I. MEETINGS, PRESENTATIONS AND WORKSHOP PARTICIPANTS
April 19-24…Drs. Jessica Thomson and Melissa Goodman, Delta Human Nutrition Research Program, Stoneville, MS gave presentations at Experimental Biology 2013 held in Boston, MA. Dr. Thomson’s presentation was entitled, “Adherence Indicators Predict Changes in Health Outcomes: HUB City Steps” and Dr. Goodman’s presentation was entitled, “Delta Healthy Sprouts: A Randomized Intervention to Promote Maternal Weight Control and Reduce Childhood Obesity in the Mississippi Delta.” Drs. Thomson and Goodman also attended the National Nutrient Databank Conference while in Boston.
February1-4…USDA-ARS scientists from the Thad Cochran Southern Horticultural Laboratory, Poplarville, MS attended the Southern Region American Society of Horticultural Science Annual Meeting in Orlando, FL. Dr. Donna Marshall presented a poster entitled, “Storage retention of Stilbene, Ellagic Acid, Flavonol, and Phenolic Content of Muscadine Grape Cultivars” and was co-author on a poster entitled, “Blueberry Cultivar Trial in Central Mississippi: 2012 Yield and Fruit Quality Update.” Dr. Steve Stringer presented a poster entitled, “Response of Muscadine Grape Cultivars to Cane Pruning” with Dr. Marshall and Dr. Blair Sampson from the Thad Cochran Southern Horticultural Laboratory as coauthors.
February 8-9…Dr. Barbara Smith, Thad Cochran Southern Horticultural Laboratory, Poplarville, MS attended the Southern Division American Phytopathological Society Meeting in Baton Rouge, LA and visited with faculty in the Plant Pathology and Crop Physiology Department at Louisiana State University.
February…The Thad Cochran Southern Horticultural Laboratory, Poplarville, MS hosted the second annual brown-bag lunch “Seminar Series” and Dr. Blair Sampson, Entomologist, presented a speech entitled, “Scientific Illustration: A picture is worth a 1000 words.” Dr. Sampson gave some background on his foray into scientific illustration and shared some of his extraordinary artwork.
March 3-5…Drs. John Adamczyk and Blair Sampson, Thad Cochran Southern Horticultural Laboratory, Poplarville, MS attended and made presentations at the Southeastern Branch of the Entomological Society of America's Annual Meeting in Baton Rouge, LA. In addition, Biological Science Technician, Chris Werle, competed in the PhD student poster presentation competition and received second place for his poster, “Optimizing ambrosia beetle monitoring using colored traps.”
March…Dr. Donna Marshall, Thad Cochran Southern Horticultural Laboratory, Poplarville, MS gave a lecture entitled, “Growing and Eating Blueberries” at the Mississippi Gulf Coast Master Gardener Expo held at the MS State Coastal Research and Extension Service in Biloxi, MS. Approximately 150 participants learned the preparation and growing methods for successfully growing blueberries in Southern Mississippi. They were also educated on the nutritional benefits of blueberries as well as health benefits of consuming fruits and vegetables.
March 15… Dr. Blair Sampson, Thad Cochran Southern Horticultural Laboratory, Poplarville, MS was the featured speaker and on “Bee Wise” Pollinator Workshop, conducted at the Grand Bay National Estuary Research Reserve. The primary purpose of the workshop was to understand the importance of insect pollinators and to encourage people to provide nesting sites for native bees. Dr. Sampson highlighted the Blue Orchard Bee, an important but declining pollinator of blueberries in Mississippi and speculated on some of the possible causes of their decline (loss of habitat, pesticides, etc.).
March 25-29… Dr. Matt Moore, Water Quality and Ecology Research Unit, National Sedimentation Laboratory, Oxford, MS traveled to Quebec City, Canada to serve as an invited speaker and to present a talk entitled, “Going Green: Using Wetlands and Ditches to Mitigate Agricultural Runoff” to producers, industry, and government officials at the 2013 Congress of the Quebec Cranberry Growers Association. Dr. Moore visited with growers, crop consultants, and scientists from the Quebec Ministry of Agriculture in both Sherrington and Trois Riveries where he provided seminars on water quality improvements of ditches and wetlands. Dr. Moore also gave an invited seminar on ditches and wetland improvements of water quality at the Soil and Plant Research Center of Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada in Quebec City.
April 24... Dr. Stephen O. Duke, National Products Utilization Research Unit, Oxford, MS attended the World Malaria Day Program hosted by the School of Pharmacy, University of Mississippi and presented a talk entitled, “The Chloroplast in the Malaria Parasite! ….. Agrochemicals and Phytotoxins as Leads to Discover New Antimalarial Drugs.” This event highlighted research contributions toward the discovery of new antimalarial drugs using a multidirectional discovery approach.
March 27… Drs. Kipling Balkcom, Ted Kornecki, Andrew Price and Leah Duzy, National Soil Dynamics Laboratory, Auburn AL attended a field day in Hartford, Alabama, organized by the Alabama Cooperative Extension System and USDA-NRCS. The topics were related to cover crop management and drip irrigation in no-till systems. Dr. Balkcom presented principles of no-till system with cover crops and their benefits. Dr. Kornecki addressed proper cover crop management using rolling technology. Dr. Price discussed role of cover crops in weed control especially Palmer amaranth in no-till systems. Dr. Duzy (Agricultural Economist) evaluated monetary benefits including long term investment in no–till farming. Approximately 30 producers, agricultural extension service, NRCS and ARS attended the field day.
April 17… Dr. Hamed Abbas had a conference call with Alexander Pronzato, a senior from Upper Moreland High School in Pennsylvania. Mr. Pronzato identified Dr. Abbas as a contact from an article in the USDA ARS Agricultural Research Magazine. Dr. Abbas was one source of information used for a senior paper on genetically modified (GM) foods. Information provided was very general to the GM food industry, such as processing and labeling.
March 21…The Pearl River County Master Gardeners toured the Thad Cochran Southern Horticultural Laboratory, Poplarville, MS. Lavonne Stringer led both new and current members of the Master Gardeners on a tour of the building and Research Laboratories.
March 20 … Drs. Jessica Thomson and Melissa Goodman, Delta Human Nutrition Research Program, Stoneville, MS were interviewed by Ms. Elise Raney from WXVT- TV about their Delta Healthy Sprouts Project being conducted with pregnant African American mothers in Washington County.
April 25…Dr. Jessica Thomson, Delta Human Nutrition Research Program, Stoneville, MS volunteered for Louisiana State University AgCenter’s AgMagic, a free, interactive program for school children that links food and fiber products used every day to the forests, field crops, and livestock produced by Louisiana farmers, ranchers, and forest landowners.
March 22…Dr. Hamed Abbas, Biological Control of Pests Research Unit, Stoneville, MS judged at the 2013 Mississippi Region III Science and Engineering Fair for students in grades K – 5 held in Greenville, MS at the Washington County Convention Center. Projects exhibited were completed by students from a nine-county area of the Mississippi Delta. Region III Science and Engineering Fair are affiliated with the Mississippi Science and Engineering Fair and the International Science and Engineering Fair. The event was sponsored by the Delta State University, North Sunflower Medical Center, BASF Chemical, Greenville Public School District, and the Washington County Board of Supervisors.
March 25- 27…Dr. Rick Byler, Cotton Ginning Research Unit, Stoneville, MS taught classes at the Lubbock, TX Cotton Ginning School to over 50 ginners and managers from across the nation. His coursework covered cleaning cotton and also moisture issues in cotton bales.
April 4…Dr. Rick Byler, Cotton Ginning Research Unit, Stoneville, MS led a demonstration of Cotton Ginning in the Microgin to 25 students and 4 instructors from the Apparel, Textiles, and Merchandising Program at Mississippi State.
March 23-April 5…Dr. Brian Scheffler was in Lahore and Islamabad Pakistan overseeing the Cotton Leaf Curl Virus Project. He attended the project’s quarterly meeting, reviewed research progress and worked with the in country implementing partner ICARDA on monitoring and budgetary requirements for the project.
February… At the Southern Region American Society of Horticultural Science annual meeting held in Orlando, FL. Dr. Donna Marshall from Thad Cochran Southern Horticultural Laboratory, Poplarville, MS was elected to a two year term to chair the Small Fruit and Blueberry workers Working Group.
March 15…Anthony Witcher, Thad Cochran Southern Horticultural Laboratory, Poplarville, MS presented an exit seminar at University of Southern Mississippi entitled, “Characterization of Whole Pine Tree Substrates for Adventitious Rooting of Cuttings and Initial Growth of Seedlings.” Later that day, he successfully defended his PhD dissertation and will graduate this May.
April 11 … Dr. James V. Bonta, Watershed Physical Processes Research Unit, National Sedimentation Laboratory, Oxford, MS was selected by the faculty of the School of Civil Engineering at Purdue University to receive the prestigious Civil Engineering Alumnus Achievement Award. For the past nineteen years, this award has been presented to a select group of Purdue graduates who have had outstanding career achievements and have made major contributions to the civil engineering profession.
Each year, the American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers recognize the efforts of the volunteers who review submissions to its four peer-reviewed journals. Dr. Daniel Fisher, Agricultural Engineer in the Crop Production Systems Research Unit, Stoneville, MS was selected as an Outstanding Reviewer for the 2012 Publication Year from more than 900 reviewers who participated in the peer-review process.
Drs. Jodi Scheffler, Crop Genetics Research Unit, Stoneville, MS and Brian Scheffler, Genomics and Bioinformatics Research Unit, Stoneville, Ms were notified that they were part of the team awarded the Foreign Agriculture Service Outstanding Cross-Agency Team Award. The award was given by USDA Foreign Agricultural Service as one of their 2012 Foreign Agricultural Service Honor Awards. In this instance, the team represents individuals from ARS, FAS, NRCS and APHIS that meet weekly via teleconference and other means for project implementation on a wide range of agricultural projects and programs between the USA and Pakistan. The USDA Office of Agricultural Affairs Pakistan made the nomination.
Dr. Jack McCarty, Crop Science Research Laboratory, Genetics and Precision Agriculture Research Unit, Mississippi State, MS has been named the recipient of the Mississippi State University Alumni Achievement Award for the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences. Dr. McCarty was nominated for this award by the Plant and Soil Sciences Department, Mississippi State University.
March… Dr. Blair Sampson, Thad Cochran Southern Horticultural Laboratory, Poplarville, MS received a grant for $5000 from the North American Bramble Growers Research Foundation for a Spotted-Wing Drosophila project entitled, “Improved Monitoring, Basic Biology, and Control of Spotted Wing Drosophila in Southern Bramble Culture.”
March 13…. Mississippi Corn Promotion Board funded $32,790 for research project entitled, “Improved Aflatoxin Management in Corn through Alfa-Guard and the Effects of Late Season Fungicides and Afla - Guard on Aflatoxin Contamination and Other Late Season Corn Diseases.” This was submitted by Hamed K. Abbas, Mark Weaver, Biological Control of Pests Research Unit, Stoneville, MS and Gabe Sciumbato and Tom Allen, Mississippi State University.
April…Drs. Carl Bolster and Kim Cook, Animal Waste Management Unit, Bowling Green, KY and John Brooks, Genetics and Precision Agriculture Research Unit, Mississippi State, MS received a grant for $35,400 from the National Pork Board to study “Effect of manure application rate and timing on the leaching and runoff potential of antibiotic resistant bacteria and their associated genes.”