Texas Tech University

Davis College honors Distinguished Alumni & Outstanding Young Alumni

Norman Martin

April 5, 2022

Texas Tech University's Davis College of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources recognized seven distinguished alumni on Monday (Apr. 4) at the university's McKenzie-Merket Alumni Center. The 2022 Distinguished Alumni & Outstanding Young Alumni Awards honor graduates who've made significant contributions to society, and whose accomplishments and careers have brought distinction to the college and to the professions associated with agriculture and natural resources.

Davis College honors Distinguished Alumni & Outstanding Young Alumni

The recipients of this year's Davis College Distinguished Alumni Awards are:

Tim Bargainer of Georgetown, Texas. He received a bachelor's degree in landscape architecture (1992) from Texas Tech. Bargainer began his career at Richardson Verdoorn in Austin as a Planner and Landscape Architect. He later became Chief Executive Officer for Baer-Aicklen & Associates, and was one of the Founding Members And Principal of BWM Group. Today, Bargainer is Senior Vice President, Practice Leader for Planning and Landscape Architecture at Halff Associates, Inc. He is a licensed Professional Landscape Architect, and is a member of the American Society of Landscape Architects and the Council of Landscape Architectural Registration Boards. Bargainer has served on the board of the Texas Chapter of the American Society of Landscape Architects as president elect, president, past president, secretary and chair of the legislative committee. Recent honors include the American Trails Award of Excellence (2004), and the Distinguished Member Award from the Texas Chapter of the ALSA.

Wendell Dorsett of Fremont, Nebraska. He received a bachelor's degree in agricultural engineering (1957) from Texas Tech. Prior to retiring in 2009, Dorsett worked in the agriculture industry for more than five decades and received five patents in his name. His early career included stints at International Harvester Co., Farm Equipment Research & Engineering Center, Lilliston Implement Company, and Lockwood Corporation. Later he served as National Service Manager, Waste Water Sales Manager, And Director of Product Management and Special Projects at Valmont Industries, Inc. Dorsett served on the Irrigation Association Certification Board (1995-2003), where he coordinated the certificate irrigation designer testing and assisted in editing the various manuals and books for the organization. He was honored with the Irrigation Association Industry Achievement Award (2010), and was an Agricultural Society of Agricultural & Biological Engineer member for more than 60 years.

Calvin Hamilton of Flower Mound, Texas. He received a bachelor's degree in animal business (1977) and a master's degree in animal nutrition with a concentration in swine nutrition (1979) from Texas Tech. After receiving his doctorate from the University of Missouri, he went on to become an Extension Swine Specialist, and an Assistant and Associate Professor at South Dakota State University. In 1996, Hamilton joined Darling International, Inc., as Director of Research and Development, going on to become Director of Government Affairs & Related Technology and Vice President of Government Affairs, Related Technology & Biosecurity for Darling Ingredients, Inc. He now leads the Quality Assurance & Product Safety Team, and is a member of Darling's Sustainability Committee. Hamilton is a founding member of the Clarity & Leadership for Environmental Awareness and Research Center at the University of California-Davis, and a member of the Board of Directors for the American Feed Ingredient Association.

John Johnson of Lubbock, Texas. He received a bachelor's degree in agricultural education (1977) from Texas Tech. Following graduation, Johnson began his career at WFAA Radio-TV in Dallas a Farm News Director, where he would produce and host daily radio and television farm programs. From there, he joined the American Soybean Association in St. Louis as Special Projects Coordinator. Johnson returned to Lubbock in 1984, where he worked for Plains Cotton Cooperative Association until his retirement in 2020. He served as Director of Public Relations and Legislative Affairs at PCCA, and was in charge of a variety of public relations efforts that include member and employee publications, in addition to relations with members, employees and government. Johnson was elected assistant corporate secretary by the PCCA Board of Directors (1985) and Corporate Secretary (1992). Johnson served on Texas Tech Agricultural Communications Advisory Committee and Lubbock Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors.

Todd Merendino of Bay City, Texas. He received a bachelor's degree in wildlife management (1987) and master's degree in wildlife science (1989) from Texas Tech. After receiving his doctorate in zoology from the University of Western Ontario, he began his professional career as a Coastal Wetlands Biologist and later a Project Leader within Texas Parks and Wildlife Department. In 2008, Merendino was named Manager of Conservation Programs for Ducks Unlimited, with an area supervision in Texas, Oklahoma and New Mexico. The current program footprint consists of more than 80,000 acres. He served as a board member on the Guadalupe Blanco River Trust and the Moore-Odom Wildlife Foundation. In addition, Merendino was chair on the Central Flyway Habitat Sub-Committee, and has served as an Adjunct Graduate Student Committee Representative for students within the Texas A&M University System. Recent honors include a Ducks Unlimited Excellence in Conservation Award (2020).

Tom Sell of Lubbock, Texas. He received a bachelor's degree in agribusiness (1995) from Texas Tech. Sell is currently a founder and managing partner of Combest, Sell and Associates in Lubbock. Following graduation, he worked in Washington, D.C. as Deputy Chief Of Staff at the U.S. House Committee on Agriculture. He helped write legislation, including the Agricultural Risk Protection Act of 2000 and the 2002 Farm Bill. Sell served the President George W. Bush Administration as part of the transition team and went on to serve as the Director of Intergovernmental Affairs at the USDA. He then returned to Lubbock to earn a degree from the Texas Tech University School of Law, and open a law firm with his partner. The firm broadly focuses on agriculture and environmental issues, as well as trade policy. Sell has served as Board Chairman of Breedlove Foods, which focuses on international hunger relief. Sell also sits on the LMHS Foundation Board for Covenant Hospital.

Kerry Siders of Levelland, Texas. He received a master's degree in crop science (1989) from Texas Tech. Following graduation he served as an Extension Agent for Pest Management for the Texas Agricultural Extension Service in Castro and Lamb counties, and later became County Extension Agent for Agriculture in Floyd County and Terry County. In 1996, Siders was named Extension Agent for Integrated Pest Management through Texas AgriLife Extension Service in Hockley and Cochran counties. He has been in that position for 26 years. Siders has served on several committees, including the High Plains Cotton Advisory Group, West Texas Agricultural Chemicals Institute Board, Plains Cotton Growers, and Grain Sorghum Producer's Board. Honors include the Levelland Chamber of Commerce Agriculture Person of the Year (1999), Outstanding High Plains Cotton Agent Award for Plains Cotton Growers (2003), and Distinguished Achievement Award for Extension Agent for the TCE Specialists Association (2007).

In addition, Davis College officials recognized one outstanding young alumna. The recipient of the 2022 Outstanding Young Alumni Award is John Duff of Lubbock, Texas. He received a bachelor's degree in agribusiness (2012) from Texas Tech. Following graduation Duff joined the National Sorghum Producers and the United Sorghum Checkoff Program. He has remained there for the past 10 years under multiple titles, including Renewables Program Director, Strategic Business Director, and Executive Vice President. Duff is the author of Sorghum Focus, a monthly column that has a circulation of approximately 180,000 readers, and hosts the podcast, Sorghum Smart Talk, that brings education to sorghum farmers. He is a member of the Texas Tech Davis College Advisory Board, and serves on the Lubbock Chamber of Commerce Ag and Natural Resources Committee. Recent honors include the South Plains College Distinguished Alumnus Award (2021).


This story was first published in the Davis College NewsCenter. See the original article here.