• Four people and the words, Extension Matters.
A man stands near a logging operation.

Mississippi’s 2017 Outstanding Logger of the Year is quick to credit his employees for his business’s success, but he prefers to call them part of his team.

Two women philanthropists smiling.

Contributing to awards that benefit the organization that gave them their livelihoods was an easy choice for Jean Reeves and Betty Tucker. They are sponsoring two employee awards, with significant monetary prizes, for the Mississippi State University Extension Service.

A combine and tractor in the center of a corn field

Photo by Jonathan Parrish

During a short break from August rain, Bubba Simmons, a partner in Simmons Planting Company in Hollandale, begins harvesting corn. Altogether, Simmons farms about 6,000 acres of corn, soybeans, and rice in Washington County.

Woman in glasses smiles in front of brick building

Eunice Blake has spent more than 35 years serving Amite County citizens in the tax assessor and collector’s office.

In those years, she’s looked to the Mississippi State University Extension Service for support.

White horse stands beside teen boy with blue dress shirt and black cowboy hat

Noah Carpenter will tell you himself that he wouldn’t have the life skills he has today if not for 4-H.

“My involvement in 4-H has taught me responsibility, teamwork, and leadership skills,” he says. “I’m better at communicating with others because I’ve built self-confidence through showing horses.”

Woman with glasses stands smiling beside a flower arrangement

When Beth and Michael Foose decided to open Little Bluestem Farm in 2016, they knew they needed training to help them manage the business side of the farm.

Beth first attended the Extension-facilitated Women in Agriculture Workshop Annie’s Project, a course that teaches problem-solving, record-keeping, and decision-making skills for agriculture-related businesses. 

Smiling man in gingham dress shirt leans on a tractor

The people who know Virgil Walker look up to him. The Covington County native is a leader for his church and several local organizations. He loves his wife, his children, and his grandchildren, and he values his way of life.

“It’s just in my blood to walk out and see a cow on my farm,” he says on a humid, late-summer afternoon. “It’s five generations, counting my son’s kids. The one who’s 9 or 10, I gave her a calf, and she wants to come every day to look at it. I believe she’ll be the one to come and live on the farm. It would be rewarding for me. Where I’m living, I’ve been here for 50 years.”

A little girl in a white chef’s hat stands beside her mother

For anyone relying on Pinterest, Facebook, or other online recipe sites to plan healthy meals, Marilyn Lunsford is encouraging those home cooks to look in a different, more local place.

Man in green dress shirt sits at a table with a woman in a white dress

Tiara and Jeremy Brown, former 4-H’ers from Clay and Oktibbeha Counties, respectively, discuss how the 4-H youth development program has something for everyone.

Tiara and Jeremy are both from families that were very involved in 4-H. They met while attending Mississippi State University, graduated, and married. Jeremy went on to work as a mechanical engineer at Yokohama Tire Manufacturing in West Point, and Tiara works as a special education teacher at Central School, also in West Point.

Boll weevil sucks green cotton boll

When Mississippi achieved statehood in 1817, its cotton industry was only beginning to take off. By 1917, boll weevils were devastating the state’s cotton crop and its economy.

Two men, one in a yellow polo and the other in blue, stand in front of a portrait of a man

Publicity was not on the mind of Mike Sturdivant III in 1974 when he began farming, so his response to being named the 2017 Swisher Sweets/Sunbelt Ag Expo Southeastern Farmer of the Year for Mississippi was one of surprise.

Five people, three men and two women, stand in front of a Farmers Market Building sign

Ruby D. Rankin spent 33 years leading, serving, and working hand in hand with the people of Kemper County. Her position with the Mississippi State University Extension Service linked her to the community and made her unforgettable to the people who knew her.

a red and blue ribbon from the Neshoba County Fair

When Mississippi’s Giant Houseparty kicked off at the end of July, hundreds of exhibitors displayed thousands of items that showcase their handiwork to the Neshoba County Fair’s many visitors.

The Exhibit Hall, organized and operated by the Neshoba County office of the Mississippi State University Extension Service, annually displays the handiwork of adults and children in several categories, including fresh fruits and vegetables, field crops, food preservation, arts and crafts, posters, and food and nutrition.  

•	A man in overalls stands beside a man in a red T-shirt in front of a tree farm

Dave Stewart may not have followed professionally in the footsteps of his grandfathers, both of whom operated sawmills, but he is building a legacy property that combines timber and wildlife habitat as a tribute to the men who taught him to love the land.

Pavilion surrounded by trees

Arboretum Celebrates 20 Years with MSU Extension • Plant Disease and Nematode Analysis Fee Changes • Improving Mississippi’s Fiscal Health • Know Your Roots to Attract More Customers

Three women and one man hold a large 4-H clover

When she started volunteering with Tate County 4-H almost 15 years ago, Joy Magness didn’t know much about the youth development program delivered by the Mississippi State University Extension Service.

She was home-schooling her two children, Samantha and Eli, and her fellow home-schooling parent and friend Adelia Gaines asked Magness if she’d like her kids to join 4-H and if she’d like to volunteer.

•	(clockwise from top left) Smiling blonde woman; man wearing tan hat; man wearing maroon dress shirt; man wearing grey vest; woman wearing glasses; and woman in front of books

Since joining Mississippi State University as a development officer nearly 2 years ago, alumnus Will Staggers has been hard at work cultivating private support for the MSU Extension Service.

2 young men in green field with calf on a sunny day

Cayleb and Landry Dyess are two of only a handful of siblings ever to have two grand champion animals auctioned in the same Dixie National Sale of Champions, but they prepare for each event the same way as every 4-H’er who competes.

They start getting ready for the next show the day after they come home from the last one.

4 women holding mastectomy drain pouch bags—small, square sacks laced with ribbon

When the Delta Cotton Belles needed help with their breast cancer support program, they called on the Greenville Area Town and Country Mississippi Homemaker Volunteers club.

Woman standing on pier in lake holding cup of water

Not all water is so delicious that people ask for it to be carried across state lines.

Kate Lartigue of Poplarville is particularly pleased to share her water after attending a Mississippi Well Owner Network workshop offered by the Mississippi State University Extension Service and the Private Well Class. 

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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.