BALLINGER – A Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service entomologist was recently honored with the Texas Cotton Producer’s 2012 Outstanding Educator in Cotton Award.
The honor was presented to Rick Minzenmayer, AgriLife Extension entomologist for Runnels/Tom Green counties, by Doyle Schniers, a Southern Rolling Plains cotton producer from San Angelo. Schniers currently serves as the president of the Texas Cotton Producers Association. The presentation was made during a cotton field day attended by some 120 producers, agribusiness representatives and agency personnel.
“The Texas Cotton Producers are strong supporters of AgriLife Extension’s educational efforts and created this honor as a way of recognizing those individuals who have made major contributions to the state’s cotton industry,” said Dr. Gaylon Morgan, AgriLife Extension state cotton specialist at College Station. “This is a statewide award and Rick was chosen from a pool of nominated AgriLife Extension agents from across Texas.”
Marvin Ensor, AgriLife Extension regional programming director at San Angelo, nominated Minzenmayer for the honor.
Ensor said Minzenmayer has served in his current role for 25 years and that the two counties plant more than 250,000 acres of cotton annually. He said the agent was selected because of his devotion to educating cotton producers through his integrated pest management program, his applied research and outreach efforts. Specifically, Minzenmayer has been recognized recently for his work with cotton root rot, a fungus that has stymied Texas producers for more than 125 years, causing cotton crop losses of up to 80 percent in some fields.
“Rick worked closely with Dr. Tom Isakeit, AgriLife Extension plant pathologist at College Station, and other AgriLife Extension personnel to identify a fungicide that could significantly control cotton root rot,” Ensor said. “They found that the active ingredient, flutrialfol, effectively controls the pest. They subsequently petitioned EPA for a Section 18 exemption thus allowing producers to use the product on over 275,000 acres in Texas during the current growing season. This work is potentially the most significant benefit to Texas cotton production since the boll weevil was brought under control several years ago.”
Minzenmayer is the second recipient of the award. Warren Multer, another AgriLife Extension entomologist headquartered at Garden City, was the first.