A man wearing dress clothes stands in front of a blue wall and smiles with his hands clasped in front of his body.

On the surface, the Mississippi Aquarium may seem like just a fun destination where people can learn about and get an up-close look at aquatic life and other wildlife. But the purpose of the aquarium is much more profound.

A large group of children outside standing in front of buildings.

All third, fourth, and fifth graders, about 650 children, participate in the Junior Master Gardener program, led by Coach Roland “Ro” Román as part of the children’s physical education instruction.

A smiling young girl wearing a green apron holding a measuring cup full of flour.

Kendra McGregory, a Houston, Mississippi, fourth grader, attended the program for the first time in 2021.

A man wearing a Jackson State University scarf and a navy suit jacket smiles in front of a sculpture on the JSU campus.

Hinds County native Eric Hunter is using the skills and networks he developed in 4-H to succeed as operations manager of environmental services at the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences. He applies time management and organizational skills to stay focused and prepared for his duties.

A man stands behind a table with 2 small bags labeled “Two Brooks Farm.”

On paper, Mike Wagner seems like an ordinary, successful Mississippi producer, but, in person, he defies expectations.

A sign that reads “Welcome 4-H’ers” and has the Mississippi State Extension logo.

State 4-H Congress, held at Mississippi State University in June, hosted more than 300 Mississippi 4-H’ers from every county. Young people were inspired through networking and competing at Congress.

A man and woman standing next to each other, smiling for a photo.

Opening the right lines of communication is usually a prerequisite for anyone planning to start their own business.

Two groups of people stand next to each other, smiling.

The Pearl River County 4-H Junior Master Gardeners have made some special additions to Poplarville City Park. A new pollinator garden planted in raised beds features a wildflower area, a native plant area, and an herb area.

A woman wearing a white shirt with red and blue stars holds a potted plant in a garden.

The annual Christmas Cactus Showcase in Brooksville each December features anywhere from 45 to 60 colorful cacti, most of which are under the year-round care of Pat Hill.

A group of teens examining a plant with a teacher.

When teachers and administrators at Leland School Park began taking steps to install a school garden in 2019, they had no idea they would get a first-of-its-kind outdoor classroom.

A smiling young girl and a small, white dog with a blue bow on one ear.

At just 10 years old, Annalexa Moore is learning how to be a responsible pet owner, thanks to the 4-H Dog Club in Lauderdale County.

A Facebook post from MSU Extension advertising a podcast.

Sharing links to popular social media posts and new feeds.

A large group photo of several young children and adults wearing kayaking gear and several kayaks of different colors in the grass in front of them.

Leaders at Walmart in Louisville had already noticed Facebook posts announcing the new Winston County 4-H Kayak and Fishing Club when front-end coach Nikki Marshall realized they had too many life jackets and paddles in stock.

An older man squats next to a brown and white cow lying on the ground.

The benefits of prescribed burns on Jim Currie’s longleaf pine land in Hancock County were short-lived. He needed something extra to keep the understory vegetation from growing back so quickly.

A man standing in a vineyard and wearing a cowboy hat speaking to a group of people.

The Vineyard Pruning Workshop, funded by the Southern Region Small Fruit Consortium, taught the basics of vine anatomy and pruning techniques for muscadines and bunch grapes. In-field demonstrations showed participants correct pruning techniques in the vineyard. 

A smiling young woman wearing a shirt that reads “Beyond the Arch” stands next to several balloons and jars of party supplies.

Deciding to participate in the StartUp Mississippi program led Simpson County native Amber Milloy to success with her own business, Beyond the Arch.

A man wearing a suit sits at a round table with a small mug and a bag that says “Teach Plus.”

Oktibbeha County native Sanford Johnson has a deep love for his home state that fuels his passion to make Mississippi better. 

A man stands in a wooden shed holding parts to a soil sensor system.

Brian Andrus irrigated exactly zero times on his Sunflower County farm in 2021. He didn’t even turn on his well.


Five young adults and two women wearing black aprons and face masks smile for a group photo in a kitchen.

At Winona Career and Technical Center, students studying culinary arts participated in the Eating Smart, Being Active program, delivered by the Mississippi State University Extension Service in the spring 2022 semester. 

A smiling young man stands in a room with a hand on a small table.

Deciding to get involved in 4-H was one of the best decisions Samuel Brown says he ever made.

“Without 4-H, I probably wouldn’t be in this chair right now,” Brown, 18, answers during his interview. “I wouldn’t be talking to you right now.”


About Extension Matters Magazine

Extension Matters magazine is the premier publication of the Mississippi State University Extension Service, telling our clients’ own stories of success through Extension education.

“We are excited to have our clients tell their stories, and we are thankful for the opportunity to interact with Mississippians through our local offices in all 82 counties across the state,” says Dr. Gary B. Jackson, director of Extension.

Extension Matters profiles people just like you, men and women who want to expand their knowledge base and learn about the latest innovations. Families, farmers, business owners, and government leaders are benefitting from the educational opportunities Extension agents and specialists are bringing to people and communities just like yours. Extension Matters shares our clients’ successes to show how you, too, can succeed through Extension.