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Mississippi farmers invest in soybean education, research

The Mississippi Soybean Promotion Board (MSPB) will invest in the Edgar E. Hartwig Endowed Chair in Soybean Agronomy. Will bolster soybean research, teaching and service at Mississippi State University (MSU). 

Mississippi Soybean Promotion Board (MSPB) investment in the Edgar E. Hartwig Endowed Chair in Soybean Agronomy will enhance soybean research, teaching and service at Mississippi State University (MSU) for years to come.

Named after the late Edgar E. Hartwig, a renowned soybean breeder, MSPB’s investment will help fund an endowed chair in MSU’s Department of Plant and Soil Sciences.

“We are excited to partner with Mississippi State University, the Hartwigs and our industry partners to establish this chair focused on soybean production,” says Jimmy Sneed, soybean farmer from Hernando and former chairman of MSPB. “This investment will benefit all soybean farmers with applied research to improve soybean production.”

MSPB’s funding leveraged additional funding from industry partners Monsanto and Syngenta.

“An endowed chair is valuable to MSU and Syngenta because a commitment to research and development leads to new advancements and innovative practices in soybean production,” says Rex Wichert, head of Syngenta’s soybean portfolio. “Through university-driven research, producers and industry will have access to technologies and training that enhance soybean productivity.”

Hartwig spent 47 years with the USDA’s Agricultural Research Service in Stoneville. He developed many of the soybean varieties grown in the southern United States and regions around the world with similar climates.

Soybean production in Mississippi set a record in 2012, with average yields of 45 bushels per acre and value of production at more than $1 billion.

“Soybean production improves our state’s economy and environment,” says George Hopper, dean of the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences and director of the Mississippi Agricultural and Forestry Experiment Station. “An endowed chair will sustain research, teaching and service focused on improving soybean cropping systems.”

Hopper added that the future of soybean research and education will include integrating tillage systems, crop rotations, soil and water conservation, cover crops, pest management and sufficient plant nutrition.

A 2007 contribution from Hartwig’s wife, Winifred, to MSU established the endowed chair and provided support for graduate student research. The investments from MSPB and its industry partners will be added to the original fund.

For more information on the Mississippi Soybean Promotion Board, visit


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