CASNR develops new Agricultural Water Management Certificate Program

From Texas Tech Today

JANUARY 9, 2019 — Texas Tech University agricultural experts have expressed the growing need for training students in the latest irrigation technologies to enhance the efficiency of water use.

In response, the university's College of Agricultural Sciences & Natural Resources (CASNR) will offer an undergraduate agricultural water management certificate to provide courses on efficient and profitable management of water for agricultural purposes, with emphasis on irrigation technologies.

"The undergraduate agricultural water management certificate is equally available to degree-seeking undergraduates and non-degree-seeking working adults," said Chuck West, the Thornton Distinguished Chair in the Department of Plant and Soil Science and administrator of the Texas Alliance for Water Conservation (TAWC). "All courses take place on campus, and require enrolling in the university, even if just for one course."

The certificate program was conceived by the TAWC, a water-management outreach project housed within CASNR, to bolster education of the agricultural workforce. Starting this spring, the certificate program will consist of a series of courses, totaling 15 hours, that cover aspects of water management and conservation.

A new course called the Irrigation Management Seminar will be offered every fall semester and is designed to meet the workforce needs of key stakeholders in agriculture such as producers, equipment providers, consultants and government agencies.

The certificate curriculum will provide students with information related to managing water for growing crops and other plants for horticultural and turf uses. The irrigation course will provide technical background on soil and plant sciences, the mechanics of irrigation equipment, use of programs to control and schedule irrigation and exposure to economic and regulatory aspects that guide irrigation use.

West said that while the certificate provides documentation of continuing education for those already in the workforce, it also allows traditional students the opportunity to further emphasize an area in the same department as their major as distinct from a minor, which can only be done in a department outside that of their major.

Dan Taylor receives Texas Agricultural Lifetime Leadership Award

From AgriLife Today

COLLEGE STATION – The Governor Dolph Briscoe Jr. Texas Agricultural Lifetime Leadership, or TALL,  program has honored Daniel Taylor with the Texas Agricultural Lifetime Achievement Award.

The award was presented recently at the Austin Club during a “Tribute to Texas Leadership” reception, hosted by The Governor Dolph Briscoe Jr. TALL program alumni, the Texas A&M University System and the Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service. The event featured Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick as its keynote speaker.

Previous honorees of the TALL Lifetime Achievement Award include former Texas Governor Dolph Briscoe and former Congressman Charlie Stenholm.

Since 2009, Taylor has been president/manager of DLT Enterprises Inc. where he is involved in agricultural investments and land management in Castro, Hockley, Lamb, Llano, Lubbock, Lynn, McCulloch and Terry counties in Texas.

“TALL has benefited greatly from the wisdom and guidance Dan Taylor has contributed,” said Dr. Jim Mazurkiewicz, TALL program director in College Station. “His first-hand knowledge of agriculture operations combined with his passion for education and his sharing that knowledge has made a huge contribution to this state.”

After graduating from Texas Tech University with a bachelor’s degree in agriculture education, Taylor spent 10 years as an agriculture science teacher at Lubbock Cooper High School in Woodrow, where he led students involved in all FFA activities and participated in many state and national contests.

In 1975, Taylor became manager and co-owner of Buster’s Gin and later purchased the gin in 1983. From a humble beginning of ginning less than 2000 bales from only two customers, Taylor each year saw increased production, according to his award nomination. He later updated the gin to a modern, state-of-the art facility, always keeping the quality of ginning and service a priority.

Keeping with his educational roots, Taylor built an expansion on the gin with space for the public to experience the cotton ginning process in person, along with a museum that includes antique ginning equipment and memorabilia Taylor has collected over the years.

Through the years, Taylor has served as president of the Bayer Museum of Agriculture and has been a member of the Texas Tech School of Agriculture and Natural Resources advisory board. He previously served as president of the Texas FFA Foundation Board and is still a board member.

The Governor Dolph Briscoe Jr. Texas Agricultural Lifetime Leadership program is a competitive leadership development program that includes seminars with experts, on-site tours, meetings with business and government leaders, international study and personal skills improvement. It is funded by individuals and institutions through private gifts and grants. Participants pay a participant fee and AgriLife Extension provides administrative support with 100 percent of the program support paid by the agriculture industry.

The TALL program is designed for men and women in the early stages of their leadership careers. Each cohort consists of at least 25 people who are associated with agriculture. Participants come from every sector of agriculture and all parts of Texas.