Enrollment in the Division continues to grow! Total enrollment in the three colleges in the Division for fall 2017 is 3,566 students, up slightly from fall 2016 and an all-time high! Both CFR and CVM set new enrollment records this fall with 584 and 574 students, respectively. After eight consecutive years of growth, CALS is down slightly with 2,408 students.
MSU recently received a national award from the American Society of Landscape Architects. The MSU rain garden, funded by a $20,000 U.S. Environmental Protection Agency grant, has been honored in the society’s student collaboration category. Cory Gallo, associate professor in landscape architecture, and team members accepted the award at the society’s annual meeting and expo in Los Angeles.
Construction funding and activity in the Division is at an all-time high based on recent comments by Greg Bohach, Division Vice President. The $8 million meat science lab is nearing completion and should be occupied in early 2018. The new $14 million animal and dairy science facility is underway and should be occupied in late 2018. The $13 million poultry science facility should be bid in early 2018 and occupied in late 2019. Also, around $2 million in renovations is planned for the Thad Cochran Warmwater Aquaculture Building at Stoneville. That’s a total of about $37 million.
Charles Hunt Walne, an MSU agronomy graduate student, has been selected to the Golden Opportunity Scholars Institute, a program of the American Society of Agronomy, Crop Science Society of America, and Soil Science Society of America. His studies relate to the drought tolerance of corn, and he is directed by Raja Reddy, MAFES research professor in Plant and Soil Sciences. Charles is the first MSU student to receive the honor.
At the recent National Association of County Agriculture Agents (NACAA) national meeting in Salt Lake City, several of our Extension Service employees were recognized. Recipients of the Achievement Award in 2017 were Rocky Lemus, Plant and Soil Sciences, and Randall McKey, Amite County. The Distinguished Service Award recipients for 2017 were Anita Webb, Scott County, and Wayne Porter, Coastal R&E Center. Also, Bill Burdine, regional Extension specialist, Northeast Region, is currently serving as Southern Region Director of NACAA. Congratulations to all of these Extension employees!
Jay McCurdy, turfgrass specialist with the MSU-Extension Service, has received a major national award. The Crop Science Society of America recently recognized him for making significant contributions to the field within seven years of completing a final academic degree. The 2017 Early Career Award and stipend were presented at the organization’s annual meeting in Florida.
The Mississippi State Equine Association has made a $25,000 contribution toward the new animal and dairy science building currently under construction on the MSU campus. The three-story, 34,500-square-foot facility will feature offices, conference rooms, classrooms, and labs. Contributions and naming opportunities are being handled through the MSU Foundation.
George Hopper, director of MAFES, (received the 2017 Award for Excellence in Leadership from the Southern Association of Agricultural Experiment Station Directors.) The honor recognizes those who have served the southern experiment stations and the national land-grant system with exemplary distinction.
A MAFES research professor has been honored for his ground-breaking work in no-till farming. Glover Triplett, an agronomist in Plant and Soil Sciences, began his early research on no-till as a weed scientist at Ohio State University in the early 1960s. The plots that Triplett began in Ohio have now produced no-till data for more than 55 years. As a no-till legend, he has continued to share his research with producers in Mississippi.
Lanny Pace, Executive Director of the Veterinary Research and Diagnostic System, was awarded the E.P. Pope award at the American Association of Veterinary Laboratory Diagnosticians (AAVLD) annual meeting in San Diego. The award honors a member who has made exemplary contributions to the AAVLD and the field of veterinary diagnostic medicine.
The Kemper County Board of Supervisors honored a long-time Extension Service employee by naming the local farmers' market in her honor. The late Ruby Rankin, a 33-year Extension Service employee, was remembered and honored in July 2017 for the impact she had in the county and region. One speaker emphasized Rankin’s reputation of encouraging people to work together to make the county, state, and world a better place.
We are pleased to report that Tyler McMurray, a junior ADS major with a pre-veterinary medicine concentration, is currently serving as the Student Association President at MSU. Tyler is from Flowood and would like to someday own her own private practice. She also hopes to help underdeveloped nations to become more agriculturally sustainable.
Tony Tooke, a 1983 MSU forestry graduate, is the new chief of the US Forest Service. Tooke will lead the national agency responsible for the management and protection of 154 national forests. He most recently served as regional forester for the southern region of the USDA Forest Service.
Wes Burger, associate director for FWRC and MAFES, has received yet another recognition for significant contributions to quail science. Burger was among three selected for a 2017 National Quail Symposium Award of Excellence, a career tribute from the Tennessee-based National Bobwhite Conservation Initiative and Bobwhite Technical Committee. He is also a John Grisham Master Teacher who holds the Dale H. Arner Professorship of Wildlife Ecology and Management.
Lurleen Walters, an associate professor in the Department of Agricultural Economics, was recently presented with the Patrick J. Byrne Emerging Leadership Award for contributions to the Food Distribution Research Society. Representing academia, industry, and government, FDRS members work to address ongoing challenges in food marketing and distribution. Walters came to MSU in 2013.
Jane Parish, professor and head of the North MS Research and Extension Center, was recently named executive director of the Beef Improvement Federation. BIF is an organization dedicated to advancing and coordinating all segments of the beef industry. Founded in 1968, BIF continues the tradition of using science to benefit producers.
Will Evans, professor and head of Food Science, Nutrition, and Health Promotion, has been honored for his work as a health education practitioner. He received the Sarah Mazelis award for outstanding performance by a practictioner at the recent American Public Health Association Annual Meeting in Atlanta. Evans is a Master Certified health education specialist and a certified wellness practitioner.