Extension in Action

A man standing in a vineyard and wearing a cowboy hat speaking to a group of people. Two men talking with two women outside at a vineyard. Hedging trimmers snapping a vine. Three women and one man standing outside and holding vine clippings.
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Multistate vineyard pruning workshops attract range of growers

Story by Leah Barbour • Photos by Kevin Hudson

I’m getting the information I need at this meeting. They’re showing us how pruning using a hedge trimmer can save you time. That’s valuable information; pruning your vines is the most expensive and time-consuming thing you have to do by hand. The information I get from this workshop will make a difference in my vineyard.

— Wayne Adams, Adams Vineyard owner and entrepreneur

WHO:

Muscadine growers in southeast Mississippi gathered at the Beaumont Horticultural Unit in Perry County to learn from Extension small-fruits experts based at Mississippi State University and Louisiana State University AgCenter. Approximately 40 Mississippians attended the Magnolia State workshop, while about 30 Louisianians attended that state’s workshop.

WHAT:

The Vineyard Pruning Workshop, funded by the Southern Region Small Fruit Consortium, taught the basics of vine anatomy and pruning techniques for muscadines and bunch grapes. In-field demonstrations showed participants correct pruning techniques in the vineyard. Professionals within the partnership represent agricultural Extension programs and research stations in Mississippi, Louisiana, Alabama, Arkansas, Georgia, Tennessee, North Carolina, South Carolina, and Virginia, and they work to enhance the development of small-fruit industries across the South.

We’ve learned so much today! Dr. Stafne is an excellent teacher, and we’ve learned a lot from Dr. Coker and Dr. Fontenot, too. We always learn something from Extension, and if they don’t know the answer to your questions, they’ll find someone who does.

— Judy Hudson, Forrest County Master Gardener

WHEN:

MSU Extension offers muscadine workshops annually. While pruning can happen anytime during the winter (November to February), the 2022 workshops were held in early March, when the vines were still dormant.

WHERE:

Workshops were held at the Beaumont Horticultural Unit in Mississippi, part of the Mississippi Agricultural and Forestry Experiment Station, and Louisiana Hill Farm Teaching Facility at LSU AgCenter in Baton Rouge.

HOW:

Workshops are scheduled and led by MSU Extension small-fruits experts, who partner with the Southern Region Small Fruit Consortium on new opportunities to train county Extension agents, conduct additional small-fruits research, and offer additional learning opportunities to Mississippians statewide.

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Extension Matters Volume 8 Number 2 Cover.

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