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Poplarville to unveil horticulture lab plans
MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Plans for a new 30,000 square foot horticulture laboratory complex were unveiled during July 11 ceremonies at the South Mississippi Branch Experiment Station in Poplarville.
The $10 million Pearl River County facility will house research laboratories and offices for U.S. Department of Agriculture and Mississippi State University personnel. The laboratories will be used for ornamental horticulture and small fruit research. Construction will begin later this year.
The Poplarville facility will be the only major horticultural research facility on the Interstate 10 corridor between Florida and California, said Vance Watson, Mississippi State University interim vice president of the Division of Agriculture, Forestry and Veterinary Medicine.
"Horticulture, including commercial nurseries and landscaping enterprises, is a billion dollar industry in Mississippi," he said. "It's important that we do whatever it takes to support that industry."
State Senator Joe Stogner of the 40th district, which includes parts of Lamar, Marion, Pearl River and Walthall counties, noted that the work conducted at the new facility will have long-term economic benefits for South Mississippi.
"The research we do today will impact our lives 10 years down the road," he said. "This type of investment is important in drawing industry to our state."