What’s New in Extension

Two adults, smiling, working with three small children.

Extension recently relaunched the Nurturing Homes Initiative for home childcare providers.

Extension Revamps Nurturing Homes Initiative

Compiled by Leah Barbour • Photo by Kevin Hudson

The Mississippi State University Extension Service recently relaunched its Nurturing Homes Initiative. The program’s mission is to improve the quality of the early educational experiences provided in family childcare homes through mentoring, improving the learning environment, and delivering research-based information.

The program was previously in place for more than 16 years, and Dr. Louise E. Davis, Extension professor, recently secured funding to relaunch the program. While the state of Mississippi mandates that licensed childcare employees earn 15 hours of staff development yearly, home providers have no state-mandated requirements. Extension childcare training coordinators offer technical assistance and one-on-one visits to providers’ homes to support their goals and professional development needs.

Staff with the Nurturing Homes Initiative recruit in-home providers by offering incentives, including opportunities for educational advancement and developmentally appropriate learning materials and books.

For more information about Nurturing Homes or to participate, please click here to fill out the information form.

Video by Jonathan Parrish


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Graduates overseen by Jess Benson (left), TCALP associate director, and Dr. Michael Newman (right), TCALP director, include (from left) Rob Baker of Leland, partner of Bourbon Plantation; Hillary Ball of Oxford, seed specialist for Helena Ag; Matthew and Kayla Poe of Pontotoc, owners of Poe Farms; Tyler Anderson of Starkville, vice president of branch lending for Mississippi Land Bank; Rebekkah and David Arant of Minter City, farmers with Arant Acres; Joseph Erickson of Madison, crop insurance agent with Diversified Services Agency; and Jared Freeman of Forest, pullet manager with Koch Foods. Other graduates not pictured are Alex Holtcamp of Crawford, farm manager of Holtcamp Farms; Amanda Stone of Starkville, Extension dairy specialist; and Cala Tabb of Eupora, co-owner of Old Walthall Farms.

TCALP Class II graduates at winter ceremony

Compiled by Leah Barbour | Photo by Kevin Hudson

Members of the second class of the Thad Cochran Agricultural Leadership Program have completed the curriculum, and they received their graduation certificates on January 23 at the Mississippi Farm Bureau Federation state offices in Jackson.

Also known as TCALP, the program provides 22 months of training for emerging leaders in Mississippi agriculture. The Mississippi State University Extension Service, in partnership with the Mississippi Farm Bureau Federation, established TCALP to develop participants’ agricultural policy knowledge. Seminar topics included entrepreneurship, agribusiness, leadership theory, public policy, and global markets. 

Click here to read the full press release.


: A large group of people smiling.
TCALP Class III includes (from left) Stacey Swain of Collierville, Tenn., brand coordinator with Helena Products Group; Lee Thorne, general counsel for First South Farm Credit in Ridgeland, Miss.; Hunter Taylor, vice-president and branch manager of Mississippi Land Bank in Cleveland; Matt Hammons, poultry producer in Forest, Miss.; Sean McDonald, owner and operator of McB Farms in Ovett, Miss.; Sarah and Gentry Clark, co-owners and operators of Flat Forty Farms in Linn, Miss.; and LIsa Hammons, poultry producer in Forest, Miss. Not pictured is Alex Deason, Extension agent in Sunflower County.

TCALP Class III inducted in fall gathering

Compiled by Leah Barbour | Photo by Kevin Hudson

The third class of the Thad Cochran Agricultural Leadership Program, or TCALP, includes 10 food and fiber professionals, representing a range of agricultural industries, from production to sales to law. The newest members of Mississippi’s principal agricultural leadership program met for orientation at Mississippi State University in late October.

Over the next 2 years, TCALP participants will gain skills and knowledge in entrepreneurship, agribusiness, leadership theory, public policy, and global markets in a series of seminars. The group will then visit Washington, D.C. to meet with congressional leaders, study national public policy in agriculture, and study the U.S. farm bill in depth.

Click here to read the full press release.


The Northeast meeting of the Mississippi Homemaker Volunteers featured a diverse group of dedicated volunteers.
Women representing Alcorn, Benton, Chickasaw, Itawamba, Lafayette, Lee, Marshall, Pontotoc, Prentiss, Tippah, Tishomingo, and Union Counties attended the final Northeast regional meeting of the Mississippi Homemaker Volunteers in 2022.

MHV resumes regional meetings

By Leah Barbour | Photo by Kevin Hudson

The Mississippi Homemaker Volunteers’ service took on a different form during the pandemic, but regional gatherings resumed in the fall of 2022, giving members the chance to come together to share and inspire one another.

From September through November, groups of volunteers dedicated to strengthening families and communities gathered in their respective regions, including Capital, Coastal, Delta, East, North Central, Northeast, and Southwest. Meetings included speakers and workshops, as well as networking opportunities for members to discuss their service efforts.

At the final regional meeting of the year, held in the Northeast region at Extension’s Lafayette County office, the new 2022-2023 MHV president, Lynda Smyth of Pontotoc County, was introduced. As 2023 continues, MHV will resume spring and fall regional meetings.

Visit extension.msstate.edu/mhv to learn more about MHV’s service efforts or how to join.

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