Kenneth Hood of Perthshire and Bernard King of Pelahatchie were recognized for their contributions to the state’s boll weevil eradication effort at the group’s annual meeting in Starkville. The award is sponsored by the Mississippi State University Extension Service and the Mississippi Entomological Society.

“Boll weevil eradication has been one of the most challenging things I’ve ever been involved with, but the eradication program has done more to unify the cotton industry in Mississippi than any other one thing. It has brought the hill and Delta areas together, as they should have always been,” says Hood.

“Implementation of the Mississippi boll weevil eradication program has always been a team effort. If it hadn’t been a team effort it would never have been successful, because we have always wanted every county in the state treated equally and fairly,” he says.

“The entire state is involved in a 10-year eradication maintenance program this year, insuring the boll weevil’s demise. And what’s more, I’m proud to say I’m weevil free in 2003.”

King agrees saying, “No one person was able to make the eradication program work. It took everybody. We have run up against a bunch of walls since the program’s inception. But, when you back anything, or anybody, into a corner far enough, they are going to fight to come out of that corner, and that’s what we’ve done.”

e-mail: dmuzzi@primediabusiness.com