Dr. Ty Lawrence awarded for leadership

Dr. Ty Lawrence received the 40 Under 40 Agriculture Award. Photo Courtesy of Rana McDonald.

Dr. Ty Lawrence received the 40 Under 40 Agriculture Award. Photo Courtesy of Rana McDonald.

Dr. Ty Lawrence, associate professor of Animal Science, has been named to Vance Publishing Corporation’s inaugural 40 Under 40 in Agriculture Awards.

Lawrence, who joined the Department of Agricultural Sciences at WTAMU in July 2004, was one of 200 nominations that were submitted for their leadership and commitment in advancing the cause to double food production by 2050.

“[The nomination is] very humbling,” Lawrence said.  “I feel it’s reflective not so much on me, but on the program and the students that I’ve been able to attract and retain in the Meat Science program over the last nine years.  It’s as much a reflection on the students as it is on me.”

Lawrence said the common theme among the people named on the 40 Under 40 list is their passion for agriculture, regardless of their specification.

“I don’t know everyone on that list, but I do know three people and I guarantee you they have the same passion I do,” Lawrence said.  “They are working tirelessly: 16, 18, 20 hours a day figuring out, ‘How do we make more food?  How to we make it better?  How to we make it safer?  How to we make it more available to the masses?’”

Dr. John Pipkin, professor of Animal Science, is in his 20th year teaching at WT and he taught Lawrence when he was obtaining his undergraduate and graduate degrees at the university.  Pipkin said the one trait that has stood out with Lawrence since he was a freshman is his consistency.

“I have great respect for him as a colleague,” Pipkin said.  “He is recognized not only as an excellent teacher, but he is also recognized as being a quality researcher and being an academician that is connected with the industry.  To have a combination of those three is really unique.”

Pipkin said Lawrence’s practical experience in the industry as an executive prior to becoming a professor at WT has served his students well and he has been able to keep his perspective of both his research and his service to the industry on the right track.

Dr. Mallory Vestal, assistant professor of Agricultural Business and Economics, began teaching at WT last fall and said Lawrence is a good role model for new faculty to follow because of his research and the continued success of his students.

“He excels in the classroom teaching,” Vestal said. “Students really enjoy his classes and learn a lot from him and his students are able to take that and go out and be successful and be leaders.  When you’re taught by a leader, you become a leader because you see what it takes. You see how to do it and how to be good at it.”

Ten years from now, Lawrence said he plans to be doing the exact same thing he is doing now and while that is good news to Vestal, she said it is not a surprise.

“He has such a passion for what he does here,” Vestal said.  “He could be anywhere, but he is where he wants to be.  He did his undergrad and his master’s at WT before going to K-State, so he is a Wildcat, but at his core he is a Buff.”