Extension Matters: Volume 6 Number 2
Variety trials exemplify Extension’s service to growers through pandemic
For 10 years, a small portion of Moody Farms in Tishomingo County has been sectioned off for cotton variety trial plots. That streak continued in 2020, despite the COVID-19 pandemic.
Lexington coalition organizes food giveaway amid pandemic
When the Guardian (U.S. edition) released its article “In the poorest county, in America’s poorest state, a virus hits home: ‘Hunger is rampant’” in early April 2020, a local coalition in Holmes County had already organized to create a food pantry in Lexington.
4-H’er creates instructional video
4-H’ers learn by doing, pandemic or no pandemic. So, even though Aaron Lampley could not meet with the Winston County Photography Club, he could leverage technology to increase his own skills and share his expertise with other photo enthusiasts.
Extension supports city clerks during pandemic
Many things about the way Jo Ann Robbins did her job changed when coronavirus hit.
“The COVID-19 pandemic impacted my work and my personal life in ways I never dreamed possible”
4-H’er uses tech to unite club, serve community
Not many teens—or adults, for that matter—know the ins and outs of Robert’s Rules of Order, but 17-year-old Chasity Moses is making a habit of knowing and doing things that set her apart.
The Lexington Food Pantry’s food giveaways in Holmes County came together because of a group of dedicated volunteers, many of whom are part of the AIM for CHangE coalition in Lexington. Advancing, Inspiring, and Motivating for Community Health through Extension—AIM for CHangE—develops community-led groups that develop health solutions specifically for local residents.
Vardaman producer named Farmer of the Year
When Joe Edmondson surveys his farming operation at Topashaw Farms, he thinks about his more than 40 full-time employees and the hundreds of seasonal workers who work the acres.
Extension helps clients with disaster recovery
Hulon McKenzie had various jobs over the years. He worked in the oil field, hauled cattle cross-country, and dispatched for a trucking company. But none of them matched the work he did on his small family farm in the Tilton- Sauls Valley community of Monticello.
Originally from Port Gibson, Jonnese Goings is now an inventory control analyst at the Belk Inc. corporate office in Charlotte, North Carolina. Her 4-H background taught her to be independent and committed to whatever she sets her mind to and helped her obtain several internships and leadership positions during her college years. The leadership and public speaking skills she developed in the 4-H youth development program coordinated by the Mississippi State University Extension Service continue to benefit her in her career today.
Mississippi Small Businesses Receive Extension Support
When federal and state lending programs specifically geared toward small businesses were announced as part of the government’s response to natural disasters and COVID-19, Mississippi State University Extension Service personnel went into action to distribute information to Mississippi Main Street’s businesses, organizations, and farmers markets.
Master Gardener volunteers despite pandemic challenges
The sun was beating down, the humidity oppressive, and the flower bed dry. It was April 29, 2020, and the pandemic had closed the Mississippi State University Extension Service office in Washington County, where the snapdragons are.
New endowment honors longtime Extension swine specialist
In his 34 years as swine specialist with the Mississippi State University Extension Service, Dr. Mark Crenshaw was one of the state’s most prominent advocates for the pork industry. Now, an Extension endowment fund bears his name.
Message from the Director
Thank you for supporting Extension as we respond to the challenges facing our state. All of our lives changed in March when the COVID-19 pandemic first swept through Mississippi.
Even as businesses and some Extension offices closed, Extension’s work never stopped. Extension personnel, included in the Mississippi Emergency Management Agency’s response plan, are essential employees whose services continue.
From COVID-19 health education to agricultural damage assessments after weather events, Extension faculty and agents remain a critical part of the state’s collective effort to keep Mississippians safe and help those in need.
This issue of Extension Matters showcases a range of clients, representing all parts of the state. Elected officials, including the Sumrall-based president of the Mississippi Municipal Clerks and Collectors Association and a Delta mayor confronting food insecurity, explain how Extension’s support has strengthened their efforts to address the pandemic.
Extension’s work in the field continues, now with social distancing, masks, and increased hand-sanitizer use. Whether agents and specialists are working to serve row-crop producers or Master Gardeners are beautifying their communities, Extension personnel and volunteers are still on the front lines, ready to assist, answering questions to improve growth, yield, and profitability.
4-H clubs could not meet in person through the spring and summer, but dedicated young people have used their smartphone connectivity to continue 4-H programming. In southwest Mississippi, a 4-H’er kept her club learning by doing as it organized and completed a community service project. In northeast Mississippi, a 4-H’er used technology to create and share an online educational video on one of his favorite 4-H activities: photography.
After tornadoes tore through south Mississippi on Easter Sunday, Extension was
there when timber producers needed damage assessments and information about how to report their losses to the U.S. Department of Agriculture.
While things seem uncertain now, I know we will recover from these many challenges. I also know that Extension will continue our efforts to educate and serve all our people. While Mississippians have turned to Extension for their educational needs for over 100 years, they also look to Extension for leadership and stability during a crisis. We will be here, continuing our mission to extend knowledge and change lives. You can rely on us.
Director, MSU Extension Service