On February 6th 2014, Mississippi State University will host the second annual “Future of Agriculture Graduate Student Competition”. The competition will be open to M.S. and Ph.D. students working in production agriculture. Over the last several years, there has been a tremendous surge in job availability for students with backgrounds in applied production agriculture. The agricultural industry groups are continuously looking for young talented individuals to employ, and the candidate pool for students with these particular skills is limited.
Our goal for this competition is three fold. First, invitations will be extended to all major agricultural companies interested in scouting talented students at Mississippi State University so industry personnel have the opportunity to develop relationships with the students prior to their graduation. Second, we want to provide an additional opportunity for our students to speak and present their research to a diverse audience and be judged by farmers, consultants, and industry personnel instead of just academic professionals. Finally, the competition will be multi-disciplinary. There are few meetings where students in Weed Science, Entomology, Agronomy, Plant Pathology, etc. get to compete against each other. We believe this will also help the students develop better relationships with each other and foster team-building skills.