Graduate students, Catchot honored at national cotton conference

MSU graduate student winners

MSU graduate student winners at the 2023 Beltwide Cotton Conference include, left to right, Michael Huoni, Leland; Brett Farmer, Greenwood; Mary Jane Lytle, Pine Bluff, Arkansas; Judge Fortenberry, Calhoun, Louisiana; Thomas Paul, Bloomfield Hills, Michigan; and Sawyer Hopkins, Selma, Alabama.

Six Mississippi State students and a faculty member are recent award winners at the 2023 Beltwide Cotton Conference, known as the world’s largest cotton technology transfer conference.

Coordinated by the National Cotton Council, the event includes 12 technical conferences, including the Beltwide Cotton Insect Research and Control Conference, where MSU demonstrated a strong showing.

Whitney Crow, assistant professor of entomology, serves as advisor to many of the students, who all are from the entomology program in the university’s Department of Biochemistry, Molecular Biology, Entomology and Plant Pathology in the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences.

“We are proud to have six students place out of the eight categories we participated in,” Crow said. “These students have all taken the time to practice and ask for assistance in improving their public speaking and scientific communication skills to prepare a high quality presentation.”

In the three oral master’s sections, MSU student winners include:

-- Michael Huoni, of Leland, first place, section one;

-- Judge Fortenberry of Calhoun, Louisiana, first place, section two;

-- Thomas G. Paul of Bloomfield Hills, Michigan, first place, section three;

-- Walker “Brett” Farmer of Greenwood, second place, section one; and

-- Sawyer Clayton Hopkins of Selma, Alabama, second place, section three.

In one of two Ph.D. divisions, doctoral student Mary Jane Lytle of Pine Bluff, Arkansas, also placed first.

Angus Catchot

Angus Catchot

Angus Catchot, associate director of MSU’s Mississippi Agricultural and Forestry Experiment Station and interim head of the Central Mississippi Research and Extension Center, was honored with the Excellence in Integrated Pest Management Award recognizing individuals who have made substantial contributions in this field.

“I am proud of the students who represented Mississippi State so well and their faculty mentors,” said Jeff Gore, professor and head at MSU’s Delta Research and Extension Center. “It was particularly rewarding to see Dr. Angus Catchot recognized.”

For more information on MSU’s entomology program, visit

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Trey Barrett | Agriculture and Natural Resources Marketing

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