James Wedel’s alarm goes off at 5 A.M. Grabbing a cup of coffee and a newspaper he gets ready to begin his day. However, instead of donning his traditional jeans and work boots, today he will put on his suit and tie to trek the halls of the U.S. Congress in Washington D.C. on behalf of Texas agriculture. Over the next four days, he will face a grueling schedule of back-to-back meetings for 10 to 12 straight hours. Wedel will walk countless miles on the Hill before his job is done, but when it is over his testimony will help shape American agricultural policy for future generations.

In the Department of Agricultural Education and Communications at Texas Tech University, the students are many. Some have followed in their parents’ and even their grandparents’ footsteps to take their knowledge of the agricultural industry to the next level. Mary Lou Flom has been a vital part of the intellectual growth of these young minds for 40 years, working behind the scenes in the department as the administrative business assistant.

Freshmen attending orientation at Texas Tech University are separated according to college for advising. Students from various colleges walk into the advising office to learn what classes they need to register for before they are sent out on their own to complete the task of registration. Most students meet with someone who works in an office year-round. There is one college on campus, however, that does things a little differently than others.

Every great work of art is the product of a unique process. The famous Mona Lisa by Leonardo da Vinci is made up of at least 30 separate layers of paint, 86 changes were made to Thomas Jefferson’s initial draft of the Declaration of Independence before finalizing it, and Lubbock’s finest bronze sculpture artist, Garland Weeks, uses an eight-step process for each of his masterpieces. Weeks’ masterpieces consist of more than just his sculptures, but also his lifelong legacy.

Before taking the agricultural publications course, Murph worked in the CASNR Development and Alumni Relations office as a student assistant, where she currently works today, while also focusing on her studies.
Murph said she believes she was chosen as graphics editor for The Agriculturist because of her work experience.
“I really am thankful for the experience I got in that class,” Murph said. “I was able to learn a bit more than just the news writing side of things, which is all I had in my background. This took my writing to the next level.”

Texas is known for a variety of foods and their large, flavorful portions. Barbecue is a classic choice for many who reside in the great state and for some it is a source of pride. So, just any barbecue is not enough. The barbecue must be cooked to perfection by an indirect smoking method and be equipped with the perfect rub and sauce. A team of BBQ specialists in Lubbock, Texas, are working to deliver the best BBQ around.

In an effort to develop advocates and future leaders for the sorghum industry, the United Sorghum Checkoff Program created the Leadership Sorghum program. The program exposes sorghum farmers from across the nation to the issues impacting the industry at the local, state and national levels. Shelee Padgett, regional director for Sorghum Checkoff, has played a key role in the development of the program.

The Bayer Museum of Agriculture has changed the way agriculture groups are meeting in Lubbock and the South Plains area. The Plains Cotton Growers Conference Center was made possible with funding from its namesake. The cotton organization felt like the Lubbock and South Plains areas needed a meeting center that caters to the agriculture industry, Mary-Jane Buerkle, PCG director of communications said. Since opening day in the fall of 2014, the center has on average 100 events annually.  Kirby Phillips, event planner for the Bayer Museum of Agriculture, said in five years she hopes to be at over 365 events a year.

In a never-before-seen addition to the curriculum of the Department of Plant and Soil Sciences at Texas Tech University, students will have the opportunity to study the trending local food and wine industry from the heart of the Texas Hill Country. The Department of Plant and Soil Sciences at Texas Tech University named the Illinois native, Ed Hellman, Ph.D., for a full professorship based in Fredericksburg.