Fruit crops specialist Stafne joins MSU

Mississippi fruit producers have a new specialist to consult about crop problems and advise them on best practices.

Mississippi State University's Extension Service has hired Eric Stafne as the assistant Extension professor of fruit crops. He is located at MSU's Coastal Research and Extension Center in Poplarville.

After earning a bachelor's degree from Michigan State University in forestry, Stafne received his master's in horticulture and doctorate in plant science, both from the University of Arkansas. From 2005 until November 2011, he worked for Oklahoma State University's Department of Horticulture as the state specialist for fruit crops. He has worked with a variety of different fruit crops, as well as pecans.

Patricia Knight, head of the Coastal Research and Extension Center, said Stafne has significant experience communicating with horticultural audiences and will work closely with fruit growers across the state.

"Eric has a strong background in both Extension and fruit crop production. He has already launched a fruit blog and has been busy making contacts with the Mississippi fruit industry," Knight said.

Stafne can be reached by e-mail at or at 601-403-8939.

Linda Breazeale | MSU Ag Communications

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