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State's Agriculture Goes On Display For Agents
JACKSON -- Mississippi will entertain about 1,500 county agents and their families from across the nation in early August as it hosts the 85th annual National Association of County Agricultural Agents Professional Improvement Conference in Jackson.
The event is scheduled for Aug. 6 to 10 and will be headquartered at the Crowne Plaza Hotel. A day of tours will take the group across Mississippi to see cultural attractions, as well as agricultural and manufacturing industries in the state.
Perry Lee is the Mississippi national meeting chair and Simpson County agent with Mississippi State University's Extension Service. He said the event offers the chance to highlight the state.
"This is a great opportunity for Mississippi and the Extension Service to let agents from across the United States get an in-depth look at the agricultural industry in Mississippi. It also gives us the chance to show some of the cultural attractions we have in Mississippi," Lee said.
This is Mississippi's first time to host the annual meeting and professional improvement conference. Each state will be represented at the meeting.
Along with the professional improvement workshops, conference participants will have the opportunity to take part in poster sessions, view commercial exhibits, attend regional meetings and hear numerous speakers. A highlight will be the naming of the distinguished service award recipients.
Ed Williams, Oktibbeha County agent, said in addition to the educational sessions, Aug. 9 is set aside for tours. Agents and spouses will join one of 24 tours which will cover the state.
"The tours will give an idea of the diversity, size and scope of our agriculture," Williams said. "We will show everything from poultry to catfish and from forestry to the green industry, and will showcase MSU's Experiment Stations and the agri-industries in the state. Other tours for spouses and life members will look at cultural sites of interest."
Tours will range up to about 200 miles in each direction from Jackson and will cover the furniture industry, cattle, poultry and row crop production, the cotton industry, greenhouses and more. Several tours will visit the Delta, but most areas of the state will be visited.
Separate programs for spouses, life members and children will run concurrent with the annual meeting and professional improvement conference. Each has been designed to entertain guests and educate them on what Mississippi has to offer.
"We're really looking forward to the conference," Lee said. "It will be Extension's and Mississippi's time to get folks down from all around the country and see what we have to offer in technology and agriculture."