In a recent election at the Council for Agricultural Science and Technology (CAST), Dr. David Baltensperger--Head of the Soil and Crop Sciences Department at Texas A&M University--was chosen as the President-Elect for 2019-2020.
Baltensperger has been a member of CAST for more than 20 years. Since 2014, he has been involved as the board representative for the Crop Science Society of America. In 2017, he joined the Board of Directors as the Society Liaison. He also served as the Task Force Board Liaison for the recently released issue paper, Aquifer Depletion and Potential Impacts on Long-term Irrigated Agricultural Productivity.
At the conclusion of CAST's fall board meeting in October, Baltensperger will officially assume his responsibilities as President-Elect. In 2020-2021, he will become the 48th president of CAST, a singular honor and responsibility dating back to 1972, when Dr. Charles A. Black, Dr. Norman Borlaug, and other committed scientists, spearheaded the movement to "bring science-based information to policymaking and the public."
Baltensperger's significant background in CAST activities helps guide his vision of the future for the organization.
"The current strategic plan outlines things that I feel passionate about and will strive to have as the focus of my leadership," Baltensperger says. "I am committed to a strong focus on the science behind our work and want to continue the active engagement of our work groups. We need to continue to focus on the opportunity to leverage our activities with funding through multiple partnerships to continue the mission of CAST."
Raised on a farm in the Nebraska panhandle, Baltensperger attended Nebraska Wesleyan University for his bachelor of science and the University of Nebraska for his master's degree. He completed his doctorate at New Mexico State University. He worked for the University of Florida and the University of Nebraska as a plant breeder until assuming the current role as department head at Texas A&M in 2006.
In addition to CAST, Baltensperger has been active in several other scientific societies and agricultural advisory boards including the American Society of Agronomy, Crop Science Society of America, Soil Science Society of America, Council of Scientific Society Presidents, American Association for the Advancement of Science, National Agricultural Research, Extension, Education, and Economics, and the Texas State Seed and Plant Board.