Scientific knowledge provides an important basis for effective wildlife management decisions. Given frequent budget constraints that impact the ability of wildlife agencies to generate their own knowledge, using trained research scientists at a university is a cost-effective alternative. We describe the cooperative agreement between Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries, and Parks (MDWFP) and Mississippi State University (MSU) as a model of cost-effective partnership that blends science with management. Since 1976, our cooperation has produced 107 master of science theses, 19 doctor of philosophy dissertations, and 301 peer-reviewed publications which have contributed to the scientific literature while effectively addressing adaptive management needs of the agency. We describe the Deer Management Assistance Program as an example of the products produced through this cooperative venture. We also describe advances in waterfowl management that addressed regional and national issues.