Breaking New Ground, Clint Rusk Heads up Texas Tech University's NRM Ranch Management Program


Clint Rusk, an experienced professor and administrator at several of the nation's top agricultural universities, as well as a national-recognized leader of a top cattle breeding association, has been named Executive Director of Texas Tech University's newly launched Ranch Management Program, according to officials at Texas Tech's Davis College of Agricultural Sciences & Natural Resources. He officially stepped into his new role on May 20.


“The ranching way of life has been in my blood since 1960, when my mom and dad purchased the ranch we grew up on near Sun City, Kansas,” Rusk said. “I love meeting and working with ranchers. I am motivated by students and enjoy helping them achieve their goals.”

Rusk will be based in Tech's Department of Natural Resources Management (NRM), where he will focus on recruiting top students into the master's level graduate program in ranch management, as well as developing partnerships and relationships with stakeholders for experiential, immersive, on-ranch internship opportunities.

“I have known Dr. Rusk for several years and had the opportunity to serve alongside him at Oklahoma State University from 2012 through 2017,” said Davis College Dean Clint Krehbiel. “Dr. Rusk is an exceptional leader and brings the skillset needed to launch and build a prime Ranch Management Program at Texas Tech University. Clint is an excellent fit to serve as the inaugural Executive Director.”

According to NRM Department Chair Warren Conway, Davis College's recently established non-thesis graduate program centers on providing participating students with a world-class education in the theories, methods, and boots-on-the-ground practices of ranch management. 

Focused on bridging the disciplines in natural resources management, economics, and livestock and animal sciences, he said the new academic opportunity blends classroom training with on-ranch experiences and internships to produce highly qualified and experienced ranch managers.

Rusk joins Texas Tech following his service as Executive Vice President of the American-International Charolais Association in Kansas City, Missouri. He received his bachelor's degree from Kansas State University (1980), returning to the family ranch for five years following graduation. He then shifted to Fort Collins, Colorado, to manage the purebred cattle unit at Colorado State University.

In 1987, Rusk added to his university duties, taking on the role as coach of the Colorado State's Livestock Judging Team. He led 10 teams, which garnered Reserve National Champion titles in 1987, 1991, 1993 and 1995. Rusk was named the Intercollegiate Coaches' Association ‘Coach of the Year' in 1991 and 1992.

Rusk received his master's degree (1992) and doctorate (1997) from Colorado State. Following his graduate program, he joined Purdue University, serving as a Youth Livestock Specialist for 13 years. In 2009, he was named Professor and Head of South Dakota State University's Department of Animal & Range Sciences. In 2012, he was named head of Oklahoma State University's Department of Animal & Food Sciences, a position he held for a decade.

Texas Tech's Department of Natural Resources Management is home to more than 500 undergraduate and graduate students, with 19 faculty members. According to Conway, the department has a long history of developing leaders in range, wildlife and fisheries management and supports links to relevant approaches in ranching and ranch management.

Source: Texas Tech University