Dr. Ronnie Schnell joined the faculty of the Texas A&M University department of soil and crop sciences on Oct. 1 as an assistant professor and Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service cropping systems specialist.

Schnell’s position is a joint appointment with AgriLife Extension and Texas A&M AgriLife Research and will focus on applied field research and AgriLife Extension programming in the feed grains and their rotational crops, said Dr. Travis Miller, associate head and AgriLife Extension program leader for the department.

Schnell will serve as AgriLife Extension’s state specialist for sorghum and corn, Miller said. His goal will be to develop and provide information to the Texas agricultural community on profitable and water-efficient production systems, which include sorghum, corn and bioenergy crops.

A native of Central Texas, he earned his bachelor’s degree in horticulture and crop science from Sam Houston State University in 2002 and his master’s in agronomy in 2007 and a doctorate in agronomy in 2010, both from Texas A&M University.

Prior to his return to Texas A&M, Schnell worked at the University of Florida West Florida Research and Education Center, where he developed research and Extension programs designed to enhance the sustainability and profitability of row crops and emerging cropping systems such as biomass/bioenergy crops and specialty crops.

“We are excited to have Dr. Schnell on our team,” Miller said. “Farmers in Texas face many challenges in this period of high inputs and rapidly changing commodity prices, and the customers who depend on our feed grains are challenged to have a dependable local source of information for their operations.

“Dr. Schnell will work with industry leaders, farmers, county agents and the agriculture industry to develop science-based, profitable and productive cropping systems,” Miller said.