A native of Northeastern Oklahoma, Randy Harp spent his early days tending the family farm. From a young age, he joined the 4-H program where he learned what good livestock looks like. His work ethic led him to win multiple livestock shows and meat judging contests throughout his youth and college career. While he was once the contestant, Harp now serves as the coach, leading countless collegiate teams to nationals. From California and Mississippi to West Virginia and beyond, he’s judged livestock shows across the country, training our youth to make the best better. His research in meat animal growth and development and meat inspection education gained national recognition from the USDA. After four decades of teaching, Harp returned to A&M-Commerce in 2016 and now serves as the Dean of the College of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources. His greatest reward is teaching students the value and necessity of agriculture. To Harp, what matters more is not where you’re from but where you’re going. He went far. Now he’s leading others to great heights.
A Conversation with Dr. Harp
What would you tell a student who is thinking about attending A&M-Commerce?
“It’s all about family and living in East Texas. We are small in number but large in heart and passion for helping students achieve their career goals.”
What makes you passionate about Agriculture?
“I have always enjoyed being around animals, especially livestock such as cattle and swine. We feed the world.”
Tell us about an academic project you are working on or recently completed.
“Working with colleagues on curriculum for the Introduction to Animal Science students, and recently published two peer-reviewed journal articles.”
- Ph.D., Agricultural Education and Higher Education Administration, Oklahoma State University, 1998
- MS, Animal Science, New Mexico State University, 1979
- BS, Animal Science, Oklahoma State University, 1976
- Dean, College of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources, Texas A&M University-Commerce, present
- Professor, Tarleton State University, 2010-2016
- Associate Professor, TSU, 2004-2010
- Assistant Professor, TSU, 2000-2004
- Assistant Professor, Texas A&M University-Commerce, 1999-2000
- Department Head/Instructor, Eastern Oklahoma State College, 1984-1999
- Ad Interim Instructor, East Texas State University, 1982-1984
- Ad Interim Instructor, ETSU, 1979-1981
- $15,367, Office of Student Research, Tarleton State University, 2015
- $2,000, Office of Student Research, Tarleton State University, 2015
Awards and Honors
- Engaged Faculty Award, College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences, Tarleton State University, 2016
- Faculty Excellence in Scholarship, College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences, Tarleton State University, 2014