Recently, D&PL's Ken Fearday was able to take a step to support a positive future for the industry as he awarded a $750 scholarship to Herbert Miller, a graduate student at the Mississippi State University's College of Agriculture and Life Sciences.

The scholarship is funded by the Western Seed Association (WSA) and Fearday had the honor of selecting a deserving student in recognition of Fearday's service as WSA president.

"I am grateful that the WSA provided me with the opportunity to find a worthy use of these designated funds," Fearday says. "In reviewing the criteria of strong academic work supporting by field experience in either seed or cotton, we came across Herbert's name. The education and experience he's getting at Mississippi State is exactly the type of preparation students need to make valuable contributions as professionals when they join our industry."

Miller grew up on a cotton farm in the Mississippi Delta town of Drew where he worked on his grandfather's farm.

"I am sure as a very young man the help I provided was minimal, but the lessons learned from an excellent cotton farmer were invaluable,” says Miller. “And I later began scouting cotton for my father, Tucker Miller. We have spent countless hours in cotton fields with my father talking about the multiple pests and the way cotton develops. I wanted to build on that experience when I came to Mississippi State."

Miller received a bachelor's degree in agricultural pest management this past spring and began pursuing a master's degree in agronomy with emphasis on cotton. His thesis research is an agronomic study dealing with the growth, fruiting habits, and yield components of one of the Cotton Belt's most popular varieties, DP 555 BG/RR, in various row patterns and plant spacings.

He will be presenting the first year's data during the 2004 Beltwide Cotton Conferences Plant Improvement Conference. This graduate work pairs him with several of the cotton industry's most respected experts including Extension cotton specialist Will McCarty of Mississippi State University and Johnnie Jenkins, a scientist with USDA’s Agricultural Research Service.

The scholarship funded by the Western Seed Association may be increased through additional contributions made payable to the MSU Foundation. For more information, please contact Jud Skelton, director of development for the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences at (662) 325-0643.

Delta and Pine Land is a commercial breeder, producer and marketer of cotton planting seed, as well as soybean seed in the Cotton Belt. For almost 90 years, the company has used its extensive cotton plant breeding programs drawing from a diverse germplasm base to develop improved varieties.

Delta and Pine Land (NYSE: DLP), headquartered in Scott, Miss., has offices in eight states and facilities in several foreign countries. For more information, please refer to the Company's website at www.deltaandpine.com.

e-mail: flaws@primediabusiness.com