- June 2023
Assistant Director, Research Support
Mississippi Agriculture and Forestry Experiment Station
Official Variety Trials/Foundation Seed Stocks programs
Years in position: 5
Years at MSU: 14
Before seeds are planted, there’s work that goes on behind the scenes to help farmers produce the best yield.
“My favorite part about my job is harvest season because this is really where you get to see a whole year’s worth of work come to fruition,” said Jake Bullard, assistant director of the Official Variety Trials OVT and Foundation Seed Stocks programs with the Mississippi Agriculture and Forestry Experiment Station.
The Official Variety Trials conducts replicated small plot research throughout the state for six commercially grown agronomic row crops, providing Mississippi producers with unbiased third-party yield data aiding in varietal selections for their operations. The crops include soybeans, corn, peanuts, wheat, oats and grain sorghum.
The Foundation Seed Stocks program maintains and provides to the public high-quality seed stocks of publicly available plant varieties. High quality in this aspect means exceptional genetic identity and purity. These are made available by conducting seed increases of breeder seed along with seed conditioning all while working in conjunction with The Mississippi Crop Improvement Association and the Mississippi Bureau of Plant Industries.
“Several varieties of rice and sweet sorghum are the main crop seeds we produce currently, but in the past, we’ve been responsible for some more well-known things such as Marshall ryegrass and the Mississippi Pinkeye purple hull pea,” explained Bullard.
When asked what his favorite memory on the job, Bullard said, “This has got to be the people. Colleagues, collaborators, program participants and stakeholders - I’ve had the opportunity to create some lifelong acquaintances, as well as hear my share of tales along the way.”
Bullard enjoys being outdoors with hunting and fishing at the top of his list of hobbies. He and his wife, Stephanie, have two daughters, Anna Margaret (9) and Charlotte (7).