Dennis Coker, Ph.D., has been hired as the new Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service agronomy agent for Dallam, Hartley, Sherman and Moore counties, effective Jan. 2.
In this new position, Coker will focus on planning, implementing and evaluating AgriLife Extension programs that relate to agronomic issues, including crop production decisions and management, water conservation and efficiency, pest issues and emerging needs, and risk management associated with crop production.
“The value of agriculture production in this four-county area led to the establishment of this new position,” said Brandon Dukes, AgriLife Extension district administrator, Amarillo. “We are very excited to have Dr. Coker join the North Region team. His experience will be vital to the success of this new Extension agronomy position.”
Coker will work with AgriLife Extension personnel, including district, regional and state specialists as well as agriculture and natural resources county agents and integrated pest management agents, when planning and implementing educational programs.
“I look forward to working with other agents, AgriLife Extension and Texas A&M AgriLife Research personnel and others in the agriculture community to generate relevant, unbiased information that the growers need,” Coker said. “This is a great opportunity to further contribute to Extension goals through the use of my farming background, education and experience.
“I want to encourage the adoption of conservation practices in the areas of water, soil and pest management that have validated potential to improve grower profitability and environmental benefits,” he said.
A native of Granger, Coker has worked for the past 13 years as an AgriLife Extension program specialist in soil fertility in College Station. He spent much of his time planning, installing and managing field studies on soil fertility management of cotton, corn, grain sorghum, wheat, alfalfa, Bermuda grass and cover crops in no-till and conventional tillage systems.
Prior to moving to Texas, Coker was a research scientist at Virginia Tech-Tidewater in Suffolk, Virginia, and a research specialist at the University of Arkansas in Fayetteville. He also has experience managing a 180-cow dairy, working with fertilizer companies and serving as a research technician with Texas A&M in Stephenville and Corpus Christi.
He also is a longtime member of the American Society of Agronomy, the Soil Science Society of America and the Crop Science Society of America.
“I like this part of Texas, with the diversity of crop production and the challenges they offer,” Coker said. “I enjoy communicating with growers and will make informational resources available that can help them improve their management and profitability.”