LUBBOCK – Dr. Randal “Randy” Boman, longtime Texas AgriLife Extension Service cotton agronomist at Lubbock, is heading home to Oklahoma.
Effective March 1, he’ll become the new research director and cotton Extension program leader with the department of plant and soil sciences at Oklahoma State University. He’ll be headquartered at Altus directing mostly cotton work, but will also deal with other agronomic crops at the Southwest Oklahoma Research and Extension Center.
Boman has spent the past 14 years leading AgriLife Extension’s cotton education and applied research programs across 30 Texas High Plains counties, but he said now it’s time to move on to new challenges.
“A lot of people have asked me why I’m changing jobs,” Boman said. “The answer is that my new job is very close to my home. I believe it’s an excellent position and it’s going to continue to provide me with challenges.
“Oklahoma doesn’t have a lot of cotton acres, but certainly they still have all the same issues that we have here in Texas,” he said. “Producers there are as inquisitive and many times, just as progressive as those here in West Texas. They do have their own set of problems, and I plan to address those in a scientific and timely manner as I have been doing here at Lubbock for Texas producers.”
Boman said he is proud of his work with Texas producers, the industry, AgriLife Extension county agents and AgriLife Extension integrated pest management agents.
“During the time I’ve been here in Lubbock, we’ve gone from the cotton fiber quality doldrums we saw back in the late 1990′s to the remarkable increase in quality in terms of staple, strength, uniformity and color grades we see today.”
Boman has worked extensively with AgriLife Extension agents on large test plots planted on many growers’ farms. He said the resulting highly reliable cotton variety and fiber test data helps producers make the proper variety selection leading to the outstanding cotton being produced today.
“When growers see the tests conducted on their own farms and participate in the work, they put a lot more stock in the data,” he said. “We work with the industry to identify varieties that might fit in various locations and environments. Then it’s been my job to put on that striped shirt and referee the data in such a way that producers get the answers they need.
“It’s just good solid Extension work. It’s the same strategy the agency has used successfully for the past century, but it works, and it’s what’s needed to help producers make those successful profit-making decisions.”
Boman holds three degrees from Oklahoma State University; a bachelor’s and master’s in agronomy, and a Ph.D. in soil science.
Before accepting the position at Lubbock in March of 1997, he worked for Oklahoma’s Noble Foundation as a soil fertility and crops specialist at Ardmore, Okla.; for AgriLife Extension as an agronomist for District 3 at Vernon; as a senior agriculturist at Oklahoma State University’s department of agronomy at Stillwater; and as assistant superintendent with Oklahoma State University’s Southwest Research and Extension Center at Altus, Okla.
Boman has served in many industry roles through the years and has been honored with a number of awards and recognitions ranging from academic and community-level recognitions to honors from within AgriLife Extension and the cotton industry.
“It’s been quite a ride,” Boman said. “It’s been a very rewarding and challenging 14 years. I think the cotton industry has a lot of potential in terms of the new transgenic traits that are coming out. Who knows where we’re going to be in 10 years. I think that if 10 years ago anybody would have asked the High Plains cotton clientele to make a prediction about the future, they’d never have dreamed we’d be this far down the road.”