What’s New in Extension

A woman crouches, holding a plaque, with a girl on her left and a boy and steer on her right.

2022 Sale of Champions Celebrates Another Record-Breaking Year

Compiled by Leah Barbour • Photo by Kevin Hudson

The 2022 Sale of Champions generated a preliminary total of $448,500, approximately $40,000 more than last year and the highest ever. The sales committee raised $61,500 in support of 39 scholarships, including 25 $1,500 awards to high school seniors, six $2,000 scholarships to premier exhibitors, and eight $1,500 scholarships to exhibitors of supreme champion livestock.

The 53rd annual Dixie National Junior Round-Up, hosted in February at the Mississippi Fairgrounds Complex in Jackson, featured more than 1,500 4-H and FFA members showing 2,262 head of livestock, including cattle, hogs, goats, and lambs. The sale featured 46 champion market animals, including 15 hogs, 12 goats, 10 lambs, and nine steers.

Since its beginning in 1970, the Sale of Champions has generated more than $8.5 million through livestock sales and awarded over $1 million in scholarships to nearly 800 Mississippi students. The sale is considered an avenue to reward young people for the hard work and responsibility they take on by pursuing livestock projects.

For more information, visit “Sale of Champions spotlights persistent competitors."

A young woman reads to a group of small children sitting on a blue rug in a classroom.
Early-Education Curriculum - “My Mississippi Adventures”

Extension Awarded $5M to Develop Early-Education Curriculum

Compiled by Leah Barbour • Photo by Kevin Hudson

The Mississippi State University Extension Service was recently awarded $5 million by the Mississippi Department of Human Services to develop a new curriculum, “My Mississippi Adventures,” for children from birth through age 5.

Drs. Julie Parker and Lori Elmore-Staton, two MSU School of Human Sciences associate professors, were awarded the grant to create a developmentally appropriate, integrated curriculum for licensed childcare facilities statewide. “My Mississippi Adventures” will focus on people, places, and things indigenous to Mississippi. Locations to highlight will include the Gulf Coast, western Mississippi, the state capitol, the Delta, and northeast Mississippi.

The 4-year project will begin with Extension professionals convening focus groups to gather stakeholder input from early-childhood teachers in Mississippi, and the curriculum developed will align with the Mississippi State Department of Education’s Early Childhood Learning Standards. Once complete, the curriculum will be provided to every licensed and registered childcare facility in the state at no cost.

Get the full details about the new curriculum from the news release.

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Choctaw Partner with Extension to Cultivate “New Beginning”

Compiled by Leah Barbour • Photo by Michaela Parker

To help educate, recruit, and retain tribal students from the Mississippi Band of Choctaw Indians and prepare them to succeed in college and careers, the Choctaw Division of Education recently signed a memorandum of understanding with the Mississippi State University Extension Service.

The memorandum, associated with a $500,000 grant, “New Beginning for Tribal Students,” is designed to strengthen partnerships between the university and the Choctaw tribe. Awarded by the U.S. Department of Agriculture, the grant includes a $250,000 match from MSU and MSU Extension. Extension will develop a college- and career-readiness program called “Build Your Future” for Mississippi Band of Choctaw Indians high school students.

Mississippi Band of Choctaw Indians spokesperson Tia Grisham said the program will help students understand the education requirements for their chosen career and the cost of taking the required courses. They also will learn how to set goals for the future.

See the news story to learn more about the “New Beginning."

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A headshot of a white, blond woman, smiling.

Extension Appoints Regional Coordinators for Southeast and Southwest

Compiled by Leah Barbour • Photo by Kevin Hudson

The Mississippi State University Extension Service recently named Tawnya Holliman and Theresa Hand as regional Extension coordinators for the southeastern and southwestern regions, respectively.

2022 marks Holliman’s 26th year as an Extension employee. She holds a bachelor’s degree from Alcorn State University and a master’s degree from the University of Southern Mississippi, both in family and consumer sciences. She is based at the Coastal Research and Extension Center in Biloxi.

Hand has also served as an Extension agent for more than 25 years. She holds a bachelor’s degree in family and consumer sciences from Delta State University and a master’s degree in community and Extension education from Mississippi State University. She is based at the Central Research and Extension Center in Raymond.

Regional Extension coordinators lead MSU’s outreach efforts in the region and provide administrative direction to Extension agents in the development, implementation, and evaluation of Extension’s educational programs to improve economic and social conditions in the county, region, and state.

Click here to read the full news release about Holliman.

Click here to read the full news release about Hand.

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