Texas Corn Producers Board (TCPB) recently recognized Jourdan Bell, a regional research and extension agronomist for Texas A&M AgriLife Research, as its 2021 Outstanding Specialist for her dedication to her research that benefits corn production in the state.
Bell has focused her research on the relationships of soil, plants and water, and finding sustainable ways to conserve natural resources.
Growing up in a farming and ranching family in the Amarillo area, Bell always knew the importance of water to the agricultural industry – especially to the Panhandle region. This led her to pursue an undergraduate degree in general agriculture and a master’s in plant, soil, and environmental science from West Texas A&M University. In 2007, she went back to school to work on a doctorate in soil science from Texas A&M University.
Seven years later, Bell made her way back to Amarillo where she began work in her current position at AgriLife Research.
Today, her work is focused on the water issues that farmers suffer from in the Panhandle, such as limited rainfall and limited underground water resources. When West Texas suffered from the 2011 drought, Bell learned about the damage brought to crops from environmental stresses and knew that her research needed to be dedicated to helping farmers avoid these troubles again.
She has turned her attention and research to primarily focus on water storage in the soil and minimizing the evaporation of the water. Bell said that focusing on conserving water for future generations is just as important as conserving water for current day usage.
Her research helps sustain the land for generations to come, while also conserving the most important natural resources.
Bryce White, the producer relations director for TCPB, says he is appreciative of all the work and research that Bell has done for not only farmers, but for the land as well.
“What makes Jourdan’s research so great, is that it applies to current situations,” White said. “She is always anticipating the needs of farmers and taking into account future issues. She takes the time to sit down with them and listen to problems that are arising and offers her help in any way she can.”