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The information presented on this page was originally released on August 30, 2007. It may not be outdated, but please search our site for more current information. If you plan to quote or reference this information in a publication, please check with the Extension specialist or author before proceeding.
Quick Bites offers lunchtime learning
MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Any Mississippian can turn a sandwich and a trip to the county Extension office into a learning experience.
Each Thursday from noon until 1 p.m., county Extension offices receive Quick Bites live, interactive video feeds from Mississippi State University.
There is a new topic each week, and the topics are as varied as the state of Mississippi, said Extension distance education coordinator Susan Seal.
“Not only do you have the opportunity to learn about topics ranging from herb gardening to Tai Chi, but participants also have the chance to ask questions and interact with the person teaching the class and with other participants,” Seal said. “Most of the programs originate on the MSU campus and feature an Extension Service specialist or other university professional.”
Extension offices in each of Mississippi's 82 counties are equipped to receive the interactive video feeds. Recent topics have included a cooking demonstration by MSU chef Roland Parny and lessons on floral design by university florist Lynette McDougald.
Each month's topics are sent to the county Extension offices in advance so they can be publicized at the local level. Warren County Extension director John Coccaro includes the Quick Bites schedule in the information he sends to the local paper.
“The number of people who participate from week to week varies with the topic,” Coccaro said. “Our conference room seats 50 people, and it was almost full for the Tai Chi program.”
Other popular Quick Bites program topics in Warren County have included how to write a will and genealogy.
The program is attracting the attention of people who have never participated in other activities offered by Extension, Coccaro said.
“Quick Bites programs are popular with retirees, but because they are offered during the noon hour, working people can bring a sandwich to eat while they watch the program and be back at work in an hour,” he said.
Making university-based information available to the public is the mission of the Extension Service, and Seal said Quick Bites uses the latest technology to accomplish that mission.
“The program began in 2006 as an in-service training tool for Extension personnel, but we soon realized that some of the computer training and other classes could be of interest to the general public,” she said. “By using the interactive video capability in each county office, our specialists and other presenters can reach a statewide audience without having to travel long distances.”
Each program includes a presentation that lasts about 45 minutes, followed by a question and answer session the rest of the hour. The program is free to the public by calling the local Extension office to reserve a space.
Quick Bites topics for September include: Sept. 6, What you should know before you hire a contractor: Don't get nailed; Sept. 13, Tractor safety; Sept. 20, Preparing and cooking pork loin on the grill; and Sept. 27, Healthy foods prepared safely while tailgating.
More information about Quick Bites.