2012 Louisiana-Mississippi Memorandum of Understanding Advisory Meeting

Vinicius Moreira  |  11/9/2012 3:24:34 AM

LSU AgCenter/MAFES MOU Committee Meeting - Minutes
(September 13, 2012)
Southeast Research Station, Franklinton, LA

Members attending:

Frank Holmes, Tylertown, MS dairyman                                                   
Walter Smith, Mt. Hermon, LA beef producer                                                  
Wedge Barthe, Norwood, LA beef producer                                            
Bubba Huckaby, Kentwood Co-op (manager)                                                  
Pud Stringer, Foxworth, MS dairyman                                                    
Eddie Forbes, Sandy Hook, MS dairyman                                                   
Bruce Roberts, Pearl River Co, MS beef producer                                                   
J. A. Girgenti , Amite, LA beef producer

Bobby Fletcher, LSU AgCenter, SE Reg. Dir.                                                   
Mike McCormick, LSU AgCenter Res. Coord.                                                    
Vinicius Moreira, LSU AgCenter, SERS                                                    
Kun Jun Han, LSU AgCenter, SERS                                                    
Ronnie Bardwell, LSU AgCenter, LCES, SERS                                                    
Charlie Hutchison, LSU AgCenter, LCES, BR                                                   
Ed Twidwell, LSU AgCenter, Forage Specialist                                                   
Karl Harborth, LSU AgCenter, LCES, BR                                                   
Gary Hay, LSU AgCenter, School of An. Sciences                                                   
Joe Street, Inter. Extension Director, MSU/MAFES                                                   
Reuben Moore, North Reg. Director, MSU/MAFES                                                    
Lamar Adams, MSU Extension, Starksville                                                  
Daniel Rivera, MSU Branch Exp. Sta. Poplarville                                                   
Bill Herndon, MSU Professor & VP for Ag, Forestry and Vet-Med                                                    
Mark Crenshaw, Extension Professor & Interim Head, MSU Animal and Dairy Sciences 

Dr. McCormick called to order, welcomed everyone and initiated introductions. It was noted that the MOU had served several purposes including reducing duplication of research and extension efforts, establishing a joint dairy management conference, collaborative research between SERS and MSU Br. Station in Poplarville, upgrading facilities via a USDA grant for both units, joint use of the SERS Forage Lab.

Administrative speakers:

Dr. Bill Herndon noted that MSU made significant improvements in the university dairy and acknowledged Daniel Rivera’s activity at the White Sands Research Station. Dr. Reuben Moore read important aspects from the MOU highlighting “to identify research and extension needs on both sides of the state line” and suggested that this was probably a model that should be expanded to other commodities. Dr. Moore challenged the group to read the MOU and improve upon what we have.

Dr. Bobby Fletcher spoke for the LSU AgCenter administrators. He acknowledged the possibility of the SE Station to be closed in the near future, according to a current business plan. Mr. Frank Holmes questioned on possible routes to maintain the station open and Mr. Wedge Barthe asked the fate of both, the station’s land and the MOU with Mississippi, in case this station closes. Dr. Fletcher indicated the MOU could be modified but emphasized the intention to maintain current MS-LA partnership. He also pointed that if the station is closed, the land could be leased. Mr. Girgenti suggested gathering support for the station in urban areas for the importance of the station on studying ways to limit environmental impact and to improve local produce. Dr. McCormick replied that that was part of a counter proposal prepared by the station scientists and Dr. Fletcher. That proposal had already been submitted to LSU AgCenter leadership. Dr. McCormick announced that Doug McKean, research associate and herd manager, had left the station to work as a LDAF meat inspector.
Dr. Fletcher announced that Dr. Ronnie Bardwell is retiring and that his position would not be replaced. He indicated that Drs. McCormick and Hutchison would share Dr. Bardwell’s responsibilities in assisting dairy producers.

Next, Dr. Mark Creenshaw, interim head, was invited to make comments about MSU Department of Animal and Dairy Sciences. The department recently hired two new faculty, Dr. Caleb Lemley (Reproductive physiologist) and Dr. Shengfa Liao (swine nutritionist). Dr. Ward had a couple of studies on dairy calves.

Lamar Adams announced the MS-LA Dairy Conference for the 2nd Thursday in January. It was also announced that a Dairy Pasture Meeting was scheduled for Kianell Smith’s Dairy. Currently there are 109 dairy farms left in Mississippi, but the future is looking bleak.

Daniel Rivera listed a number of studies currently underway at the White Sands Research Station, including alternative byproducts for beef cattle. Bubba Huckaby commented on the importance of research on such feeds as substitutes for traditional commodities currently marketed at very high prices or simply unavailable in the market. The White Sands Research Station Field Day is scheduled for around November 13. Rocky Lemus is also working with switch grass. In extension, he announced boot camps for novice beef producers and also added that Dr. Lemus would hold a Grazing School in Meadville, MS on November 30.

For the LSU AgCenter School of Animal Sciences, Dr. Gary Hay announced the hiring of two new faculty, Dr. Karl Harborth (Beef Extension Specialist) and Dr. Matt Garcia (Beef Geneticist). He also highlighted campus dairy research on dry cow treatment for heifers and calf research.

Dr. Karl Harborth had a couple of studies on calf weaning and a survey at sale barns.
Dr. Charlie Hutchison indicated milk prices going upwards, although feed prices will likely offset returns. He also mentioned about the campus dairy studies on dry cow treatment of pregnant heifers.
Dr. Ronnie Bardwell announced his retirement and talked about his extension programs over the years.

Dr. Moreira mentioned his work at the Southeast Station on protein feeding for dairy cows and wastewater treatment systems.

Dr. Kun Jun Han commented about new grants received to work on pelletized chicken manure and biofuel analysis methodology. The study on corn gluten as fertilizer was completed.

Dr. McCormick made a short presentation on the steer project comparing supplementation of citrus pulp with soyhulls. Both groups had similar weights at the end of the study.
Ed Twidwell announced AFGC meeting for Friday, December 7.

Producer speakers:

In the second part of the meeting, producers were asked to share their thoughts and concerns, as well as suggest areas they thought the MOU group (MS and LA) should help address in the upcoming year.
Eddie Forbes requested that we intensify our efforts to identify lower cost alternative feeds to attenuate the burden of high feed costs. He suggested an assessment of potential negative impacts of using less-than-optimal feeds on milking cow performance. Mr. Forbes’ suggestion was re-emphasized by Mr. Bubba Huckaby, who agreed about the high prices of commodities and suggested that producers should intensify growth of high quality feeds locally to minimize the need for purchased feed.
Pud Stringer suggested that cost/benefits for summer annuals should be evaluated. Mr. Girgenti proposed that the group focused on pasture management research and was supported by Mr. Wedge Barthe. Both also discussed about whether to find ways to raise a steer up to 750 lb or if it was not more cost effective for southern producers to finish less heavy cattle.
Bruce Roberts raised attention to the problem of scarcity of seeds in the region and questioned if there was anything that could be done about it. Walter Smith suggested more forage selection for drought resistance.
Finally, Mr. Frank Holmes indicated that it was necessary to provide support for University personnel. He proposed that producers talked in private about the issue of closing the station and what actions should be taken.

No more comments added, Dr. McCormick adjourned and invited all to lunch.

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