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Oklahoma State University
STATE

The official magazine of Oklahoma State University

The Cowboy Way

Thursday, November 1, 2018

Dr. David Waits posing with a motorcycle helmet.

Dr. David Waits 

By Kaylee Howell

Dr. David Waits, a researcher with deep OSU roots has improved the agriculture industry through conducting research and developing cutting-edge technology.

He earned a bachelor’s degree in economics and a master’s degree in geography from OSU before getting his doctorate in land management from Texas Tech University. At OSU, he was exposed to technology that sparked his interest for research.

“I found technology at OSU that I didn't know existed, and I was able to take that and leverage it into agriculture,” he said.

"Manage Data. Harvest Information."

Using his knowledge from three degrees, years of farming, a lot of
research and a job at the NASA Commercialization Center, Dr. Waits formed SST Software in 1994. SST Software, now Proagrica, is a
precision agriculture technology development company. SST Software merges geographic information systems technology
with production agriculture. The technology manages data from farms and uses that information to enable farmers to harvest more effectively.

Back to His Roots

Waits returned to OSU in 2013 after President Hargis asked him to implement his product commercialization and research experience at OSU.

Once back at OSU, he formed and organized the OSU Research Foundation. Waits says the foundation “manages intellectual property under the technology development center and commercializes select technologies that belong to OSU.” He served as president from 2015 until his retirement in 2018.

Heart for Agriculture

He didn’t always have the desire to conduct research. In fact, his research stemmed from his passion for agriculture. After many years of farming, Waits knew the potential impact that GIS technology could have on farmers. “I was motivated to develop an application involving GIS techniques and production agriculture that required more research,” he said.

In His Spare Time...

Aside from being an accomplished researcher, he is known as an avid motorcyclist by his friends. He spends a lot of time riding motorcycles cross- country and has a barn full of the bikes that he collects and repairs. He also enjoys spending time on the ranch he has worked hard to develop over the years.

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