Mohammad receives Grand Challenges award

Zahra Mohammad, a graduate student studying under Dr. Alejandro Castillo, associate professor of meat science in the Department of Animal Science, recently received a 2018 Grand Innovation Challenge Award.

The challenge was a team-based competition for graduate and undergraduate students offered through the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences. The teams were tasked with identifying a solution to one of the College’s five Grand Challenges:

  • Protecting Our Environment
  • Enriching Our Youth
  • Improving Our Health
  • Growing Our Economy
  • Feeding Our World

Mohammad and her team received the award for her innovative idea to increase productivity and drought tolerance in wheat by using beneficial bacterial strains. They will go to Brazil in July for the global competition held in conjunction with the Thought for Food Global Summit.

Mohammad was also a recipient of a 2018 International Livestock Forum Student Fellowship in January. The Forum is hosted by the Colorado State University Department of Animal Sciences and the National Western Stock Show to bring together industry leaders, government professionals, and members of academia to discuss domestic and international livestock and food production. Fellows of the 2018 ILF experienced unique tours of some of Colorado’s top agricultural enterprises, behind-the-scenes access to the National Western Stock Show, and a full day of networking and interaction with keynote speakers and industry panelists. This was an opportunity to engage in the future of international livestock and food production.


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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