Extension Matters: Volume 7 Number 1
Noxubee County volunteers make a difference through service
Everybody who knows Landis and Katherine Mickens, who’ve lived in Noxubee County all their lives, knows they care about service. The Mickens’s ties to their Macon neighbors are strong and run deep, just like their 38-year marriage.
Extension continues educational efforts despite pandemic
Serra Beth Greenlee takes a lot of classes at her local Mississippi State University Extension Service office in Alcorn County. When she saw the Walk-a-Weigh program would be offered virtually, she signed up.
State senator credits 4-H background for commitment to service
Helping Mississippi’s economy survive a pandemic and supporting historic legislation to change the state flag are just a few of the votes that have made Nicole Boyd’s rookie legislative session an unprecedented one.
Webinar series provides Extension programming virtually
Wearing a face mask and keeping his social distance, Dr. Christian Stephenson dropped by Eileen Hollander’s Poplarville home in early September. He was there to help her identify scale insects on the mulberry trees in her garden and suggest research-based remedies.
4-H provides programs, support online during pandemic
Even as COVID-19 puts a damper on activities of all kinds across the country, Mississippi 4-H agents and personnel remain dedicated to shaping tomorrow’s leaders.
Extension helps small businesses with safety consultation services
Small businesses in Mississippi can face workplace safety challenges with the help of a trusted partner.
A group of safety and health experts with the Mississippi State University Extension Service offers a range of free, confidential safety and health consultation services to small businesses with as many as 250 on-site employees and fewer than 500 corporate-wide employees.
Engineer designs sub-irrigated planter
The answer would have discouraged most people when Mike Boyles asked Mississippi State University Extension Service agent Jim McAdory about building a permanent, subirrigated planter on a concrete slab.
Brahman cattle at South Farm, formally known as H.H. Leveck Animal Research Center at Mississippi State University, enjoyed a snowy morning when most of Mississippi saw snowflakes on January 11, 2021.
4-H engineering program moves online
Eight-year-old twins Zadie and Kyra Baughtmann love to build with LEGO bricks, so, when they learned about the virtual 4-H summer camp available in June, they eagerly signed up.
Couple uses regenerative agriculture principles to raise cattle
It takes a different mindset, a different approach, and different tactics. But regenerative agriculture can work, and it’s working really well at Hunt Hill Cattle Company.
Head Start staff completes training to ensure safe, healthy foods
Washington County Opportunities Inc. Head Start/Early Head Start was forced to stop in-person services for much of 2020 because of the pandemic, but that did not stop its staff from feeding the children who are registered in the program.
Extension agent in Pontotoc County held local meetings online in 2020
The Mississippi State University Extension Service has been part of Terry Barron’s life in many ways since she moved back to her home state more than 12 years ago.
Four Extension experts named fellows in their disciplines
Four well-respected Mississippi State University Extension Service experts were recently named fellows in prestigious academic and service organizations.
Frank Brumfield, originally from Inverness, Mississippi, in Sunflower County, now resides in Chicago, Illinois. Brumfield was a futures trader at the Chicago Board of Trade for 18 years and now operates his own private investment firm, the FSB Companies. Brumfield’s cattle operations take place in Three Oaks, Michigan, and Wilsall, Montana.
2020 Pearl River Clean Sweep removes thousands of pounds of trash
Since it began 4 years ago, the Pearl River Clean Sweep has removed more than 135,000 pounds of trash from the Pearl River Basin, including the Pearl, Strong, and Bogue Chitto Rivers across 15 Mississippi counties and two Louisiana parishes.
The Clean Sweep offers an opportunity for volunteers to participate in a coordinated effort organized by like-minded leaders. Many people affiliated with the Mississippi State University Extension Service participated in the 2020 cleanup, and lead organizer Abby Braman is an Extension-certified Master Naturalist volunteer.
A Reward for Hard Work
Doss Family Endows Scholarship for Future Extension Agents
In the Doss family, a strong work ethic is the hallmark of success. That is why, as a tribute to his parents, Roy and Helen, Derrell Doss arranged for their trust to fund a scholarship for Mississippi State University students who want to pursue careers related to agriculture, home economics, and the Extension Service.
Message from the Director
For all of us, 2020 was a challenging year in so many ways. Of course, the COVID-19 pandemic was the greatest challenge; it affected everything and everyone, including work, school, church, family gatherings, and recreation.
For us in Extension, the holidays provided a special time of celebration—to regroup and reinvigorate and prepare for another year of Extension outreach and instruction, though the look of our in-person meetings and activities has changed.
This issue of Extension Matters gives us a chance to show how Extension is adapting to deliver our services. Though circumstances are dramatically different, our mission and our commitment to our clients are unchanged. And we are more safety-conscious and aware of our surroundings than ever before.
We feature a Mississippi state senator and a prominent Illinois businessman who share how growing up participating in Extension’s 4-H youth development program gave them the tools to succeed as adults. Three current 4-H’ers tell about their virtual experiences in 4-H, and two longtime 4-H volunteer leaders explain why they continue serving in their community.
As we have shifted to online instruction, clients are accessing webinars to discover how Extension can help them. One client in the Delta explains the convenience of completing online ServSafe food safety certification, and another in northeast Mississippi shares how the Walk-a-Weigh fitness and nutrition program is working for her.
A Master Gardener in southwest Mississippi tells how horticulture webinars from southeast Mississippi are enhancing her gardening projects. And a Pontotoc client shares how she’s applying online forestry instruction at her parents’ tree farm.
Extension’s in-person services do continue, safe and adapted to the pandemic situation, while we’re also teaching and delivering research-based information using online communication and learning. Cattle producers, home gardeners, elected officials, and small businesses all continue to use Extension services as the pandemic unfolds, and this issue shares individual stories about successes in each profession.
While we will continue using more online learning and reaching larger audiences via technology in the future, I also expect more of our traditional in-person educational activities to resume. However, we will continue to use technology and work together using the best safety practices.
We will get through this together.
Director, MSU Extension Service