WESLACO – Dr. Juan Landivar, resident director of the Texas AgriLife Research and Extension Center at Corpus Christi, has been named director of the agency’s center in Weslaco, according to Dr. Craig Nessler, Texas AgriLife Research director.
Nessler said Landivar will serve jointly as director of both regional centers. Landivar has been director of the Corpus Christi research facility since June 2008.
Landivar was appointed to serve Weslaco upon the appointment of its previous administrator, Dr. Michael Gould, as director of strategic initiatives for AgriLife Research. Both positions are effective Sept. 1.
Gould will serve in the new position jointly with his current position as director for the Texas AgriLife Research and Extension Center in Dallas, Nessler said.
“At Corpus Christi, Landivar has promoted the development of multidisciplinary teams in algae production for biofuels and value-added co-products,” Nessler noted. “He has also led scientists in the development of shrimp production systems, drought-tolerant crop response, reducing the impact of root rot in cotton and studying management systems for South Texas forage crops.”
Landivar also is credited with developing “an effective grants and contract program for the unit,” Nessler noted, as well as promoting the participation of graduate students in research programs and the transfer of technology developed by AgriLife Research to stakeholders.
His leadership at Corpus Christi includes the mariculture laboratories at Port Aransas and Flour Bluff and the livestock research station at Beeville.
“I look forward to the opportunity to link resources and research talents available at the Corpus Christi and Weslaco centers to bring exciting research and economic development opportunities to the South Texas region and beyond,” Landivar said of his added appointment.
The Santa Cruz, Bolivia native earned a bachelor’s degree in crop science in 1976, a master’s degree in plant genetics in 1979 and doctorate in crop physiology in 1987, all from Mississippi State University.
In 1988, Landivar joined the Texas A&M System as a cropping systems expert at the Corpus Christi center. There he developed “a progressive research program dedicated to the development of cropping systems for South Texas,” Nessler noted. “He also developed multidisciplinary teams for the transfer of technology to producers through consultants, and Texas AgriLife Extension Service specialists and county agents.”
Landivar is especially known for developing management strategies for the use of growth regulators in cotton and for helping to develop a Crop Weather Station Network with simulation models and management tools for cotton and sorghum farmers.
In 1998, Landivar joined Delta and Pine Land Co. as director of research and technical services for Latin America. There he launched transgenic cultivars in Latin American cotton markets. Before returning to Corpus Christi, Landivar was named vice-president of the company’s board of directors’ joint ventures in Brazil.