Texas A&M University Press

AgriLife Research and Extension Service Series

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AgriLife Research and Extension Service Series

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Guide to Texas Grasses

Robert B. Shaw; Photographs by Paul Montgomery and Robert B. Shaw

In this new, complete Guide to Texas Grasses, Robert B. Shaw and the team at the Texas A&M University Institute of Renewable Natural Resources provide an indispensable reference to the world’s most economically important plant family. After discussing the impact of grass on our everyday lives as food, biofuels, land restoration, erosion control, and water become ever more urgent issues worldwide—the book then provides:a description of the structure of the grass plant;details of the classification and distribution of Texas grasses;brief species accounts;distributional maps;color photographs;plus black-and-white drawings of 670 grass species—native, introduced, and ornamental. Scientific keys help identify the grasses to group, genera, and species, and an alphabetized checklist includes information on: origin (native or introduced); longevity (annual or perennial);growth season (cool or warm season); endangered status;and occurrence (by ecological zone). A glossary, literature citations, and a quick index to genera round out the book. Guide to Texas Grasses is a comprehensive treatment of Texas grasses meant to assist students, botanists, ecologists, agronomists, range scientists, naturalists, researchers, extension agents, and others who work with or are interested in these important plants.

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Texas Peach Handbook

By Jim Kamas and Larry Stein

An up-to-date guide for commercial and residential peach growers . . .   With an estimated one million trees producing almost fifty million pounds of fruit per year, Texas is a leading producer of peaches, and several popular seasonal festivals highlight the widespread enjoyment of and interest in this delicious, versatile fruit. In addition, a recent rise of interest in edible gardens and home fruit production has led more people to think about planting a peach tree in the yard—or paying closer attention to the one they already have.    Jim Kamas and Larry Stein, drawing from their many years of experience and the best current research, provide authoritative advice for those who want to improve peach production, whether in a large commercial orchard or on a single tree in the back yard. With discussions ranging from site selection to marketing ideas, Texas Peach Handbook covers the basics of peach cultivation—planting, pruning, fertilizing, watering, protecting, thinning, harvesting—and gives both instruction on disease and insect control and advice on the financial aspects of the peach business. The authors also direct readers to other, more detailed or technical sources, for those who want to learn more about a given topic.   For its useful information and expert guidance, this how-to handbook will prove indispensable for anyone who grows, or wants to grow, peaches.

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Texas Tomato Lover's Handbook

William D. Adams; Photographs by William D. Adams and Deborah J. Adams

Perhaps no vegetable makes the mouth water in anticipation more than the perfect tomato--slices sprinkled with salt and pepper or lapped over a burger; sweet cherry tomatoes in a salad; fresh tomato sauce over pasta; tomato soup; tomato salsa. Tired of half-green, hard-but-mushy, store-bought tomatoes, an increasing number of people would like to grow their own. But as anyone who has ever stuck a seedling into the ground anticipating a bush full of luscious homegrown tomatoes in a couple of months knows, it isn’t that easy. Tomatoes require a gardener’s knowledge and attention, and in this handbook William Adams has provided a complete, step-by-step guide to success in the tomato patch. Drawing on more than thirty years of experience, Adams takes readers through the basics of soil preparation, planting, feeding, caging, and watering. He lists the pros and cons of standard, hybrid, heirloom, and cherry varieties, sharing tips about old favorites and suggesting new varieties. After the tomatoes are chosen, planted, and thriving under his tutelage, Adams prepares growers for the insects, diseases, and other visitors they are likely to encounter, warning that “gardeners are not the only ones that love tomatoes.” Once readers are armed to meet these challenges, Adams ends by offering a few words about “tomato kin folk” (peppers, eggplants, tomatillos, and potatoes) and a source list of selected suppliers. With patience, humor, and his own excellent photographs, Adams brings to this manuscript all he has learned about tomatoes in Texas to help ensure that the rest of us have a bumper crop.       

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Together We Can

Pathways to Collective Leadership in Agriculture at Texas A&M

Edward A. Hiler and Steven L. Bosserman

Together We Can recounts effective strategies for institutional change and focuses on collective leadership within the land-grant university system, with reflections on Hiler’s long and successful career in academic leadership, both at Texas A&M University and within the larger Texas A&M System. Although many books discuss leadership and organizational change in the private sector, there are relatively few dealing with public-sector entities—especially public land-grant universities and academic agencies—and none on collective leadership, the standard for highly collaborative and interdependent groups and individuals. Hiler draws on more than four decades of academic leadership experiences and personal anecdotes to recount the history of the land-grant system and Texas’ place in it. He also distills collective leadership “principles-in-action” that he believes should sustain such institutions, including Texas A&M, in the future, articulating an unwavering argument that the land-grant mission, through teaching, research, and outreach through extension, remains the single most powerful educational force within our society to equip citizens with the means to adapt to create meaningful opportunities, improve quality of life, and keep the world on a sustainable course amid uncertain times. Bosserman then places Hiler’s reflections in the context of institutional change strategies and situational leadership styles to establish a “do-it-yourself tool kit” that includes effective leadership, collaboration, and mentorship approaches and techniques for those who strive to make a positive impact in their organizations, regardless of their starting point.  

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