Texas Tech, USDA cut ribbon on cutting-edge cotton classification complex
By: Allen Ramsey
Texas Tech and the USDA this week launched a first-of-its-kind cotton classing facility on Texas Tech's campus. Facilities like this measure and classify cotton by its specific physical attributes, enabling the cotton to be marketed by producers and giving precise information to consumers regarding the cotton fibers.
“This new cotton classing facility is an exciting collaboration between USDA and Texas Tech University,” said Bruce Summers, administrator for the USDA's Agricultural Marketing Services.
The partnership will serve the U.S. cotton industry by grading almost 20 percent of the cotton produced in the country and, at the same time, offer internship and employment to Texas Tech students and others in the Lubbock area.
“Texas Tech is a world leader in cotton research, and this facility provides many opportunities for our faculty and students to advance the work that is of critical importance to this region,” said Texas Tech President Lawrence Schovanec.
The 30,000-square-foot facility, located two miles northwest of the Davis College of Agricultural Sciences & Natural Resources' central campus buildings, is equipped with the latest automated technology and represents the first cotton classing facility located on the campus of an institution of higher education.
The cotton classification complex is expected to provide students and researchers with enhanced education and research opportunities in developing fiber measurement technology, automation and robotics, fiber phenomics, prototyping and calibration, and for testing of new instruments and technology.
It has the capacity to process more than 50,000 cotton samples per day and is among the largest cotton classing facilities in the nation. Ground was broken on the facility in 2019, with construction on the project starting in 2020. Delays caused by the COVID-19 pandemic and supply chain issues slowed progress, but the new facility is now operational.
CONTACT: Cindy Akers, Interim Dean, Davis College of Agricultural Sciences & Natural Resources, Texas Tech University at (806) 742-2808 or email@example.com