AMARILLO – Dr. Jackie Rudd of Amarillo was among the distinguished honorees when Texas A&M University Chancellor John Sharp presented Regents Professor and Fellow Service Awards at a recent banquet in College Station.
Sharp said during the presentation that these awards recognize faculty members and agency professionals who have made outstanding contributions to their university or agency and the people of Texas and beyond.
The Board of Regents established naming of Regents Professors in 1996, later adding the Regents Fellow Service Award to recognize exceptional service by professionals in the seven Texas A&M System agencies in 1998.
Rudd was the recipient of a Regents Fellow Award. To date, 166 faculty members have been named Regents Professors and 96 agency professionals have been named Regents Fellows.
Since arriving at Texas A&M AgriLife Research-Amarillo from South Dakota State University in 2001 as an associate professor of wheat breeding, Rudd has provided extraordinary leadership to the statewide wheat breeding program through varietal development and releases, according to his nomination packet.
He was promoted to professor of wheat breeding at AgriLife Research-Amarillo and in the Texas A&M soil and crop sciences department in 2009, and has developed the vision for the statewide wheat breeding and genetics program.
The first wheat cultivars released under his tenure at AgriLife Research were TAM 111 in 2003 and TAM 112 in 2005. Gaining rapid popularity with wheat producers, these currently are the predominant varieties grown in Texas and western Kansas. Drought tolerance, stripe rust resistance, greenbug resistance, wheat streak mosaic virus tolerance, high yield and excellent bread-making quality are some of the reasons for this high rate of adoption, Rudd said.
The Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service conducted an economic impact study in 2009 and concluded that the adoption of higher yielding wheat varieties resulted in an increase in net returns for growers in Texas to be $20.2 million. Since that study, new varieties that have been licensed and will begin to show adoption in the next few years are TAM 203, TAM 304, TAM 401 and TAM 113.
“He is a distinguished researcher whose success is tied to his ability to fully understand and impact the entire wheat production cycle,” Sharp said during the awards ceremony. “His contributions have been significant in large part because of his adeptness at facilitating the dialog among growers, processors and scientists while keeping consumers in focus.”
Rudd’s representation of the U.S. wheat industry in international forums is another clear indicator that he represents the highest level of expertise in his field, Sharp said.
Rudd earned his bachelor’s degree from Tarleton State University, his master’s from the University of Arkansas and his doctorate from Kansas State University.
He was named the Texas Wheat Producers Board and Association “2010 Wheat Man of the Year” at the 2010 Commodity Symposium and the TAM varieties were recognized for being the highest quality wheat in 2007 with the Wheat Quality Council “Best of Show” award.