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News Filed Under Rural Development

July 18, 2017 - Filed Under: Economic Development, Rural Development, Technology

STARKVILLE, Miss. -- Expansion of high-speed internet to rural Mississippi areas is the focus of a new publication from the Mississippi State University Extension Service.

Mississippi has the lowest broadband access in the nation, with 36 percent of the state's residents lacking the infrastructure. Roberto Gallardo, an associate Extension professor in the Center for Technology Outreach, said this problem leaves residents of those areas at a disadvantage.

Christa Lee, owner of LoveLee Rolls in Starkville, Mississippi, flours her work surface on Sept. 30, 2016, as she prepares to bake cinnamon rolls for her cottage food business. (Photo by MSU Extension Service/Kat Lawrence)
October 5, 2016 - Filed Under: Farmers Markets, Rural Development, Food, Food Safety

STARKVILLE, Miss. -- A recipe for cinnamon rolls that she found in college turned into a profitable hobby business and now a cottage industry for Christa Lee and her husband, Tyson.

Their business, LoveLee Rolls, sells pans of baked cinnamon rolls at the Starkville farmers market all summer and by word of mouth the rest of the year.

“We started in July 2014. I was staying home with the baby, and we didn’t really need more money -- just thought it would be a fun hobby,” Christa Lee said. “On the way home from the beach one day, we said, let’s just do it.”

Agritourism offers opportunities for entertainment -- such as this corn maze shown at Mitchell Farms in Collins, Mississippi -- that also educate about agriculture and add to local revenue streams. (File photo by MSU Extension Service/Kevin Hudson)
September 28, 2016 - Filed Under: Agri-tourism, Rural Development

DUCK HILL, Miss. -- Mississippi is one of many states to proclaim October as Agritourism Month, but the industry’s peak season has already begun in earnest.

Katie Robinson, owner of Bull Bottom Farms in Montgomery County and president of the Mississippi Agritourism Association, opened her family farm’s seventh annual fall festival to the public Sept. 23. She and her husband, Nic, a row crop producer, will host families, students and church groups for the next five weekends.

September 27, 2016 - Filed Under: Agri-tourism, Rural Development

COLUMBUS, Miss. -- Two Mississippi State University Extension Service specialists are among featured speakers at this year’s Mississippi-Tennessee-Alabama Rural Tourism Conference Oct. 24-26.

The annual meeting will provide marketing and communication strategies to assist groups involved in creating attractions and tourism events in their communities. These groups include tourism professionals, fair boards, festival committees, garden clubs, community volunteers and local elected officials.

September 2, 2016 - Filed Under: Agri-tourism, Rural Development

CLEVELAND, Miss. -- Business-minded Mississippians who realize that tourism is a lucrative enterprise that reaches far beyond the state’s beaches will have an opportunity for training and funding in October.

Leveraging Cultural Tourism for Community Development is a two-day workshop planned for Oct. 13-14 in Cleveland, Mississippi. It will teach anyone interested and involved in tourism how to design tours, create weekend getaways and capitalize on current tourism trends and resources available in the Mississippi Delta.

In addition to farm tours, Country Girl’s Creamery in Lumberton, Miss. provides dairy and other farm products to local markets. (Submitted photo)
April 18, 2016 - Filed Under: Agri-tourism, Rural Development

POPLARVILLE, Miss. -- Mississippi’s small towns and rural communities have a lot to offer visitors, and developing those tourism resources will be the focus of a two-day workshop at Pearl River Community College in Poplarville.

December 16, 2015 - Filed Under: Agri-tourism, Rural Development
LEESVILLE, Louisiana -- Tourism professionals in Louisiana and Mississippi are joining forces for a Jan. 12-13 workshop focused on technology and new ideas for attracting visitors to the hidden treasures in small towns and rural areas.

The workshop, a program of the 10-year-old collaborative Miss/Lou Rural Tourism Education Initiative, will look at technology trends and how to create virtual tours, along with other interactive sessions and activities.

December 11, 2015 - Filed Under: Rural Development

STARKVILLE, Miss. -- A longtime department head at Mississippi State University has been named the new director of the Southern Rural Development Center.

Steven Turner, who has served as head of the MSU Department of Agricultural Economics for 12 years, will officially begin as the center’s director Jan. 1.

September 11, 2015 - Filed Under: Rural Development

INDIANOLA, Miss. -- The Mississippi State University Extension Service is partnering with stakeholders in the Delta to offer preparation courses aimed at prospective entrepreneurs.

Applications are being accepted for the Simply Effective Entrepreneur Development program, which begins at 5:30 p.m. on Sept. 21 at the Mississippi Delta Community College Capps Technology Center in Sunflower County. Classes will meet each Monday night for seven weeks.

May 18, 2015 - Filed Under: Agri-tourism, Community, Rural Development

WEST POINT, Miss. -- A rural tourism workshop on June 1-2 in West Point will focus on technology and offer new ideas for attracting visitors to the state’s hidden treasures.

Rachael Carter, a community development specialist with the Mississippi State University Extension Service, said Extension is partnering with ConnectMS to promote the workshop, “Leveling the Playing Field.”

October 16, 2014 - Filed Under: Economic Development, Rural Development

MISSISSIPPI STATE -- A New York-based think tank has designated the Mississippi State University Extension Service an Intelligent Community Institute, the second of its kind in the country.

October 10, 2014 - Filed Under: Agri-tourism, Economic Development, Rural Development

GREENWOOD -- A conference planned to better equip economic development officials to promote rural tourism opportunities has an educational lineup worthy of a festival.

The Mississippi-Alabama Rural Tourism Conference will be Oct. 20-22 in Greenwood.

June 5, 2014 - Filed Under: Rural Development, Natural Resources

MISSISSIPPI STATE -- A July 17 workshop in Hattiesburg will help landowners recognize the income-generating potential of using their land in natural resource enterprises.

The Mississippi Forestry Commission, the U.S. Forest Service and the MSU Extension Service are offering the Natural Resources Enterprise Advanced Workshop. The event will be held at the Forrest County Extension Office on July 17 from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m.

March 6, 2014 - Filed Under: Community, Economic Development, Rural Development

NATCHEZ – Attorney General Jim Hood will be the closing speaker in Natchez March 28 at a workshop about managing Mississippi’s oil and gas.

Landowners, land managers, elected officials and community leaders interested in oil and gas development can learn about legal, financial and land management planning at the two-day event.

The Mississippi State University Extension Service Center for Government and Community Development and the Stennis Institute of Government and Community Development will host the workshop.

January 9, 2014 - Filed Under: Equine, Rural Development

MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Management of facilities used for rodeos and other equine events will be the focus of a Jan. 22 workshop at the Mississippi Horse Park in Starkville.

The three-hour workshop will begin at 1 p.m. and is for individuals responsible for agricultural centers and other equine venues, as well as anyone who produces or hosts horse shows, barrel races, or other equine events, said Judith Phillips, research associate with the Stennis Institute of Government at Mississippi State University.

Emily Reid Carter, Mississippi State University Extension agent in Sharkey and Issaquena counties, is reliving the memories of Helen Johnstone Harris, a Delta woman who died in 1917. Carter is part of a community-wide effort to bring tourists to the rural Delta community near Rolling Fork, Miss. (Photo by University Relations/Russ Houston)
October 29, 2013 - Filed Under: Agri-tourism, Community, Rural Development

ROLLING FORK -- Emily Reid Carter is living her dreams and reliving the memories of Helen Johnstone Harris, a Delta woman who died in 1917.

A 1986 educational psychology graduate of Mississippi State University, Carter initially considered a move to Nashville to pursue a music career. As a student at MSU, she was active in the Baptist Student Union and sang in the Fishermen, one of the BSU’s performance groups. She also competed in the Miss MSU pageant using vocals as her talent.

October 15, 2013 - Filed Under: Agri-tourism, Community, Rural Development

MISSISSIPPI STATE – Two Mississippi State University units are helping sponsor a conference for people interested in developing outdoor recreation and tourism businesses.

The MSU Extension Service and Stennis Institute of Government and Community Development are promoting the annual Alabama-Mississippi Rural Tourism Conference Oct. 28-30. The event will be in Guntersville, Ala., and the theme is outdoor recreation.

September 25, 2013 - Filed Under: Agri-tourism, Rural Development, Natural Resources

BELZONI -- Landowners who want to branch out and earn extra income can attend a Natural Resource Enterprises Business Workshop on Oct.16.

Hosted by Mississippi State University, the workshop offers attendees the opportunity to learn different ways to make more money from their land. Topics include recreational businesses, marketing, cost-share programs, liability reduction and wildlife management.

August 23, 2013 - Filed Under: Rural Development, Technology, Family

WOODVILLE – Four months ago Elease Sullivan knew very little about Facebook or the potential it held for her business.

But the Mississippi Bricks to Clicks pilot program changed that.

Mississippi State University’s Extension Service partnered with Woodville/Wilkinson County Main Street Association to test a program that helps small businesses understand and use social media to market their products or services.

Participants in the March 27, 2013, Manufacturing Summit at Mississippi State University include Doug O'Brien, deputy undersecretary for rural development, U.S. Department of Agriculture; Earl Gohl, federal co-chairman, Appalachian Regional Commission; Matt Erksine, acting assistant secretary for economic development, U.S. Department of Commerce; Phil Bryant, governor of Mississippi; Chris Masingill, federal co-chairman, Delta Regional Authority; and Mark Keenum, MSU president. (Photo by MSU University Rela
April 4, 2013 - Filed Under: Community, Economic Development, Rural Development

MISSISSIPPI STATE – The recent Manufacturing Summit at Mississippi State University highlighted the importance of communities working across county lines to bring jobs to rural regions of the state.

Earl Gohl, federal co-chairman of the Appalachian Regional Commission, was one of the participants in a panel discussion at the March 27 event at MSU’s Franklin Furniture Institute.

“People need to realize that their competition (for new industries) is not with the county next door; it is from across the ocean,” Gohl said.

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