WT Alumnus Joins Faculty, Named Hawkins Chair in Cow-Calf Management

March 4, 2019

CONTACT: Dr. Lance Kieth, 806-651-2556, lkieth@wtamu.edu

COPY BY: Rana McDonald, 806-651-2129, rmcdonald@wtamu.edu

WT Alumnus Joins Faculty, Named Hawkins Chair in Cow-Calf Management

CANYON, Texas—Officials in the Department of Agricultural Sciences at West Texas A&M University have named new associate professor of animal science, Dr. Tommy Perkins, as the Dean Hawkins Chair in Cow-Calf Management. Perkins, a WTAMU alumnus, was named to the endowed chair position in recognition of his outstanding accomplishments and expertise in the cattle industry. He joins the WTAMU faculty on March 18.

The Dean Hawkins Chair in Cow-Calf Management was established in 2013 and bears the name of Hawkins, who served as the dean of the Paul Engler College of Agriculture and Natural Sciences until his death in February 2018. The chair was established by an anonymous gift to help WTAMU in supporting the cow-calf and range cattle industry in the Texas Panhandle and surrounding area while recognizing the late dean’s longtime dedication to the Department of Agricultural Sciences.

Perkins’ background in the cattle industry makes him the perfect choice for the position. Since 2013, Perkins has served as executive vice president of the International Brangus Breeders Association, president of Brangus Publications, Inc., and chief executive officer of Genetic Performance Solutions. He has extensive knowledge of breeds, beef production, research, yield factors and issues concerning the industry. His research interests cover a wide spectrum of areas in the industry including ultrasound technology, DNA fingerprinting, in vitro fertilization, ultrasonic sorting of feedlot cattle and synchronization.

“Dr. Tommy Perkins is a world-class agriculturist and is a welcomed addition to our team, “ Dr. Lance Kieth, head of the Department of Agricultural Sciences, said. “He brings more than 40 years of experience that ranges from a Panhandle upbringing, studying and graduation from WTAMU, serving as the assistant county agent in Randall County, previous university faculty experience and 10 years of experience in the cow-calf industry. Finding faculty with these types of life and work experiences provides an exceptional opportunity for students, and we are excited that Tommy found us.”

He’s taught at Missouri State University and Southwest Texas State University and served as a research assistant at Texas Tech University. Perkins is the author of numerous articles, abstracts and technical publications, and Kendall/Hunt Publishing Company published his animal science laboratory manual in 2008. He also has shared his expertise though invited presentations across the country and abroad. His membership and service to professional organizations includes National Pedigreed Livestock Council (current director), Beef Improvement Federation (current director), United States Beef Breeds Council (current director, past president), Texas Beef Council (current director), Beef Promotions and Research Council of Texas (current director), American Breeds Coalition (current director), Texas and Southwestern Cattle Raisers Association, American Registry of Professional Animal Scientists, National Cattlemen’s Beef Association and American Society of Animal Science, among others.

Perkins earned a bachelor’s degree in agricultural business and economics (1983) and a master’s in agriculture (1986) from what was then West Texas State University. He received his Ph.D. in 1992 from Texas Tech University in animal science/animal breeding and genetics. Perkins also received his Professional Animal Scientist certification in 2001 from the American Registry of Professional Animal Scientists.

The Dr. Dean Hawkins Chair in Cow-Calf Management is the first endowed chair in the Department of Agricultural Sciences. An endowed chair is a coveted position that brings prestige and distinction to a college discipline while providing faculty support for research and creative work.