As a land-grant university, our nation looks to its leaders like Texas A&M University’s College of Agriculture and Life Sciences to solve many of the world’s complex problems. Through education, research and extension, our faculty, staff, and students are actively addressing these grand challenges – feeding out world, protecting our environment, improving our health, enriching our youth, and growing our economy. The following are only a small sample of the College’s many impacts in solving some of our society’s toughest issues.

Feeding Our World | Protecting Our Environment | Improving Our Health | Enriching Our Youth | Growing Our Economy

wheatFeeding Our World

  • Our world-renowned Wheat and Small Grains Breeding Program, led by Drs. Amir Ibrahim and Jackie Rudd, is responsible for developing TAM 111, the most widely grown hard red winter wheat cultivar in the United States.
  • The Borlaug Institute for International Agriculture is expanding food processing capabilities in Guatemala by promoting improved agricultural methods and technologies as well as providing farmer extension educational opportunities.
  • Our new apiculture program, led by Dr. Juliana Rangel, is combating the declining honey bee populations by focusing on the reproductive biology of honey bee queens and drones.

Protecting Our Environment

  • Dr. Bruce McCarl, a Nobel-Prize winning faculty member, leads research on potential effects of climate change, which focuses on ways to limit greenhouse gas emissions.
  • Several researchers in the department of ecosystem science and management have teamed with PINEMAP, a $20 million USDA project, to protect southern pine forests.
  •  In Botswana, Dr. Amanda Stronza and the Ecoexist team help mitigate human-elephant conflict by mapping elephant pathways to water and then adjusting agricultural techniques based on the tracking.

Improving Our Health

  • Dr. Robert Chapkin and his team have developed non-invasive methods to study the impact nutrition has on infants’ intestines.
  • sacchettine-labDr. Libo Shan’s research in plant immunity provide insight into human and animal health, possibly paving the way towards better allergy treatment.
  • Dr. James Sacchettini and his lab have designed and synthesized a novel drug that sensitizes drug-resistant cancer cells in standard chemotherapeutics.

Enriching Our Youth

  • The Sequor Youth Development Initiative, coordinated by Dr. Chris Harrist, provides research and evaluation to improve youth programs and train those working with young people.
  • Faculty throughout the College reach out to youth in the community by participating in statewide programs such as 4-H and FFA as well as summer camps, animal-judging contests, livestock shows, health and nutrition programs, science fairs, and college-readiness programs.
  • The Agricultural and Natural Resources Policy Internship Program prepares 90 students per year to become future policy leaders through internships in Washington, D.C., Austin, Texas and Rome, Italy.

Growing Our Economy

  • Our new Financial Planning Program will allow students that have completed the program requirements the opportunity to sit for the Certified Financial Planner Certification Exam.
  • To extend the life of petroleum oils in the most economically and energy efficient ways possible, Dr. Sandun Fernando has identified a catalyst that allows biomass to be converted into biofuels without using commercially produced hydrogen.
  • By providing credible, science-based information, our Meat Science Program contributes to the formation of viable public policy that impacts over $80 billion in annual retail beef sales in the United States.

Want to share your impact on addressing our grand challenges? Please contact Angel Futrell at 979-458-9761 or

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