The West Texas Agricultural Chemicals (WTACI) Institute honored two individuals for their contribution to agriculture at its 67th annual meeting in September: one through his chemical business; and the other as an Integrated Pest Management (IPM) agent.
Tommy Doederlein received WTACI’s Institutional Award, which is given to a person representing a state, federal or private agency or an institution of higher education. Prior to being an agronomist for Aurora Co-op, Doederlein spent the bulk of his career as the IPM agent for Lynn and Dawson counties. WTACI Board of Director member Eric Williams acknowledged many of Doederlein’s “firsts” on the Texas High Plains:
- First to plant FiberMax and Bollgard cotton
- One of the first to start plant-mapping cotton
- First to detect the boll weevil and sugarcane aphid overwintering
Williams also credited Doederlein for conducting the state’s largest known soil sampling program, according to the Texas A&M Extension Soil, Water and Forage Testing Lab.
The Commercial Award was presented to Larry Yowell of Larry’s Chemical & Spraying, at Brownfield. This award is presented to a person directly employed in the industry. Yowell owned and operated Larry’s Chemical for 40 years.
Yowell was described as “a staple” of the ag business. Williams said of him, “One farmer commented, ‘I never had to know anything about seed or chemicals or what would work on my particular land, all I needed to know was Larry's phone number. He knew what I needed.’”
While Yowell sold Larry’s Chemical in 2016 to Crop Production Services, now owned by Nutrien Ag Solutions, he continues to manage the business as it transitions to new ownership. Williams said he will step aside in December.
Also recognized for their service, were 2018 WTACI President Trent Murphree and current President Dr. Katie Lewis.