Officials from The Texas A&M University System, TAMUS, announced a Chancellor’s Research Initiative, or CRI, between two agency members – West Texas A&M University and Texas A&M AgriLife on May 23 in West Texas A&M’s Legacy Hall.

Texas A&M AgriLife’s commitment will involve both Texas A&M AgriLife Research and the Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service.

With the economic value of the Texas Panhandle doubling in the last 20 years, the university system created the CRI to bring together human resources to secure the sustainability of the region through efficient water irrigation and agricultural methods.

The initiative focuses on building a new body of research to investigate the use of the Ogallala Aquifer and develop engineering systems for the inevitable depletion of those water resources. Currently, the region produces $5.7 billion of agricultural products annually and supports 51,590 jobs in the local agribusiness sector.

The initiative includes $1 million from CRI funds to assist West Texas A&M and Texas A&M AgriLife in leveraging current water-optimized agriculture resources and to purchase laboratory and field equipment to build a water engineering program for graduate students, research associates and recruited scientists and engineers.

Read more in the AgriLife Today article.