Eddie Smith named new Southern Gardening host
STARKVILLE, Miss. -- Eddie Smith is the new face and driving force of the Southern Gardening family of resources that includes weekly videos, newspaper columns, guest appearances and social media posts focused on gardening in Mississippi.
Smith, a gardening specialist and Pearl River County coordinator with the Mississippi State University Extension Service, assumed these duties in April. He replaces Gary Bachman, who retired in December 2022 after 13 years as the host of Southern Gardening.
“Southern Gardening has one of the broadest reaches across many different media outlets of our Extension educational programs, and we are excited to have Dr. Smith leading our Southern Gardening program,” said Steve Martin, interim director of the MSU Extension Service. “Eddie’s years of experience working with producers across the South will be invaluable in providing outstanding educational programs for Southern Gardening clientele.”
Smith’s educational and work experience give him the skills needed to develop and present hundreds of horticulture-related programs to the public. These include teaching high school agricultural science, managing three commercial greenhouses, 15 years of producing a gardening newsletter for thousands of area gardeners, and training city employees in Bay Saint Louis, Picayune and Pearl River County, Mississippi, to maintain city and county landscapes.
Additionally, Smith is an internationally certified arborist, Produce Safety Alliance certified trainer and one of the developers of the Mississippi Smart Landscapes program that encourages the use of native plants in the landscape.
Tawnya Holliman, regional Extension coordinator for the area that includes Pearl River County, said Smith has had a positive impact on area gardens and gardeners.
“Dr. Smith is a great asset to our region, and his current and past horticulture programs are beneficial to the clients in south Mississippi,” Holliman said. “I believe he will take Southern Gardening in a new and exciting direction.”
On April 1, Smith will begin hosting the Southern Gardening television show, which airs weekly on the Farmweek television program and on YouTube. He will also offer the Southern Gardening column for newspapers and will begin making public appearances across the state.