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Extension hires dairy specialist
MISSISSIPPI STATE – A Mississippi State University Extension Service employee with 22 years of experience in county-level programming for agricultural and natural resources, 4-H, consumer education and community development is the new statewide dairy specialist.
Lamar Adams, who was Extension director in Walthall County, began his new job May 1. Adams will develop educational programs for dairy producers throughout the state as a faculty member in MSU’s Department of Animal and Dairy Sciences.
“Having been a part of Mississippi’s dairy industry essentially all of my life, I understand the opportunities and challenges facing our producers,” Adams said. “I plan to provide leadership and support by developing, implementing and evaluating programs to meet the needs of the industry.”
Adams grew up on a dairy farm in Newton County and spent his teenage years working at a neighbor’s dairy. He majored in dairy science at MSU and worked at dairy facilities on campus and at the Mississippi Agricultural and Forestry Experiment Station’s Coastal Plain Unit in Newton.
After earning his bachelor’s and master’s degrees, Adams worked as 4-H youth agent in Smith County before moving to Walthall County to serve as agricultural agent. He later became county director and began work on a doctorate in Agricultural and Extension Education at MSU.
“Lamar has extensive experience working with the dairy industry and is highly regarded by producers,” said Terry Kiser, animal and dairy sciences department head. “His appointment as our Extension dairy specialist comes at a crucial time because of the serious economic situation in the dairy industry.”
Adams, who is finishing his doctorate course requirements, said he will be involved with regional and national Extension programming for milk marketing and herd management strategies. He also said he plans to network with Louisiana State University personnel as part of a long-standing agreement between the two universities to share research and educational resources.
“Dairy producers are exposed to more volatility in the price they receive for their product than are producers of most agricultural commodities,” Adams said. “Throughout my career, dairy producers have asked for assistance with monitoring milk market conditions and developing good management programs for all aspects of their operations.”
He said he wants to help dairy producers improve cost efficiency by addressing such management issues as herd health and nutrition, pastures and forages, milk quality, reproduction, environmental stewardship, biosecurity, financial analysis, labor and record keeping.
“My new position will offer many challenges and rewards as I interact with producers and other people affiliated with the dairy industry throughout Mississippi,” Adams said. “I look forward to working alongside my colleagues to identify educational needs and implement programs to address those needs.”
Writer: Patti Drapala