What’s New in Extension

A woman stands in front of library book shelves beside a tall, green 4-H display.

U.S. Senator Cindy Hyde-Smith

Smithsonian Display Stops in Six Mississippi Towns

By Susan Collins-Smith • Photo by Kevin Hudson

A Smithsonian Institution exhibit about rural communities continues its journey in public libraries across Mississippi. “Crossroads: Change in Rural America” has visited Wiggins, Brookhaven, Marks, West Point, and Rolling Fork, and the display will complete its tour in Pontotoc in June.

“Crossroads” gives viewers a broad look at rural America’s characteristics and how economic and social changes have transformed rural communities and community members over the last century. Exhibit hosts were invited to create additional displays to showcase local heritage.

The Mississippi State University Extension Service 4-H program in Lincoln County was one community group highlighted. The hands-on education 4-H has provided for generations of young people has been important to the past and future of Lincoln County and Brookhaven.

Jennifer Williams, Extension 4-H agent in Lincoln County, organized the display, and U.S. Senator Cindy Hyde-Smith, who grew up in and resides in Brookhaven, was excited to be present for the grand opening ceremony at the Lincoln County Public Library.

“We take so many things for granted because we are rural, but rural America is special. We sometimes forget that, and this exhibit reminds us of what this country is about,” Hyde-Smith said.

Click here to learn more.

People sitting in an auditorium with “U.S. Agricultural Economic Outlook” showing on the screen at the front of the room.

January Ag Conference Shares Updates, Forecasts

Compile by Leah Barbour • Photo by Kevin Hudson

Agricultural specialists with Mississippi State University gathered on campus in January for the 2024 Mississippi Agricultural Outlook Conference. Producers, ag lenders, and farm managers learned from MSU Extension Service and the MSU Department of Agricultural Economics faculty during a comprehensive discussion about the agricultural economic conditions expected during the year.

Along with updates on the Mississippi economy, participants received sector-specific updates, including the forecasts for livestock, row crops, farm budgets, labor markets, and land values. Key takeaways for producers included expectations of a strong agricultural economy overall, including increases in farmland value. However, decreases in commodity values may lower farm income levels in 2024.

Check out the news story here.

Children smiling and dressed in old western-style apparel

4-H Shooting Sports Hosts New Discipline, Competition

By Leah Barbour • Photo by Kevin Hudson

Junior and senior 4-H’ers recently stepped into the late 1800s to learn about the Old West in the newest discipline in the Mississippi 4-H Shooting Sports program.

At the 4-H Western Heritage tournament in September 2023, young people wore period-specific clothing, demonstrated Old West personas, and took assessments about the firearms of that period. 4-H’ers also demonstrated their safety knowledge and shooting capabilities with period-specific firearms, including .22 rifles, .22 pistols, and side-by-side double-barreled shotguns.

Winners included Bullet Brown of Itawamba County, first place in junior I; Wes Strider of Tallahatchie County, first place in junior II; Clark Houston of DeSoto County, first place in junior III; and Charles Rodgers of Panola County, first place in senior I. 4-H’ers from Lowndes and Quitman Counties also participated.

Click here to visit Mississippi 4-H online.

A group of people smiling and standing on steps.

Extension to Launch Mississippi Smart Agriculture

By Leah Barbour • Photo by Kenner Patton

When it comes to agriculture, faculty with the Mississippi State University Extension Service will never stop pursuing a better collective future. Dr. Mary Love Tagert, associate Extension professor, and Dr. Jessica Drewry, assistant Extension professor, are launching Mississippi Smart Agriculture, a new program to address current and emerging topics in precision agriculture and smart farming.

This new course for producers will cover precision technologies, including sprinkler irrigation, uncrewed aerial vehicles, yield mapping, and more, such as how to use precision data to inform decision-making on farms.

Tagert and Drewry are launching Mississippi Smart Agriculture during this year’s growing season.


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