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MSU floral instructor moves to specialist spot
BILOXI, Miss. -- A long-time Mississippi State University floral professor is now teaching the Mississippi public about floral design.
Jim DelPrince, who taught students on the Starkville campus for 23 years, joined the MSU Extension Service as a floral design specialist July 1. He is stationed in the MSU Coastal Research and Extension Center in Biloxi.
“We have a great horticulture group based out of the Coastal Research and Extension Center, and Jim is going to be a great fit,” said Patricia Knight, center head. “He adds Extension programming in a completely new arena than what you traditionally see. He is a talented designer, and I think our region, with its appreciation for art, is going to be very receptive to what he has to offer.”
DelPrince will develop classes, workshops and other instruction opportunities to teach the public how to use flowers, greenery, fruits and vegetables for decoration and other purposes.
“This is a brand new educational area for Extension, so I am in the process of putting together the program,” DelPrince said. “But floral design has appeal to a wide range of ages and interests. Everyone, from small children to senior citizens, can benefit from working with materials to create beautiful, organic things. I want to build this program around client needs, so I’m planning several workshops on a wide range of topics to help me gauge what people are interested in.”
In some of the first classes, participants will learn how to make a flower crown and create buffet designs and altar flowers. Another workshop will allow participants to bring their own items to make displays for entryways, tables and parties. Participants are encouraged to bring greenery, vegetables and other readily available materials from their yards, gardens and kitchens.
DelPrince also will work with members of Mississippi’s green industry.
“I’ll be able to work with growers to help them understand how to strengthen their businesses by offering products and services that the public wants,” DelPrince said. “I’ll also have the ability to help our researchers recognize industry needs.
“The changing florist business has created a popular cottage industry in the state, from people who have niche businesses preserving bridal bouquets to others who create art from dried flowers. MSU has the resources to help everyone from amateur enthusiasts to professional designers to the growers who supply the industry.”