and communications graduate students as they attend research conferences, while providing leadership and philanthropic participation opportunities. Dr. Garrett Steede graduated with a Ph.D. in agricultural communications and education in May 2018 and has represented the department by presenting his research at five prestigious conferences in the U.S.

Leighton Chachere graduated with a master’s degree in agricultural communications in May 2018. She has presented research at the SAAS conference in addition to serving as an AECGO officer.

Dr. Sarahi Morales graduated with a Ph.D. in agricultural communications and education in May 2018 and has presented nine pieces of research at various conferences across the nation and abroad.

Shelby Maresca earned a master’s degree in agricultural communications in May 2018. She served both the department and CASNR through continuous work in the Dr. Bill Bennett Student Success Center.

Dr. Kyle Gilliam graduated with a Ph.D. in agricultural communications and education in May 2018 and represented the department by presenting five pieces of research at several national conferences.

Sinclaire Dobelbower graduated with a master’s degree in agricultural communications in May 2018. She presented research at the WAAAE conference in addition to serving as an AECGO officer.


The Agriculturist | FALL 2018




n November 2015, Chace Hill called Steve Newsom to talk about a property that was for sale in downtown Levelland, Texas. That simple conversation about real estate turned into a wine-making partnership, and eventually, a new business. Newsom, Hill and Rowdy Bolen, co-owners of Trilogy Cellars, started their business venture just to make a three-family malbec, a purple grape variety used in making red wine, for their closest family and friends. When Hill’s grandmother decided to sell her building on Levelland’s main street, the trio knew the time was right to start a tasting room. In fact, Newsom was so sure about it he told Hill to “write her a check or I will.” Nine months later, Trilogy Cellars opened its doors. The Texas wine grape industry is growing, especially in the High Plains. According to Texas Wine and Grape Growers Association, there are nearly 500 acres of wine grapes grown in Texas. About 80 percent of those grapes are grown on the High Plains which is the northern and western side of Texas. The wine grape economy in Texas is valued at $13.1 billion. These figures, among other things, contributed to the opening of Trilogy Cellars.



Trilogy Cellars represents three families: the Newsoms, Bolens and Hills. The three families are agricultural-based, each with different growing experiences. Each family plays their own special role in making Trilogy Cellars work. “The care and consideration we put into our product,” Bolen said, “is unlike what you would get if you were just buying a bottle of wine from a retail store.” Newsom is a third-generation cotton farmer who started growing wine grapes in 2008 after researching viticulture, the science, production and study of grapes, for five years. Newsom and his wife, Cindy, have two kids, Raenee and Keegan, who are continuing the farming tradition through growing wine grapes. Newsom has a field-first outlook to making wine and believes a good product starts in the field. “We could not produce the product in the bottle we have,” Newsom said, “if we didn’t do a good job in the field.” Hill is a fifth-generation farmer who started growing wine grapes as an alternative to growing cotton. After graduating from Texas Tech University in 2005 with a degree in

The Agriculturist | FALL 2018

(Left) Steve Newsom (left), Chace Hill (center), and Rowdy Bolen (right) show off their vineyards during a tour. Photo courtesy of Trilogy Cellars (Left) Texas Outlaws, a local band, performs live at Trilogy Cellars on a Saturday night. (Top) A group of Texas Tech law students enjoys a glass of Malbec and a meat and cheese board at Trilogy Cellars. (Bottom) A group of Lubbock teachers celebrates spring break with some wine. at Trilogy Cellars.

horticulture, Hill decided to expand the vineyard and grow wine grapes full-time. Hill is now the manager of Krick Hill Vineyards, as well as owner and operator of Chace Hill Vineyard Consulting LLC. Bolen is a first-generation wine grape grower who started his vineyard in 2010. Bolen and his wife, Tameisha, own and operate Bolen Vineyards in Smyer, Texas. Their daughter Reese is so passionate about wine grape growing that, at just fourteen, she is planting her own vineyard. “Reese is really intrigued by the end-product and what the potential could be,” Bolen said. “That is really what drives her to develop her vineyard and make it her own.”

Guests who come into the Trilogy Cellars tasting room can enjoy a variety of award-winning wines, including the pinot grigio, reserve malbec, reserve merlot and gewurztraminer. These wines and many more can be enjoyed by the bottle or glass in the tasting room. Guests can also enjoy a tasting while learning more about Trilogy Cellars. Newsom, Hill and Bolen enjoy sharing their passion of wine production with the local community. Newsom says the challenges he faces from growing wine grapes differ from the challenges he faces growing cotton because of the delicate nature of grape production. While a cotton grower will more than likely never wear a shirt made from his crop alone, the experience of a wine grape grower is much different. “There is an intimacy that you grow with grapes that when you finally pop that cork or unscrew that bottle and pour it for someone, it’s special,” Newsom said. “There is nothing like sharing something that you have taken from start all the way to finish with a customer.” As tedious as the wine making process is, Steve, Chace and Rowdy continue to grow the South Plainsbased Trilogy Cellars. They hope to spread their vision of producing high quality wine grapes and encourage other growers to take pride Kami Durham in what they grow and share it with Levelland, Texas their local communities.

We have dirt in our veins; that’s what makes Trilogy Cellars completely different.

The three families’ vineyards are located in Hockley County, just west of Lubbock. During the growing season, each family, with the help of some hired hands, spends about 40 to 50 hours a week in the vineyard getting ready for harvest. Harvest takes place as early as the first week of August and goes as late as mid-October. During harvest, they work up to 60 hours a week and work throughout the night in order to keep the fruit cool for transportation to the wineries. Newsom, Hill and Bolen are very hands-on with every aspect of the wine making process. They pride themselves in growing high quality wine grapes that result in high quality wine. Newsom says the work in the field is what sets Trilogy Cellars apart from other wineries in Texas. “We have dirt in our veins,” Newsom said, “that’s what makes Trilogy Cellars completely different.” Once the fruit has been harvested, it is sent to Llano Estacado Winery in Lubbock, Texas, to be made into wine. Although the wine is not made at Trilogy Cellars, it is carefully directed and monitored by the Trilogy Cellars team. After the wine is made, it is sent to McPherson Cellars where it is bottled and labeled.

The Agriculturist | FALL 2018



After packaging, the wine goes to the tasting room where it can finally be enjoyed. The tasting room is in an remodeled building that was built in 1926. Prior to Trilogy’s grand opening in October 2016, Newsom, Hill and Bolen stripped the building down to its bones to expose the original plaster that was chipped away to uncover some of the original brick.


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oday in the agricultural industry there is a growing need for qualified individuals who understand the industry and all its moving parts. The College of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources at Texas Tech University is helping fill that void with leaders who are well educated about the industry. In the fall of 2017, CASNR selected its first cohort of undergraduate student leaders to participate in the new Matador Institute of Leadership Engagement, also known as the MILE Program. Through the program, CASNR wanted to give students an opportunity to develop leadership skills that would set them apart as they enter the competitive workforce. The idea for a student leadership program within CASNR was on the table for years, according to Dr. Steve Fraze, who played an instrumental role in starting the MILE Program while serving as interim dean. “This program will create a pipeline of trained young agricultural leaders who are equipped with the skills, knowledge and understanding of the issues and challenges facing our industry,” Fraze said. Lindsay Kennedy serves as the MILE program director, and worked closely with Fraze and Dr. Cindy Akers, associate dean in CASNR, to develop the program with input from members of the regional and state agricultural industry. Kennedy, who is a graduate of the Texas Agricultural Lifetime Leadership program, said many aspects of MILE were designed with TALL in mind, including the use of seminars and on-site tours to emerse participants into the many diverse sectors of the agriculture industry. The MILE Program intends to use a similar approach. “The MILE Program offers students an experience different than a lot of the other activities we have within the

college,” Kennedy said. “These students will not only get to tour a wide variety of production agriculture sites and facilities, but they will also get professional development and networking opportunities along the way.”

SELECTING THE FIRST COHORT Once the groundwork for MILE was developed, CASNR began accepting applications for the program’s first cohort. Selected applicants then participated in an interview with the MILE advisory committee, which is comprised of industry leaders and CASNR personnel. “We wanted the cream of the crop,” Kennedy said. “I was really impressed with the quality of students who applied for our first cohort, and I think this group of students reflects the professionalism and leadership potential we were after when developing the CASNR MILE Program.” Tanya Foerster is the advertising director for Capital Farm Credit in Lubbock, president of the TALL Alumni Association, and a member of the CASNR MILE Program advisory committee that selected the first cohort. “They were very highly qualified individuals, and it was really hard to narrow it down and pick a group,” Foerster said. “I was very impressed, and it made me feel good to be an alumnus of Texas Tech and CASNR.” Fourteen students representing five of the six CASNR departments were selected to be in the first MILE cohort. The three-semester cohort requires participants to enroll in a MILE-specific course each semester. MILE members are also required to complete an internship during their cohort to gain additional real-word experience.

The MILE program offers students an experience different than a lot of the other activities we have within the college.


The Agriculturist | FALL 2018

(Left) Members of the first MILE cohort visited the Swisher County Cattle Company feedyard during a session focused on livestock production during the spring 2018 semester. (Right) MILE members participated in media training and professional development activities during a session held at the Bayer Museum of Agriculture.

A DIVERSE EXPERIENCE Kennedy said she hopes the MILE Program will be a trademark of work ethic, professionalism and the leadership ability of CASNR students. The program aims to give students a broad understanding of agriculture and its key issues, while teaching students to advocate for the industry. While in MILE, students tour farms, ranches, livestock facilities and processing facilities, and will ultimately travel to Washington, D.C. and Austin to meet with federal and state policy makers and agencies. “You can put slide shows up all day,” Kennedy said, “but when you go and engage with people and actually experience the different areas of agriculture, that’s when you develop an understanding for how all those segments work together within our industry.” The MILE Program is also geared to teach students professional and communication skills to help them advocate for agriculture. Guest speakers from industry as well as the Texas Tech University Career Center provide seminars on dining etiquette, media traning, resume and cover letter development, and other professional development activities as part of the program. Students are required to wear business professional or business casual anytime the cohort meets. Maggie Pipkin, a sophomore agricultural communications major from Spearman, Texas, is a member of the first MILE cohort. She said she applied for MILE because of the variety of professional development opportunities offered throughout the program. “The etiquette dinner was extremely beneficial and was one of my favorite things we have done so far,” Pipkin said. “I learned so much.” Kaylynn Kiker, a junior majoring in animal science with a business concentration from Allison, Texas, said the opportunities provided by CASNR’s MILE Program have been extraordinary so far. “I like that the CASNR MILE is not a base-level leadership program,” Kiker said. “It’s going to take students who already have a lot of leadership skills and continue to build on those.” Kiker said she knows this program will have a positive effect on her life, not just from the leadership and commu-

The Agriculturist | FALL 2018

nication skills she will obtain, but also from the numerous people she will network with in the industry. Developing a network is also a key goal for the MILE program. Students will have the opportunity to meet and network with people involved in every aspect of agriculture, including livestock, crops, conservation and policy. Hagan Wright, a natural resource management major from Wolfforth, Texas, is a member of the first MILE cohort. Wright said he enjoys the diversity of the program and the opportunities to network with students from different majors and industry leaders. “I appreciate that they select members from every department in CASNR,” Wright said. “I think it is very beneficial to have input from all the different areas of CASNR.” Wright said the program has already helped him make connections with different industry leaders and employers.

LOOKING AHEAD Foerster said she feels certain the MILE Program will be as beneficial to students as TALL was for her because students are given the opportunity to learn about and tour such a diverse range of agricultural sectors. “The future looks bright for agriculture,” Foerster said. “The MILE Program is definitely something that is going to broaden their horizons.” Fraze said he looks forward to seeing what students in MILE will accomplish. “The success of the program rides solely on the success of the students once they get into their careers,” he said. Kiker said she looks forward to seeing how the program will grow. “I think this program is going to continue to progress as more cohort members go out into the workforce and take on leadership positions in the industry,” Kiker said. “I can’t wait to see what my Ivie Kate Mynatt peers, as well as future MILE Eldorado, Texas cohorts, accomplish.”


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3/27/18 1:52 PM


EXPANDING FOR THE INDUSTRY New Department of Veterinary Science aims to meet industry needs


猀 琀h攀 愀g爀椀挀甀氀琀甀爀愀氀 椀渀搀甀猀琀爀y g爀漀w猀Ⰰ 猀漀 搀漀攀猀 琀h攀 渀攀攀搀 for qualified industry personnel. According to the U.S. Department of Labor, the demand for large animal veterinarians is increasing. This is primarily due to the fact that there are fewer practitioners trained to treat large animals. This shortage is impacting rural areas in Texas which are dependent on the health of their livestock. The College of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources at Texas Tech University is hoping to meet this industry need with its development of the Department of Veterinary Science that will focus on population-preventative medicine. Dr. Michael Ballou, interim department chair of the Department of Veterinary Sciences and CASNR associate dean for research said the new department will help meet this regional need. “Most of the livestock [operations] in this area are fairly large and there are lots of animals,” said Ballu, who specializes in ruminant nutrition and immunology. “We will take more of a population-based approach to answering questions and solving problems.”

AIDING THE INDUSTRY The newly formed department is a graduate program only. The program will offer research-based master’s and doctorate degrees. Both traditional on-campus and distance programs will be offered. The primary focus will be to train individuals in the population and preventive veterinary medicine. The program plans to attract people interested in pursuing a research career in farm animal medicine. Ballou said the veterinary sciences department will provide a greater focus on research and outreach efforts in food, animal, equine and wildlife health and well-being. The new department is intended to meet the educational and research needs of the animal agriculture industry and the regional veterinary community. “Our focus is mainly going to be looking at the population data and understanding how we can improve health of feedlot cattle and dairy cattle,” Ballou said. “Our research programs will depend on collecting data from local operations, and they have the data we need.”

We will take more of a population-based approach to answering questions.


The Agriculturist | FALL 2018

Dr. Michael Ballou (second from left) says the master’s program will work closely with the animal science department as well as the Texas Tech School of Veterinary Medicine in Amarillo, Texas.

Ballou said this program will stand out among the rest as it will focus more on population and preventative medicine in the livestock industry. This is different than clinical medi挀椀渀攀Ⰰ wh椀挀h w漀甀氀搀 猀甀gg攀猀琀 搀椀愀g渀漀猀椀渀g one sick animal. Population preventive medicine looks at overall livestock production and focuses on the incidence of disease, how many animals are getting sick, and what factors could contribute to that.

SETTING THE STANDARDS Ballou said he and his team want to focus on integrating all aspects of the college’s current departments into the curriculum. He said there will be portions built into the curriculum that will include natural resource management, agricultural communications, agricultural education, agricultural economics, animal and food science, and even public policy. The graduate program will focus on all aspects of the veterinary science industry, not just medicine. “We are trying to look at ourselves as more of a centralized department, but also relying on and working with other departments in the college,” Ballou said. Ballou said the online-based program will be particularly appealing to those who already have a doctorate of veterinary medicine and are practicing veterinarians. This program will allow them to continue to work in the industry and also gain new skills that they would not have learned in vet school. “When you go to vet school, they teach you how to be a veterinarian,” Ballou said. “They teach you how to deal with one animal that comes in that is sick. They don’t teach you how to deal with large population data. So, being an online

The Agriculturist | FALL 2018

program, a veterinarian can be in practice and still articulate through this program in two years. It’s going to teach them different skill sets to understand large populations.” Ballou said those with international veterinary degrees will also be attracted to the online program as they would be able to continue their research while abroad. This program will additionally target people who may have a Ph.D., and are working in the industry, such as animal or livestock health nutrition management, who want to understand how to look at health data as well.

WHAT’S NEXT? The department is currently in the process of getting the required approval to open its doors to students in the next years. Ballou said he and his team have been working endlessly to get curriculum developed and proper accreditation from the university. Although the department itself has been approved, Ballou said it will still take a year or two to get everything finalized and placed where it needs to be. As of now, the curriculum for the graduate program can be found on a piece of scratch paper displayed in Ballou’s office in which he and his team have made notes and developed what they think will be the most beneficial to the future students. CASNR does not know when the department will see its first round of graduate students, but Ballou and his team are working to make this program the best it can be to set it apart from other veterinary programs. This departLindsay Hamer ment will help shape our industry St. Hedwig, Texas leaders in new ways.


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U渀椀琀攀搀 S琀愀琀攀猀 G漀氀昀 䄀猀猀漀挀椀愀琀椀漀渀Ⰰ 琀h攀 琀w漀 爀攀猀攀愀爀挀h攀爀猀 h愀瘀攀 搀攀瘀攀氀漀p攀搀 愀渀 攀xp攀爀椀洀攀渀琀 w椀琀h 琀h攀 p漀琀攀渀琀椀愀氀 琀漀 愀氀氀漀w 洀漀爀攀 愀挀挀甀爀愀琀攀 w愀琀攀爀 愀氀氀漀挀愀琀椀漀渀 漀渀 g漀氀昀 挀漀甀爀猀攀猀⸀ “Our goal is to utilize drones and different sensors that w椀氀氀 戀攀 愀琀琀愀挀h攀搀 琀漀 琀h攀 搀爀漀渀攀猀 琀漀 挀漀氀氀攀挀琀 椀洀愀g攀爀y 琀h愀琀 挀漀甀氀搀 戀愀猀椀挀愀氀氀y 搀攀琀攀爀洀椀渀攀 愀爀攀愀猀 漀昀 搀爀漀甀gh琀 猀琀爀攀猀猀 漀渀 愀 g漀氀昀 挀漀甀爀猀攀Ⰰᴠ Y漀甀渀g 猀愀椀搀⸀ ᰠ吀h攀 漀瘀攀爀愀氀氀 p甀爀p漀猀攀 w漀甀氀搀 戀攀 琀漀 甀琀椀氀椀z攀 瘀愀爀椀漀甀猀 sensors that may give us different information.” Once these optimal sensors are identified, they could 戀攀 甀琀椀氀椀z攀搀 戀y g漀氀昀 挀漀甀爀猀攀猀 琀漀 椀搀攀渀琀椀昀y 搀爀漀甀gh琀 猀琀爀攀猀猀Ⰰ p漀ⴀ 琀攀渀琀椀愀氀氀y 戀攀昀漀爀攀 椀琀 椀猀 攀瘀攀渀 瘀椀猀椀戀氀攀 琀漀 琀h攀 h甀洀愀渀 攀y攀Ⰰ Y漀甀渀g

IT’S MORE THAN A TEE TIME “There’s definitely a perception that golf courses and 琀甀爀昀 g爀愀猀猀 愀爀攀 猀漀洀攀琀h椀渀g 琀h愀琀’猀 戀愀猀椀挀愀氀氀y 愀 w愀猀琀攀 漀昀 愀 氀漀琀 漀昀 w愀琀攀爀Ⰰ 愀渀搀 琀h攀爀攀昀漀爀攀 甀渀渀攀挀攀猀猀愀爀yⰀᴠ Y漀甀渀g 猀愀椀搀⸀ ᰠ䈀甀琀 琀h愀琀’猀 just not the case. Courses provide a big economic benefit 昀漀爀 挀椀琀椀攀猀 氀椀欀攀 䰀甀戀戀漀挀欀⸀ᴠ Y漀甀渀g 愀爀g甀攀猀 琀漀甀爀渀愀洀攀渀琀猀 愀渀搀 漀琀h攀爀 攀瘀攀渀琀猀 h漀猀琀攀搀 愀琀 挀漀甀爀猀攀猀 氀椀欀攀 琀h攀 R愀w氀猀 椀洀p愀挀琀 琀h攀 氀漀挀愀氀 攀挀漀渀漀洀y 戀y 戀爀椀渀g椀渀g p攀漀p氀攀 椀渀琀漀 琀h攀 挀椀琀y wh漀 甀琀椀氀椀z攀 氀漀挀愀氀 戀甀猀椀渀攀猀猀攀猀⸀ 䄀 猀攀渀琀椀洀攀渀琀 攀挀h漀攀搀 戀y 䈀攀爀洀攀愀⸀ “Tournaments aren’t only beneficial to the Rawls 挀漀甀爀猀攀Ⰰ ᴠ 䈀攀爀洀攀愀 猀愀椀搀⸀ ᰠ吀h攀y h攀氀p 攀瘀攀爀y漀渀攀⸀ 吀h攀爀攀 愀爀攀 琀h攀 obvious businesses that benefit directly from visitors to 琀h攀 g漀氀昀 挀漀甀爀猀攀Ⰰ 氀椀欀攀 h漀琀攀氀猀Ⰰ 爀攀猀琀愀甀爀愀渀琀猀 愀渀搀 愀氀氀 琀h愀琀⸀ 䈀甀琀 there’s a trickle down effect through the economy that j甀猀琀 挀愀渀’琀 戀攀 甀渀搀攀爀猀琀愀琀攀搀⸀ᴠ Wh椀氀攀 椀琀 椀猀 愀pp愀爀攀渀琀 g漀氀昀 挀漀甀爀猀攀猀 甀猀攀 愀 氀漀琀 漀昀 w愀琀攀爀Ⰰ Y漀甀渀g 愀渀搀 G甀漀 h愀瘀攀 搀攀瘀椀猀攀搀 愀 p氀愀渀 琀h愀琀 挀漀甀氀搀 h攀氀p 渀漀琀 漀渀氀y 琀h攀 搀爀漀甀gh琀ⴀ猀琀爀椀挀欀攀渀 䰀甀戀戀漀挀欀 愀爀攀愀Ⰰ 戀甀琀 挀漀甀氀搀 椀洀p愀挀琀 挀漀甀爀猀攀猀 愀爀漀甀渀搀 琀h攀 挀漀甀渀琀爀y 愀渀搀 琀h攀 w漀爀氀搀⸀ ᰠW愀琀攀爀 椀猀 漀甀爀 N漀⸀ ㄀ 氀椀洀椀琀椀渀g 爀攀猀漀甀爀挀攀Ⰰᴠ 猀愀椀搀 G甀漀Ⰰ 愀渀 愀猀ⴀ 猀椀猀琀愀渀琀 p爀漀昀攀猀猀漀爀 漀昀 挀爀漀p 攀挀漀phy猀椀漀氀漀gy 愀渀搀 p爀攀挀椀猀椀漀渀 愀g爀椀挀甀氀ⴀ 琀甀爀攀⸀ ᰠE瘀攀爀y漀渀攀 欀渀漀w猀 琀h攀 Og愀氀氀愀氀愀 䄀q甀椀昀攀爀 椀猀 搀攀p氀攀琀椀渀g 愀琀 愀 rapid rate. So, we need to figure out how to save the water or use the water more wisely, more efficiently. This is important 昀爀漀洀 戀漀琀h 愀渀 攀挀漀渀漀洀椀挀 愀渀搀 猀漀挀椀愀氀 p攀爀猀p攀挀琀椀瘀攀⸀ᴠ

DRIVING WITH THE DRONE G甀漀 猀愀椀搀 椀琀 椀猀 渀漀琀 漀渀氀y 椀洀p漀爀琀愀渀琀 琀漀 猀愀瘀攀 w愀琀攀爀 昀漀爀 琀h攀 渀攀x琀 g攀渀攀爀愀琀椀漀渀Ⰰ 戀甀琀 愀氀猀漀 琀漀 挀漀渀猀攀爀瘀攀 w愀琀攀爀 昀漀爀 挀漀渀瘀攀渀ⴀ 琀椀漀渀愀氀 愀g爀椀挀甀氀琀甀爀攀 p爀漀搀甀挀琀椀漀渀⸀ W椀琀h 愀 g爀愀渀琀 p爀漀瘀椀搀攀搀 戀y 琀h攀

The Agriculturist | FALL 2018

(Opposite) Joey Young Ph. D., and Wenxuan Guo Ph. D., converse over the drone’s flight strategy for their research funded by the United States Golf Association. (Above) Graduate students Abir Raihan and Yazhou Sun make last minute adjustments before the drone takes flight.


(Left) Bermea, Guo and Young discuss how they will use the drone to detect drought stress on the Rawls Course. Bermea is the course superintendent and hopes to use the results of the research to better manage the water usage on the course. (Right) Young and Guo rely on the drone’s high tech sensors to measure various stresses on turfgrass.

猀愀椀搀⸀ 吀h椀猀 琀攀挀h渀漀氀漀gy w漀甀氀搀 戀攀 甀猀攀搀 戀y 挀漀甀爀猀攀 洀愀渀愀g攀爀猀 琀漀 愀搀j甀猀琀 椀爀爀椀g愀琀椀漀渀 昀爀漀洀 愀爀攀愀猀 琀h愀琀 猀琀愀y w攀琀琀攀爀 琀漀 愀爀攀愀猀 琀h愀琀 琀攀渀搀 琀漀 搀爀y 漀甀琀 洀漀爀攀⸀ 吀h椀猀 w椀氀氀 h攀氀p 氀漀w攀爀 w愀琀攀爀 甀猀愀g攀 漀渀 琀h攀 g漀氀昀 挀漀甀爀猀攀 愀渀搀 愀挀h椀攀瘀攀 洀漀爀攀 攀瘀攀渀 p氀愀y椀渀g 挀漀渀搀椀琀椀漀渀猀⸀ ᰠI昀 琀h椀猀 琀攀挀h渀漀氀漀gy 挀漀甀氀搀 愀氀氀漀w 甀猀 琀漀 猀攀攀 愀渀 愀爀攀愀 琀h愀琀’猀 搀爀y攀爀 漀爀 愀渀 愀爀攀愀 琀h愀琀’猀 w攀琀琀攀爀Ⰰ w攀 w漀甀氀搀 戀攀 愀戀氀攀 琀漀 w愀琀攀爀 those areas more efficiently,” Bermea said. “We could 挀爀攀愀琀攀 愀 洀漀爀攀 猀甀猀琀愀椀渀愀戀氀攀 椀爀爀椀g愀琀椀漀渀 p爀漀g爀愀洀 琀h愀琀 w漀甀氀搀 戀攀 environmentally beneficial 愀渀搀 猀愀瘀攀 甀猀 洀漀渀攀y⸀ᴠ S椀洀p氀y 氀漀w攀爀椀渀g 琀h攀 g漀氀昀 挀漀甀爀猀攀’猀 椀爀爀椀g愀琀椀漀渀 戀y ㄀ 琀漀 ㄀㔀 p攀爀挀攀渀琀 w漀甀氀搀 戀攀 愀 huge financial savings for 琀h攀 R愀w氀猀Ⰰ 䈀攀爀洀攀愀 猀愀椀搀⸀ 吀h攀 爀攀猀攀愀爀挀h 椀猀 戀攀椀渀g 挀漀渀搀甀挀琀攀搀 愀琀 琀h攀 R愀w氀猀 G漀氀昀 䌀漀甀爀猀攀 愀猀 w攀氀氀 愀猀 琀h攀 䄀洀ⴀ 愀爀椀氀氀漀 䌀漀甀渀琀爀y 䌀氀甀戀Ⰰ wh椀挀h use different kinds of turf g爀愀猀猀⸀ 吀h攀 瘀愀爀y椀渀g 猀攀渀猀漀爀猀 w椀氀氀 g椀瘀攀 愀 戀爀漀愀搀攀爀 p椀挀琀甀爀攀 漀昀 h漀w 挀漀漀氀 猀攀愀猀漀渀 愀渀搀 w愀爀洀 猀攀愀猀漀渀 琀甀爀昀 g爀愀猀猀攀猀 h愀渀搀氀攀 搀爀漀甀gh琀 猀琀爀攀猀猀⸀ Y漀甀渀g 猀愀y猀 甀氀琀椀洀愀琀攀氀y h攀 h漀p攀猀 琀漀 椀搀攀渀琀椀昀y 猀攀渀猀漀爀猀 琀漀 address specific issues on golf courses and would then like 琀漀 猀h愀爀攀 琀h愀琀 椀渀昀漀爀洀愀琀椀漀渀 w椀琀h 挀漀甀爀猀攀 洀愀渀愀g攀爀猀 愀爀漀甀渀搀 琀h攀 挀漀甀渀琀爀y⸀ 䈀甀琀Ⰰ 椀琀 椀猀 渀漀琀 j甀猀琀 g漀氀昀 挀漀甀爀猀攀猀 琀h愀琀 洀愀y 戀攀 爀攀愀p椀渀g the benefits of his research.

猀漀渀Ⰰ w攀 挀愀渀 氀漀漀欀 愀琀 h漀w 琀h攀 p氀愀渀琀猀 愀爀攀 g爀漀w椀渀g 愀渀搀 愀搀j甀猀琀 椀爀爀椀g愀琀椀漀渀 愀渀搀 漀琀h攀爀 椀洀p甀琀攀猀 琀漀 洀椀渀椀洀椀z攀 爀攀猀漀甀爀挀攀 甀猀攀⸀ᴠ He said even though different plants sometimes require different methods to study, all plants show drought 猀琀爀攀猀猀 椀渀 琀h攀 猀愀洀攀 w愀y⸀ J甀猀琀 氀椀欀攀 琀h攀 w漀爀欀 戀攀椀渀g 搀漀渀攀 漀渀 琀h攀 挀漀甀爀猀攀猀Ⰰ G甀漀 h漀p攀猀 琀漀 甀琀椀氀椀z攀 搀爀漀渀攀 椀洀愀g攀爀y 琀漀 椀搀攀渀琀椀昀y 愀爀攀愀猀 漀昀 搀爀漀甀gh琀 猀琀爀攀猀猀 椀渀 挀爀漀p猀 氀椀欀攀 挀漀爀渀Ⰰ 挀漀琀琀漀渀 愀渀搀 猀漀爀gh甀洀⸀ ᰠI琀 h愀猀 戀攀挀漀洀攀 椀渀挀爀攀愀猀ⴀ 椀渀g氀y 椀洀p漀爀琀愀渀琀 琀漀 挀漀渀猀攀爀瘀攀 漀甀爀 w愀琀攀爀Ⰰᴠ G甀漀 猀愀椀搀⸀ ᰠ吀h攀 w愀琀攀爀 椀渀 漀甀爀 愀爀攀愀 h愀猀 戀攀攀渀 搀椀洀椀渀椀猀h椀渀g 洀甀挀h 昀愀猀琀攀爀 琀h愀渀 漀爀椀g椀渀愀氀氀y 攀xp攀挀琀攀搀Ⰰ 愀渀搀 w攀 搀漀渀’琀 欀渀漀w wh愀琀 漀甀爀 w愀琀攀爀 猀甀pp氀y w椀氀氀 氀漀漀欀 氀椀欀攀 椀渀 2 y攀愀爀猀⸀ O甀爀 wh漀氀攀 攀挀漀渀漀洀y 椀猀 搀爀椀瘀攀渀 戀y 愀渀 愀搀攀q甀愀琀攀 w愀琀攀爀 猀甀pp氀yⰀ 猀漀 琀h愀琀 洀愀欀攀猀 椀琀 甀爀g攀渀琀⸀ᴠ 吀h椀猀 j漀椀渀琀 爀攀猀攀愀爀挀h 攀渀ⴀ 搀攀愀瘀漀爀 琀漀 甀氀琀椀洀愀琀攀氀y 氀漀w攀爀 w愀琀攀爀 甀猀愀g攀 椀渀 W攀猀琀 吀攀x愀猀 挀漀甀氀搀 h愀瘀攀 愀 氀愀猀琀椀渀g 椀洀p愀挀琀 漀渀 琀h攀 爀攀g椀漀渀 戀y 椀洀p爀漀瘀ⴀ 椀渀g 猀甀猀琀愀椀渀愀戀椀氀椀琀y 愀渀搀 p爀漀琀攀挀琀椀渀g 琀h攀 攀挀漀渀漀洀椀挀 猀琀愀戀椀氀椀琀y 漀昀 g漀氀昀 挀漀甀爀猀攀猀 愀渀搀 挀漀渀瘀攀渀琀椀漀渀愀氀 愀g爀椀挀甀氀琀甀爀攀 p爀愀挀琀椀挀攀猀⸀ H漀w攀瘀攀爀Ⰰ Y漀甀渀g h漀p攀猀 琀h攀椀爀 爀攀猀攀愀爀挀h w椀氀氀 h愀瘀攀 愀渀 攀瘀攀渀 g爀攀愀琀攀爀 椀洀p愀挀琀⸀ ᰠI琀’猀 椀洀p漀爀琀愀渀琀 琀漀 甀猀 琀h愀琀 w攀 愀爀攀 搀漀椀渀g wh愀琀’猀 爀椀gh琀 昀漀爀 漀甀爀 爀攀g椀漀渀Ⰰᴠ Y漀甀渀g 猀愀椀搀⸀ ᰠ䈀甀琀 戀椀gg攀爀 琀h愀渀 琀h愀琀Ⰰ I w愀渀琀 琀漀 挀漀洀洀甀渀椀挀愀琀攀 our findings to the scientific com洀甀渀椀琀y 椀渀 h漀p攀猀 琀h愀琀 琀h攀 椀渀昀漀爀ⴀ 洀愀琀椀漀渀 挀愀渀 戀攀 猀h愀爀攀搀 w椀琀h 挀漀甀爀猀攀 猀甀p攀爀椀渀琀攀渀搀攀渀琀猀 愀爀漀甀渀搀 琀h攀 w漀爀氀搀⸀ F漀爀 洀y 爀攀猀攀愀爀挀h 琀漀 h愀瘀攀 琀h愀琀 欀椀渀搀 漀昀 爀攀愀挀h 愀渀搀 椀洀p愀挀琀 Sydney Nelson 挀漀洀洀甀渀椀琀椀攀猀 愀爀漀甀渀搀 琀h攀 w漀爀氀搀 R椀琀z瘀椀氀氀攀Ⰰ W愀猀h椀渀g琀漀渀 w漀甀氀搀 戀攀 琀h攀 甀氀琀椀洀愀琀攀 爀攀w愀爀搀⸀ᴠ

“Courses provide a big economic

benefit for cities like Lubbock.”

A HOLE-IN-ONE I渀 琀愀渀搀攀洀 w椀琀h 琀h攀 爀攀猀攀愀爀挀h 戀攀椀渀g 挀漀渀搀甀挀琀攀搀 漀渀 䰀甀戀ⴀ 戀漀挀欀 愀渀搀 䄀洀愀爀椀氀氀漀 g漀氀昀 挀漀甀爀猀攀猀Ⰰ G甀漀 w椀氀氀 愀氀猀漀 戀攀 甀琀椀氀椀z椀渀g 琀h攀 搀爀漀渀攀 愀渀搀 猀攀渀猀漀爀 琀攀挀h渀漀氀漀gy 琀漀 氀漀漀欀 愀琀 氀漀w攀爀椀渀g w愀琀攀爀 甀猀愀g攀 椀渀 挀漀渀瘀攀渀琀椀漀渀愀氀 愀g爀椀挀甀氀琀甀爀攀⸀ ᰠMy 愀爀攀愀 漀昀 爀攀猀攀愀爀挀h 椀猀 椀渀 挀爀漀p 攀挀漀phy猀椀漀氀漀gy 愀渀搀 p爀攀挀椀猀椀漀渀 愀g爀椀挀甀氀琀甀爀攀Ⰰᴠ G甀漀 猀愀椀搀⸀ ᰠI w椀氀氀 戀攀 甀猀椀渀g 搀爀漀渀攀猀 to identify the crop growth variability in fields, within the same season. So, before the final yield at the end of the sea-


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Thank you to all of our advertisers in this issue of The Agriculturist. The advertisers listed below help make each issue possible, and we are grateful for their support of this student-produced publication. For more information on how you can advertise in The Agriculturist, visit http://ttuagriculturist.com. 81 Adams Well Service 37 Ag Products 54 Alpha Sleep Labs 24 Alpha Xi Delta 8 American Bank of Commerce 49 American Campus Communities 55 ARMtech Insurance Services 63 Ball Farms 84 Bart Lawrence Enterprises 2 Bayer Crop Science 80 Westar Commercial Realty 89 Capital Farm Credit 17 CEV Multimedia 40 Country Quarters Apartments 81 Dan Baze Agency 13 Dan & Linda Taylor Farms 24 Diversity Irrigation 66 Donny Carpenter Farms LTD 62 Earth Works 59 Farmers Co-op Elevator 25 Farmhouse Vineyards 40 First United Bank 71 Flint Boot & Hat Shop 17 Generation Zigler 62 Gibson, Gibson & More 25 GICON Pumps & Equipment 36 GKB Cattle 41 Grable Oil Company 92 Happy State Bank 63 Hondo Ag Supply Inc. 45 Hurst Farm Supply 72 JD’s Prompt Plumbing 41 Joe Brown Insurance 58 Kathy Fowler Agency LLC 59 KJ Communications


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