Rouquette awarded 2017 Distinguished Alumni at Texas A&M-Kingsville

OVERTON – Dr. Monte Rouquette Jr., Texas A&M AgriLife Research forage physiologist, was recently named as a 2017 Distinguished Alumni for Texas A&M University-Kingsville.

Dr. Monte Rouquette, Texas A&M AgriLife Research plant physiologist, Overton. (Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service photo by Adam Russell)

Rouquette, of Fulton, earned his bachelor of science degree in agronomy in 1965, when the university was known as the Texas College of Art and Industries. He earned his master of science in forage cropping systems from Texas Tech University, followed by a doctorate in forage physiology from Texas A&M University. 

He was recognized as one of the first Texas A&M graduates to conduct joint research between the soil and crop sciences and animal science departments toward developing plant-animal relationships to forage quality.

Rouquette took his knowledge to the Texas A&M AgriLife Research and Extension Center at Overton, where he has worked since earning his doctorate in 1970. For the past 47 years, he has focused on the plant-animal interface, specifically working to enhance beef cattle performance through forage management and stocking strategies for sustainable pasture systems. He has conducted both cow-calf and stocker grazing experiments, and has accumulated a database, BeefSys, that details animal performance from birth-to-harvest.

“For me this is the most prestigious honor I’ve ever received,” he said. “I’ve been honored to work with and be recognized for working on research teams over the years. But it is a great honor, knowing that so few alumni are recognized each year, to be viewed as someone who has gone out into the world and contributed something within my profession that the university believes well-represents the university and the training I received there.”

Among Rouquette’s numerous journal papers, articles and abstracts is a 37-year study on the effects of stocking rates on forage maintenance, ecotype diversity and soil nutrient cycling.

Rouquette has served on numerous research teams and received many awards, including a Texas A&M University System Regents Fellow, Distinguished Service Award from the American Society of Animal Science-Southern Section, a Crop Science Society of America Fellow, and an American Society of Agronomy Fellow.

He also received the TAMU Vice-Chancellor’s Awards in Excellence for Off Campus Research, Team Research for Novice Grazing Workshop, Team Research with Forage Legumes, Team Research with Forage Ryegrass and the Team Research with Beef Supplementation.

Rouquette was also the recipient of the Soil and Crop Science Department Award for Research and the American Society of Agronomy, Southern Section, Career Award in Research.

In addition to his research, Rouquette has served on the committees of 65 graduate students and several interns, and by providing mentorship to four soil and crop sciences faculty members.

Texas A&M-Kingsville president Steven Tallant congratulated Rouquette for joining the list of 85 former students recognized over the last 92 years.

“The Distinguished Alumni Award recognizes our graduates who have brought special honor to the university through their professional and civic accomplishments, and their service and support to the university,” Tallant said.

Rouquette is being honored by the Javelina alumni for these accomplishments and for his contributions while still a student, according to the nomination. He was a member of the Javelina football team and served as an officer in the T Association as a football letterman. He was also an officer of the senior class, Aggie Club and Sigma Rho fraternity.

“To me, it’s a lifetime achievement award,” he said. “I am thankful the university recognized me for making some distinction in life and throughout my career that made a positive, credible impact for Texas A&M University-Kingsville.”

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