New faculty member to support cotton and small grain producers and industry

Tyson Raper, University of Tennessee Cotton and Small Grains Specialist
Tyson Raper is the new University of Tennessee Cotton and Small Grains Specialist. Raper will lead the university's research and outreach efforts involving cotton along with wheat and other small grain crops. Photo by G. Rowsey, courtesy UTIA. Download image

JACKSON, Tenn. – Tyson Raper has joined the University of Tennessee Institute of Agriculture as an assistant professor of cotton and small grain production. In this role, Raper will lead the university’s education and research efforts involving cotton, wheat and other small grain crops. He will also work closely with producers and agricultural industry groups to promote practices for improved crop profitability and sustainability.

Raper will be based at the West Tennessee AgResearch and Education Center in Jackson, but he will serve a statewide clientele through a joint research and extension appointment in the Department of Plant Sciences.  As Cotton and Small Grains Specialist, Raper will oversee the UT Variety Trial sites, implement research programs, coordinate educational events and develop training materials and other publications.

Raper graduated from Auburn University with a B.S. in Agricultural Business and Economics.  He completed his M.S. in Agronomy at Mississippi State University, and received his Ph.D. at the University of Arkansas.  Most of Raper’s graduate research focused on the remote detection of nitrogen and potassium fertility and site-drought characterization/irrigation scheduling using canopy temperature and soil moisture measurements.

“I’m very excited to begin serving the producers, consultants and agents of Tennessee alongside the great faculty and staff located at the West Tennessee AgResearch and Education Center,” says Raper. “In my opinion, we are on the brink of big changes in crop production systems. I’m looking forward to helping the state’s producers navigate and adapt during these exciting times.”

Raper hails from Alabama. As a child, his father worked as an agricultural engineer with USDA-ARS in Auburn. Raper recalls attending many field days in his youth as well as making frequent trips to his father’s research plots. He credits these experiences for his desire to pursue a career in agricultural research and extension.

You can contact Raper at 731-425-4707 or by email at

The UT Institute of Agriculture provides instruction, research and public service through the UT College of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources, the UT College of Veterinary Medicine, UT AgResearch, including its system of 10 research and education centers, and UT Extension offices in every county in the state.



Dr. Tyson Raper, UT Cotton and Small Grains Specialist, 731-425-4707,