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MSU program trains cotton gin managers
MISSISSIPPI STATE -- There's a balance between class work and on-the-job experience in Mississippi State University's gin management and technology program.
The four-year program, called GMT for short, is offered through MSU's Agricultural and Biological Engineering Department and prepares students to operate and manage modern state-of-the-art cotton ginning facilities.
"This emphasis provides graduates with a thorough college education that includes technical courses specific to the fiber processing industry," said ABE department head William Batchelor. "The courses include industrial hydraulics, industrial safety, industrial controls, human relations, and gin technology and management."
The hands-on part of the program is provided by a one-semester internship at a commercial cotton gin plant and the opportunity to work with the university's mini-gin. The mini-gin, a joint project of the Department of Agricultural and Biological Engineering and the Mississippi Agricultural and Forestry Experiment Station, is one of only three such facilities in the nation.
"The cotton gin is designed to take a student's education a step further by offering experience as well as classroom instruction," said MSU agricultural engineer Eugene Columbus. "Graduates of the program are in demand because they have the necessary experience and the educational background to effectively manage today's high-tech ginning systems. About half of our graduates are employed in gin management and the rest are in other agriculture-related jobs."
Several scholarships have been established for students enrolled in the GMT program.
"We have scholarships sponsored by the Southern Cotton Ginners Association available for at least one student from each of the states of Arkansas, Louisiana, Missouri, Mississippi and Tennessee," Columbus said. "MSU also has three other scholarships available to GMT students. The scholarships range from $800 to $1,600 per semester."
For additional information on the GMT program, call the Department of Agricultural and Biological Engineering at (662) 325-3282 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.