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spring 2013

The Brand A Publication from the Department of Agricultural Sciences at West Texas A&M University

Meet Alpha

WT’s Prime, Yield Grade 1 Clone

2012 Ag Day Celebration Recap Leading the Herd

Meet the department’s outstanding undergraduates

WT Rodeo Comes Home



Leading the Herd


Meet four outstanding undergraduates who are representing WT and the Department of Agricultural Sciences on and off campus.

Agricultural Ambassadors


Ag Day Celebration 2012


Agribusiness Lectureship


The best of the best students in the department. Another record-breaking reunion is in the books! Check out the highlights from the scholarship banquet and reunion at the Nance Ranch. Three industry leaders speak to WT students.

Spring Braggin’ Rights


Departmental teams continue to bring home hardware from national contests.


Four new additions to the Department of Agricultural Sciences put WT on the frontline of genetic cloning research.



Ropin’ Toward a Degree

The WT Rodeo Team thrives with leadership from Raymond Hollabaugh and a new home in the Department of Agricultural Sciences. Find out how this new partnership will benefit WT students.


WT Feedlot Feeds the Future 19 Facility renovations, partnerships and student employment fuel the future of feedlot research.

Stock shows


Departmental faculty and students provide service for major stock shows in exchange for invaluable learning opportunities.

Buffalo Pride 22 A WT alumni continues to show his support for the Department of Agricultural Sciences.

Faculty Accomplishments


Departmental faculty continue to excel in teaching, research and service.

Brock Blaser & Eric Bailey


Important Dates


Tri-State Fair & Rodeo


Capital Campaign


Blaser receives university teaching award and the department welcomes its newest faculty member. Unique opportunities for agricultural media and communication students offer invaluable experience in the media production industry.

Be sure to have these dates marked down on your calendar. WT sets a huge goal in a historic campaign. Find out how the Department of Agricultural Sciences is benefiting from the campaign.

Dean’s Message

What an incredible year it has been! Enrollment is at an all-time high both in the Department of Agricultural Sciences and in the College of Agriculture, Science and Engineering. Our students have accomplished amazing things in competition. Our faculty and their graduate students have produced research results that have the potential to change the world. We have been the recipient of more external support than any other college on our campus, and it has been due in large measure to the tremendous support of our outstanding alumni and friends. Many of those accomplishments are detailed in this publication, and I hope that you will take the time to read and reflect on how your university is working hard every day to produce the next generation of agriculturalists that will help feed and clothe the 9 billion people who are expected to inhabit planet Earth by 2050. Many of us will not be around to witness this event, but I am confident that the students we are currently educating and training will be well equipped to do their part in what surely will be a massive undertaking. Your support of our programs has been and will continue to be critical in our ability to recruit, retain and arm the next generation, and I want to personally thank you for that support. Together we have and will continue to make a difference. Come by and visit us and see in person what your university is doing. Go Buffs!!! Sincerely,

Don Topliff Dean and Professor College of Agriculture, Science and Engineering

From the Department Head Your Department of Agricultural Sciences is excelling in everything! I hope this statement garners pride from all who read it, and as the old adage goes, “It ain’t bragging if it is true.” The faculty, students and competitive teams continue to represent us extremely well on the national level. Departmental enrollment continues to grow at a phenomenal rate (from 476 students in fall 2008 to 636 students in fall 2012, a 34 percent increase). Faculty and staff continue to provide outstanding research, phenomenal teaching and exceptional extracurricular opportunities to our stakeholders. The department continues to add value to those we come in contact with. We are appreciative of the parents who have entrusted us to educate the next generation of agriculture students, and we take this responsibility seriously. Our donors continually enable us to provide scholarships to deserving students and give us the ability to spread the word of WT agricultural sciences across the state and nation. Thank you for believing in your department and what we have done and can do! Please come by to visit and let us show you around your department. We are proud of WT and hope you are too! Best regards,

Dean Hawkins Head and Professor Department of Agricultural Sciences


Leading the

Buf falo H e rd

The Department of Agricultural Sciences is full of outstanding student leaders, but for four students, being an outstanding Buffalo is not the only job they list on their résumés. Shelbie Belott, Remy Carmichael, Karl Miller and Blake Vineyard are not only leaders on campus, they are also leaders in national organizations.

Shelbie Belott Belott is a senior agricultural education and leadership major from Canyon and is completing her second term as the Texas Collegiate FFA president. She is a three-year member of WT’s Collegiate FFA where she has held numerous officer positions and was also a member of the 2011-2012 WT Livestock Judging Team. Belott has a 3.7 GPA, is an Agricultural Ambassador and works part-time in the Department of Agricultural Sciences’ office. Belott was named outstanding freshman in 2011 and in the spring of 2012 was named a Smallwood Leader at The Ag Gathering. As the Texas Collegiate FFA president, Belott is in charge of recruiting colleges and junior colleges to participate in TCFFA, coordinating and managing the Collegiate Texas State Convention and working closely with the Texas FFA Association. “FFA is a big part of being an educator in agriculture. The professional development and networking I have gained has not only fueled my passion for CFFA, but is an


invaluable experience that will help me accomplish my goals of becoming successful in the agriculture industry,” Belott said. Belott will graduate in December and plans to share her passion for agriculture as a high school agricultural science teacher or county Extension agent.

Remy Carmichael Carmichael is a senior animal science major from Midland. She is a member of the Agribusiness Club, WT Block and Bridle and has been Remy Carmichael (left), Karl Miller (center) and a member of the Attebury’s Shelbie Belott (right) are not only leaders on campus, Honors program for three years. they are each leaders in national organizations. Carmichael also works in the Carmichael plans to graduate in WT Meat Lab and the Beef Carcass Research Center, all while maintaining December and then attend graduate school to further study meat science. a 3.5 GPA and fulfilling her duties as the president of the North American Karl Miller Limousin Junior Association. Miller is a senior animal science Her role as president gives her major from Prophetstown, Ill. He was the opportunity to be a role model a member of the 2012-2013 Livestock to younger kids in the organization. Judging Team and works at the WT She is also in charge of organizing Meat Lab and Beef Carcass Research and leading a board of 10 members Center. Miller is also the current from across the country to coordinate president of the American Junior national shows. Shorthorn Association. “I remember being a junior His duties as president include [member] and looking up to the kids helping to coordinate all national on the board, and especially the shows for the association, as well as president,” Carmichael said. “I’m so developing new fundraising ideas for honored to be that role model for kids the association to help increase funding now.” for junior members.

“I have greatly enjoyed my time serving as the American Junior Shorthorn board president. I have had many different opportunities that wouldn’t have been presented to me if I would not have joined this association,” Miller said. Miller plans to graduate in December and hopes to move home to help out with his family’s purebred shorthorn operation and find a job in the animal health industry.

Blake Vineyard Vineyard, from Acuff, is the current Texas FFA president and is excited to become an official Buffalo this fall after fulfilling his travel commitments to Texas FFA.

As a sophomore in high school, Vineyard was the Lubbock District president. He credits his high school FFA experience for helping him find his passion for agriculture. Vineyard is attending WT because he fell in love with the outstanding people in the Department of Agricultural Sciences. He plans to major in plant, soil and environmental science. Vineyard believes that the faculty and students at WT can help him be the best person that he can be. After finishing his college career, Vineyard’s goal is to own an herbicide and pesticide sales company somewhere in the lower Texas Panhandle.

Blake Vineyard, Texas FFA president, is excited to become a Buffalo this fall. Photo courtesy of Barker Photography.

WT Agriculture ,


Since its start in 2001, the Agricultural Ambassador program in the Department of Agricultural Sciences has been helping students to grow as leaders and individuals. “We’re so proud of all the agriculture students,” said Mallory Vestal, assistant professor in agricultural economics and an Agricultural Ambassador faculty adviser. “The students we select to be Agricultural Ambassadors are really the best of the best and the cream of the crop.” Agricultural Ambassador responsibilities include recruiting students through on-campus events and offcampus visits, mentoring freshmen agriculture students and serving the community and campus through service projects. Recent service projects include a work day at a local retirement village and providing transportation for campus and departmental events. The group also travels to local high schools to speak about WT and the department and helps each year with the university’s freshmen convocation.

Agricultural Ambassadors lead icebreaker games at the annual Ag Freshmen Roundup held each fall.

According to Lance Kieth, professor of agricultural education and leadership, even before being named an Agricultural Ambassador, these students have proven themselves to be outstanding leaders and individuals. Each spring, professors nominate agriculture students who go through an interview and peer evaluation process in order to become ambassadors. “Being an ambassador has not only allowed me to further my capabilities as a leader, but has also given me the opportunity to become a better communicator,” said Hayden Alexander, first-year ambassador and senior plant, soil and environmental science major.


Over 400 alumni, faculty and friends of the department were in attendance at the Nance Ranch for the annual Ag Day Celebration Reunion, which raised a record breaking $60,700.

Historic Ag Day Celebration Shatters Previous Records The Department of Agricultural Sciences is no stranger to breaking records and the 2012 Ag Day Celebration was no exception, raising over $60,000 and shattering last year’s record amount of $43,500.

“Never in our wildest dreams did the ADA expect the Ag Day Celebration to be as successful, well attended and anticipated as it has become,” said Gary Culp, a member of the ADA Board of Directors.

“The Ag Day Celebration and Reunion just gets better every year,” said T.J. Biggs, Agricultural Development Association president and WT alumni.

Over 400 alumni, faculty and friends of the department were in attendance at the Nance Ranch for the reunion that included a silent and live auction, as well as food provided by ADA’s corporate sponsors.

The fundraising success and increased attendance at this year’s reunion illustrates the recent growth of the Ag Day Celebration, which started out as only a few men standing around the tailgate of a pickup in the early 1970s.


Another historical highlight from this year’s reunion was the first public appearance of the department’s cloned bull, Alpha.

“The 2012 reunion was the best ever and we continue to be amazed at the support ADA gets and at the overwhelming success and acceptance of the Ag Day Celebration,” Culp said.

Enrollment in the department continues to increase and the remarkable growth experienced over the past six years can largely be attributed to the support of the ADA. Without the funding support provided by the ADA, recruiting efforts by the department would be inadequate, and faculty and staff would not have the resources to recruit students from across Texas and the nation.

the stallion One Famous Eagle donated by Johnny and Jana Trotter that sold for $8,100, a breeding to the stallion Metallic Cat donated by Alvin and Becky Fults that sold for $6,500, a gun safe donated by Western Equipment that sold for $2,700, a National Finals Rodeo getaway package for two donated by Kuhlman and Sons and Monte Winders that sold for $2,500, and a dinner for 20 donated by Coors Cowboy Club that sold for $2,100.

“My personal thanks go out to the ADA board members, alumni, friends, sponsors and the WT Department of Agricultural Science’s faculty for their support and contributions,” Biggs said. “Without each of these, the Ag Day Celebration and Reunion would not be the success it is today.” The funds raised at the 2011 reunion allowed the department to recruit 131 in-state freshmen and 32 out-of-state students for the 2012-2013 school year. Recruitment is the ADA’s No. 1 priority and the department has received money to assist with recruiting efforts from the ADA since 2005. “I could not be more pleased with the results and how the Department of Agricultural Sciences uses our funds to recruit the high-caliber students they do,” Biggs said.

“Our donors always supply us with exceptional auction items and this year will be no different,” Biggs said. The ADA also presented the 2012 Buffalo Award to Gene and Judy Shipman and Ty and Robyn Cranmer, recognizing the recipients for their outstanding support of the ADA, as well as the department.

Lance Baker, associate professor of animal science in the Department of Agricultural Sciences, takes bids during the live auction.

is appreciative of the amount of money ADA has raised.

Biggs looks forward to this year’s reunion and hopes to set yet another record.

“These funds allow us to do so much more within our department,” Williams said. “Without it, there are a lot of opportunities our students would miss out on.”

Kevin Williams, assistant professor in agricultural education and leadership,

The top five selling items in the live auction this past year were: A breeding to

A highlight of the 2012 reunion was the introduction to the public of Alpha, a bull cloned as part of a historic research project being conducted by the department. The Ag Day Celebration kicked off with the annual scholarship banquet, which recognized students who received a scholarship through the department and was attended by scholarship donors. This year, 250 students received $177,745 in scholarships. “I can’t wait to be in the position to give back to the department and help students like these donors have done

“Never in our wildest dreams did ADA expect the Ag Day Celebration and Reunion to be as successful, well attended and anticipated as it has become.”


ADA Officers T.J. Biggs ’01 of Canyon President Kody Bessent ’03 of Amarillo

President Elect

Cody Chandler ’07 of Hereford

Vice President

Whitney Gilliam ’08, ’10 of Canyon

Information Coordinator

Tim Bynum ’05 of Amarillo Treasurer

ADA Board of Directors Rex Brandon ’07, ’11 of Canyon Dayna Britten ’99 of Canyon Cory Bruce ’97, ’07 of Canyon Andy Cole ’71 of Amarillo Brandon Conrad ’99 of Amarillo David Cook ’69 of Canadian Melissa Corvin ’03 of Canyon Ty Cranmer ’97 Canyon Gary Culp ’71 of Canyon Robert Devin ’71 of Canyon Eric Diaz ’11 of Amarillo Steve Donnell ’94 of Bushland Nathan Ferguson ’06 of Amarillo Dean Hawkins of Canyon Scott Keeling of Hereford Lance Latham ’00 of Canyon Ty Lawrence ’97 of Canyon Tori Lujan ’12 of Canyon David Lust ’08 of Amarillo Wes O’Brien ’92 of Amarillo J.D. Ragland ’90 of Canyon Allison Ricketts ’99 of Canyon Bob Robinson ’70 of Canyon Dwayne Simons ’90 of Happy Jeff Taylor ’03 of Plainview Don Topliff of Amarillo Trent Tyson ’99, ’01 of Canyon Mallory Vestal ’05 of Canyon Monte Winders ’74 of Canyon Terry Wright ’74 of Amarillo


The 2012 Smallwood Leaders were Hillary Fink (left), senior animal science major from Tulia and Shelbie Belott (right), junior agricultural education and leadership major from Canyon, pictured with Don Topliff (center), dean of the College of Agriculture, Science and Engineering.

for me,” said Lacey Roberts, senior agricultural media and communication major and scholarship recipient. Departmental award recipients were also recognized during the banquet including the Smallwood Leaders Award, which is the department’s most prestigious honor for students. It was established in memory of Charles Smallwood, who was known for developing students into strong leaders in the agricultural industry. Recipients are chosen by the Department of Agricultural Sciences’ faculty. The 2012 Smallwood Leaders were Shelbie Belott, junior agricultural education and leadership major from Canyon, and Hillary Fink, senior animal science major from Tulia. The James Clark First Choice Award recipients are chosen by James Clark, former dean of the College of Agriculture, Science and Engineering, for their outstanding leadership. The 2012 recipient was Jayce Apsley, senior agricultural media and communication major from Satanta, Kan.

First Choice Honorees have chosen WT as their “first choice” university by providing support for the department. First Choice Honorees for 2012 were Dr. Joan and Dale Coleman, David Hinders and Mike and Gary Kuhlman. Graduates of Distinction are recognized for their accomplishments and leadership after graduating from WT. The 2012 Graduates of Distinction were David Cleavinger and Rodney Mosier. The 2013 Ag Day Celebration and Reunion will be Sept. 7. The scholarship banquet will start at 9:30 a.m. on campus and the reunion will begin at 11 a.m. at the Nance Ranch. “I am sure the bar will be raised even higher this year,” Culp said. ADA membership is open to WT graduates, former students, faculty, friends and businesses that are proud to be involved in the ongoing growth and development of this dynamic agricultural program. For more information about joining ADA, contact Tim Bynum at 806-6512069 or

Words of Wisdom Empower the Future Generation

The second annual Agribusiness Leaders Lecture Series was held last October and provided agriculture students helpful information and advice on becoming a successful business leader in the agriculture industry.

The event was sponsored by the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo and featured Laura Mathers Conniff, James Herring and Ed Wright. The program included a presentation by the speakers to freshman agriculture majors followed by a reception, dinner and lecture to junior and senior agriculture majors. “This lectureship is unique because it offers a meet-andgreet with the speakers as well as a question and answer session for all guests,” said Dean Hawkins, head of the Department of Agricultural Sciences. “It is not only an opportunity to learn but it is also a confidence builder as we graduate and experience the business world for ourselves,” said Kristi Benedict, senior equine industry and business major. Mathers Conniff, Herring and Wright each spoke to students about their experiences in the agricultural industry and how those experiences impacted their road to success. They also gave advice and answered questions from students.

The lecture series featured Ed Wright (left), Laura Mathers Conniff (center),and James Herring (right).

“The secret to any success is how to manage the stress and use it as a motivator,” Wright, a WT alumni and local cattle buyer said. “People who can handle stress are in the top 2 percent of money makers in this country.” Herring is the president and CEO of Friona Industries, L.P. and told students about the risks that were necessary to take in order to be successful. “You can have it all. You just can’t have it all every day,” Mathers Conniff, the director of the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas and co-owner of Mathers Realty, Inc. and Leveldale Farms and Conniff F Cross Farm said.

WT Brings Home the Hardware From NACTA Contest The Department of Agricultural Sciences teams made a valiant showing at the North American Colleges and Teachers of Agriculture judging contests held April 4. Teams from WT participated in the contests hosted by Texas Tech University. Competition began with WT sweeping the horse judging contest, winning the halter, performance, reasons and overall in the team events. Faith Schleich, from Manmouth, Ill. was 1st in halter and 2nd in performance and reasons and 2nd individual overall. Caitlin Robb, from New Windsor, Ill., was 1st in performance and reasons and 2nd in halter. Robb was also the top placing individual in the contest.

The Livestock Judging Team also swept its contest winning beef cattle, sheep and goats, swine, reasons and the overall team competition. Rhett Long, from Vernal, Utah, placed 1st in the sheep and goat and swine classes and 2nd in beef cattle and reasons. Long was the 2nd place individual of the competition. In addition to judging, WT’s Knowledge Bowl and Agricultural Communications’ teams placed 2nd in their contests. Overall, the teams and students represented the department well and competed as a group better than any other university.


A n o th e r Ye a r , A n o th e r

Six National Titles The Horse Judging Team earned six national or reserve national team or individual championships this past year.

2nd in performance and 4th in halter. Lindsey McNeill, from Houston, placed 8th in performance.

The first came at the Reichart Celebration in Fort Worth, where the team placed 5th overall and Tabatha Taylor, from Amarillo, was named individual reserve champion, placing 2nd in halter, 6th in reasons and 15th in performance. Overall, the team placed 5th in halter and performance and 6th in reasons.

The team was reserve national champion at the American Quarter Horse Association World Championships in Oklahoma City last November, missing the national championship title by only two points.

Another national championship was earned at the All-American Quarter Horse Congress last October in Ohio, marking WT’s second consecutive team win and 8th victory at this particular contest. Felicia Kimmel, from Bradley, Ill., was named national champion individually, placing 1st in performance, 4th in reasons and 9th in halter. Kayla Wells, from Aurora, Ill., was named reserve national champion placing


Individually, Taylor placed 6th overall, with a 6th in halter and a 9th in performance. Wells placed 8th overall, 3rd in reasons and 4th in performance. Jana Foil, from McGregor, finished 9th overall, with a 5th in reasons and a 6th in performance. Kimmel placed 8th in reasons. The team finished their spectacular season winning another national championship at the National Reining Horse Association in Oklahoma City. This was the 14th consecutive time the team has been named the national

or reserve national champion at this contest. At the NRHA contest, all five team members placed in the top 10 individually and were within 16 points of each other. McNeill placed 4th, Wells placed 5th, Taylor placed 7th, Kimmel placed 8th and Julia Roberts, from Clovis, N.M., placed 9th. “This victory was a fitting completion to a great year of successful competition by this talented, hard-working, fantastic group of students,” John Pipkin, coach of the team, said. Since 1994, the Horse Judging Team has won 35 national champion or reserve national champion individual titles and 41 team national champion or reserve national champion titles. The 2012 team members were Foil; Natalie Gilbert from Weatherford; Erin Goodell from Dillon, Colo.; Kimmel; McNeill; Roberts; Taylor; and Wells.

Members of the 2012-2013 Horse Judging Team with coach John Pipkin (far left), assistant coach Christa Forsberg (second from left), Department of Agricultural Sciences head Dean Hawkins (second from right) and WT president Dr. J. Patrick O’Brien (right).

Livestock Judging Success Continues The 2012-2013 Livestock Judging Team had another very successful year. The season began at the Griswolds Cattle Contest in Stillwater, Okla., where the team placed 4th overall. At the National Western contest in Denver, the team placed 11th overall. Rhet Long, from Vernal, Utah, placed 4th individually in swine and Sammie Jo Williams, from Elberton, Ga., placed 12th individually in cattle. The team placed 7th overall at the Fort Worth Livestock Show and Exposition contest. Individually, Long placed 8th in swine and 15th overall. Success continued at the San Antonio Livestock Show where the team placed 4th overall. Long was 3rd high individual in goats and Kaycee Carpenter, from Mountain View, Wyo., was 3rd high individual overall, placing 1st in cattle, 5th in reasons and 5th in sheep. The team finished off the official year at the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo contest placing 9th overall out of 26 teams. The team was 8th in reasons, 5th in cattle, 11th in sheep and 12th in swine. Individually, Jessie McClellan, from

Members of the 2012-2013 Livestock Judging Team are (from left to right) Brady Boyd, Sammie Jo Williams, Kaycee Carpenter, Jessie McClellan, J.W. Clark and Rhet Long.

Riverton, Utah, was 5th in reasons and Carpenter was 10th in swine. “I am extremely proud of the progress that this team has made this semester,” said Marcus Arnold, coach of the team. “They are a hard working group of kids who have a bright and

promising future not only in their judging careers, but also in their professional lives after graduation.” Team members include: Brady Boyd, from Idalou; Carpenter; J.W. Clark, from Hartley; Long; McClellan; and Williams.

Crops Judging Team The Crops Judging Team competed in the North American Colleges and Teachers of Agriculture Crops Contest in Lubbock at Texas Tech Univeristy on April 4. They also competed in the Ag Knowledge Bowl and won 2nd place in the four-year division.

The 2012 Crops Team. (Back row from left to right) Colton Smith, Mason Kraus, Brad Parker, Ethan Leavitt, Sawyer Pinkerton and Kyle Reinart. (Front row from left to right) Justin Stark, Travis Allison, Andee Leininger, Alyssa Evalle, Amber Meyer, Hayden Alexander, Colby White and Cameron Gruhlkey.


Making History the Buffalo Way

The 2012-2013 Equestrian Team was named the Region 2 western high-point team for the seventh consecutive year. Individually, Sammi Gallagher, from Grand Blanc, Mich., was Region 2 high-point rider in the region for western competition, qualifying her for the Intercollegiate Horse Show Association National Championships.

Julia Roberts, from Clovis, N.M., was the Region 2 reserve high-point rider and the reserve regional champion in open horsemanship. In novice horsemanship, Kayla Wells, from Auroa, Ill., was regional champion and Anna Copple, from Brookshire, was reserve regional champion. In intermediate horsemanship, Angela Bradley, from Cedar Park, was regional champion and Mary Trimble, from Spring, was reserve regional champion. Emily Almquist, from Spring, was regional champion for beginner horsemanship. In all, 10 riders on the western team qualified for post season


competition at the IHSA semi-finals in Pomona, Calif. The Lady Buffs were the Champion Team at the IHSA semi-finals, making history as the first WT team to take home the win at a semi-final competition and also being the first team in the country to beat the University of Findlay in a semi-final competition. This win qualifies WT to take a western team to the IHSA National Championships. At the semi-final show, WT won four of six team classes. Roberts, Wells, Katie Callaghan, from Rockwall, and Rachel Foster, from Charlestown, Ind., all placed 1st in their open, advanced, intermediate and beginner team horsemanship classes. Addie Davis, from Vashon, Wash., placed 5th in team reining and Jessica Read, from San Diego, placed 4th in team novice horsemanship. Roberts was also named semifinal champion in individual open

horsemanship and Wells placed 3rd in individual novice horsemanship, both qualifying individually for the IHSA National Championships. The hunt seat team was named reserve high-point team in regional competition held in Baton Rouge, La., and three riders individually qualified for post season competition at the Zone 7 Championships. At the hunt seat regional championships, Kayla Reeves, from Canyon, was regional champion in open fences. Katie Kaegi, from Lake Osewego, Ore., was regional champion in both intermediate fences and intermediate equitation on the flat. Gallagher was regional reserve champion in novice equitation on the flat. The Lady Buffs hosted the hunt seat Zone 7 Championships at the WTAMU Horse Center on April 6. Reeves placed 7th in open fences and Gallagher placed 3rd in novice equitation on the flat. Kaegi placed 4th in intermediate fences and 3rd in intermediate equitation on the flat. The Lady Buffs will end their season in Harrisburg, Penn. for the IHSA National Championships May 2-5.

Riding for The Brand

The Stock Horse Team has been active in the Department of Agricultural Sciences since 2009 and is a student-led group operating under the advisement of departmental faculty Amanda Love and John Pipkin. Ten students varying in riding experience and background complete this year’s team. The team competes in stock horse versatility events sanctioned by the American Stock Horse Association and the Stock Horse of Texas. Classes include ranch pleasure, trail, reining and working cow horse. The team works under the guidance of Zeb Corvin, a local horse trainer and competitor who hosts team

practices twice a week. Corvin is also a WT equine industry and business graduate. Last fall, the team placed 4th at the Western Horseman Stock Horse World Championship in Abilene. In February, the team placed 5th at the Stock Horse of Texas.

In March, the team traveled to Ardmore, Okla. to compete in an ASHA sanctioned show. Keylee Sayler, from Casper Wyo., was named non-pro reserve champion, placing 1st in both ranch pleasure and ranch trail. Danae Parman, from Channing, placed 4th in working cow and 9th overall. Sterling Cumpton, from Lewellen, Neb., placed 3rd in the non-pro trail and pleasure.

Bethany Riley, from Clayton, N.M., placed 11th in novice trail. The following weekend, the team traveled to Stephenville where Madelyn Melchiors, from Dewey, Ariz., placed 1st in limited nonpro trail and the team finished 6th overall. The 2012 team members are Marilyn Brandt, from Andover, Ill.; Courtney Catlin, from Weatherford; Cumpton; Natalie Gilbert, from Weatherford; Molly Kaweck, from La Vernia; Kale Lane, from Bushland; Jeremy Levi from Benjamin; Niki Luft, from Bandera; Melchiors; Parman; Nicole Richardson, from Sugar Land; Riley; and Sayler.


New Greeks on Campus Making Genetic Histor y

A unique partnership between the Department of Agricultural Sciences and industry professionals has put West Texas A&M University at the front of genetic history. Alpha, a cloned bull, was welcomed into the department on July 21. Later that

fall, identical heifers were born, Gamma I, on Nov. 2, and Gamma II and Gamma III on Dec. 18. Utilizing somatic cell nuclear transfer reproductive technology, the department has successfully created four cloned calves from two different, high quality

and high yield beef carcasses. This achievement represents the first step toward improving stock lines and ultimately improving the beef industry. “This process is not an act of genetic modification but simply making a [carbon] copy of a set of DNA,” said Dean Hawkins, head of the Department of Agricultural Sciences. Ty Lawrence, associate professor of animal science, explained the goal of this project is to develop a new line of cattle that will potentially produce higher value carcasses that reach the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s highest quality and yield grades in a shorter amount of time using less feed resources. “We have selected carcasses that graded USDA Prime and USDA yield grade 1…at the same time,” Lawrence said. “We hope to create a new breed of cattle that currently does not exist, and this new breed will be a composite of the best of the best of the best from all existing breeds and their crosses.”

Kelly Jones with the youngest two clones, Gamma II and Gamma III.


The carcasses from which these calves were cloned graded Prime, yield grade 1. The USDA Prime quality grade is the premiere grade in the beef industry and represents 2.65 percent of the carcasses that are harvested annually. The USDA yield grade of 1 represents the greatest percentage of meat netted from a carcass. Approximately 15 percent of all carcasses meet this standard. Exceptional marbling and exceptional

“It has been very long hours, but the payoff is going to be unbelievable,” said Kelly Jones. From left to right are the clones with Nance Ranch caretakers: Gamma III and Hayden Alexander, Gamma II and Paydon Hales, Gamma I and Kelly Jones, and Alpha and Landon

muscling are antagonists. Prime, Yield Grade 1 carcasses represent 0.03 percent of all cattle or about 1 in 3,333 cattle. This project is the result of collaboration between departmental faculty, including Hawkins, Lawrence, David Lust, John Richeson and Ph.D. student Kelly Jones, who have partnered with Jason Abraham, Todd Stroud, Dr. Gregg Veneklasen and scientists from Viagen Inc.

The cattle were all born and are being raised at the WTAMU Nance Ranch under the care of Jones, who explained there is not another university in the country he could attend and have access to this kind of project and gain invaluable experience on the cutting edge of science.

will expand and eventually include selecting cattle to clone that also have superior health traits. “It’s not just about the carcass,” Veneklasen said. “This is about genetic disease. This is about infectious disease. This is a model that we’ve created that we can use for many different things. The opportunities for new discoveries that this project provides the university and the industry are limitless. This is one of the coolest projects I’ve worked on.”

“There is no place else in the world that is doing what we’re doing with this cloning project.”

Hawkins said students at WT will also benefit from this history-making project. “This project is the result of a team of experts working together on a common goal,” Hawkins said. “The ultimate beneficiaries will be our students and the industries we serve who are able to be involved in a unique project.”

“It has been very long hours, but the payoff is going to be unbelievable,” Jones said. Veneklasen, owner of Timber Creek Vet Clinic, is one of the principal investigators in this project and said that beyond the carcass attributes, the project

This long-term project will take between three and five years to produce significant results, explained Don Topliff, dean of the College of Agriculture, Science and Engineering.


“This project is the result of a team of experts working together on a common goal. The ultimate beneficiaries will be our students and the industries we serve who are able to be involved in a unique project.” “We think this project will also provide us with a model to study other genetic traits beyond quality grade and yield grade that are of high importance to the sustainability of the beef industry,” Topliff said. Cells from the carcass were sent to Viagen, the global leader in animal cloning services, to be tissue banked. A second lab evaluated DNA from the carcasses against known genetic markers

for feed efficiency (gain and carcass traits and several other traits) to ensure that desired genes would be possessed by the clones. This increases the liklihood that these traits would be passed on to offspring of the clones. Subsequently, the cell lines cloned were based upon the phenotypic trait of being Prime, yield grade 1, as well as genotypic information from the DNA that suggested a high probability of positive quality and yield traits.

Viagen then cultured the tissues to prepare them for the cloning process. The four cloned animals will never enter the food supply, but it is planned for their offspring to one day be consumed. The heifers will not give birth but instead will be super-ovulated and have their fertilized eggs carried by surrogates. It is still two to three years until those involved in this project will know if their work will change the beef industry when the offspring of Alpha and the three Gammas reach harvest. However, without the technology that has been developed here, this is a process that would take up to 60 years. “This puts us on par with some of the major research universities across the country,” Topliff said. “There is no place else in the world that is doing what we’re doing with this cloning project.” Not only is this project making history, students at WT are able to witness the research developments first-hand. “I feel that getting to work on this project is an opportunity that I would not get at any other university. This experience, the people I have met, and the research I have been able to work on with this project are hands down, the best part of being at WT,” said Landon Canterbury, junior agriculture business and economics major and student employee at the Nance Ranch.

From left to right is Dr. Gregg Veneklasen, Ty Lawrence, Dean Hawkins, Kelly Jones, Don Topliff and Jason Abraham shown with Alpha, a cloned bull, last fall.


For updates and information about this research project, watch the WT Agriculture Facebook page.

Brock Blaser Awarded University Instructional Excellence Award Brock Blaser received the University Instructional Excellence Award last May at the yearly faculty recognition meeting. “I love agriculture and I love teaching, and I am honored to be recognized for doing what I love,” Blaser said. He has a true passion for WT, the faculty he works with and above all, the students. “They are why I come to work every day. WT students are smart, respectful, outgoing and hardworking,” Blaser said. “They make me laugh and I enjoy my interactions with them. They motivate me to improve, so I can help them be the best graduates possible when they leave WT.” Faculty and administration are not the only ones who have noticed Blaser’s dedication to his teaching career. Blaser goes above and beyond for his students, offering guidance throughout their undergraduate and graduate studies and assisting them with searching for careers after graduation.

“Dr. Blaser has been a great mentor and adviser to me,” said Chip Morris, a junior plant, soil and environmental science major. “He works hard to help me and all students in any way possible.” Blaser, originally from Rexburg, Idaho, earned an associate degree in crops and soil science from Ricks College in 2000 and completed his bachelor’s degree in agronomy from Brigham Young University in 2002. Blaser earned his master’s and doctorate degrees in crop production and physiology from Iowa State University in 2005 and 2009. Blaser joined the Department of Agricultural Sciences in 2009 and is also a two-time recipient of the Chancellor’s Teaching Excellence Award. He advises 45 students enrolled in the plant, soil and environmental sciences degree, is adviser to the Farm and Ranch Club and coaches the Crop Judging Team. Blaser teaches undergraduate and graduate courses in crop physiology, plant breeding and grain, fiber and oilseed crops as well as principles of plant science, which is a core course for all agriculture majors.

The Department’s Newest Face Eric Bailey will join the faculty this fall as an assistant professor in animal science. Bailey earned his bachelor’s degree in animal science from West Texas A&M University in 2007. In 2010, Bailey completed a master’s degree in ruminant nutrition at Kansas State University where he is currently finishing his Ph.D., also in ruminant nutrition, and set to graduate this May. Bailey is excited to come back to WT and has hoped that one day there would be a spot for him as a faculty member in

the Department of Agricultural Sciences. “From the moment I first stepped on campus for a visit back in 2004, WT has been like a second home. To have the opportunity to begin my career here is a blessing I am very grateful for,” Bailey said. Bailey looks forward to beginning an applied research program that will directly benefit cow-calf producers in the Texas Panhandle. “Hopefully in time, the program and I can become a valuable resource for ranchers in the area,” Bailey said.


Tri-State Fair & Rodeo Partnership Each year the Department of Agricultural Sciences partners with the Tri-State Fair and Rodeo to provide a unique opportunity for students who are majoring in agricultural media and communication to gain real-world experience. Under the guidance of Tanner Robertson, assistant professor of agricultural media and communication, students capture photographs and video used for promotion for the next year’s fair. Students also operate cameras for the live broadcast of the rodeo. “This is a great opportunity for students to learn unique communication skills in an agricultural context as well as learn the importance of service in the agricultural industry, and for the fair and rodeo to gain needed assistance and materials,” said Robertson about the partnership. The Tri-State Fair and Rodeo also offers multiple internship opportunities for students to develop skills needed to be successful in the agricultural media and communication industry.

WT agricultural media and communication students with Alan Blakeney, production manager for the Tri-State Fair & Rodeo.

“This is a great opportunity for students to learn unique communication skills in an agricultural context as well as learn the importance of service in the agricultural industry, and for the fair and rodeo to gain needed assistance and materials.” Each summer, one student is selected to help with the marketing, promotion and preparation of the fair, and each fall, one or two students assist the staff during fair week. Each opportunity provides a different experience for students who are interested in the different aspects of agricultural communications. One of the most rewarding and challenging tasks students take on is videoing the rodeo.

This past fall, the Tri-State Fair and Rodeo received an award for the Best Specialty Video for Fairs with Attendance of 100,001 to 500,000 for a student-produced video created to showcase and promote volunteerism at the fair. Students from the department also volunteer at the Tri-State Fair and Rodeo to assist with judging contests, the horse show and agricultural mechanics contest.

“I wish people could see what went into producing a live This year’s Tri-State Fair and Rodeo is Sept. 13-21 and will broadcast,” said Morgan Adams, sophomore agricultural media provide new opportunities for WT agricultural students to give and communications major. “Students are there hours before back as well as learn skills that will one day be essential to their and hours after to ensure a quality product and great experience success in the agricultural industry. for those in the arena.”


A New Home for WT Rodeo The Department of Agricultural Sciences welcomed the West Texas A&M University Rodeo Team and feels that this new partnership will be beneficial for both the department and WT rodeo athletes.

facilities and other support to accomplish these goals. Plans are currently being discussed to add 20 to 30 new stalls at the rodeo arena for team members to board their horses.

“I think it’s a good relationship to have because it lets the students know they are here to get an education first,” said new rodeo coach Raymond Hollabaugh about the team’s move to the department.

“Parents and kids want to make sure their animals are being taken care of,” Hollabaugh said. “Being able to show them that above-the-line facilities are part of the deal will help get kids, good kids, to WT.”

Hollabaugh, who was formally an assistant rodeo coach at Tarleton State University, is excited to work with the community, faculty and students to improve the team.

New stalls could also provide financial assistance to students through stall scholarships, Hollabaugh said. Other improvements include building seating at the arena so the team can host its own ropings and timed events for fundraising.

Aside from coaching, Hollabaugh has had an astonishing calf-roping career, appearing at the National Finals Rodeo seven times and winning four American Junior Rodeo Association Championships and two National Intercollegiate Rodeo Association regional titles. He is also a member of the Texas Rodeo Cowboy Hall of Fame. Hollabaugh explained the goals for the team include graduating all team members and for both the men’s and the women’s team to win a national championship. During Hollabaugh’s nine years of coaching at Tarleton, both men’s and women’s teams won a National Championship title. Hollabaugh and the department know it will not only take hard work from students but also upgrades to

“Not every university does it, but we could give team members scholarships to pay for their stall fees at the arena,” Hollabaugh said. “This would help get out-ofstate or down-state students here because they won’t be out the added cost to board their horses somewhere else.” Additional scholarships and donations are things both Hollabaugh and the department are working on developing. Last fall, the rodeo team raised over $20,000 in one night at the annual WT Timed Event Championship. All of that money will go toward travel costs, entry fees and feed costs that the students would have to cover otherwise. To stay updated on WT Rodeo results, go to facebook. com/wtagriculture. 18

Fe e d l o t s : Fe e d i n g t h e F u t u r e The West Texas A&M University Research Feedlot has been a symbol of quality research for over 40 years. The feedlot is one of the most advanced experimental feed yards in the world and is home to cutting edge research for the beef cattle industry. It has a 700-head capacity, as well as a state-of-the-art feed mill and cattle processing barn. Research activities are focused on discovering new knowledge related to applied nutrition, management and health for the beef industry while educating students in modern production practices and research techniques. “Research, dissemination and education are what we mainly focus


on at the feedlot,” said Mike Brown, professor of ruminant nutrition and management, and member of the Feedlot Research Group. Brown, along with departmental graduate students, is currently studying the best way to flake whole corn when feeding with differing amounts of distiller’s grain. Results from this study will assist feedlot operators in utilizing grain to best increase weight gain in live cattle and eventually carcass weight. Brown and the Feedlot Research Group often partner with corporations or sponsors that come to them with a project idea or proposal for testing.

The feedlot is based on a scale model of a larger commercial feedlot operation and is designed to conduct various research trials. The mill allows for researchers to control the amount of feed, intake and nutritional value. “The mill is really important, and it’s nice that we have a mill, considering how small the yard is. Most research yards this small don’t have their own mill,” said Megan Kirtley, a graduate student working at the feedlot. “Feed is mixed very carefully and distributed to the cattle.” The workers at the feedlot are responsible for mixing the correct treatments, dumping them into the truck

and making sure the driver knows which pens the feed goes to, Brown said. “A big part of this is efficiency,” Kirtley said. “Right now we are looking at different flaking densities. Making sure that the right corn goes to the correct ration is really important.” The feed is mixed accordingly, weighed in a bin and then dumped into the surge where it then goes through the process of being moved onto a conveyor to feed bins before being dumped into a truck. A computer mixes, weighs and distributes the rations and it can be programmed to know precisely which treatment is being mixed and how much it should weigh. It will bring attention to any errors. A data key is used that is able to save all of the information from the scale, allowing it to be transferred to other computers for research and compiled as data.

Students attending the Texas Cattle Feeders Association camp are exposed to some of the research at the feedlot and get to at the facilities.

Brown said that discovery and industry interaction are the most important attributes of the feedlot. He explained that the feedlot allows students to gain In the 1970s, there were only 15 pens, knowledge about the industry and offers an outdoor scale, shipping and receiving docks and only the central part of the feed opportunities to meet many people who are essential to the cattle feeding processing mill. industry. Today, after receiving multiple The feedlot also provides multiple renovations in the late 1990s and early groups outside of the university with 2000s, the feedlot has more than 60 pens knowledge about the industry. as well as a functional mill that allows for different feed rations to be mixed onsite. In the summer, the feedlot and the The renovations to the central part of Department of Agricultural Sciences the mill included the addition of a corn host high school students from all over steamer and flaker that processes whole Texas as part of the Texas Cattle Feeders corn to be rendered into a more digestible Association Feedyard Camp. Students ingredient in the feed ration. attending the camp are exposed to some of the research at the feedlot and get to The feedlot employs undergraduate students and graduate students who work interact with the facilities. under the guidance of Brown who has In addition, Brown hosts outside been with the university feedlot since 2000 groups from other countries, mainly and has been an essential component of Brazil, throughout the year that are everyday operations. interested in improving feedlot nutrition and efficiency.

For many students, this facility provides an education that is very different but essential to their future goals. “It is very interesting to see how easily you can control the feeding of [feedlot] cattle that are under study,” said Taylor Hurst, a graduate student in the department. The feedlot is hard at work every day monitoring ingredients and constantly recording data. Although the research projects taking place aren’t open to the public, it is exciting to know important research is being done that provides so many opportunities to students that could also improve the cattle feeding industry. “The university has so many research projects taking place all over campus,” Hurst said. “The Department of Agricultural Sciences is achieving success daily, and the research feedlot is definitely a major part of that success.”


relations and marketing of the show. The students are in charge of tasks including unloading hogs and tack, assisting junior exhibitors and their parents and working the show ring. This opportunity gives students who are soon-to-be agricultural science teachers important hands-on experience before graduating and entering the agriculture industry. Being able to deal with people in an appropriate manner is an essential skill needed in teaching. Working the stock show gives the students a chance to develop relationship skills that will be necessary to being successful in their future careers.

Lby e aexample d ing

If you have been to any of the junior livestock shows in the state of Texas over the past few years, you have most likely seen a lot of faculty and students from West Texas A&M University’s Department of Agricultural Sciences.

The department is involved in many aspects of the junior livestock show industry. Departmental faculty Dean Hawkins, Lance Kieth and Kevin Williams, along with WT agricultural students, help to promote WT as well as provide opportunities to educate WT agriculture students and students in 4-H and FFA. WT agriculture students and faculty can be found at the San Antonio Livestock Exposition, the San Angelo Stock Show and Rodeo, the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo, Fort Worth Stock Show and the Star of Texas Fair in Austin. Faculty and student involvement includes organizing a


swine skills competition, acting as show superintendents and coordinating livestock judging contests, as well as many other events. While the department’s involvement is very important at all of these stock shows, the time and effort that students and faculty put in at the Star of Texas Fair is very significant. Not only is Kieth the swine superintendent, but agriculture students are in charge of making sure the swine show runs smoothly. “WT is heavily involved in all aspects of the show,” said Kieth, professor of agricultural education and leadership. Students and faculty at the Star of Texas show also visit with prospective students and their parents about WT. The WT students and faculty are acknowledged throughout the show on the public announcement system and during the live streaming of the show on the Internet, as well as through the public

Kieth believes these stock shows are very important teaching tools in the agricultural education and leadership program. “Most of these students have grown up showing livestock and are familiar with how everything works as an exhibitor. Working the shows offers them a chance to see how the other side of things works,” Kieth said. Both Kieth and Williams are also involved with the San Antonio Livestock Exposition as superintendents of the swine skill-a-thon, a competition for 4-H and FFA students. Kieth and Williams help organize the competition, which they use as a recruiting opportunity to form relationships with the competitors. “It gives me the chance to help kids who grew up the same way that I did,” Williams said. “Being able to give back to the industry that I love is something that is important me.” Hawkins recruits prospecitve students at the New Mexico State Fair in Albuquerque and serves as the superintendent of the intercollegiate livestock judging contest at the San Antonio Livestock Exposition. Kieth is also the superintendent of the

Once a Buff, Always a Buff!

West Texas A&M University alumni Ed Wright was known for his success and service as an undergraduate student in the Department of Agricultural Sciences, and he continues to be successful and serves the department and university. While attending WT, Wright was on the livestock and dairy judging teams and was a member of the Rodeo Club, WT Block and Bridle, Alpha Zeta and Lambda Chi Alpha. Wright also repeatedly made the Dean’s Honor Roll. On the Livestock Judging Team, Wright received numerous team and individual awards at national contests. He was also on the Dairy Judging Team that won the Fort Worth Collegiate Contest. Wright’s success didn’t end with his graduation from WT in 1970. He was hired at the Texas Department of Agriculture Market News Service in Amarillo before becoming a cattle buyer for a meat packing company. In the late 1980s, Wright decided to move back to the Panhandle to start the Ed Wright Cattle Company and he

quickly became a national leader and an icon in the cattle buying industry. His innovative perspective on business management put him a step ahead of others in the cattle business. Many of the top names in the industry look to Wright as a symbol of integrity and value. Wright is an active member of the WTAMU Alumni Association, the Buffalo Club and the Agricultural Development Association. Wright is also a donor at the Ag Day Celebration and Reunion and continues to contribute to the university’s recruitment and scholarship efforts. Wright and his wife Patrecia have continued to show their support for WT by starting the Ed and Patrecia Wright Agriculture Support Fund in 2009 to benefit students in the Department of Agricultural Sciences. Wright was named Graduate of Distinction at the 2010 Ag Day Celebration Scholarship Banquet for his accomplishments and leadership qualities after graduating from WT. The department is proud to call Wright one of our own and is thankful for his service to students, the university and the agricultural industry.

heifer show at the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo, where he assists with the overall show operations but manages to work in a little time to recruit prospective students. Some students have come to visit the department and ultimately enrolled at WT solely because they met Kieth during the Houston heifer show.

these types of service opportunities,” Kieth said. “I get a chance to meet some really good kids who might end up at WT someday.”

“I am able to keep in touch with 4-H and FFA students and teachers through

At the San Angelo Stock Show, Kieth is the superintendent of the agricultural

At the Fort Worth stock show, Hawkins represents the department and fosters relationships with students, as well as 4-H agents and agricultural science teachers.

mechanics contest. As superintendent, Kieth builds relationships with the show’s staff and student competitors. “We [faculty] continue to serve the stock show community because we know how important it is to the future growth of the department and to the future success of our students,” Williams said. “We love this part of our job and love that we can give back in a way that benefits all those involved.”


Faculty Accomplishments Lal Almas was promoted to professor. He authored/co-authored three articles and secured $73,000 in research funding from the Ogallala Aquifer Program of USDA-ARS. Almas served as major adviser to four graduate students who graduated in 2012. Almas was also a presenter at the Southern Agricultural Economics Association annual meetings in Orlando, Fla. He serves on the Undergraduate Committee of SAEA. He is also adviser to the Agribusiness Club and the WT Agribusiness Quiz Bowl Team.


Lance Baker had three papers accepted to the Equine Science Society in 2013. Baker, along with two equine graduate students and Ty Lawrence and his carcass data collection team of graduate and undergraduate students, traveled to an equine meat processing plant in Canada. The team collected data for a week. Baker is also a major adviser to a Ph.D. student. Brock Blaser received the WTAMU Instructional Excellence Award. He authored a manuscript in the Agronomy Journal and co-authored two other manuscripts. He also chaired the

National Visual Presentation committee and is a committee member of the Club Poster Contest for the Students of Agronomy, Soils and Environmental Sciences, the undergraduate section of the Agronomy Society of America. Mike Brown received $180,000 in extramural funds to support feedlot cattle research activities and presented 11 invited talks on feedlot cattle nutrition in the U.S., Mexico, Brazil and South Africa. Brown co-authored an invited book chapter on distiller’s grains utilization in the book Biofuel Co-Products as Livestock Feed -

Opportunities and Challenges. Dean Hawkins was elected to serve a three-year term on the 20-person board of directors of the American Society of Animal Science. Hawkins also serves on the ASAS public policy committee and the Science Policy committee for the Federation of Animal Science Societies and is the 2014 program chair for the joint annual meeting of ASAS and American Dairy Science Society. Additionally, Hawkins was named 2012 distinguished alumni by Texas Tech University College of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources and the Outstanding Texas 4-H Alumni by the Texas 4-H Foundation.

Bonnie Pendleton finished serving four years, including as co-chair on the Program Committee for the annual meetings of the Entomological Society of America. She served as president of the Plant-Insect Ecosystems Section of the Entomological Society of America in 2012. Pendleton completed five years as editor-in-chief of the Southwestern Entomologist Journal. Pendleton and collaborators gave 13 presentations at scientific meetings and published nine manuscripts, several of which were invited publications. John Pipkin is the chair of the American Quarter Horse Association Show and Professional Horsemen’s committee and the AQHA Show Council. Pipkin is also a member of the World Conformation Horse Association Judges committee.

Lance Kieth was promoted to professor. He is currently serving on the State of Texas Vocational Ag Teachers Association board and is on the search committee for the vice-president of student affairs. Ty Lawrence advised three master’s students who graduated in 2012: Logan Holmes, now working as the lead quality assurance supervisor with Smithfield Foods in Smithfield, Va.; Austin Voyles, now working as HACCP coordinator at Tyson Fresh Meats in Amarillo; and Travis Tennant, who is currently working on his Ph.D. and is the Extension meats specialist at North Carolina State University. Lawrence published nine peer-reviewed papers and in 2013 has already published two more, with one inpress and five in-review. Since his start at WT in 2004, Lawrence has paid $1,045,023 in student wages through the university Meat Lab and the Beef Carcass Research Center. David Lust was awarded the 2012-

2013 Outstanding Faculty Award in the College of Agriculture, Science and Engineering by Mortar Board.

Marty Rhoades was a co-author on two peer reviewed journal articles, one to Atmospheric Environment and one to Transactions of the American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers. John Richeson recently received four research grants totaling more than $87,000 from the Kilgore Faculty Research Program and the Texas Cattle Feeder’s Association to study the effects of castration of beef cattle on stress, behavior and immunity. Richeson received another grant from the American Association of Bovine Practitioners Foundation to evaluate the febrile response and behavior of cattle with bovine respiratory disease. Tanner Robertson chaired the

Agricultural Communicators of Excellence’s International Special Interest Group and will be presenting a paper at the Association of International Agricultural and Extension Education Conference this summer. Bob Robinson was elected Randall County Commissioner. Bob Stewart is chairing a four-member external evaluation panel to review the Sustainable Agriculture and Natural Resource Management Collaborative Research Program. Stewart is also serving on a National Science Foundation panel in May to rank proposals for the Cyber-enabled Sustainability Science and Engineering program. Two of Bob Stewart’s students ̶ Yedil Hunde and Constant Zegoe Ouape ̶ recently completed their Ph.D. degrees. Yedil has been hired by Richardson Seeds, Inc. and Ouape is in a postdoctoral position at Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service. Chongyuan Zhang, Jed Moorhead and Sanjeev Reddy completed their M.S. degrees. These students join a group of 71 M.S. and Ph.D. students that have been associated with the Dryland Agriculture Institute. Mallory Vestal was awarded a Killgore Faculty Research Grant and was published in the Agricultural Economics journal. Kevin Williams was named faculty adviser to the Texas Collegiate FFA organization with his term beginning in summer 2012. Williams also served as superintendent of the San Antonio Livestock Exposition junior gilt show. For more faculty achievements, go to aspx.


First Choice Awards First Choice honorees must be successful in his or her profession while being easily identified with West Texas A&M University. The honoree should have contributed to WT agriculture in leadership, volunteer service, participation in campus activities or financial support. The honoree should be an advocate for West Texas A&M University in his or her professional duties and community activities.

2012 Kuhlman and Sons 2012 David Hinders 2012 Dr. Joan ’35 and Dale Coleman 2011 Texas FFA Foundation 2011 Texas 4-H Foundation 2011 Dan Hall ’74 2010 Dr. James Clark 2010 Spicer Gripp Youth Foundation 2009 Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo 2009 Thelma Evans ’47

2008 2008 2007 2007 2006 2006 2005 2004 2003 2003

Ross Wilson Warren Chisum David Swinford Dr. Bob Robinson ’70 Bob and Nancy Josserand Gary Culp ’71 Dr. Russell and Natrelle Long Johnny and Jana ’95 Trotter Roy and Arlene Bryan Stanley ’55 , ’70 and Geneva Schaeffer ’55

Graduates of Distinction Awards Graduate of Distinction honorees must hold an agricultural degree from West Texas A&M University and have been successful in his or her profession while contributing in the area in which he or she lives, to his or her profession, or to fellow humans.

2012 2012 2011 2010 2009 2009 2009 2008 2008 2007 2007 2006 2006

David Cleavinger ’79 Rodney Mosier ’81 Doyle Meadows ’70 Ed Wright ’70 Gary Culp ’71 Boyd Vaughn ’56 Monte Winders ’80 Steve Kennedy, D.V.M ’77 Barry Evans ’84 John Fuston ’66 Dr. Andy Cole ’71 John D. “Rusty” Tinnin ’62 Dr. Ron Thomason ’62

2006 2006 2005 2003 2002 2001 2000 1994 1982 1975 1972 1971

Dr. Raymond Hinders ’56 Dr. Lowell Catlett ’73 Louis Hinders ’48 Robert Devin ’71, ’77 Bill Piehl ’60 Russell D. “Red” Steagall ’60 Dr. Bob Robinson ’70 Vernon Harman ’29 State Sen. Bill Sarpalius ’78 Milton “Buff” Morris ’34 Tom Devin ’32 B. Raymond Evans ’46

Important Dates May 1 Drive to Feed Event at the First United Bank Center at 10:30 a.m. May 11 Graduation at First United Bank Center at 10 a.m. Aug. 26 First Class Day of Fall 2013 Semester Sept. 7 Annual Ag Day Celebration 9:30 a.m. Scholarship Banquet on WTAMU Campus 11 a.m. Ag Reunion at the Nance Ranch 25

The class of 1963 will be celebrating its 50-year reunion at this year’s Ag Reunion.

Share Your Pride: The Campaign for WTAMU West Texas A&M University publically launched the most significant fund-raising campaign effort in the history of the university last fall. The unprecedented end goal for the Share Your Pride: The Campaign for WTAMU is to raise $35 million. “We’ve set the bar high as far as our campaign goal and priorities, and I know with a strong foundation of alumni, friends and valued supporters, we will be successful in this impressive and historic venture,” said Dr. J. Patrick O’Brien, university president. More than 8,000 donors, community supporters, corporations and foundations have supported the campaign. In just over five months, the university has raised more than $25 million. “We are right on track for the best year ever,” said Tim Bynum, senior development officer for the College of Agriculture, Science and Engineering. Every dollar of the Share Your Pride campaign will be dedicated to increasing enrollment and retention rates, enhancing student amenities and building pride in the university. Fifteen million dollars of the donations will play a vital role in the recruiting and retention of students by increasing the current scholarship endowments to generate $750,000 in annual scholarships. Program and faculty support will receive $8 million to assist in continuing to recruit and retain top faculty while the final $12 million will provide support for capital projects,

including new campus buildings and renovations of existing facilities. The College of Agriculture, Science and Engineering has received more donations through this campaign than any other college on campus. Approximately $500,000 in donations has been added to Department of Agricultural Science’s endowed scholarships. An anonymous $1.5 million donation has also allowed for the creation of an endowed chair position in cow/ calf management. The annual Ag Day Celebration and Reunion held last September also raised a substantial amount of donor financial support for the department’s recruiting efforts. “The record-high enrollment in the Department of Agricultural Sciences is directly related to the outstanding support we receive from our alumni and friends at the annual Ag Day Celebration and Reunion,” Bynum said. “In just over two hours at last year’s reunion, we raised more than $60,000. That’s a huge boost for our recruitment effort.” Funds donated by Great Plains Ag Credit were used to update a classroom in the Agriculture and Natural Sciences Building. The endowment by Great Plains Ag Credit will ensure the classroom is always up to date with current technology and above average furnishings. Great Plains Ag Credit is also a corporate sponsor of the Agricultural Development Association. The campaign will conclude Sept. 1, 2014. For more information or to make a donation to the Share Your Pride Campaign, call the Office of Institutional Advancement at 806651-2070 or visit


WTAMU Box 60998 Canyon, TX 79016

ADA Corporate Sponsors

The Agricultural Development Association’s (ADA) corporate sponsors are a critical component of the ADA and its mission. The Department of Agricultural Sciences thanks the ADA and its corporate sponsors for their continued support. To become a corporate sponsor, please contact Tim Bynum at 806-651-2069 or

Special thanks to the following students and faculty who contributed to this newsletter: Students enrolled in AGRI 4311, Rik Andersen, Marcus Arnold, Jacob Becker, T.J. Biggs, Tim Bynum, Gary Culp, Jaye Hawkins, Taylor Hurst, Kelly Jones, Kay Ledbetter, Rana McDonald, Angela Ragland, Don Topliff and the amazing students, faculty and staff in the Department of Agricultural Sciences. Designed and edited by Andrea Spencer and Tanner Robertson

The Brand - Spring 2013  

A publication of the Department of Agricultural Sciences at West Texas A&M University

The Brand - Spring 2013  

A publication of the Department of Agricultural Sciences at West Texas A&M University