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New MSU cotton specialist named
MISSISSIPPI STATE -- The new Extension cotton specialist at Mississippi State University is a weed scientist who is no stranger to MSU or agronomic crops.
Before Tom Barber was named the MSU Extension Service cotton specialist on July 1, he spent three and a half years at MSU working with cotton and corn. Most recently, he was responsible for managing 170 acres of remote sensing, site-specific precision agriculture and weed control field and plot research.
“His primary role as cotton specialist will be to support the cotton producers of Mississippi,” said Mike Collins, head of MSU’s Plant and Soil Sciences Department. “He’ll do traditional Extension activities like making farm visits to diagnose problems, but also organize and put on educational programs to bring new information to producers.”
The McCaskill, Ark., native earned his doctorate in the Department of Plant and Soil Sciences from MSU in 2004. He received both his bachelor’s and master’s degrees from the University of Arkansas in agronomy and weed science, respectively.
“Tom is very well suited to an Extension role and will be able to use his educational strengths to good advantage,” Collins said. “His specific training is in weed science, but he also is up to date with some of the newer technologies such as precision agriculture, site-specific management and remote sensing.
Barber replaces Will McCarty, who left the position to become the assistant director for Extension Agriculture and Natural Resources.
Barber is married to the former Scharidi Hale of Springdale, Ark. The couple have a son, Haeden, and are expecting their second child