Mike Sullivan, state conservationist with the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Natural Resources Conservation Services (NRCS), will be the guest speaker at noon Thursday, Sept. 27, at the University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff Agriculture Field Day at Lonoke.

The event will be held at the Pearlie S. Reed/Robert L. Cole Small Farm Outreach Wetlands and Water Management Center (SFO-WWMC.)

The field day begins with registration at 7:30 a.m. and welcoming remarks at 8:30 a.m. Educational tours will begin at 9 a.m. with the last tour at 11 a.m. Tours will be followed by a luncheon.

Since 2009, the featured speaker, Sullivan has been leading and accelerating conservation activities to help agricultural producers address priority natural resource concerns. He began his 37-year career with NRCS as a student trainee in Lincoln, Nebraska, and later served in Arkansas, Mississippi, Arizona and in national headquarters, according to a news release.

Sullivan was the Mississippi River Basin coordinator from 2004 to 2009 developing the Mississippi River Healthy Watersheds Initiative, an $80 million per year initiative to improve water quality, enhance wildlife habitat and maintain agricultural productivity in selected watersheds in the Mississippi River Basin.

He spent two years as the NRCS National Science and Technology coordinator. Prior to that he worked seven years in Little Rock establishing and leading the NRCS National Water Management Center assisting NRCS employees nationwide to address complex water resource problems/projects.

The North Little Rock native has a bachelor’s degree in civil engineering from the University of Arkansas and a master’s of business administration degree from Arizona State University. He is a registered professional engineer, according to the release.

The field day is dedicated to Mike Sullivan’s father, the late Albert Eugene ‘Gene’ Sullivan, who retired from the NRCS after having served as the deputy state conservationist in California, and state conservationist in Nebraska, Mississippi and Arkansas. Gene Sullivan was instrumental in the development of UAPB’s Lonoke Farm, according to the release.

The University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff offers all of its Extension and Research programs and services without discrimination.

For more information on the field day or if interested participants have special needs, they should contact Julius Handcock at 501-676-1534 or Obadiah Njue at 870-575-8152 or njueo@uapb.edu.

— Carol Sanders is a writer/editor at the UAPB School of Agriculture, Fisheries and Human Sciences.