Dr. David Baltensperger, head of the department of soil and crop sciences at Texas A&M University in College Station, has been named by Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue to serve on the National Agricultural Research, Extension, Education and Economics Advisory Board.

Baltensperger is one of 10 members named to the Advisory Board. The members will help ensure that the work at the U.S. Department of Agriculture is facts-based, data-driven and customer-focused, Perdue said in the announcement. The board regularly advises the Secretary and land-grant colleges and universities on top national priorities and policies related to food and agriculture.

David Baltensperger
Dr. David Baltensperger, head of the department of soil and crop sciences at Texas A&M University in College Station. (Texas A&M photo)

Each board member represents a specific category of agricultural stakeholders as outlined in the Agricultural Act of 2014. Baltensperger was selected to represent the 1862 Land-Grant Colleges and Universities category. He will serve a three-year appointment.

The board’s main objective is to contribute to effective federal agricultural research, education and economics programs through broad stakeholder feedback and sound science. Board members also perform an annual review of the relevance of research, education, economics and extension programs at USDA and the adequacy of funding for those programs.

Baltensperger has been department head since 2006 and served as interim head of the ecosystem science and management department from 2012 to 2014. During that time, he had administrative responsibilities over approximately 100 faculty on campus and within Texas A&M AgriLife Research and the Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service across the state.

He previously served the agricultural industry as professor at the University of Nebraska from 1989-2006, and as an assistant/associate professor of agronomy at the University of Florida from 1981-1986. He was a visiting scientist at Colorado State University in 1988.

Baltensperger is a member in a number of professional societies, including American Society of Agronomy, Crop Science Society of America, Wheat Industry Resource Council, Society of Range Management, and the American Forage and Grasslands Conference.

He has served on more than a dozen committees within the Crop Science Society and Agronomy Society, as well as served as its president-elect, president and past president. He currently serves as president elect for the Council of Scientific Society Presidents.

For his service to the profession, he has received numerous awards and recognition, including the prestigious Fellow recognition in the Crop Science Society, in the American Society of Agronomy and in the American Association for the Advancement of Science.

In addition, he has been honored with the Texas A&M AgriLife Vice Chancellor’s Award in Excellence for administration and the Norman Borlaug Lifetime Achievement Award from the Texas Plant Protection Association.