• Four people and the words, Extension Matters.
A woman stands smiling in front of a room full of people working at long tables.

Rice is one of Mississippi’s only commodities to be grown, milled, packaged, sold, and eaten right here in the state. And, for decades, the annual Rice Tasting Luncheon in Cleveland, Mississippi, has allowed local residents to show off their best rice-based dishes at Delta State University in Bolivar County, which produces more than 1.5 million hundredweight of rice annually.

A man wearing a light blue shirt with “US Jersey” above the chest pocket stands smiling in front of several cows.

Neal Smith grew up in Picayune in Pearl River County and has lived in Ohio for 27 years. As the chief executive officer and executive secretary for the American Jersey Cattle Association, Smith has been able to stay connected to the reason he joined 4-H as a child—his love of dairy cattle. He first joined 4-H because he wanted to show his Jersey calf at the Pearl River County Fair.

An elderly woman holds a scrapbook page while sitting behind a table full of several more pages.

Back in 1991 when she retired, Prentiss County resident Sue K. Honeycutt had figured out that connecting with people in the community leads to great outcomes, both for the giver and the receiver.

An elderly woman wearing animal print glasses and a bright red shirt stands smiling. Photo credit: Kevin Hudson

Before Ann Tackett helped establish a farmers market and renovate the old railroad depot building in her town, she just wanted to start a cannery.

A man leans against a tree in a forest full of fallen leaves.

In a normal year, Clay Adcock grows 4,000 acres of corn, cotton, and soybeans. But 2019 was anything but normal.

A large, green, grassy field stretches out behind two young men riding brown horses along a fence.

Cousins Tredell and Anthony Meeks brought home top honors at the Southern Regional 4-H Horse Championship in Georgia in 2019. The pair has participated in the family pastime since they were small children but decided to join 4-H 6 years ago to meet new people, learn new things, and compete among their peers.

A teenage boy stands outside with a firearm resting on his shoulder.

4-H S.A.F.E.T.Y. is Mississippi 4-H’s biggest program. Competitors in the Safe Archery and Firearms Education and Training for Youth program are immersed in essential firearm-safety training to learn maturity, self-discipline, responsibility, and sportsmanship.

A man wearing a green collared shirt stands smiling.

Mississippi became the 25th state with a confirmed case of chronic wasting disease (CWD) in February 2018. Since then, state agencies have been working together to protect the state’s deer population.

A man stands in front of a sign that reads, “Saltillo Mississippi, Welcome Home.”

Turning on a water faucet typically produces a clear and safe product. If that doesn’t happen, there’s trouble.

A young girl smiles and holds up a Lego creation.

It was the summer of 2018. Grenada Elementary School teacher Dianne Brewer—a classroom veteran of more than 25 years—was working at the local Yalobusha County library, and she saw a group of 5-year-olds enthusiastically participating in a 4-H LEGO Engineering lesson.

A man wearing a cowboy hat sits on an ATV in front of cows.

See what is new in Extension... Extension partners to promote beef quality assurance program, Extension recognized in Gulf Guardian Award Project, First Ag leadership class graduates, and Extension supports residents participating in U.S. Census 2020.

A man wearing a bright orange construction vest and hard hat stands in front of a logging machine.

Drew Sullivan admits his first timber tract would not have fetched an appraiser’s attention, but he usually drove back home from a lumber yard in Kemper County each week with around $150 in his pocket— not bad for a 15-year-old Mississippi boy growing up in the mid-90s.

A mean wearing a blue dress shirt leans against a desk.

Working together is a core value for the Mississippi State University Extension Service’s 4-H Youth Development Program. That makes a partnership with Electric Cooperatives of Mississippi a natural fit.

Paul Cavanaugh standing in front of a sign that reads Master Gardeners at Work.

Mississippi’s Pine Belt Master Gardeners are extending their knowledge across state lines, with prize-winning results.

Shandrea Jenkins sitting on a brick planter.

What makes Shandrea Jenkins unique is her giving spirit. The Port Gibson High School junior is an active member of 4-H in Claiborne County, and she appreciates the opportunities 4-H is giving her. She’s getting to serve others, travel around the state, and connect with other focused, ambitious 4-H’ers who want to make Mississippi even better.

Ted and Janet Parker.

For the first 15 years of their marriage, Ted and Janet Parker lived off of one income. She made the living, and nearly every penny he made as a beef cattle farmer went right back into growing their farm.

Drew Hearn.

Originally from Greenwood, Drew Hearn has been a state trooper with the Mississippi Highway Patrol for 5 years. In 2019, he received the “Buckle for Life” award in recognition of his advocacy for wearing seat belts and having children in proper safety equipment, including car seats and boosters. He shares how his time in the Leflore County 4-H program shaped his leadership skills and taught him responsibility.

Lance McElhenney working with his horse in an arena.

He joined the US Marine Corps to serve and protect the country, and, as a Marine in Iraq, Lance McElhenney felt 10 feet tall and bulletproof.

Darryl Grennell

Natchez. Rich in history, beauty, and culture, it’s the oldest incorporated city on the Mississippi River. For Natchez Mayor Darryl Grennell, giving back to the town where he was born and raised just makes sense.

Master Gardener volunteer and gardening participants.

After a conversation with a fellow volunteer at St. Dominic’s Hospital in Jackson, John Malanchak decided to follow his heart.

“I’d always wanted to work with special needs individuals,” explains Malanchak, a retired geologist. “But I didn’t know what I could offer them.”

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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.