A man and woman wearing masks hold each side of a banner that reads “2020 Winner $2,500.”

Full circle

As a farmer for more than 37 years, Dot Fleming understands the law of the harvest. So, when she had the opportunity to channel a $2,500 donation from the America’s Farmers Grow Communities program to the nonprofit of her choice, she immediately chose Calhoun County’s 4-H club. She says she wanted to give back to the program that nurtured her family and that she has supported for years.

A smiling teenage girl stands behind a table covered in ingredients for a recipe displayed on a phone screen she holds in front of her.

Mississippi fresh chef

4-H’er’s recipe appears in national cookbook

When Sydnee Thompson found out the National 4-H Council was putting together a cookbook, she decided to submit one of her family’s favorite recipes.

An older man and woman with a younger man stand smiling in front of a sign honoring Sadye Weir.

How one Extension agent influenced generations of community leadership

When Helen M. Taylor left the one-room schoolhouse to integrate a new school in the 1950s, she met someone who would change her life, and the lives of countless others, for decades.


Popular post

Hummingbird migration information reached more than 400,000 on Facebook, thanks to this post highlighting the featured Extension for Real Life blog post.

A man sits in a chair with his hands on his knees.

Investing in the future

Whether it’s in time, resources, hard work, or even patience, investment is at the center of showing livestock.

A woman wearing a black outfit smiles.

Extension serves Spanish-speaking population 

Sometimes, starting somewhere new is the best way to make a life change. In 2006, that’s exactly what Melania Roque did.

Side by side photos of two men, one older, smiling.

Four-generation farm family trusts MSU Extension

Four generations of Steeles have graduated from “our dear ol’ State.” While the university has certainly changed over the years, for the Steele family, one thing remains constant: they trust the land-grant institution’s research and outreach.

A woman stands between her husband and adult son.

Producer teaches about food and farming practices

Rowell Farms is doing much more than supplying cooks with fresh, local foods. The Heidelberg truck-crop farm is growing into an educational outlet for the Clarke and Jasper County communities it serves.

A smiling teenage girl standing next to a black backpack.

Teens learn emergency prep and leadership

Shay Collins and Kamrie Upchurch were not expecting to use the skills they gained in MyPI training just months after they learned them, but medical emergencies have never waited for anyone to be ready.

A woman stands behind two smiling children with her hands on their shoulders.

Teens discover "Keys to Community"

Introduce an adolescent to the local sheriff, tax assessor, and county clerk, and that young person may run for elected office someday. At least, that’s what one northwest Mississippi state representative is hoping.

A group of high school girls and boys wearing khaki bottoms and green 4-H blazers stand in a group in front of the state capitol building.

Leadership with Legislators

The State 4-H Council features the best and brightest 4-H’ers, elected by their peers to represent 4-H around Mississippi, as well as at the annual 4-H Legislative Day. 

An smiling elderly woman stands next to a window.

Extension program keeps Wiggins residents moving

People know they can maintain healthy, active lifestyles with regular movement, and women in Stone County have been following that advice for years. When Barbara O’Hara moved to Wiggins from the Gulf Coast, she wanted to continue participating in an exercise class. She was delighted to find an announcement for the Strong Bones, Strong Women program in the local newspaper.

A man wearing all black stands next to a wooden post while a cow peeks out from behind him.

Extension helps veteran transition to a new role

The Mississippi State University Extension Service was a constant presence for Leroy Alford when he was growing up in Clay County. Now, Extension is again playing a role in his plans as he transitions toward moving back home.

A teenage girl wearing a cowboy hat stand between her mom and dad, also wearing a cowboy hat, in a stable.

4-H builds teen's life skills

On first glance, she seems an ordinary teen, but Oktibbeha County 4-H’er Millie Thompson has an exceptional work ethic, and she’s achieved success at the national level. Everything she does is inspired by Ecclesiastes 9:10, she says.

A woman wearing a camouflage jacket and pants rests her hand on the entrance to an old wooden building.

Extension helps maintain family's dove habitat

Hunting has been an important part of BJ Skinner’s life since he was a child

A woman rests her arm on the rail of a balcony.

Merry Johnson, former 4-H’er from Tishomingo County, explains how her experiences in the 4-H youth development program help her excel in the courtroom

Along with numerous county-level leadership roles, Merry served on the State 4-H Leadership Team. She served as a delegate for National 4-H Congress in Atlanta and National 4-H Conference in Washington, D.C. She also received her bronze and silver Congressional Awards through 4-H involvement. Merry is a 2016 graduate of the University of Mississippi School of Law and currently works at McDavid and Associates, a business litigation law firm in Oxford.

Four women stand next to each other under the shade of a tree.

Small town builds big online presence

The Woodville Board of Aldermen was ready. It was 2014, and the officials concluded that the city needed a website to offer residents and tourists up-to-date information about city services, community events, and tourist attractions. City Clerk Cathy McCurley was appointed to create and maintain the new website for the southwest Mississippi town. The only problem? She knew nothing about building websites.

A man wearing a blue t-shirt and blue jeans leans against a green tractor.

Eupora producer earns national award

Billy Tabb got a reality check in 2003 when he told his father he wanted to farm.

“My dad is a lifelong farmer, so I was hoping he would help me get started. He told me to go to the FSA office and get a loan,” Tabb recalls. “When I got there, the lender gave me a stack of papers as thick as the Bible and wished me good luck.”

A smiling man wearing a blue checkered shirt.

Extension food pantry serves rural community 

On Tuesdays and Thursdays before lunch, Robert Jamison is usually exercising with people who have been his neighbors in Lambert for 30 years. The Quitman County Veterans Service Officer also volunteers for a food pantry there that serves about 800 local families every other month. The county does not have a grocery store, but the pantry, since it opened in 2014, has helped people in need.

Two teenage girls holding cameras and yellow posters.

Sisters use 4-H skills to produce film festival

“To successfully pull off something like that takes a lot of time and effort,” says Jan Walton, 4-H agent with the Mississippi State University Extension Service in Grenada County, where both girls were members at the time. “They were so busy with school, 4-H, and their other extracurricular activities that their mom, Nanette, didn’t want to put that extra pressure on them. But she later warmed up to the idea, and here we are.”


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.