COLLEGE STATION – Dr. Craig Coufal, associate professor and Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service specialist, was appointed as holder of the Texas A&M University College of Agriculture and Life Sciences Elaina and Emanuel Glockzin Jr. Professorship in Poultry Science.
Dr. Craig Coufal was appointed as the Texas A&M University College of Agriculture and Life Sciences Elaina and Emanuel Glockzin Jr. Professorship in Poultry Science, which is responsible for managing the collegiate poultry judging team. (Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service photo)
This five-year appointment begins Nov. 1, with the possibility of renewal following review by the department head, dean and provost per university rules. As holder of the professorship, Coufal will be responsible for managing the Texas A&M poultry science department team judging activities.
The Glockzin’s created an endowment in 1998 to help fund management of the team and support judging team activities such as travel to national competitions, student jackets and awards. Emanuel Glockzin, an A&M graduate in 1972, was a two-year member of the collegiate poultry judging team and earned third-high individual at the national competition in 1971.
Coufal said the Texas A&M poultry judging team has a rich history, and he is ready to maintain its high standard for success. The poultry judging team has won 15 national championships in 20 collegiate judging contests over the past decade. It consistently ranks at the top or near the top in collegiate judging competitions that grade eggs and poultry carcasses and evaluate live birds.
“I’m humbled and honored to be the new poultry judging coach,” he said. “I would have never thought I’d be in this position one day, but poultry judging is something I’ve been involved with all my life, so it is very exciting. My challenge now is to maintain the team’s tradition of excellence.”
Coufal’s credentials were reviewed by a committee of faculty from multiple departments and was given a unanimous recommendation due to his poultry judging experience.
His experience began in 1989 with youth poultry projects and poultry judging as a freshman in high school. Coufal was a member of the Fayetteville High School FFA poultry judging team as a freshman and sophomore, where he placed second in the state as an individual while his team also finished second.
Coufal exhibited broilers at livestock shows including the Houston Livestock Show during high school as well. He was also a member of the collegiate judging team as a junior and senior undergraduate student at Texas A&M University. As a faculty member in the department for the last 10 years, Coufal has organized several FFA and 4-H poultry judging contests around the state each year.
Following graduate school at Texas A&M, Coufal began his career as an Extension specialist in the Mississippi State University department of poultry science, where he organized and conducted state 4-H poultry judging contests in 2006, 2007 and 2008. He returned to Texas A&M in August 2008 and became very involved in poultry contests, including the State Fair of Texas broiler show.
Dr. David Caldwell, head of the poultry science department, College Station, said market poultry competitions and FFA or 4-H judging contests are tremendously important youth projects in Texas.
Caldwell said early exposure to poultry is tremendously important to establishing an appreciation for animal agriculture. The events are also vital to Texas A&M’s undergraduate recruiting efforts to bring new students into the department of poultry science, he said.
“We fully expect Dr. Coufal will bring strong leadership to this new role for the department, and we anticipate he and the collegiate team will experience great success under his guidance,” Caldwell said.
Coufal said he appreciates the support provided to the department and the judging team by the Glockzins and looks forward to adding to the university’s legacy in poultry sciences.
“It’s just as important to say, ‘thank you,’ to Mr. and Mrs. Glockzin for their long-term generous support of the department and the students,” he said. “We have a strong poultry history here at Texas A&M, and it’s an honor to be involved in that winning tradition.”