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Update from the Vice Chancellor and Dean

Autumn 2010 Update

As Thanksgiving approaches, I am grateful for one of Texas A&M AgriLife’s great strengths--our network of local leaders, students, legislators, industry and many more. One special group of supporters are our generous donors. These are individuals, foundations or businesses' who have such a passion for our mission that they make financial contributions to allow us to continue our work. From student scholarships to support of agency and college programs, donors add a new dimension to our ability to sustain our efforts. The Texas A&M Foundation, based in College Station, assists both the Texas A&M College of Agriculture and Life Sciences and all of our agencies to match "big ideas" that shape our world with passionate donors who want to partner with us across AgriLife. Join me in giving thanks to all of those who give generously to sustain our worldwide work...

Dr. Mark A. Hussey
Vice Chancellor and Dean, Agriculture and Life Sciences


  • 2011 Texas A&M AgriLife Conference Cancelled
  • 82nd Texas legislative session begins January 11, 2011

For Your Information

Meet the AgriLife Development Team

The Texas A&M Foundation Development team is honored to work in a field that is rewarding, gratifying and fun. Every day we get to interact with the former students and friends and help them identify areas within the College and our agencies where they can provide impact by funding scholarships, faculty or research. That funding is life changing and even life saving. Over the past year I am proud to have assembled a team of talented and hardworking individuals who are excited to share our vision for the future of agriculture and life sciences in Texas. We are honored to be able to help match your passions with the needs of the College and the agencies and we thank our many generous supporters for their commitment to Texas A&M AgriLife. If you have any questions or would like to learn more about making dreams become reality, please contact us. --Monica Delisa, Senior Development Officer

Chancellor McKinney Visits Texas A&M AgriLife

Texas A&M System Chancellor, Dr. Mike McKinney visited the Texas AgriLife Extension Service and the Texas Veterinary Medical Diagnostic Laboratory this fall to see our agencies in action. Visiting with staff, administrators and discovering key projects, the Chancellor had an opportunity to learn more about our work. See photos from the visit to TVMDL below:

Dr. Mike McKinney

From left, Mr. Ken Peck, Assistant Section Head, Drug Testing Laboratory, Dr. Tammy Beckham, TVMDL Director, Chancellor Mike McKinney and Janet Smalley, the Chancellor's Chief of Staff.

Dr. Mike McKinney

Dr. Amy Swinford, Section Head, Diagnostic Bacteriology and Chancellor Mike McKinney

Dr. Mike McKinney

Ms. Stephanie Weaver, Pathology Lab Supervisor and Chancellor Mike McKinney

San Angelo Wool and Mohair Lab Named for Bill Sims

The Wool and Mohair Research Laboratory at the Texas AgriLife Research and Extension Center at San Angelo was recently named for Bill Sims, a longtime industry and state leader. Sims is a rancher, former county AgriLife Extension agent, past executive director of the Texas Sheep and Goat Raisers' Association and a retired Texas state senator. Read the full story:

Foot and Mouth Disease Tabletop Exercise

Foot and Mouth Disease Tabletop Exercise
Foot and Mouth Disease Tabletop Exercise

In mid-August 2010, the Texas Veterinary Medical Diagnostic Laboratory (TVMDL) hosted over 50 guests from state and federal agencies and industry groups in Amarillo for a foot and mouth disease tabletop exercise. This exercise was one of 15 that the National Animal Health Laboratory Network (NAHLN) conducted around the country in late summer 2010.

Coordinated by NAHLN, the exercise led participants through possible challenges encountered during an outbreak of foot and mouth disease, focusing on laboratory issues with field input. Participants gained an enhanced awareness of laboratory issues encountered during an outbreak and worked to assess the completeness of response plans in regard to testing, training, and enhancement of resources and their readiness to deal with an outbreak. The event will help ensure readiness and cooperation amongst industry, regulatory and laboratory partners.

Klinefelter Honored by American Agricultural Editors Association

Dr. Danny Klinefelter, Professor and Texas AgriLife Extension Economist was awarded the American Agricultural Editors' Association Distinguished Service Award for 2010. He is the third faculty member from Texas A&M to be honored since the award was initiated in 1947. The two previous winners were Dr. Perry Adkisson and Dr. Norman Borlaug. Last year, the 25th anniversary edition of Top Producer named him one of the 25 people in the world who will most influence the future of American agriculture. Both awards stem from his role as developer and director of the Texas AgriLife Extension Service's Executive Program for Agricultural Producers. This national two-week management development program has transformed the lives and businesses of its participants. You can learn more about the program at

Kenimer Elected Vice Chair of the APLU Academic Program Section

Dr. Ann Kenimer

Dr. Ann Kenimer, College of Agriculture and Life Sciences Associate Dean for Academic Operations, was elected as the Board on Agriculture Assembly's vice chair of the academic program section at the November meeting of the Association of Public and Land Grant Universities. The Academic Programs Section represents curricular priorities for agriculture and related areas and makes recommendations on academics issues to the agriculture assembly.

Program participants say Yo Puedo to diabetes management

An AgriLife Extension program, !Sí, Yo puedo controlar mi diabetes!, is narrowing the gap in culturally-relevant health education for Hispanics with type 2 diabetes. Participants in Yes, I can control my diabetes! showed marked improvement in self-care behaviors and self-confidence.

Project Arise Participants

The results were documented in a one-year study, which was funded by a NIFA Rural Health and Safety grant to Dr. Ninfa Peña-Purcell, extension specialist and principal investigator. As lead author of the curriculum, Dr. Peña-Purcell spearheaded a team of extension health and nutrition experts to develop Yo Puedo. Team members included co-author Gloria VanZante and Drs. Carol Rice and Mickey Bielamowicz.

Los Lomas Graduates

Self-management is critical to blood glucose control and good health, especially among the 32.5 percent of Hispanics with diabetes who report going more than a year between doctor visits because of cost. This at-risk audience was targeted in Starr and Hidalgo counties, where county extension agents Yolanda Scrivner-Morado and Adelita Muñoz helped conduct the Yo Puedo pilot program.

OLR Roma class

Complete with a series of Spanish "novelas" produced by AgriLife Communications, the six-week program validates the benefits of culturally appropriate education. Based on pilot data, the curriculum has been refined and is ready for statewide adoption. AgriLife Extension envisions Yo Puedo becoming a valuable resource to improve health outcomes and quality of life among Texas Latino adults with type 2 diabetes.

A sample novela is online:

Unified Efforts Reaping New Resources

With involvement across Texas A&M AgriLife, the progress of Texas AgriLife Extension Service's integrated initiative teams and working groups is making a difference in addressing state and county-level needs and issues. The Produce Safety Initiative Team, with faculty from several departments, secured a specialty crops state grant to fund development of a curriculum and food safety website that will be integrated into the Center for Food Safety. Faculty from 11 departments are involved in the Water Initiatives and Small Acreage Management Teams, which recently completed a resource index to support county extension agents. The teams also produced a county extension agent support document that ties key educational efforts directly to the agency strategic plan. Regional program directors are playing a significant role in these efforts. In addition, the Organic Production and Locally Grown Working Group is determining our educational capabilities to address interest in both organic and local production, and the Corn Aflatoxin Working Group is evaluating concerns and looking for solutions.

Integrated Initiative Teams and Working Groups

Texas Forest Service Presents Annual Awards

Texas Forest Service employees recently gathered in Crockett, Texas for the annual TFS agency meeting and awards ceremony. Director Tom Boggus was presented with the Bronze Smokey Bear Award, an honor from the National Association of Foresters and U.S. Forest Service for impact within a state over a minimum two-year period. Nearly 25 TFS employees were honored with Director's awards for their outstanding service. Meet the winners and learn more here:

Administrative Appointments

Beckham Named Director of the Foreign Animal and Zoonotic Disease Defense Center (FAZD)

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