• Four people and the words, Extension Matters.

Extension Matters: Volume 4 Number 2

Seven teenagers wearing green blazers and tan slacks form a U standing on steps in front of six gray columns.

Mississippi State University Extension Service 4-H’ers met with elected of­ficials during their trip to the Mississippi State Capitol for Legislative Day 2018. 

A green tractor, flanked on the right by a smaller red one, stands beneath a metal roof.

Before adopting RISER techniques on his farm, irrigating was the part of the growing season Clark Carter always dreaded.

“We would string out plastic pipe, punch holes in it every couple of feet, and hook it up, only to see it blow out when we turned the water on,” says the Rolling Fork row-crop producer. “Very seldom did you get a run of pipe to fill up and water a field. It was unorganized chaos every year.

A young female dressed in a white polo and blue jeans smiles and holds up the second-place ribbon around her neck. On the left is an adult woman dressed in a white sheer top with a white vest and blue jeans and is holding a bigger red ribbon. On the right is an older woman wearing a pink AKA hat and a black long-sleeved AKA T-shirt with brown slacks, and she holds up a purple ribbon.

You know you’re a tall 10-year-old when your grandma packs your birth certificate with your goat-grooming supplies before you head to a livestock show—just in case anyone questions your age.

At 10, Peyton Bell is well over 5 feet tall and has been showing dairy goats in the Mississippi State University Extension Service’s 4-H program in Adams County for just 1 year. But what a year it has been.

Upturned magnolia leaves stretch to the blue sky speckled with white clouds.

On December 10, 1817, Mississippi officially joined the United States of America as the 20th state. Two hundred years later, the state governor, legislators, and other elected officials encouraged residents to commemorate the bicentennial. Officials with the Mississippi State University Extension Service heard the message loud and clear.

A gray-haired man with white goatee wears a brown blazer over a red polo with blue jeans and brown shoes. He stands in a dirt path flanked on both sides by parsley, about waist-high.

John Monroe has been familiar with the Mississippi State University Extension Service since he was a child.

“I grew up on a small farm in George County,” says Monroe. “My dad took gardening seriously, and we weren’t blessed with the best soil. So my dad worked very closely with the county agent. He’d come out to our place on a regular basis.”

A blonde woman with glasses, wearing a yellow shirt and a motley scarf, stands smiling on a sidewalk in front of trees beside a sign marking “UF University IFAS Extension State Headquarters Florida 4-H Youth Development.”


Joy Cantrell Jordan, 4-H alumna, shares her memories and other thoughts about Mississippi 4-H.

Six children, all dressed in blue T-shirts and slacks, bend over a raised bed garden with growing cabbages and tomatoes.

After a tragic car accident in 2017 led to the deaths of two Central Elementary School students, school leaders raised money to support their funerals. Their efforts inspired many South Mississippi residents in Lucedale and across George County.

Three men, all wearing orange life vests and baseball caps, hold a shark, and the bearded man in the center prods the animal’s side with an orange-handled instrument.

The Mississippi Master Naturalist volunteer group, trained and supported by natural resources experts with the MSU Extension Service, learned about marine life during a recent boating trip off Gulf Shores, Alabama. Marcus Drymon (center), assistant Extension professor, measures and tags a great hammerhead.

A woman, leftmost, wearing a coral blouse and brown slacks, points and talks to two teens sitting in yellow chairs at a gray table.

When family and consumer sciences teacher Cassandra Tittle was approached about incorporating a wellness program into her health classes, Walk-A-Weigh was her first preference, because she knew first-hand how effective it could be.

A smiling woman with blonde hair, a red scarf, a denim shirt, and black pants rests her arm on the side of a “Welcome to the Mississippi Gulf” sign.

Kelly Griffin remembers when Harrison County began its recycling program.

“I was in elementary school when the county began curbside recycling,” she says. “My sister, brother, and I would argue every week about who was going to take the bin out to the road.”

A white sign with dark green lettering reads, “Monarch Waystation: This site provides milkweeds, nectar sources, and shelter needed to sustain monarch butterflies as they migrate through North America. Certified and registered by Monarch Watch as an official Monarch Waystation. Create, Conserve, & Protect Monarch Habitats.”

See what's new in Extension: a new monarch garden, a storytelling series will begin, the Garden Expo highlights Extension education, and Keep America Beautiful recognizes MSU Extension.

Red potatoes in a biodegradable basket are flanked on either side by green snap beans.

From the youngest to the oldest generations, thousands of people are visiting, shopping, and enjoying themselves at the Hernando Farmers’ Market, held Saturdays on the historic DeSoto County Courthouse lawn.

The market has more than just fresh produce. It connects the community by uniting the shoppers, producers, and artisans who come.

A female teen in a brown 4-H jacket, boots, and jeans squats beside a white cow moving toward its feeder.

Fun fact about Mississippi State University Extension Service 4-H’er Katelyn Shoemake: she is currently the only Native American in the state showing livestock.

A gray-haired man wearing overalls and glasses sits beside a raised salad table, and a black-haired woman stands behind him, wearing a blue T-shirt, with her hand on his shoulder.

As Jimmy Henry’s health began to decline, his wife, Shirley, wanted him to remain comfortable, safe, and happy. When the time came for Jimmy to enter a nursing home, Shirley was determined to stay right by his side, so she went with him.

Ten adults, including 3 women and 7 men, stand smiling in front of a Mississippi Farmers’ Market banner.

Cooperation. Commitment. Grassroots leadership. These shared values unite First South Farm Credit and the Mississippi State University Extension Service in their shared mission to serve Mississippi’s agricultural community. So when the opportunity arose to support the fledgling Thad Cochran Agricultural Leadership Program (TCALP), First South CEO and MSU agricultural economics graduate John Barnard (Class of 1981) jumped at the chance.




Message from the Director

Dr. Gary

The Extension family continues extending knowledge to change Mississippians’ lives. Our agents and specialists are working to make sure that individuals, families, organizations, and businesses thrive and prosper.

To commemorate Mississippi’s 2017 bicentennial, volunteers with Extension’s Mississippi Master Gardener program have planted magnolia trees all over the state in partnership with their local communities. Discover where the young trees are growing on page 4.

From elementary schools to retirement homes, state residents are working with Extension agents to grow vegetable and flower gardens on-site. Extension continues offering clients information about how to build healthier lifestyles. Also, one Positive Parenting client explains how she’s improving her family life, while a Walk-a-Weigh participant tells how being more active is making her life better.

Read how Extension’s research-based information improves efficiency and increases profits for different types of producers, from one Northeast Mississippi cattle producer to a Delta row-crop farmer. Also, a retiree explains how one Extension agent is helping him to streamline production techniques with old farm equipment to grow soybeans.

One Northwest Mississippi farmers’ market is working with Extension representatives to ensure the most nutritious and highest quality local food is available, and a longtime Coastal Cleanup volunteer shares why she signs up year after year. A professional soil and water conservationist explains how Extension’s natural resources programming assists him in his work.

Finally, a young member of the Mississippi Band of Choctaw Indians talks about how she’s learned leadership by participating in the 4-H youth development program, while another 4-H’er, from the Southwest Delta, shares how goat-showing is teaching her responsibility. Finally, a former Mississippi 4-H’er, who was inducted in the National 4-H Hall of Fame in 2017, explains how the program led her to a teaching career at the University of Florida.

Extension is assisting in agricultural production while conserving Mississippi’s treasured environment and natural resources. Organizations and businesses are growing and becoming even more successful thanks to Extension programming. Young people and their families are developing positive, healthy habits through 4-H and Extension programs. Our team of local agents and university specialists are making a difference in Mississippi.


Gary Jackson
Director, MSU Extension Service