The Mississippi Soybean Promotion Board has named its research fellowship the T.S. Bufkin Doctoral Fellowship to honor the former MSPB executive secretary, who served the board since 1964. It will be awarded to a candidate in soybean production research,

“He was working with soybeans when we were just beginning to recognize soybeans as a crop here in the South,” said Alan Blaine, a former soybean specialist who worked closely with Bufkin during his time with MSPB.

Bufkin helped to form the board and eventually move it into the national checkoff once that was established in 1991. Bufkin says that he saw it as his duty and responsibility to help Mississippi farmers.

“He’s helped those farmer-leaders manage their business,” said Blaine.

Bufkin has been instrumental not only in the Mississippi soybean industry, but also in Mississippi agriculture. He started his career working in Extension helping soybean and grain farmers across the state.

Jerry Slocum, who currently serves on MSPB, explains that throughout the years Bufkin has impacted the whole Mississippi feed and grain industry. MSPB directors see this fellowship as a good way to invest in the Mississippi soybean industry and honor Bufkin.

“It’s hard to imagine one person making those contributions to an industry,” adds Slocum. “We hope this fellowship honors Truett’s past contributions and continues to do so into the future.”

Students can apply for the fellowship by contacting Dr. Mike Phillips, department head, Plant and Soil Sciences at Mississippi State University, Room 117 – Dorman Hall, Box 9555, Mississippi State, MS 39762; (662) 325-2311; mphillips@pss.msstate.edu.

The application can be viewed at www.pss.msstate.edu/docs/bufkin.pdf.

MSPB is made up of farmer-directors who oversee the investments of the soybean checkoff on behalf of all Mississippi soybean farmers. Checkoff funds are invested in the areas of animal utilization, human utilization, industrial utilization, industry relations, market access and supply.