Corn drawing



Publications/ Presentations



Field Program

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Program History




Texas AgriLife research (formally the Texas Agricultural Experiment Station) began a hybrid corn breeding program in College Station, Texas in 1927 (Bulletin 746 - "Corn Production in Texas" - 1952) under direction of P. C. Mangelsdorf.

However as early as 1894 corn varieties from across the the United States were being tested in College Station by Mr. J. H. Ferguson (Bulletin No. 34- "Corn Production in Texas" - 1952).


Since that time there have been multiple maize breeders at Texas A&M University. Here we honor the work that was done previously by others in these areas. More to come as we continue to go through and clean out old files.



2008- present
Dr. Seth C. Murray

Kerry Mayfield

Kerry was a research associate and PhD student when Dr. Betran left. Kerry managed the program and created a large amount of new genetic varaiation. When Kerry graduated in 2010 he took a job with Triumph Seed company in Lubbock Texas. To learn more about Kerry, please see the Alumni page.

Quantitative Genetics and Maize Breeding
Dr. F. Javier Betran

Most of the finished (and unfinished) material in the program was begun under Dr. Betran's Tenure. Prior to coming to TAMU Dr. Betran was at CIMMYT in Mexico, where much of the initial germplasm - used to create Texas adapted lines - originated from.

In addition to continuing and expanding on Dr. Bockholt's work on QPM, Dr. Betran developed many elite improved Texas inbreds with specialty traits improved in the areas of aflatoxin resistance, blue maize, and red maize.

Hopefully we can find some more photos of Dr. Betran to include on this site.

Dr. Betran is now working for Syngenta in Europe.

19XX-Jan 31. 1997
Quantitative Genetics
Dr. James D. Smith

J.D. Smith photo

Photo on left - "1955"
Photo on top right- "Lake Hybrid"

"Born on a paulina, Iowa farm, J.D. Smith moved to Ames as an infant and resided there through graduate school. He received a B.S. (1950), M.S. and Ph.D. degrees from Iowa State University, all in genetics, and served in the U.S. Army in the Korean War. He joined the faculty of Texas A&M University in January 1959 as an assistant professor with teaching responsibilities and a research appointment with the Texas Agricultural Experiment Station. Class assignments have included plant genetics, maize genetics, population genetics, cytogenetics, physiology and others.

Smith served as section leader of the Genetics faculty of his department for 18 years and was elected a charter member of the Texas A&M University Faculty Senate. He has been a major professor for 65 graduate students from around the world and has been a member of nearly 600 other graduate student committees. In 1985 he received the college of Agriculture Teaching Excellence Award presented by the Association of Former Students. In 1996 he was recognized by Gamma Sigma Delta as a founding member 30 years earlier and received an Award of Merit. He is the author or coauthor of numerous scientific journal articles.

he and his wife, Edna (a communications specialist with the Texas Agricultural Extension Service), have two children, Scott, a fisheries biologist in Virginia, and Shannon, an assistant professor of history at Oregon State University."

- From 1997 Retirement Pamphlet

19XX-Jan 31. 1997
Maize Breeding
Dr. Anton John Bockholt


"Anton J. "Tony" Bockkholt was born in Westphalia, Texas on September 23, 1930. In 1935 he moved with his family to the Corpus Christi area where he was reared on a cotton, grain sorghum, and corn farm. he graduated from Robstown High School in 1948. In September of 1948, he came to Texas A&M where he majored in Agronomy and received his B.S. degree in Agriculture in May, 1952. Tony received his M.S. degree in Agronomy from Texas A&M in 1957 and his Ph.D. in Plant Breeding from Texas A&M in 1967.

Tony's career with Texas A&M included a joint teaching and research appointment. In addition to teaching Agronomy 105 and Agronomy 601 and carrying out research responsibilities in corn improvement, he supervised numerous graduate students. Tony has an extensive program underway to develop high lysine corns with a hard vitreous endosperm known as quality protein maize (QPM). The nutritionally improved materials are highly sought by the the Snack and Mexican food industry and swine feeders. Since 1962, Tony has released 11 corn hybrids, 26 inbreds and 8 composites. Four new yellow and 6 new white inbreds, and a white QPM are being proposed for release.

Tony and his wife Virginia are the proud parents of two daughters, Ginny and Christy. Ginny married Mike Bodman and they have 3 sons, Paul, Mark and Robert. Christy married Gary Wittie and they have two daughters, Jane and Kathryn and a son, Todd."

- From 1997 Retirement Pamphlet

19XX-Jan 31. 1997
Maize Breeding
Frank Foit

Frank, living in Snook, still comes by to visit and show off the results of his latest hunting expedition. He was instrumental in developing many of the lines that came out of Dr. Bockholts programs.


Color photo of smith and bockholt

On Back: "Mike Forrester, Leon Synatschk, Tony Bockholt, J.D. Smith"

Retirement program







19XX-Jan 31. 1997
Maize Breeding
Frank Foit

Frank, living in Snook, still comes by to visit and show off the results of his latest hunting expedition. He was instrumental in developing many of the lines that came out of Dr. Bockholts programs.




19XX - May 1939 - 19XX

Paul Christoph Mangelsdorf (Agronomist and Assistant Director of The Texas Agricultural Experiment Station)
R.G. Reeves (Professor of Biology)

Dr. Mangelsdorf, who went on to write many important articles and books on the origin of maize, was a member of the National Acadamy of Sciences and ended his career as a professor of Natural History at Harvard did his early work on tripsicum and teosintes at Texas A&M. He wrote, along with R.G. Reeves, "The Origin of Indian Corn and its Relatives" while at Texas A&M University. I suppose we likely have some of his fieldbooks laying around here somewhere...? Any other history would be greatly appreciated.

Texas Corn Publications

1891 - Curtis, George Washington. 1891. Corn fodder. 9 pg
1929 - Mangelsdorf, Paul Christoph. 1929. Corn Varieties in Texas : Their Regional and Seasonal Adaptation. 74pg
1939 - Mangelsdorf, Paul Christoph and Robert Gatlin Reeves. 1939. The Origin of Indian Corn and its Relatives. 315pp book
1950 - Rogers, John Sinclair. 1950. Fertility Relationships in Maize-Teosinte Hybrids. 18pg
1952 - Collier, Jesse Wilton. 1952. The influence of testers and fertility levels in the evaluation of inbred lines of corn. thesis
1952 - Collier, Jesse Wilton, John Sinclair Rogers. 1952. Corn Production in Texas. 76pg
1953 - Robert Gatlin Reeves. 1953. Comparative Morphology of the American Maydeae. 26pg
1954 - Rogers, John Sinclair, T.E. McAfee. 1954. Corn Hybrids for Texas. 10pg
1957 - Rogers, John Sinclair, Anton John Bockholt, Jesse Wilton Collier. 1957. Corn Hybrids for Texas. 12pg
1958 - Bockholt, Anton John. 1958. The evaluation of different maturity corn hybrids and plant populations under irrigation and dryland on two contrasting soil types. Thesis
1960 - Bockholt, Anton John, Jesse Wilton Collier. 1960. Corn Hybrids for Texas. 12pg

1982 - Toler, R.W.; Bockholt, A.J.; Alston, F.G. 1982. Maize Dwarf Mosaic Virus: Effect of Strain A On Corn Inbreds, Single- and Double-Cross Hybrids.





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