Dr. Craig Tucker and Kasey L. Taylor to Speak at Rural Life Conference

Carol Sanders | School of Agriculture, Fisheries and Human Sciences

Craig Tucker and Kasey Taylor Headshoot PhotosDr. Craig Tucker will deliver the S.A. Haley Memorial Lecture and Kasey L. Taylor will be the luncheon speaker at the 60th annual Rural Life Conference Friday, March 4. The conference is sponsored by the University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff (UAPB) School of Agriculture, Fisheries and Human Sciences.

Dr. Tucker is research leader for the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA)/Agriculture Research Service Warmwater Aquaculture Research Unit in Stoneville, Mississippi. His undergraduate degree is from California State University, Humboldt, and his Ph.D. in microbiology is from Auburn University.

Dr. Tucker did postdoctoral research at Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute before becoming the first scientist hired in Mississippi State University’s aquaculture research program. He served as its director and as director of the USDA Southern Regional Aquaculture Center before retiring in 2012. His research interests include developing new pond-based production systems and environmental management practices for aquaculture. He has written or edited nine books on aquaculture and hundreds of scientific articles and book chapters.

Taylor is the state conservationist for the Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) in Delaware, a position to which she was appointed in 2013. She is responsible for providing overall direction of NRCS personnel, conservation programs and activities consistent with the Farm Bill. During her 21-year tenure with NRCS, Taylor has served as District Conservationist, Assistant State Conservationist for Field Operations and Acting Assistant State Conservationist for Operations. She has also served at Acting State Conservationist for Kansas, Colorado and Nebraska as well as acting National Conservation Reserve Program Manager.

An Illinois native, Taylor graduated from UAPB with a bachelor’s degree in animal science. Her passion is to support the conservation partnership and ensure equal access to all USDA programs. She and her husband, Myron, have two children.

Registration for the Rural Life Conference begins at 7:30 a.m. in the Isaac S. Hathaway – John M. Howard Fine Arts Center on the UAPB campus with the opening session beginning at 8:45 a.m. when Dr. Tucker will speak. Attendees can then select from eight workshops to participate in. Exhibits and posters will also be part of the conference. The luncheon will be at the Pine Bluff Convention Center at 1 Convention Center Plaza, where Taylor will speak.

Preregistration is requested of everyone even though the conference is free to farmers, retirees and family managers. The cost to professionals and agency personnel is $75. To preregister, contact Delila Thurman at (870) 575-8968 or thurmand@uapb.edu.

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