International Insect Rearing Workshop
- Images and Student Comments from the 2012 Workshop
- Fall 2013 Workshop: Overview
- 2013 Workshop Waiting List Form
Dr. Louela Castrillo lecturing during workshop
In 2000, the Department of Entomology & Plant Pathology at Mississippi State University (MSU) initiated formal education for those who rear insects under laboratory conditions. The idea of a workshop devoted to insect rearing was conceived by USDA/ARS and MSU researchers who had spent many years rearing insects professionally. Not only did they recognize a need for insect rearing education in this country; but, based on their extensive international travels, they also recognized a global need for such education. Thus, an intensive five-day workshop titled "Principles and Procedures for Rearing High Quality Insects" designed to cover all the major areas of laboratory rearing of insects and advertised on a world-wide basis was born.
The first insect rearing workshop was held fall 2000. Attendance was limited to 24 students primarily to allow hands-on laboratories as part of the educational experience. Because the demand for the workshop was so great, we scheduled a second workshop that same fall. We completed our 14th workshop in October 2011.
A total of 343 students have attended the workshop. Of these, 94 have traveled to the U.S. from a total of 25 countries. The remaining students originated from a total of 39 states and territories within the U.S. Breakdown of the attendees based on gender and on public institutions vs. private industry are as follows: 48/52% (female/male) and 42/58% (public/private).
On several occasions, the workshop has been dedicated to an individual who deserves recognition for having made significant contributions to the field of insect rearing. Those who have received this distinction include the following:
- Dr. Peter P. Sikorowski for his outstanding research on disease and diet contamination and their management in insectaries.
- Dr. Norman C. Leppla for his superior leadership role in the insect rearing community and for his pioneering and continuing efforts in establishing the "Quality Control Concept" for rearing programs.
- Dr. Alan C. Bartlett for his scientific contributions to the understanding of genetic changes within colonies of laboratory reared insects.
- Dr. Pritam Singh for his pioneering efforts in developing artificial diets and systems for rearing many insects in the laboratory.
- Dr. Frank M. Davis for his development and dissemination of outstanding rearing technology for lepidoptera and for his primary role in the initiation of this workshop.
- Dr. Allen Carson Cohen for his outstanding contributions to insect nutrition and development of artificial diets for both phytophagous and entomophagous insects.
- Dr. William "Bill" Fisher for his many outstanding contributions to insectary design and management during his ca. 30-year long career with private industry.
- Dr. Clarence Collison for his support of the MSU Insect Rearing Workshop from its inception through 2009 as Head of the Department of Entomology and Plant Pathology.
- Mr. Carlos White for creation of the family-owned company "Insect Lore", which has reared the Painted Lady butterflies used to introduce millions of children around the world to the wonder of metamorphosis.
- Dr. Muhammad Chaudhury for his many contributions to insect rearing including development work on diets to rear the screwworm fly for the Sterile Insect Technology programs in Central America and for his tireless contributions to this workshop.
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Images and Student Comments from the 2012 Workshop
This picture was provided by Kat Lawrence who is employed with MAFES Agricultural Communications
2012 Workshop Participants and Instructors
Three television news organizations made video features of the 2012 Workshop. They can be viewed by clicking on the following links:
"MSU Insect Rearing Workshop Attracts Worldwide Participants", Farmweek, MS Cooperative Extension Service, Amy Taylor, MS Public Broadcasting, November 16, 2012, 7 min-54 sec. (http://msucares.com/news/farmweek/flashvideo/2012/2012-11-16insectrearing.html)
"Insect Rearing Workshop at Miss. State", WLBT TV, Jackson, MS, Walt Grayson, October 10, 2012, 2 min-26 sec. (http://msnewsnow.com/story/19788843/insect-rearing-workshop-at-miss-state)
"Bugs for Food?", WCBI TV, Columbus, MS, Jennifer Ortega, October 4, 2012, 2 min-1 sec. (http://www.wcbi.com/wordpress/bugs-for-food)
At the close of each workshop, students complete a comprehensive evaluation assessing strengths and weaknesses of lecturers, workshop logistics, and overall workshop effectiveness. These evaluations have been critical to the continued improvement of the workshop. We are proud of an average overall workshop effectiveness rating of 4.75 and a rating of 4.83 for the 2012 Workshop. A few comments from the 2012 workshop attendees follow:
Comment 1: "Thank you so much for organising an intellectually stimulating and enjoyable week. I had a fantastic time in what I can only describe as the most hospitable place I've ever visited."
Comment 2: "Thank you for organizing the wonderful workshop. I thoroughly enjoyed it and hope to apply it for my research at the University. It was also a good opportunity for me to interact with different scientists and entrepreneurs from around the globe!"
Comment 3: "Your workshop was awesome and well organized. As I mentioned, we will be sending another biologist next year and I am sure she will enjoy it as much as I did. I think one of my most favorite parts was getting to know the diverse group of scientists and interacting with them on a daily. Of course, the instructors were engaging as well and I learned a tremendous amount of information that will be used in our own insectary. I have been back only one day and we are already talking about modifying our ... larvae diet based on what I learned. You really put on an outstanding program that is unequal to anything I have experienced yet in my insect career. Great job!"
Comment 4: "I would like to pass on my thanks again to yourself and the rest of the team who took part in the 15th Insect Rearing Workshop. By all accounts, it was an incredibly well run course which certainly lives up to its strong reputation. Feedback from myself to my employers has been well received, and I have no doubt that you will be seeing more Aussies ... on MSU soil to attend future courses in the years to come. It is with the dedication of you and your team that allows those of us in the insect rearing fraternity to make advances in an exciting and ever changing environment."
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Fall 2013 Workshop: Overview
The next MSU Insect Rearing Workshop will be held Sunday early afternoon through Thursday evening November 3-7 2013.
The program will include a series of lectures delivered by the following instructors:
- Dr. Michael Caprio (MSU) - Genetics
- Dr. Louela Castrillo (Cornell U., USDA/ARS) - Diseases & Contamination
- Dr. Muhammad Chaudhury (USDA/ARS) - Diets
- Dr. John Schneider (MSU) - Environmental Biology
- Dr. Frank Davis (MSU; USDA/ARS, retired) - Production Systems
- Dr. William "Bill" Fisher (BASF) - Insectary Design & Management
- Dr. Norman Leppla (U. of Florida) - Quality Control
- V. Gay McCain (USDA/ARS, Mississippi State, MS) – Safety and Health Issues
- Tom Riddell (Air Filter Sales and Service) National Air Filtration Specialist
This team of experts includes several who have more than 40 years experience in rearing a wide range of insect species. While presentations contain pertinent basic scientific information, instructors are encouraged to stress the applied side of rearing because problem solving is essential to successful rearing. To enhance the oral presentations, each student will receive our book "Principles and Procedures for Rearing High Quality Insects" plus a manual containing the insect pathology lecture and pertinent scientific reprints.
Two laboratories will be held. Two "hands-on" laboratories will be held dealing with insectary pathology. The first of the pathology labs is microbiology-oriented and covers identification of various disease agents. The second pathology lab deals with methodologies used to solve disease and contamination problems.
During the workshop, tours will be made of the MSU Insect Rearing Center and an outstanding, local USDA/ARS rearing laboratory to observe their production systems, including facilities, equipment, supplies, and standard operating procedures for various insect species.
Social events will be held during three evenings to provide opportunities for lecturers and students to enjoy some delicious Southern cooking while sharing rearing information and just relaxing. Each day, two breaks are held for snacks and additional interchange of information among participants. Networking of students and lecturers is a goal of the workshop because such relationships facilitate the long-term exchange of information and ideas.
The dedication of the 2013 workshop will be made at the final social event of the workshop-hopefully with the honoree in attendance.
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