Extension Matters: Volume 2 Number 3
Hinds County 4-H’er learns patience, persistence through rifle competition
When a heart condition kept Brandy Barnes from playing basketball, she ramped up her dedication to 4-H shooting sports.
Extension helps Okolona producer improve profitability and maintain healthy birds
Joe Ellis knew almost nothing about chickens when he began raising them for Peco Foods, Inc., in 2008.
Waynesboro pre-K educator earns accreditation through Early Years Network program, opens new center
LaTonya Hill dedicated herself to early childhood education as a college student, but an odd turn of events convinced her to open her own childcare center.
Three Junior Master Wellness volunteers share healthy living messages
Arlencia Barnes, Quindarrius Whitley, and Taylor Harris learned how to be successul through the Junior Master Wellness program.
No Time 2 Cook brings home southern specialties
It’s been a little more than 10 years since Karen Kurr stood behind her array of slow cookers at a North Mississippi farmers market and offered samples of savory meals from the bayous of her native Louisiana: spicy gumbo, crawfish étouffée, and red beans and rice
Celebrating Arboretum Excellence
The Mississippi State University Crosby Arboretum in Picayune received the 2016 Garden Excellence Award from the American Public Gardens Association.
Nursery using Extension publications to host workshops, reach new customers
Business continues to blossom at Jackson Farms in Bassfield, and one reason may be because the family-owned nursery connects with its clientele in ways that its big-box competition does not.
Delta soybean producer irrigates his fields, increases yields
Most of the Delta is already irrigated, but not all farmers are taking advantage of the latest irrigation technologies. However, agents with the Mississippi State University Extension Service are increasing Delta producers’ knowledge— and application—of new, more efficient ways to water the rows.
Lower Delta Partnership teams with Extension to attract more visitors
When the Lower Delta Partnership coordinator sat down with the Mississippi State University Extension Service county coordinator, the two were meeting for more than just an everyday business lunch.
Staggers encourages individuals, businesses to support Extension
Contributing to the Mississippi State University Extension Service just got a little easier. William “Will” Staggers joined the MSU Foundation in December 2015 as an assistant director of development. He works to attract additional support for Extension’s research-based educational programs, facilities, professional development, and other needs.
Message from the Director
Our family of agents, specialists, friends, and clients at the Mississippi State University Extension Service are preparing for another fall harvest. Extension partnerships and friendships continue growing, and our team remains committed to expanding our opportunities to share with Mississippians the most recent, reliable, science-based information.
This issue of Extension Matters features a variety of people who are benefitting from Extension instruction. Three agriculture and natural resource clients, including a Northeast Mississippi broiler producer, a Delta soybean farmer, and a family of nursery owners, are improving their operations’ profitability through Extension assistance. One 4-H’er has improved her quality of life by participating in 4-H shooting sports, and the children at LaTonya Hill’s Waynesboro childcare center are learning and growing thanks, in part, to Extension’s Early Years Network.
Karen Kurr, in a feature beginning on page 15, explains how her determination to feed her family healthy foods made of natural ingredients eventually grew into Mississippi’s only small casserole business. Extension agents and faculty helped her as she learned to navigate the challenges so many small business owners face.
After years of working hand-in-hand with the University of Mississippi Medical Center to inspire young people to pursue healthcare careers through the Rural Medical Scholars program and the more recent 4-H Junior Master Wellness program, Extension leaders are expanding this longstanding relationship. Along with Extension, MSU and the Myrlie Evers- Williams Institute for the Elimination of Health Disparities at UMMC have signed a memorandum of understanding to work together to improve health outcomes for all Mississippians.
In Extension’s Junior Master Wellness program, specialists and agents work with high school allied health teachers to integrate Community Health Advocate training into their classrooms. Read about three Junior Master Wellness volunteers from Sunflower County on page 12; they’re improving health in the Delta and looking forward to continuing their healthcare training.
Even as Extension celebrates these efforts to increase healthy living all over the Magnolia State, I, along with the Mississippi 4-H Youth Development family, have been mourning the unexpected loss of two 4-H’ers. Annalisa Laudadio, from Ripley, was a dedicated 4-H’er who participated in a variety of programs, including horticulture, shooting sports, personal development and citizenship, and clothing and textiles. Her older sister Marisa was featured in the summer issue of our magazine. 4-H’er Austin Thomas, from Hinds County, passed away unexpectedly in an accident that also took the life of another young man, Tanner Gardo. Austin was an enthusiastic member of his 4-H club’s shooting sports team. The entire Extension family extends its condolences to these families as they mourn their loss and celebrate these young people’s lives.
Our team of Extension personnel work hard to make a difference in everyday Mississippians’ lives by increasing their knowledge and enhancing their quality of life. We look forward to making this great state even better, working together day by day. I hope you enjoy this issue of Extension Matters.
Director, MSU Extension Service