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CASNR Outstanding Agriculturists


Rickey Bearden – Agricultural Production

Rickey Bearden is a third-generation cotton farmer born and raised in Plains, Texas. He began farming with his father in 1975 on 160 acres. In 1987 he broke off on his own and now produces cotton, milo, and blacked-eyed peas on 6,000 acres.

Bearden is on the National Cotton Council Board of Directors, is the Chairman of the National Cotton Council Crop Insurance Task Force, an officer of the Cotton Incorporated Board of Directors, a Southwest Board member of the American Cotton Producers, past president of the Plains Cotton Growers, Inc., past member of the Yoakum County Farm Bureau, serves on the Western High Plains Boll Weevil Eradication Zone Grower Committee, a past member of the Plains ISD School Board, and is a Deacon of the First Baptist Church in Plains.

Bearden is very proud to be in involved in agriculture and to be a voice for producers. He says that farming is what he loves to do. Rickey and his wife, Karen, have two children-- a son, Tracy, who lives in Denton, and a daughter, Kyley with husband, Greg, who live and farm in Terry County. His parents are Ray and Joyce Bearden of Tokio, Texas, and he says he is eternally grateful for his years of farming and partnership with his dad.

Ross Wilson – Agribusiness

Ross Wilson serves as President & CEO of Texas Cattle Feeders Association, headquartered in Amarillo. He was named to that position in March 2006.

As President & CEO, Wilson is responsible for the day-to-day operations of the Association, including supervising a staff of 17 and carrying out policy established by the TCFA Board of Directors. He has been on staff since 1985, serving previously as Vice President from 1998 to 2006 and Director of Government Affairs from 1985 to 1998. During his years at TCFA, Wilson has specialized in legislative and regulatory issues. TCFA represents cattle feeders in Texas, Oklahoma and New Mexico. This three-state area produces 7 million fed cattle—almost 32% of the fed cattle produced in the nation.

Wilson is active in several industry-related and civic organizations. He serves as Co-Chairman of the Texas Agricultural Council, a 60-member coalition of Texas agricultural groups working to protect the agricultural industry on legislative, regulatory and political issues. Wilson also serves on the board of the International Stockmen’s Education Foundation and is a member of the Texas State Technical Committee of USDA’s Natural Resource and Conservation Service, the TCC Research Institute Task Force on Land Use and has served as chairman of the Agricultural Advisory Committee to the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality. In addition, he is a past member of both the Natural Resources Committee to the American Bar Association and the Council on Agricultural Research, Extension and Teaching for Texas A&M University. Locally, Wilson serves on the Board of the Tri-State Fair and is a former Board member of the High Plains Food Bank and former adult leader for 4-H youth programs.

Prior to joining TCFA, Wilson served as a Legislative Assistant to former U.S. Congressman Jack Hightower of Texas and Executive Assistant for the Texas Wheat Producers Association. Wilson is a 1980 honors graduate of Texas Tech University with a bachelor’s degree in Agricultural Economics. He was selected in 2001 as a Distinguished Alumni of the College of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources and is a 2004 recipient of the “State Friend of Extension” award from Epsilon Sigma Phi, the National Honorary Extension Fraternity. He was raised on a diversified livestock and grain farm near Claude, Texas and lives in Canyon with his wife, Melody and has a grown son and daughter.

Jaroy Moore – Public Service

Jaroy Moore was born in Brady, Texas and raised on a stock-farm in northwest McCulloch County; he graduated from Lohn High School. He received an associate BS degree from Tarleton State College and then transferred to Texas A&M where a degree in Agronomy was conferred in 1964. He continued his education at Texas A&M and received an MS and PhD in Soil Physics.

On arrival at A&M in 1961, he began working as a student in the Soil and Crop Science Department for the Texas Agricultural Experiment Station and has served in various capacities in this agency since. Prior to completing his PhD he moved to the Pecos Research Station in 1970 to begin his dissertation research which was completed in 1973. In Pecos he advanced from a Research Associate through the professorial ranks to Professor and Station Superintendent. His research concentrated on irrigation, salinity, cotton and new crops. Throughout this time Moore relied on the scientists at the Lubbock TAMU Center for their expertise. This began with Dr. Charles Wendt on his dissertation research and continued with Bill Lyle, John Gannaway, and John Abernathy along with others.

Moore was named Resident Director at the TAMU Agricultural Research Center in El Paso in 1995. In March of 1998 he was requested to move to Lubbock to assume the Resident Director’s position which Dr. John Abernathy occupied prior to being named Dean at TTU’s CASNR. Agricultural Leadership expressed a desire for more cooperation between Texas Tech, ARS and the Texas A&M Ag agencies to effectively utilize capital and human resources and assure continued funding support for the entities. Joint faculty appointments between Texas Tech and the TAMU Center have grown from five to thirteen with both universities having scientists residing at the ARS Lab. Joint funding at the State and Federal level continued to increase.

Moore and his wife Bennie, a retired school teacher have two children. A son, Greg is now deceased. Their daughter Meredith Fowler and husband John reside in Lubbock. Meredith teaches in Idalou and John is employed by Dean Foods. All are members of First Christian Church of Lubbock.