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Vivien Allen presented ‘Award of Illumination’

Vivien Allen A nationally recognized member of Texas Tech University’s Department of Plant and Soil Science was presented a special “Award of Illumination” Jan. 30 at the annual meeting of the American Forage and Grassland Council and the Society for Range Management in Louisville, Kentucky.

Vivien Allen (right), a Texas Tech Paul Whitfield Horn Professor and Thornton Distinguished Professor of Forages, accepted the award from Virginia-based Bill Tucker, president of the American Forage and Grassland Council. Allen is the first recipient of the annual award, which will officially be called the “Vivien G. Allen Award of Illumination” in the future.

Above and Beyond. “Dr. Allen has gone above and beyond the classroom,” Tucker said of presenting Allen with the award plaque which features a Waterford crystal magnifying glass. “She has immersed herself in the lives of her students in order to make sure they just didn’t learn, but they learned how to learn.”

The American Forage and Grassland Council is dedicated to advancing the use of forage as a prime feed resource. Members represent the academic community, producers, private industry, institutes and foundations.

Building Bridges. The theme of this year’s meeting at Louisville’s historic Galt House was “Building Bridges: Grasslands to Rangelands.” The program largely focused on building partnerships with agencies, professional organizations and others in the agricultural and natural resource field.

Allen, 17-year veteran of the College of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources, is one of the CASNR’s leading teachers and researchers. Prior to joining Tech, she served in several academic posts at Virginia Tech University for 15 years. She joined the CASNR faculty in 1995 where her research work has largely centered on forage and grazing animals.

Research Focus. The Nashville native is a critical part of a team of researchers at Texas Tech and other universities and agencies that are partnering with farmers to find the real costs and returns and water used by different crop and livestock systems. A research and demonstration project initiated by Allen near New Deal showed about 90 percent more cash profit and about 23 percent less irrigation water used for diversified systems over cotton alone at yields typical of the region.

Allen earned her bachelor’s degree in general agriculture from the University of Tennessee. Her master’s and doctorate with majors in agronomy and animal science are from Louisiana State University.

Written by Norman Martin

CONTACT: Vivien Allen, Thornton Distinguished Professor of Forages, Department of Plant and Soil Science, Texas Tech University, (806) 742-1625 or


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