Dr. Jimmy Avery Receives 2011 Spirit of Excellence Award from MSU Extension Service

Mississippi State University recognized Extension Professor Dr. Jimmy Avery with a Spirit of Excellence Award during its annual banquet on Friday, November 2, 2011.  The award was presented MSU Extension Director Dr. Gary Jackson.  The Spirit of Excellence Award honors innovation, outstanding achievement and exceptional programming by Extension professionals.

The U.S. Farm-raised catfish industry has been hit hard recently due to foreign imports and rising feed costs.  He coordinated the efforts of several colleagues to develop the educational component of the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s 2009 Trade Adjustment Assistance for Catfish Farmers program.  Avery led a national effort to develop a series of lectures and distance education to instruct applicants.  Eight meetings in Stoneville and Starkville provided over 350 clients with nearly 4,000 hours of instruction.

“This award actually recognizes the combined work and efforts of several catfish and row crop researchers at the Delta Research and Extension Center who were working together to help Mississippi’s catfish farmers,” Avery said.

Catfish Farmers of America Recognizes Dr. Jimmy Avery with Service Award

Dr. Jimmy Avery was awarded the 2011 Distinguished Service Award by the Catfish Farmers of America Board of Directors during its mid-year meeting.  Dr. Avery’s most recent work with the catfish industry includes assisting with the annual registration process for diuron, developing a scientific session and NWAC tour for the inaugural Young Farmer Leadership Conference, and working with other regional Scientists in developing a review of the USDA FSIS proposed rule for catfish inspection.  Avery also serves as Chairman of the CFA Research Symposium held every three years in conjunction with the CFA annual Convention.

DR. CRAIG TUCKER RECEIVES THE 2011 DELTA COUNCIL AQUACULTURE ACHIEVEMENT AWARD

Craig S. Tucker, director of the Thad Cochran National Warmwater Aquaculture Center received the Aquaculture Achievement Award at Delta Council’s annual meeting on May 7, 2011. “Since Craig Tucker’s arrival at Stoneville in 1980, he has become nationally and internationally acclaimed as the catfish doctor. He literally wrote the book on catfish research and production,” said Bowen Flowers, Delta Council president. The Aquaculture Achievement Award has been awarded since 1983 based on nominations presented to an independent committee which selects the recipients.  Dr. Tucker was also recognized by Delta Council as Researcher of the Year in 1993.

DRS. WISE AND TUCKER RECOGNIZED FOR

"BEST SCIENTIFIC PAPER"

David Wise and Craig Tucker received the 2009 MAFES research award for the year’s best scientific paper. The award was presented on June 14, 2010, by Dr. Melissa Mixon at the summer meeting of faculty and staff of the Division of Agriculture, Forestry, and Veterinary Medicine. The paper, “Farm-level economic impacts of trematode Bolbophorus sp. infections of channel catfish Ictalurus punctatus,” was also awarded best paper of the year by the American Fisheries Society.

MRS. SARAH HARRIS RECEIVES 2010 LOUIS AND DORIS WISE AWARD.

Sarah Harris received the Louis and Doris Wise Award in a ceremony on June 4 at Mississippi State University. Sarah accepted the award from Dr. Melissa Mixon (right), Director of the Mississippi Agriculture and Forestry Experiment Station and Mrs. Doris Wise (center), wife of past-MSU Vice President, Dr. Louis Wise.

The award is given annually to an employee of the Division of Agriculture, Forestry and Veterinary Medicine for "exceptional service to the Division, the University, and the People of Mississippi." Sarah has provided 34 years of service to the University. She initially worked as Administrative Assistant to Dr. C.G. Shepherd, Head of the Delta Branch Experiment Station. For the last 23 years, she has worked with Dr. Shepherd and, more recently, Dr. Craig Tucker in the office of the Southern Regional Aquaculture Center.

She was nominated for this award by administrators with Mississippi State University, Michigan State University, USDA-ARS, and USDA-NIFA. As a high-level USDA administrator stated:"Sarah has earned the professional respect of her peers, university partners, USDA program leaders and staff, as well as the diverse regional and national stakeholders she works with as part of her job. She is a model what public service is about."

DR. JIM STEEBY RECEIVES 2010 DISTINGUISHED SERVICE AWARD BY THE UNITED STATES AQUACULTURE SOCIETY

Dr. Jim Steeby, of the National Warmwater Aquaculture Center, Delta Research and Extension Center in Stoneville, was awarded the 2010 Distinguished Service Award by the United States Aquaculture Society, A Chapter of the World Aquaculture Society at the Aquaculture America Meeting in San Diego, CA on March 2, 2010.

This award recognizes Dr. Steeby for his cutting edge personal contributions to the U. S. aquaculture industry through his leadership in research, education, extension, and consultant work in aquaculture.

Dr. Steeby has been a member of the Society for over 15 years, making numerous presentations on research and extension topics as well as acting as a session chair at annual meetings.

2008 NORTH AMERICAN JOURNAL OF AQUACULTURE BEST PAPER NOMINEES

Each year, the American Fisheries Society selects one outstanding paper from each of the society's journals to receive an award as best paper of the year.

Seven papers were nominated for the 2008 best paper in the North American Journal of Aquaculture. 

Of these seven, five were from the National Warmwater Aquaculture Center.

  • "Production and Associated Economics of Channel Catfish Fed Different Practical Diets in the Fingerling-Stocker Phase of Culture" by Lou D'Abramo, Terry Hanson, and Jim Steeby.

  •  "Effects of Dissolved Oxygen Concentration on Oxygen Consumption and Development of Channel Catfish Eggs and Fry: Implications for Hatchery Management" by Les Torrans and Jim Steeby.

  • "Tolerance of Channel Catfish Fry to Abrupt pH Changes" by Charles Mischke and David Wise.

  •  "Production Responses of Channel Catfish to Minimum Daily Dissolved Oxygen Concentrations in Earthen Ponds" by Les Torrans .

  • "Farm-Level Economic Impacts of Bolbophorus Infections of Channel Catfish" by David Wise, Terry Hanson, and Craig Tucker.

The paper by Wise, Hanson, and Tucker was selected as best paper of 2008.

DR. CHARLES C. MISCHKE RECEIVES 2009 DISTINGUISHED EARLY CAREER AWARD FROM THE U.S. AQUACULTURE SOCIETY.

Dr. Charles C. Mischke, of the National Warmwater Aquaculture Center at the Delta Research and Extension Center in Stoneville, received the 2009 Distinguished Early Career Award from the U.S. Aquaculture Society. The Distinguished Early Career Award recognizes an individual who has been involved in U.S. aquaculture for 10 years or less. This award recognizes outstanding leadership or innovation in research, education, extension, or industry development in the field of aquaculture. The award specifically emphasizes significant personal contributions made to further advance U.S. aquaculture.

DR. LES TORRANS AND DR. JIM STEEBY RECEIVES NATIONAL TECHNOLOGY TRANSFER AWARD

Two scientists at the Thad Cochran National Warmwater Aquaculture Center received a national technology transfer award in February 2009 for their work with catfish hatcheries. Dr. Les Torrans determined the oxygen requirements of channel catfish eggs and fry, and showed that fry survival rates improve when catfish eggs receive highly oxygenated water during the last day of incubation. He collaborated with Dr. Jim Steeby, who determined that 65 per cent of Mississippi and Arkansas catfish hatcheries had lower-than-optimal oxygen rates during the critical time of high oxygen demand. The two scientists, with more than 60 years of combined experience in the industry, identified potential solutions to the problem and educated hatchery owners about the need for increased egg oxygenation. They worked directly with 12 fish farms in the two states to help them adopt improved management techniques.

Dr. Torrans is a fish biologist with the Catfish Genetics Research Unit of the United States Department of Agriculture’s Agricultural Research Service. Dr. Steeby is an aquaculture specialist with the Mississippi State University Extension Service. Both scietists are affiliated with the Thad Cochran National Warmwater Aquaculture Center.

The annual award recognizes ARS researchers and extramural collaborators who successfully develop and deliver new technology for public use.

award_Sarah_and_Jimmy_USDA.jpg (141730 bytes) DR. JIMMY AVERY AND MRS. SARAH HARRIS RECEIVES USDA 2009 OUTSTANDING SERVICE AND PERFORMANCE IN ORGANIZATION, MANAGEMENT AND LEADERSHIP OF THE REGIONAL RESEARCH AND EXTENSION CATFISH FORUM AWARD

Dr. Jimmy Avery and Mrs. Sarah Harris were recognized on June 8, 2009, by the United States Department of Agriculture for ". . . outstanding service and performance in organization, management, and leadership of the Regional Research and Extension Catfish Forum . . . ." The forum was initiated by Drs. Gary Jensen and Jeff Silverstein, USDA National Program Leaders for Aquaculture in the USDA Cooperative States Research, Education and Extension Service (CSREES) and the Agricultural Research Service (ARS), respectively. The forum’s goal was to identify critical research and extension needs for the farm-raised catfish industry in the southeastern United States and to coordinate activities among institutions active in aquaculture research and extension. The initial meeting was held in Natchez, Mississippi, in March and was the largest gathering of catfish aquaculture research and extension scientists in the United States. The effort culminated on June 3 with a full-day strategic planning session involving industry representatives from the Catfish Farmers of America. Dr. Avery coordinated logistics for both meetings and was leader of the work group that developed and planned the June meeting. Mrs. Harris was responsible for managing the grant that funded the activities and worked with Dr. Avery to plan and coordinate both meetings.

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DR. CRAIG TUCKER RECEIVES 2009 UNITED STATES AQUACULTURE SOCIETY'S DISTINGUISHED SERVICE AWARD

Dr. Craig Tucker received the United States Aquaculture Society’s Distinguished Service Award at the Society’s annual meeting in Seattle, Washington, in February 2009. The Distinguished Service Award recognizes an individual who has made outstanding personal contributions to the United States Chapter of the World Aquaculture Society and the U.S. aquaculture industry. The award emphasizes significant leadership and overall impact in research, education, extension, or industry development in the field of aquaculture. Dr. Tucker is Director of National Warmwater Aquaculture Center and the USDA Southern Regional Aquaculture Center.  He is also past-editor of the Journal of the World Aquaculture Society and editor, with Dr. John Hargreaves, of “Environmental Best Management Practices for Aquaculture,” which was co-published by Wiley-Blackwell and the United States Aquaculture Society in 2008.

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DR. BRIAN BOSWORTH OF STONEVILLE AWARDED
DELTA COUNCIL ACHIEVEMENT AWARD

Dr. Brian Bosworth of Stoneville was awarded the Delta Council Achievement Award for Research at the 73rd Annual Meeting of the regional economic and agricultural development group on May 23 in Cleveland, MS. Bosworth was presented the award by Tom Gary, chairman of Delta Council's Executive Committee. Mr. Gary stated, "Delta Council has probably exerted more resources and hours toward its support for the agricultural research programs of Mississippi State University, USDA, and the Forest Service than any other single issue throughout the organization's 73-year history. Many hours of dedicated leadership by Delta farmers and agribusinesses has resulted in a critical mass of intellectual capacity at Stoneville which is unmatched anywhere in the world. The Delta Council Research Achievement Award for 2008 goes to a close friend of Delta Council. Dr. Brian Bosworth of ARS-USDA in Stoneville is the recipient of the 2008 recognition."

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DR. CRAIG TUCKER RECIPIENT OF 2008 FACULTY RESEARCH AWARD

Dr. Craig Tucker received the 2008 Faculty Research Award for the College of Forest Resources at the Mississippi State University Annual Research Awards Banquet on April 29. Dr. Tucker is the Director of the National Warmwater Aquaculture Center at the Delta Research and Extension Center.

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CATFISH FARMERS OF MISSISSIPPI RECOGNIZES DR. LES TORRANS

Dr. Les Torrans, a fish production specialist at the USDA Catfish Genetics Research Unit at Stoneville, Mississippi, was presented the Distinguished Service Award for Research by Catfish Farmers of Mississippi.  CFM President Keith King, right, presented the award during CFM's Annual Meeting at the Fish Farming Trade Show in February, 2008.  Torrans currently serves NWAC as a Fish Production Specialist and conducts practical research on water quality and aeration in catfish ponds, as well as catfish hatchery design and management.

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DR. PATRICIA GAUNT PRESENTED PFIZER ANIMAL HEALTH AWARD
FOR RESEARCH EXCELLENCE

Dr. Patricia S. Gaunt, Associate Professor of Aquatic Animal Health at MSU College of Veterinary Medicine, received the 2007 Pfizer Animal Health Award for Research Excellence. This is a peer-selection award recognizing an outstanding researcher in the field of veterinary medicine.  Dr. Gaunt specializes in the area of aquatic pharmacology and toxicology at the Aquatic Diagnostic Laboratory, National Warmwater Aquaculture Center.  The award was presented by Dr. Jerald Ainsworth, Associate Dean for Research and Graduate Studies.

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Dr. BRIAN SMALL RECIPIENT OF THE 2007 U.S. AQUACULTURE SOCIETY
EARLY CAREER AWARD

Dr. Brian Small from the USDA Catfish Genetics Research Unit at Stoneville, Mississippi was the 2007 recipient of the U.S. Aquaculture Society Early Career Award. In a career that spanned only 9 years at the time, Dr. Small had 35 peer-reviewed papers, 50 published abstracts, and 12 additional papers in symposium papers and popular publications. His work has had an impact on catfish production practices in the area of egg and embryo survival, and on catfish genetic improvement through the identification of genes regulating economically important traits. In 2006, he was named USDA ARS Mid-South Area Early Career Research Scientist Award Winner.

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DR. MENGHE LI NAMED 2007 OUTSTANDING MAFES WORKER

Dr. Menghe H. Li, Research Professor at the Thad Cochran National Warmwater Aquaculture Center in Stoneville, was honored with the Outstanding MAFES Worker Award presented by the Mississippi Agricultural and Forestry Experiment Station during the organizations' Nov. 5-7 joint annual conference. The awards are sponsored by the Farm Credit System in Mississippi.  Participants in the award ceremony include (from left) Land Bank of North Mississippi loan officer Matthew Raff; Jane Parish; Menghe H. Li; Land Bank South Senior Vice President Gary Blair; and MSU Vice President for Agriculture, Forestry and Veterinary Medicine Vance Watson.

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DR. CRAIG TUCKER RECEIVES 2007 OUTSTANDING ACHIEVEMENT AWARD

Dr. Craig Tucker, Research Professor and Director of the National Warmwater Aquaculture Center was among three College of Forest Resources faculty members honored recently with outstanding achievement awards. Receiving the 2007 awards are (l-r) Wildlife and Fisheries Professor and Interim Associate Dean Richard M. Kaminski for service, Wildlife and Fisheries Professor Craig Tucker for research, and Forestry Professor Robert Parker for teaching. The awards were presented at the college's annual advisory banquet.  (Nov 29, 2007)

DR. ED ROBINSON AND DR. MENGHE LI
RECOGNIZED FOR CAREER ACHIEVEMENTS AND
FOR "MOST RELEVANT PUBLICATION TO MISSISSIPPI"

ed robinsonSTONEVILLE -- The research of two Delta professors has the potential to save Mississippi catfish producers an estimated $5 million to $8 million annually.  Now the researchers are being awarded for their contributions.   Ed Robinson and Menghe Li are research professors in catfish nutrition at the Mississippi State University Delta Research and Extension Center's National Warmwater Aquaculture Center in Stoneville.

They recently received the “most relevant publication to Mississippi” award menghe lifrom the Mississippi Agriculture and Forestry Experiment Station.  Their publication, “A Summary of Catfish Nutrition Research Conducted under a Cooperative Agreement between MAFES and Delta Western Research Center,” documents ways to reduce catfish feed costs.  The research was a collaborative effort between MSU and Delta Western.

Robinson and Li also have been named researchers of the year in additional awards. Robinson received the award of researcher of the year from MAFES, and Li received a researcher of the year award from MSU's College of Forest Resources.  “It's nice to be recognized, and the awards provide encouragement to continue to work hard,” Robinson said. “It's also good for the research group. All the data are the work of a lot of people.”  Li also noted the contribution of his research group in earning the recognitions.  “I was honored to receive the awards,” Li said. “They recognized not just me, but the hard work of the researchers, support staff and pond crew in the catfish nutrition program.”  Tucker said that as a result of Robinson and Li's contributions to catfish nutrition research, dietary protein levels have been reduced and vitamin and mineral requirements have been refined.

Released: Dec. 8, 2005
Writer: Robert H. Wells, Delta Research and Extension Center

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DR. DAVID WISE NAMED
2004 OUTSTANDING MAFES WORKER

Dr. David Wise, a research scientist at NWAC, has been named the 2004 Outstanding Mississippi Agricultural and Forestry Experiment Station Worker. 

Dr. Wise leads a team at NWAC which researches the causes and treatment of fish diseases and assesses and develops treatments for new diseases potentially threatening to the catfish industry. 

Wise, a native of Austin, Texas, earned his bachelor's degree in aquatic biology at Southwest Texas State University and a doctorate and master's in microbiology and aquaculture, fisheries and wildlife, respectively, at Clemson University.

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DR. JIMMY AVERY RECEIVES
MSU ALUMNI SERVICE AWARD

Dr. Jimmy Avery was honored during the 40th annual faculty recognition program sponsored by the MSU Alumni Association with presentation of the Service Award.

Dr. Avery is Extension Aquaculture Leader at NWAC and is responsible for education and technology transfer to commercial producers and infrastructure personnel.  Dr. Avery develops educational publications and conducts workshops as well as assists aquaculture commodity associations and individual producers through the Delta.