We are #1! The student members of the Society of American Foresters at MSU are again tops among their U.S. peers. The College of Forest Resources SAF chapter was recently awarded first-place honors from nearly 40 student chapters located throughout the nation. The first-place honor is based on accomplishments with an emphasis on campus and community service, outreach programs, professional engagement and organizational management. Robert Grala, an associate forestry professor, is the faculty adviser.
We are #6! Data released by the National Science Foundation in mid-November 2016 places MSU #6 nationally in R&D expenditures in agricultural sciences! FY15 expenditures of $106.5 million was at an all-time high and $7.5 million above the FY14 number. The division units have now been in the top 10 nationally for 18 consecutive years. The #6 ranking is two places ahead of FY14. Only three SEC schools are in the top 10. They are Texas A&M, Florida, and MSU!
Enrollment in the colleges in the Division continues to set new records! Enrollment within three colleges this fall (2016) totaled 3,558 students, 4.2% and 144 students above fall 2015. Enrollment in CALS is 2,440, CFR is 576, and CVM is 542, all new record highs! Since the fall 2009, enrollment in Division colleges has increased by 51%!
An agribusiness major in the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences is among 21 U.S. students to receive a National Black Farmers Association scholarship. A. J. Bland, a Tunica native, is the recipient of a $5,000 scholarship that will help him pursue his degree in agribusiness. A. J.’s father, Anthony, works as an MSU Extension agent in Tunica County.
A $7.2 million gift from the Charles E. and Viola G. Bardsley Estate will endow a scholarship program for College of Veterinary Medicine students. Kent Hoblet, CVM Dean, expressed appreciation and pledged to uphold the wishes of the Bardsley family to educate promising students and make available scholarships to those with potential who may need financial assistance. The Bardsleys were long-time animal lovers and veterinary education advocates.
A faculty member in the Division spoke at the USDA Data Science in Agriculture Summit in Rosemont, Illinois recently. Keith Coble, head of the Department of Agricultural Economics, was invited to look at data challenges in agriculture. Because of the vast quantity of data being collected in agriculture, Coble sees producer privacy as one of the largest challenges to overcome. However, Coble does believe there are technological solutions that can protect privacy and allow research to progress.
Two MSU Extension Service employees were recognized for outstanding service at the recent National Association of County Agricultural Agents (NACAA) meeting in Little Rock. Patrick Poindexter, Extension Agent in Alcorn County, received the 2016 DSA from the national association. Darrin Dodds, Associate Extension/Research Professor in Plant and Soil Sciences, received the 2016 Achievement Award from the NACAA. Dodds is also a scientist in the Mississippi Agricultural and Forestry Experiment Station.
The 2016 Mid-South Forestry Equipment Show held in late August was one of the best ever. The two-day show attendance at almost 7,200 was an all-time high. The number of exhibitors at 93 was also an all-time high. Also, over 3,600 hours of credit was earned by loggers at the event. Misty Booth, Forest Supervisor in the College of Forest Resources, coordinated the event.
Harvin Hudson, Extension Agent in Neshoba County, was recently named 2016 citizen of the year by the Community Development Partnership for Philadelphia and Neshoba County. Harvin was recognized for his work and contributions in the areas of civic, industrial, religious, educational, cultural, recreational, and social issues. He has served the people of Neshoba County for more than 30 years.
Morgan E. Von Staden, a senior food science, nutrition, and health promotion student in the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, has been named president-elect of the Institute of Food Technologists Student Association. She will hold a 3-year term on the international food science organization’s board of directors. The organization includes 66 student chapters within the United States and Turkey.
We are pleased the new Meat Science and Muscle Biology Laboratory is well-under way. The $8 million Mississippi Agricultural and Forestry Experiment Station facility is located near the Wise Center on the south side of campus. The anticipated completion date is mid-summer 2017. It replaces the current lab located in Ballew Hall. Plans are also being developed for new facilities for animal and dairy science and poultry science. Both of these buildings will also be located near the Wise Center.
College of Forest Resources’ forestry professor Stephen Grado recently received Phi Kappa Phi’s Love of Learning Award for his dedication to the education profession and the society. PKP is the nation’s oldest and most selective honor society. His primary research areas include multi-use forest management, outdoor and forest recreation, and wildlife economics.
Expanding Mississippi agriculture requires getting to know potential markets, and a group of 10 MSU Extension agents saw first-hand one of the largest in the world. A tour of Shanghai, Beijing, and the Shandong Province was the final step in the International Trade Training Program. Susan Seal, assistant professor of international agricultural and Extension education in the School of Human Sciences coordinated the program for the agents.
Allison Gardner, director of CVM’s Veterinary Medical Technology Program, has been selected as one of the top 40 veterinary technology instructors by Vet Tech College. The organization recognized her as a leader in the field and referenced her special interest in animal behavior, equine studies, and veterinary technology education.
A Mississippi State equine specialist and his team of College of Agriculture and Life Sciences’ students and Mississippi Agricultural and Forestry Experiment Station staff members recently shared the American tradition of western horseback riding during clinics conducted in Europe. While traveling through Austria, Italy, Germany, and Slovenia, Clay Cavinder, associate professor in animal and dairy sciences, and his team led clinics funded by the American Quarter Horse Association. Several students from the 2015 nationally ranked horse judging team served as clinic assistants.
The National Association of Landscape Professionals Academic Excellence Foundation named College of Agriculture and Life Sciences’ landscape architecture associate professor Tim Schauwecker its 2016 outstanding educator of the year. He was presented the prestigious award when MSU recently hosted the 40th Annual National Collegiate Landscape Competition.