The director of the Mississippi Agricultural and Forestry Experiment Station is the new chair-elect of the Southern Association of Agricultural Experiment Station Directors.
George M. Hopper was voted chair-elect for 2013-14 at the organization's fall meeting. He will assume the responsibilities of chair in 2014-15.
As chair-elect, Hopper also will serve for three years on the national Experiment Station Committee on Organization and Policy, the executive body of the Experiment Station Section, Board on Agriculture Assembly of the Association of Public and Land-Grant Universities.
The Southern Association of Agricultural Experiment Station Directors includes members from 13 states and two U.S. territories: Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands.
The organization works to identify research priorities and collaborative opportunities among the 15 land-grant universities in this region. The Hatch Act of 1887 created experiment stations at land-grant universities nationwide and charged them with the mission of conducting agricultural research.
The Mississippi State University experiment station, known as MAFES, is a leader in traditional agricultural research. It also develops new technologies designed to increase crop yields, develop sustainable alternative biofuels and leverage the state's agricultural assets to produce the food, feed, fiber and fuels that are in demand around the world while increasing economic development for Mississippi.
An MSU alumnus, Hopper is also dean of the MSU College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, dean of the College of Forest Resources and director of the Forest and Wildlife Research Center.
In addition to earning bachelor's and master's degrees from MSU, Hopper holds a doctorate from Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University. A Vicksburg native, Hopper is a Society of American Foresters Fellow and a past president of the National Association of University Forest Resources Programs.