Extension Matters: Volume 2 Number 2
Tree farmer of the Year collaborates with Extension
Bobby Watkins’s selection as the Mississippi Forestry Association’s 2015 Tree Farmer of the Year was the culmination of a career in forestry and a lifetime commitment to his family tree farm in Aberdeen. The Mississippi State University alumnus and retired forestry technical specialist for BASF now dedicates most of his time and resources to overseeing and maintaining Coontail Farm.
Group finds enrichment in sharing and learning skills and serving the community
What started as a few ladies meeting together to socialize and learn new skills and refresh familiar ones grew into a new Mississippi Homemaker Volunteer club.
Extension ATV training helps cancer survivors’ wishes come true
Getting a driver’s license and going through ATV safety training are rites of passage for many Mississippi teens, but, for two young outdoorsmen, achieving these goals meant much more
Pine Belt Master Gardeners Get Longtime Gardener "back in the dirt"
Eight years ago, Hattiesburg pharmacist Jim Murray gave up gardening because his knees gave out and doctors told him his days of keeping flower beds and cultivating his home garden were over. However, he has returned to gardening thanks to the Pine Belt Master Gardeners’ salad table project.
Mississippi Shines as Spotlight State at Sunbelt Ag Expo
The MSU Extension Service, along with Alcorn State University, the Mississippi Department of Agriculture and Commerce, and the Mississippi Farm Bureau, hosted the Spotlight State building at the Sunbelt Ag Expo, North America’s premier farm show, in October 2015.
4-H programs develop life skills, influence positive career paths
Marisa Laudadio says she was once reluctant to come out of her shell. Now she is a highly accomplished high school graduate looking forward to beginning her studies at Mississippi State University in political science and communication.
Extension Where You Are
With about 2,300 residents, Quitman is the smallest town in the world to offer its residents 1 gigabit-per-second broadband.
Catch of the Day
Gulf Coast shrimpers at Biloxi’s Sherman Canaan Back Bay Fishing Dock are ready for the shrimping season. The Mississippi State University Extension Service teaches shrimpers what to do in emergencies at sea and helps them market the thousands of pounds of shrimp they catch each season.
Successful production-agriculture operation thrives with Extension assistance
He’s a locomotive engineer by night but a row-crop farmer by day. And even though Tony Dantzler doesn’t get much sleep in his Artesia home, he is quick to say he’s living his dream.
Extension continues assisting one of Mississippi’s most successful beef producers
Beef cattle producer Jacob “Jake” Megehee identifies cattle producers’ needs and publicizes them at the highest levels. Elected officials and fellow cattlemen all over the country respect his personal success raising and selling beef cattle through Megehee Cattle Company.
Experiencing Mississippi like never before
Volunteers in Extension’s Master Naturalist program are receiving scientific, research-based instruction to learn about all of Mississippi’s natural wonders and how to share their knowledge with others.
Message from the Director
Spring flowers are opening, planting season is in full swing, and the Mississippi State University Extension Service continues serving people all over this great state. Extension agents are providing more programs and more resources than ever as they share reliable, research-based solutions that improve clients’ everyday lives.
The support Extension receives from the Mississippi Legislature shows that our elected officials are invested in the people Extension is serving. What our agents are doing in the field resonates with state leaders, and they’ve been very good to the MSU Extension Service. We appreciate our legislators and their support of Extension and its clients.
This issue of Extension Matters highlights a diverse group benefitting from Extension education and assistance:
Nationally recognized cattle producer Jacob Megehee and his wife, Martha, discuss their longtime relationship with Extension on page 28, while row-crop farmer Tony Dantzler shares how Extension keeps him up-to-date on the latest agricultural technologies on page 22. Tree Farmer of the Year Bobby Watkins on page 36 explains how Extension’s outreach helps him balance conservation and profitability decisions.
On page 4, read how a group of ladies from Lexington turned to Extension, when they decided they wanted to learn to quilt and begin a quilting guild. Discover, on page 14, how 4-H is teaching Marisa Laudadio leadership skills that are helping her resolve conflicts and connect with others, both in 4-H and beyond.
The Center for Technology Outreach, through associate Extension professor Roberto Gallardo’s work around the state, is bridging the digital divide in rural Mississippi. Read Quitman’s story on page 17. And volunteers with Master Gardeners, page 10, and Master Naturalists, page 34, are sharing their knowledge to help people make informed agricultural and natural resource decisions.
These clients are just a few of the many who are using Extension’s research, education, and training initiatives to increase knowledge, improve practices, and change lives. I hope you will enjoy meeting them as you read their stories. We’re proud of their success, and we know you will be, too.
Director, MSU Extension Service