Todd Baughman, Ph.D., will return to Texas to serve as director of the Texas A&M AgriLife Research and Extension Center at Lubbock. He will begin on April 1, replacing longtime director Jaroy Moore, Ph.D., who is retiring.
“We are very pleased to have Dr. Baughman return to Texas A&M and lead our research efforts at Lubbock,” said G. Cliff Lamb, director of Texas A&M AgriLife Research. “His leadership will be critical as the center works to strengthen agricultural systems and economies in the South Plains and address key agricultural issues through innovative research.”
The Texas A&M AgriLife center at Lubbock is one of the 13 centers across Texas working to advance research, public outreach and educational programs throughout the state. Each center tailors its mission to meet the needs of the region.
Building on the successes of the Texas A&M AgriLife center in Lubbock
In taking the leadership role at the center, Baughman said his priorities will be the continued development of research and extension programs that support the agricultural industry in the Southern High Plains and ensure the success and viability of producers and agricultural industry in that region.
“The center has an outstanding history of providing useful tools to the agricultural industry, and because of that, they have tremendous community and commodity organization support, which has made it a central hub for our agricultural industry,” he said. “The opportunity to work with the incredible Lubbock faculty and staff to continue building those relationships and collaborations is a great opportunity and not one that is available at a lot of other places.”
Being in the center of the world’s largest cotton patch, Baughman said cotton is obviously one of the commodities at the forefront of needs. However, water is also a major concern, whether that is irrigation, rainfall or water conservation.
“Among many things, water management is a priority for our faculty and our programs,” he said. “We have a significant acreage of dryland, and we need to be able to help those producers manage water as a resource as well as help those who use water for irrigation.”
Additionally, Baughman said Lubbock-based scientists work with other crops that are growing in the region – corn, grain sorghum, peanuts and wheat – so there will be continued research on how they integrate into the entire agricultural system of the High Plains.
Bringing skills to the leadership position
Baughman served as a professor and Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service crop production specialist and statewide peanut specialist for 15 years, from 1996 to 2011, in the Rolling Plains before joining Oklahoma State University as a professor and weed scientist.
At Oklahoma State, he is currently responsible for research and extension activities involving weed management in summer crops and pastures for the state of Oklahoma. He is based in Ardmore, Oklahoma.
While serving in Oklahoma, Baughman has continuously connected with Texas producers in the Rolling Plains region as a speaker at the Red River Crops Conference and Wichita Falls Ranch, Farm and Hemp Expo. He previously served that region as the AgriLife Extension agronomist in Vernon, where he worked with producers on everything from cotton, wheat and peanuts to soil fertility and cover crops.
Baughman said having already worked within Texas A&M AgriLife and having an understanding of the value both AgriLife Research and AgriLife Extension bring to the state when they work in tandem will be a benefit as he assumes his new position.
“Having participated in statewide programs in both Texas and Oklahoma has provided me a different understanding of agriculture and I believe bringing those experiences will be advantageous in Lubbock,” he said. “I’m very excited to be able to work with the outstanding faculty located at the center and being able to help them achieve their goals.”
Baughman, a native of Cache, Oklahoma, earned his doctorate in weed science from Mississippi State University, and his master’s and bachelor’s degrees in agronomy from Oklahoma State University.
He is currently president of the Southern Weed Science Society, a member of the Weed Science Society of America and an American Peanut Research and Education Society Fellow. He recently served as co-chair of the joint Southern Weed Science Society and Weed Science Society of America meeting in San Antonio.