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Wheat producers recognize Rudd as "Man of the Year"

Texas breeder is man of the year Better performing wheat varieties Disease resistant gene identified

Texas AgriLife Research wheat breeder Dr. Jackie Rudd was recognized as the 2010 Texas Wheat Man of the Year by the Texas Wheat Producers Board and Association during a reception for the Texas Commodity Symposium on Nov. 30 in Amarillo.

"Dr. Rudd has changed the landscape of the Texas wheat industry and continues to provide new avenues of wheat advancement through his tireless and coordinated research efforts," said Rodney Mosier, Texas Wheat Producers executive vice president.

Rudd is the project leader of the AgriLife Research hard-winter wheat breeding program for the High Plains and Rolling Plains of Texas. His responsibilities include management of the cultivar development project, graduate student training and conducting research relevant to wheat genetic improvement.

Mosier said Rudd was being recognized for leading the way in the development of new, better-performing wheat varieties, including the popular TAM 112, and for being instrumental in identifying genes of insect and disease resistance.

"Most recently, Dr. Rudd's team has announced the identification of a wheat streak resistance gene which could have a major impact on Texas wheat production," he said.

Rudd said, "It is an honor to serve the wheat producers of Texas, and receiving the award is icing on the cake."

A native of Big Spring, Rudd earned a bachelor's degree in agronomy from Tarleton State University and a master's degree in agronomy from the University of Arkansas with emphasis in plant breeding. He earned his doctorate at Kansas State University in agronomy with an emphasis in wheat breeding.

Including his previous work as project leader for spring wheat breeding at South Dakota State University, some of Rudd's major project achievements are the development and release of seven hard red spring wheat cultivars, six hard red winter wheat cultivars and two triticale cultivars.

Rudd came to Amarillo in 2001, and since then his program has released TAM 111, 112, 303, 304, 203, 401 and most recently TAM 113 wheat cultivars. TAM 111 and TAM 112 are the two most popular wheat cultivars in Texas and last year they accounted for 25 percent of the wheat acres harvested, he said.

Rudd is a member of the National Wheat Germplasm Committee and the National Wheat Improvement Committee and serves on the board of trustees of the Wheat Quality Council.

"It is obvious from working with Dr. Rudd that he loves what he does and he always puts the focus of his research on advancing wheat germplasm with producers in mind," Mosier said. "He honestly has his finger on the pulse of modern wheat production and, through his research and educational efforts, has advanced Texas wheat in more ways than can be counted."

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