Two Mississippi State University graduate students have been named recipients of scholarships from the Mississippi Agricultural Consultants Association. The award is made annually to a student, or students, in recognition of outstanding achievements in their agricultural studies.

“It’s impressive each year to see the high caliber work being done by students pursuing degrees in agricultural specialties,” said Bill Pellum, Clarksdale, Miss., consultant, who presented the awards at the group’s annual meeting.

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William Jeffrey Mansour, Greenville, Miss., and John Hartley North, Madison, Miss., are the 2016 scholarship honorees.

“Jeffrey’s professors describe him as someone with a passion for agricultural row crops, and one who immerses himself in his work,” Pellum said. He plans to complete work on his master’s degree in plant pathology, then pursue a Ph.D.

He earned his B.S. in biology at the University of Arkansas. His master’s thesis title, under the direction of Dr. Tom Allen, is “Determining the Impacts of Fungicide Phytotoxicity in Mississippi Soybeans.

He made presentations at four events in 2015 — The Future of Agriculture Convention, Southern Soybean Disease Workers, American Phytopathological Society, and the Mississippi Association of Plant Pathologists and Nematologists, where he placed second in the overall competition.

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Jeffrey is the recipient of the Monsanto Precision Agriculture Scholarship and the Frank Killebrew Scholarship. He has been involved in six technical bulletins evaluating fungicides from different suppliers.

He has done summer work with Dow AgroSciences, at the Delta Research and Extension Center, and with Raven Planting Company. He is a member of Sigma Chi fraternity and numerous clubs and organizations, including Delta Waterfowl Conservation and the Wildlife Turkey Federation, both involving fund-raising activities.

John Hartley North earned his B.S. degree in agronomy, with a focus on integrated pest management, at Mississippi State University, and is now pursuing a master’s degree in entomology under the guidance of Drs. Angus Catchot and Jeff Gore. His thesis title is “The Value of Neonicotinoids in Mid-South Row Crop Systems,” which has included multiple arthropod management trials and evaluations of insecticide efficacy. He has also rated insecticide seeed treatments for their activity on thrips.

As a graduate research assistant, he has done small plot work  including treating, gathering data, analyzing, and presenting.

He has participated in 13 participations at various events: five on the impact and species composition of thrips on seedling cotton in the Mid-South; four on the value of neonicotinoids in Mid-South row crop systems; and two each for the value or impact of neonicotinoid seed treatments in  Mid-South row crops, and in Mid-South soybeans. He has had input into 26 publications.

Work experience has been with North Ag Consulting and Cook Ag Consulting, with responsibilities ranging from herbicide burndown to setting planters, crop scouting, small plot work, and soil sampling.

He is the recipient of the Billy Moore Soybean Doctoral Fellowship and the Pat and Linda Harris Scholarship, and is a member of the Entomological Society of America, the Mississippi Entomological Association, the MSU Entomology and Plant Pathology Club, and the Southeast branch of the Entomological Society of America.

After completing his master’s degree, he plans to pursue a Ph.D. in entomology, working with the Mississippi Soybean Promotion Board, with the aim of a career in field crops with Extension or industry.

“John has taken on a challenging thesis project,” Pellum said in presenting the MACA scholarship, “and has demonstrated a strong and diligent work ethic in his studies and activities at MSU.”