• Four people and the words, Extension Matters.

Extension Matters: Volume 6 Number 2

  • Two men standing in a row crop.

    Forging Ahead

  • A woman wearing a light blue blazer and pink shirt stands smiling with her hand on a light pole.

    Extension Where You Are

  • A young boy wearing a NASA sweatshirt stands on a sidewalk holding a camera by his side.

    From Student to Teacher

  • A smiling woman holding a tablet stands outside in front of a flagpole.

    Navigating a New Normal

  • A smiling young girl wearing an orange shirt sits on a ledge in front of flowers.

    Continuing the Club

  • A group of 11 men and women wearing masks stand in front of a brick building.

    Connected Community

  • A man and woman stand next to a crate stacked with boxes of sweet potatoes.

    Working Hard, Enjoying Life

  • An elderly man stands next to his son.

    After the Storm

  • A young woman wearing a black shirt smiling.

    4-H Where Are They Now

  • Three signs with “Handwashing Station Here,” “Keep a 6-foot distance from others,” and "Hand Sanitizer Here” next to a large watermelon sculpture.

    What’s New in Extension

  • A woman kneels next to a bed of flowers.

    Doing the “Heart” Work

  • A man stands next to an 18-wheeler truck.

    Development Direction

Two men standing in a row crop.

Variety trials exemplify Extension’s service to growers through pandemic

For 10 years, a small portion of Moody Farms in Tishomingo County has been sectioned off for cotton variety trial plots. That streak continued in 2020, despite the COVID-19 pandemic.

A woman wearing a light blue blazer and pink shirt stands smiling with her hand on a light pole.

Lexington coalition organizes food giveaway amid pandemic

When the Guardian (U.S. edition) released its article “In the poorest county, in America’s poorest state, a virus hits home: ‘Hunger is rampant’” in early April 2020, a local coalition in Holmes County had already organized to create a food pantry in Lexington.

A young boy wearing a NASA sweatshirt stands on a sidewalk holding a camera by his side.

4-H’er creates instructional video

4-H’ers learn by doing, pandemic or no pandemic. So, even though Aaron Lampley could not meet with the Winston County Photography Club, he could leverage technology to increase his own skills and share his expertise with other photo enthusiasts.

A smiling woman holding a tablet stands outside in front of a flagpole.

Extension supports city clerks during pandemic

Many things about the way Jo Ann Robbins did her job changed when coronavirus hit.

“The COVID-19 pandemic impacted my work and my personal life in ways I never dreamed possible” 

A smiling young girl wearing an orange shirt sits on a ledge in front of flowers.

4-H’er uses tech to unite club, serve community

Not many teens—or adults, for that matter—know the ins and outs of Robert’s Rules of Order, but 17-year-old Chasity Moses is making a habit of knowing and doing things that set her apart.

A group of 11 men and women wearing masks stand in front of a brick building.

The Lexington Food Pantry’s food giveaways in Holmes County came together because of a group of dedicated volunteers, many of whom are part of the AIM for CHangE coalition in Lexington. Advancing, Inspiring, and Motivating for Community Health through Extension—AIM for CHangE—develops community-led groups that develop health solutions specifically for local residents.

A man and woman stand next to a crate stacked with boxes of sweet potatoes.

Vardaman producer named Farmer of the Year

When Joe Edmondson surveys his farming operation at Topashaw Farms, he thinks about his more than 40 full-time employees and the hundreds of seasonal workers who work the acres.

An elderly man stands next to his son.

Extension helps clients with disaster recovery

Hulon McKenzie had various jobs over the years. He worked in the oil field, hauled cattle cross-country, and dispatched for a trucking company. But none of them matched the work he did on his small family farm in the Tilton- Sauls Valley community of Monticello.

A young woman wearing a black shirt smiling.

Originally from Port Gibson, Jonnese Goings is now an inventory control analyst at the Belk Inc. corporate office in Charlotte, North Carolina. Her 4-H background taught her to be independent and committed to whatever she sets her mind to and helped her obtain several internships and leadership positions during her college years. The leadership and public speaking skills she developed in the 4-H youth development program coordinated by the Mississippi State University Extension Service continue to benefit her in her career today.

Three signs with “Handwashing Station Here,” “Keep a 6-foot distance from others,” and "Hand Sanitizer Here” next to a large watermelon sculpture.

Mississippi Small Businesses Receive Extension Support

When federal and state lending programs specifically geared toward small businesses were announced as part of the government’s response to natural disasters and COVID-19, Mississippi State University Extension Service personnel went into action to distribute information to Mississippi Main Street’s businesses, organizations, and farmers markets.

A woman kneels next to a bed of flowers.

Master Gardener volunteers despite pandemic challenges

The sun was beating down, the humidity oppressive, and the flower bed dry. It was April 29, 2020, and the pandemic had closed the Mississippi State University Extension Service office in Washington County, where the snapdragons are.

A man stands next to an 18-wheeler truck.

New endowment honors longtime Extension swine specialist

In his 34 years as swine specialist with the Mississippi State University Extension Service, Dr. Mark Crenshaw was one of the state’s most prominent advocates for the pork industry. Now, an Extension endowment fund bears his name.

 

 

 

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Message from the Director

Dr. Gary
Jackson

Thank you for supporting Extension as we respond to the challenges facing our state. All of our lives changed in March when the COVID-19 pandemic first swept through Mississippi.

Even as businesses and some Extension offices closed, Extension’s work never stopped. Extension personnel, included in the Mississippi Emergency Management Agency’s response plan, are essential employees whose services continue.

From COVID-19 health education to agricultural damage assessments after weather events, Extension faculty and agents remain a critical part of the state’s collective effort to keep Mississippians safe and help those in need.

This issue of Extension Matters showcases a range of clients, representing all parts of the state. Elected officials, including the Sumrall-based president of the Mississippi Municipal Clerks and Collectors Association and a Delta mayor confronting food insecurity, explain how Extension’s support has strengthened their efforts to address the pandemic.

Extension’s work in the field continues, now with social distancing, masks, and increased hand-sanitizer use. Whether agents and specialists are working to serve row-crop producers or Master Gardeners are beautifying their communities, Extension personnel and volunteers are still on the front lines, ready to assist, answering questions to improve growth, yield, and profitability.

4-H clubs could not meet in person through the spring and summer, but dedicated young people have used their smartphone connectivity to continue 4-H programming. In southwest Mississippi, a 4-H’er kept her club learning by doing as it organized and completed a community service project. In northeast Mississippi, a 4-H’er used technology to create and share an online educational video on one of his favorite 4-H activities: photography.

After tornadoes tore through south Mississippi on Easter Sunday, Extension was

there when timber producers needed damage assessments and information about how to report their losses to the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

While things seem uncertain now, I know we will recover from these many challenges. I also know that Extension will continue our efforts to educate and serve all our people. While Mississippians have turned to Extension for their educational needs for over 100 years, they also look to Extension for leadership and stability during a crisis. We will be here, continuing our mission to extend knowledge and change lives. You can rely on us.

Sincerely, 

Gary Jackson
Director, MSU Extension Service