- Writer: Adam Russell, 903-834-6191, email@example.com
- Contact: Brandon Smith, 979-845-3041, firstname.lastname@example.org
COLLEGE STATION — William “Brandon” Smith, a doctoral candidate in the Texas A&M University department of soil and crop sciences in College Station and the Texas A&M AgriLife Research and Extension Center in Overton, is racking up awards as he approaches graduation.
At the recent Texas A&M AgriLife Conference, Smith was awarded the 2016 Vice Chancellor’s Award in Excellence for Graduate Student Research as well as the 2016 Department of Soil and Crop Sciences Special Achievement Award for Graduate Student Teaching. At a meeting in Tennessee in February, the American Society of Animal Science will name Smith the 2017 Southern Section Emerging Scholar.
Smith received dual bachelor degrees in agronomy and soils and animal sciences from Auburn University and a master’s degree from the University of Arkansas in ruminant nutrition. His doctoral research at Texas A&M focuses on the use of distiller’s dried grains with solubles as a supplemental feed for cattle grazing Bermuda grass pastures.
Smith said he was “surprised and honored” by the awards.
“You really don’t know what to think when nominations are sent in, and then it comes back that you’re being recognized,” he said. “It’s flattering to read and hear what some of the people who supported my nomination had to say about me and my work.”
Dr. Monte Rouquette, AgriLife Research forage physiologist, Overton, one of Smith’s co-advisors, said Smith was a quick study upon arriving to perform his research in a farm setting. He said Smith’s research is a twist on what others have done that focused on an area of forage, supplement and animal performance and furthered what is known about digestion rates and other aspects of the animal-forage interface.
“He’s inquisitive, intelligent and persistent in completing the task set before him,” he said. “He’s a prime target to take over research protocol in his field.”
Smith’s research has been conducted at Overton, College Station and Kingsville. His graduate program has been funded by AgriLife Research in Overton and the U.S. Department of Agriculture-Agriculture Research Service Grazinglands Research Laboratory at El Reno, Oklahoma.
Smith is under the co-advisement of Rouquette and Dr. Luis Tedeschi, nutritionist and professor in the department of animal science, College Station.
He is scheduled to graduate in August and hopes to continue his research in ruminant nutrition, forage agronomy and animal performance while holding a faculty position.
“I love teaching, so the region I work in doesn’t matter as long as I am continuing my research and am in a classroom with students,” he said.