Celebrating Our Milestones
The first 100 years of Texas Tech University research has been nothing short of amazing. In 1923, when Texas Tech was founded, many of the issues researchers are working on today didn't exist. Who would have thought then that water would be a primary concern? Cotton was barely graded while beef grading was more of an idea than a reality.
Looking back, it's worth remembering what has already been accomplished and taking some pride in what has already been done to combat issues of the past. To the surprise of none, Texas Tech is already a world leader in agricultural research.
The Davis College of Agricultural Sciences & Natural Resources is home to the Fiber & Biopolymer Research Institute (FBRI), International Center for Food Industry Excellence (ICFIE), Davis College Water Center, Institute of Genomics for Crop Abiotic Stress Tolerance (IGCAST), International Center for Agriculture Competitiveness and the Thornton Agriculture Finance Institute, along with others.
Among the world-class faculty are people like Noureddine Adibi, the Leidigh Professor in the Department of Plant & Soil Science and managing director of the FBRI. Adibi's work on converting low-grade cotton into a gel with variable use qualities offers local producers a way to recoup money on low-quality cotton crops in bad years.
His work goes hand-in-hand with other high-level researchers like Horn Distinguished Professor Eric Hequet. Hequet has co-developed and co-released more than 20 improved germplasm lines of upland cotton. His work was recognized by the Joint Cotton Breeding Committee in 2019. Cotton research at Texas Tech is so prolific the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) has partnered with the university, which now houses a first-of-its-kind cotton classification complex on campus.
While cotton is a primary crop in the region and holds immense importance at Davis College, researchers aren't just focused on fiber. National Academy of Science member Luis Herrera-Estrella is the director of IGCAST, which is focused on using new technology to study crop tolerances to different types of abiotic stress (drought, salinity, heat, cold and low nutrient availability.)
Securing a sustainable food supply is just as important as providing clothing for the world. A massive part of ensuring the sustainability of the world's food supply is securing its water future, and the Davis College Water Center, along with the Texas Alliance for Water Conservation (TAWC), are doing just that.
Researchers from the water center have been tasked with studying the vitality of the Ogallala Aquifer, a primary source of irrigation for crops and livestock, and the TAWC works directly with producers in the area to bring new technologies and best practices into use on farms across the region.
Alongside water research, Davis College's ICFIE brings all elements of food production together under one center. Directed by Horn Distinguished Professor Mindy Brashears, ICFIE looks at food access, food availability, food stability and food utilization with the mission to serve the food industry, producers and consumers by providing the world with a more secure food supply. Researchers in ICFIE and the Department of Animal & Food Sciences have worked on everything from industry standards for food safety to developing new technology for determining the tenderness of beef in real-time.
Editor's Note: For more information on the broad-spectrum of research being conducted within the Davis College of Agricultural Sciences & Natural Resources, please see our Research Faculty Spotlights.
Dr. Darren Hudson
Interim Associate Dean for Research
Davis College of Agricultural Sciences & Natural Resources
AddressP.O. Box 42123, Lubbock, Texas 79409-2123, Dean’s Office Location: Goddard Building, Room 108