Extension Matters: Volume 1 Number 1

A man wearing a blue shirt and cowboy hat stands in front of a piece of farming machinery.

Extension Helps Delta Farmer succeed, excel

Abbott Myers’s entire family farmed, but he did not intend to carry on the family business when he entered Mississippi State University in the mid-1960s.

An older man, a woman, and a teenage boy around a green tractor.

Four generations of 4-H’ers span the century 

Mississippi State University Extension celebrated its centennial in 2014. The organization has touched countless lives in the last 100 years, including four generations of 4-H’ers in one family

A woman sits on one side of a table, and a man with a laptop sits opposite from her.

Additional county agents focus on community development 

The Mississippi State University Extension Service is adding community resource development agents in four counties across the state to help reach Mississippians in new ways. 

A man holding a styrofoam cup with a plant sprout.

Extension Service helps demonstrate sustainable ag

One of the best ways to learn a new skill is to watch someone else doing it, a concept Keith Benson uses to teach sustainable agriculture in Holmes County. 

A woman in a grocery store holding a blue basket filled with produce like leafy green lettuce.

Eating healthier, living better

With a business to run and five active children, Alberta Cheval never spent much time in the kitchen.

An older man and a young man stand next to each other smiling.

4-H offers family time, life lessons

Raising championship hogs is a family tradition for Humphreys County 4-H’er Nic Carter, and the college freshman is leaving big boots for his sister and cousins to fill.

Woman with brown hair stands next to a street sign.

Hernando's City Clerk relies on MSU Extension

Hernando is the fastest-growing town in DeSoto County, but City Clerk Katie Harbin is part of a team at City Hall dedicated to maintaining Hernando’s small-town appeal.




Extension Matters Volume 1 Number 1.

Message from the Director

Dr. Gary

This, the first edition of Extension Matters, comes during a monumental time in our history, as the Mississippi State University Extension Service celebrates our first centennial. For 100 years, MSU Extension has served individuals, communities, our state, and the nation.

The Smith-Lever Act, signed on May 8, 1914, established the Cooperative Extension Service, the nationwide education system operating through land-grant universities in partnership with federal, state, and local governments. Our foundational goal has remained the same—to deliver education that changes lives. But our subject matter and our methods have changed as the needs of Mississippians have changed. Our mission in Extension is to deliver research-proven information to Mississippians, and we do that by taking advantage of both face-to-face meetings and all the tools that today’s technology offers.

Our nation and state have come a long way since 1914. We lived through boll weevil invasions, the Depression, and world wars. Each one might have crippled the state, but Extension agents and faculty were always there to help see their clients through those challenges and others. For example, Mississippi’s cotton farms are 100-percent boll-weevil-free today, due in a large part to Extension’s working with the farmers themselves, who did what it took to eliminate cotton’s historic number one pest.

We can point to similar stories in other commodities, where both simple and complex changes enabled growers to be more successful. Home demonstration clubs in the early years of Extension improved nutrition and living conditions for rural families and continue today in a variety of family and consumer science activities addressing topics such as nutrition, health, financial literacy, volunteer programs, and home-based businesses.

The Extension Service has evolved into a vibrant organization equipping citizens for living in the 21st century. Along with our many state and local partners, we celebrate our past while maintaining a focus on the bright future ahead. An expanded knowledge base, innovations for families, farmers, and government leaders; leadership training through 4-H youth development programs; and community and economic development opportunities are just part of Extension’s forward-thinking mindset.

The profiles in this edition provide a glimpse into how Extension works through our program areas to better the lives of people just like you. We are excited to have our clients tell their stories, and we are thankful for the opportunity to interact with Mississippians through our local offices in all 82 counties across the state.

I am honored to lead our Extension family during this milestone time in our history. I look forward to working collaboratively with the faculty, staff, community government leaders, and business and industry to prepare the MSU Extension Service to help Mississippians for the next 100 years by providing practical, trustworthy information applicable to every facet of their lives.


Gary Jackson
Director, MSU Extension Service