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Alcorn's Department of Agriculture presents research during Agricultural Research Service Collaboration Meeting

Faculty members from the Department of Agriculture at Alcorn State University showcased their scientific research during a collaboration meeting with the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA).

The USDA Agricultural Research Service (ARS) visited the campus Wednesday, June 22, to listen to several scientific research presentations during the ARS Collaboration Meeting in the Agricultural Extension and Research Building, Ray Johnson Auditorium. Alcorn President Dr. Felecia M. Nave organized the collaboration.

ARS is the USDA's chief scientific in-house research agency. The organization specializes in finding agricultural problems affecting Americans daily from field to table. ARS aims to deliver scientific solutions to national and global agricultural challenges.

Dr. Edmund Buckner, dean of the School of Agriculture and Applied Sciences, spoke about the meeting and ARS’s role in giving Alcorn graduates opportunities to further their careers with the agency.

"The purpose of this meeting is for Alcorn and ARS to collaborate on research projects," said Buckner. "ARS is one of the lead agencies within the USDA responsible for agricultural research. They collaborate with researchers and hire many of our students, especially after they have gone through graduate school and are trained to conduct research. We're excited by the possibility of additional collaboration because it helps our scientists and students. We look forward to growing our partnership."

ARS's Southeast Region has a budget of $320 million and 26 locations in the area that conducts research that Alcorn could collaborate with in the future. Dr. Chunquan Zhang, associate director for Research for the School, feels honored to be a part of the agency's network.

"Because of so many locations in our region, there is a broad stage that Alcorn can tap into for future collaborations with the USDA," said Zhang. "We are part of the USDA branch. They nurture us by giving us opportunities to learn more."

Archie Tucker, director of the USDA Agriculture Resource Service Southeast Region in Stoneville, Mississippi, was impressed with the presentations and looks forward to working with University scientists and researchers in the future.

"Today's presentations were great," said Tucker. "It felt good to be on campus and hear Alcorn's scientists talk about their research. ARS is here to listen and look for opportunities to collaborate with Alcorn faculty, staff, and students. We hope to make research collaborations going forward."