Cooke joins Texas A&M faculty

Dr. Reinaldo Cooke joined the department as an associate professor of beef cattle production.

Dr. Mark Hussey, Vice Chancellor & Dean of the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences and Dr. Reinaldo Cooke

Dr. Reinaldo Cooke grew up in the state of São Paulo, Brazil where agriculture is based on Nelore cattle and sugar cane production. His interest in animal science was developed at a young age. After finishing grade school, Reinaldo received his bachelor’s degree from São Paulo State University in Brazil. Then, he and his wife, Flavia, moved to Gainesville, Fla. to attend graduate school. Reinaldo earned his master’s degree and doctorate at the University of Florida in animal sciences. His training was in beef cattle production, primarily B. indicus-influenced cattle. He comes to Texas A&M from Oregon State University and is excited to be here! Although Reinaldo might not have made it to Texas at all if he were shorter. He was a member of the Brazilian Air Force for some time until he learned he was too tall to fly jets. Luckily, academia was his fall back plan.

Reinaldo will take a lead role in establishing the Texas A&M International Area of Excellence for Cattle Adapted to Subtropical/Tropical Environments and developing an international beef cattle certificate program. His research will focus on developing management strategies to improve productive efficiency in beef cattle operations, including nutrition, health, growth, and reproductive responses in Bos indicus and B. taurus cattle. He also plans in teaching two courses in the online beef cattle certificate program, with one of them focusing on global beef production with history, current status and a future outlook. The second will focus on immunology and health management.

Dr. John Arthington, Range Cattle Research & Education Center manager for the University of Florida; Dr. David Bohnert, Ruminant Nutritionist and Extension Beef Cattle Specialist with Oregon State University; and Dr. Cliff Lamb, professor and head of the Department of Animal Science at Texas A&M University, are three mentors Reinaldo credits for helping him develop professionally. However, it was his father who had an impact on him first and taught him to be an honest man.  His father is also the one who gave Reinaldo his first job, washing his car.

One of the highlights of Reinaldo’s life was starting his family. He and Flavia, who is also working for the department as a research associate, have been married for 11 years and have three children: Victor, who is 8 years old, Lucas who is 6 years old and Isabella who is 2 years old. He says they are all very excited about their new life here in College Station. Like their father, Victor and Lucas are interested in soccer, Palmeiras is the family’s team. In his spare time back in Oregon, Reinaldo served as a part time structural firefighter. His experiences as captain of the Hines Fire Department have changed the way he approaches challenges and taught him to appreciate life more.

Unsurprisingly, like any good cattleman, Reinaldo’s favorite food is steak!


For more information regarding news from the Department of Animal Science, College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, Texas A&M University, please contact Maggie Tucker at or (979) 845-1542.


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