• Four people and the words, Extension Matters.

Extension Matters: Volume 4 Number 3

The front of an old Ford truck with the logo centered in an orange-colored rusty area of the light blue truck.

When retired teacher Billy Tigrett retired for the second time from Walmart, he gave some thought to living off his retirement, social security, and 401K.

He didn’t think about it long.

A teen girl wearing a blue shirt stands next to the corner of a brick wall and in front of green bushes. She holds a blue ribbon in her right hand and a red ribbon in her left.

Ashantis Wigley is forging her future college and career path at Humphreys County High School by sharpening her discipline, drive, and patience through the Mississippi State University 4-H Youth Development program.

On the left, a woman with short hair and a light pink, collared shirt leans on the table, holding a pen above an area of a map. On the right another woman wearing a blue floral dress leans on the table and looks at it.

Kay Little has always loved maps. As a child, she would spend hours studying an atlas with her father, who drove a truck.

So it was no surprise to her parents when, in the late 1980s, she announced she was going to work toward a college degree in drafting technology to learn how to run software capable of making maps.

A blonde woman in a white shirt and ponytail stands in front of a wooden wall and holds a brown, black, and white baby goat.

After working all day, Deidra Rollins knew the last thing she wanted to do was spend every evening and weekend at the ball field. But she wanted something she and her daughter, Tory, could do together. So she stopped by the local Mississippi State University Extension Service office.

A white-haired male wearing a denim shirt and jeans stands beside a tree and smiles.

During his tenure as an engineer at Boeing, Ottis Bullock helped build machines that went into the air and to the moon, but he always had an interest in the trees that grew from the ground where he came of age.

A couple stands among crop rows. The woman, left, has short brown hair, a pink shirt, and khaki pants, and  a taller man wears a white and tan baseball cap, a checkerboard-striped shirt, and blue jeans.

Lonnie Fortner was the first row-crop producer in southwest Mississippi to use many of the same precision ag technologies that are now commonplace.

The sun shines over the horizon stretching above a corn field.

Approximately 500,000 acres of corn were harvested statewide in 2018, including from these Northeast Mississippi rows in Noxubee County. 

A young woman with brown hair and a pink shirt stands smiling while holding a black and white speckled chicken next to her face.

When Emma Grace McGrew became Mississippi’s 2017 Miss Hospitality, a year of exciting experiences awaited the former Prentiss County 4-H’er and self-proclaimed country girl.

A man wearing a green and white plaid shirt, blue jeans, and a brown baseball cap stands in front of a bright red machine parked inside a metal building.

Greg Chambers is one Mississippi producer who’s focused on innovating. Whether he’s growing soybeans and wheat on his Prentiss County property or raising cattle and goats on other acres, Chambers is always looking for a better, more efficient way of doing things.

A woman wearing a white visor, maroon shirt, jeans, and boots marks a clipboard as five cows and three calves rest under a tree.

See what's new in Extension: Gather for First Extension Beef-Production Workshop, the Food Factor Goes Digital, Extension Professionals Share Expertise, and Extension Offers New HappyHealthy Program. 

: On the left, a younger woman wearing a patterned pink shirt holds one side of a crocheted grey shirt shirt. In the middle, and older woman smiles. On the right, another older woman with grey hair and a crocheted piece of clothing smiles and holds the shirt.

When Julia Bailey returned to her native DeKalb in 1992, she wanted to get involved in her community.

When Calhoun County supervisors helped buy a grain bin rescue tube for their fire departments, they hoped no one would ever have to use it

A teen with brown hair and wearing a green Junior Master Wellness Volunteer T-shirt stands in front of the Cleveland, Mississippi, Welcome Center.

Katelyn Orr helped Cleveland residents get their hearts pumping and burn a few calories during the Community Walk in April.

A man with a white 4-H shirt and khaki pants stands in the Mississippi capitol building holding a golden frame with the 4-H green four-leaf clover in the center. Surrounding the logo in a circle are more than 20 4-H pins.

Harry Dendy of Clinton first joined the Mississippi State University Extension Service 4-H Youth Development program in Chickasaw County 62 years ago, when he was 10 years old. Forestry was his main project area.




Message from the Director

Dr. Gary

The holiday season reminds us all to count our blessings. I am very appreciative of our state legislators’ continued support of Extension. I am grateful for the many Mississippians who work with and learn from Extension. I am thankful for our employees who work to extend knowledge and change lives.

Extension remains productive and responsive to the needs of Mississippi residents, and our work and reputation still represent trustworthy and reliable, research-based education. For these things, I am grateful.

This issue celebrates Extension clients working with and learning from their local Extension agents and specialists. Many Extension volunteers are recognized, including the thousands of Mississippi women who participate in the Mississippi Homemaker Volunteer organization. 2018 marks MHV’s 100th anniversary, and a woman from one of the state’s longest operating groups tells why she participates.

A teen with the Junior Master Wellness Volunteer group in Bolivar County is highlighted, and a 4-H volunteer in Adams County tells why she shares knowledge with young 4-H’ers.

Extension continues supporting large production operations, such as Mississippi Sunbelt Ag Expo Farmer of the Year Lonnie Fortner’s acres in Claiborne and Warren Counties, and smaller farms, such as Billy Tigrett’s soybean acres in Prentiss County.

Also hailing from Prentiss County are a cattle producer and an insurance agent commenting on how 4-H is teaching young people the skills they need as adults. A young 4-H’er from Humphreys County explains how the youth development organization is readying her for high school and college.

In addition, a state official from Madison County explains how Extension training has improved her ability to do her job, and a former NASA scientist tells how Extension is helping him to farm trees in South Mississippi.

Finally, a longtime Mississippi 4-H Club Foundation official shares the organization’s journey to merge with the Mississippi State University Foundation to ensure the financial stability of 4-H in years to come.

As we look to the new year, I pledge that Extension will continue its mission to extend knowledge and change lives to improve quality of life for every Mississippian.


Gary Jackson
Director, MSU Extension Service