Category Archives: Extension News

Entomology Department Helps Youths Practice for 4-H, FFA Judging Contests with Annual Clinic

COLLEGE STATION, Texas—More than 170 members of the Future Farmers of America and 4-H youth programs statewide and their agricultural science teachers, adult leaders and county agents spent a rainy Saturday morning learning about entomology, entomology contests, and testing their insect identification skills in the Heep Center during the Entomology Judging Clinic on Saturday, March 4. The annual half-day clinic is designed to help 4-H and FFA students with skills to collect, prepare, and identify insects, to learn about their biology and relationships to different environments, all in… Read More →

Extension Names Drake, Gonzales as IPM Agents

The Department of Entomology and Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service would like to welcome John David Gonzales and Dr. David Drake as the newest members of the growing statewide integrated pest management group. Gonzales and Drake started their Extension Agent-IPM positions on February 1, with Gonzales serving the Muleshoe area and Drake serving the Commerce area. Gonzales replaced Erin Jones while Drake replaced Dr. Jim Swart after he retired in December 2014. Before joining the Commerce position, Drake worked as an Extension Agronomist for 8 years at the… Read More →

Tomberlin Named AgriLife Research Fellow, Extension Entomology, IPM Agents Receive Superior Service Awards

COLLEGE STATION, Texas—The Department of Entomology has started the New Year off right as it celebrates the recipients of the latest round of awards given at the 2017 Texas A&M AgriLife Conference. The awards were given during the Research and Extension awards presentation on Tuesday in the Memorial Student Center’s Bethancourt Ballroom. Dr. Jeff Tomberlin was honored as a Texas A&M AgriLife Research Faculty Fellow, an honorific title he will keep throughout his tenure at Texas A&M.  This was awarded for his outstanding research in the field of… Read More →

Kerns Named Statewide Integrated Pest Management Coordinator

COLLEGE STATION–The Department of Entomology and Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service would like to welcome Dr. David Kerns to the faculty as Professor and Statewide Integrated Pest Management Coordinator. Kerns started December 1 and is based in College station. Before joining A&M, he was the Jack Hamilton Regents Chair in Cotton Production in the Department of Entomology at Louisiana State University since April 2011 located at Winnsboro at the Macon Ridge Research Center. At LSU, Kerns was responsible for conducting entomological research at Macon Ridge and St. Joseph… Read More →

Educating the public about Zika is now AgriLife Extension’s ‘priority-one’

COLLEGE STATION – Educating the public to protect themselves from Zika has become “priority one” for the Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service, a state leader said. AgriLife Extension is tasked with educating the public on a great number of topics for all ages, but in a bold unprecedented move, the agency has harnessed its statewide presence to prepare the public against this ever-increasing threat, said Dr. Susan Ballabina, executive associate director, College Station. “As I expect most Texans are aware, the Zika virus — spread mainly by the A. aegypti and A…. Read More →

Department Welcomes Joel Webb As New Extension Agent-IPM

The Department of Entomology and the Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service would like to welcome Mr. Joel Webb as the new Extension Agent-IPM for the area covering Tom Green and Runnels Counties. Webb joined the IPM Program on June 1 where he replaced the position that was formerly held by Rick Minzenmayer who retired in 2015. Before joining Extension, Webb worked for three years as a Research Associate in Weed Science and Crop Systems and 3 years as a Research Technician in the Vegetable Department at the Texas… Read More →

AgriLife Extension experts inform Texans on protecting from Zika, other mosquito-borne diseases

By: Paul Schattenberg and Steve Byrns, Texas A&M AgriLife Communications SAN ANTONIO – Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service entomologists are informing Texans on how to protect themselves from the mosquito vectors that spread Zika and other diseases. “The ongoing outbreak of the Zika virus has spread throughout most of South America, Central America and the Caribbean,” said Sonja Swiger, AgriLife Extension entomologist, Stephenville. “The effects this virus will have on the United States are not entirely known, but experts are concerned about the possibilities.” According to health officials,… Read More →

Multi-state Sugarcane Aphid Team Receives Regional Award for Saving Grain Sorghum Crops

TYLER, Texas–Researchers and Extension specialists from Texas A&M AgriLife Research and Extension and three other states recently received the Friends of IPM Pulling Together Award at the Southwestern Branch of the Entomological Society of America meeting for their actions in saving sorghum crops from the sugarcane aphid. Because of the proactive actions of team members, grain sorghum producers were spared losses in the hundreds of millions. In Texas alone, sorghum is planted on 1.25 million acres and brings a value to the state of $160 million dollars each… Read More →

Department Hires Research, Extension Faculty Members

The Department of Entomology, Texas A&M AgriLife Research and Texas A&M AgriLife Extension would like to welcome Dr. Ismael Badillo-Vargas and Suhas Vyavhare to its faculty roster. Badillo-Vargas will start on February 1 as the newest vector entomologist for the Texas A&M AgriLife Research Center in Weslaco while Vyavhare will start February 1 as an Assistant Professor and Extension Specialist at the Texas A&M AgriLife Research and Extension Center in Lubbock. Badillo-Vargas was born and raised in Puerto Rico and graduated from the University of Puerto Rico –… Read More →

Extension Bug Banquet makes a unique culinary experience

by Paul Schattenberg, Texas A&M AgriLife Communications SAN ANTONIO – An Australian man made national news recently and was dubbed “Ant Man” after surviving for almost a week in the unforgiving outback by eating ants – something he had seen survival expert Bear Grylls do on television. While such a tale is unusual, entomophagy or the eating of insects for food goes back tens of thousands of years and continues today, said Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service entomologist Molly Keck for Bexar County. “People in the United States… Read More →