Photo by Sue Watson
The Marshall County Homemakers Club joined again this year with MSU Extension personnel and community friends to serve the Marshall County Board of Supervisors a holiday meal. The event is connected with the annual Marshall County Extension Service report. From left are Sharon Brown, Ruby Taylor, Unice Perry, Daisy Christion, Beverly Phillips, Gloria Gipson, Reba Bland, Truly Banks, Linda Spence, Willie M. Stewart, Naomi Malone, Naomi Oliver, Ellar Lesure, Janet Jolley and Mildred Burgess.
Photos by Sue Watson
Elected officials enjoyed a holiday dinner at the Extension Service recently. From left, around the table, are Ronnie Joe Bennett, Chuck Thomas, Charles Terry, George Zinn III, Steve Massengill, Juanita Dillard, Eddie Dixon and Betty Byrd.
Janet Jolley and Lemon Phelps, Extension agents and 4-H leaders, joined for a holiday photo beside the tree at the Marshall County Extension Service. The two have worked together in the office for 17 years. Not shown, Nancy Hobock, office assistant, and Nancy Green, office associate.
Busy year for Extension
Janet Jolley and Lemon Phelps flipped through a year’s pictures of activities supported by the Marshall County Extension Service.
Some of the activities in the Agricultural and Natural Resources area during 2016 included:
• a very active Master Gardeners program which is celebrating its 25th year in Mississippi. Three or four thousand hours of volunteer time were donated in the county this year by this group. The winner of the Biggest Tomato contest was Linda Merchant. The group also visited Brussel’s Bonsai Nursery in Olive Branch.
• Tree Planting Week was a big hit with kids. Every public and private school in the county received a presentation by forestry experts.
• Forestry Field Day was held at Boyce Delashmit’s tree farm. Marshall County Foresters met each quarter and an extreme weather short course was held. About 100 attended the field day and took tours.
• the Marshall County Cattleman’s Association was active in bull soundness testing again this year. Veterinarian Mike Thompson provided association members tests that included worming, vaccination, and semen testing at a low cost of $150 per animal. The veterinarian saved producers about $80 per animal. The Beef Quality Assurance Program enabled producers to recertify their farms. The certification, that is done every three to five years, helps improve the image of the beef industry.
• the Extension Service and Natural Resources Conservation Service office, in conjunction with the Marshall County Board of Supervisors purchased a grain drill for producers to use at no cost to the farmer.
• the Marshall County 4-H youth were very active again this year. A Youth Forestry Field Day drew about 100 children. Marshall County Fairgrounds was the spot for shooting competitions and a grilling workshop. Over 100 extra families came to the fairgrounds to enjoy the 4-H Livestock Show. The event brought much appreciated sales tax revenues to the City of Holly Springs.
Victor Stilwell, president of the Marshall County Forestry Association, spoke to the Lessye Lee Davis 4-H Club about the forestry industry.
A Keys to the Community uplift was provided to youngsters. The event was held at the Holly Springs Career & Technical Center.
A school garden was installed at the Holly Springs Intermediate School in the spring.
Youth also participated in Welcome to the Real World, where they learned about real-life money management through workshop exercises. Four-H’ers also competed at Project Achievement Day where they earned ribbons. Kids in the Kitchen held Baking Day, Mexican Day and Healthy Snacks Day.
A youth sewing workshop also energized 4-H youth through a four-day workshop. Local quilters helped eight girls make potholders, pillowcases and a zipper bag.
• family and consumer science was active again this year. Happy Quilters assembled challenge quilts for children going through difficult times, sewed a Mississippi Block quilt, and held a quilt raffle. T-shirt quilt classes are also a hit. The project takes advantage of old T-shirts that people can use for a quilt rather than leave them in drawers or throwing them out. The memories associated with each T-shirt are kept for posterity and are also useful for warmth.
• Mississippi Homemaker Volunteers were very active in the county and in the district. Members held monthly council meetings and held a county exhibit day. They also participated in state MHV Council meetings and various service projects.
Participation was high in home canning and adult sewing classes. Summer canning projects included canning salsa, pickles, jams and green beans.
• a bike safety program started by Knowledge Gipson was held at the Alliance Health Fair.
• a well water testing program was held. The new project by the state tested wells for E. coli (bacteria) and included a three- to four-hour seminar.
• Lady Landowners Day drew 70 participants this year.
• the Mississippi Supervisors Association honored outgoing president Eddie Dixon of Marshall County with the presentation of a football at an MSU game in honor of Extension Day.
Many of these programs are planned for year 2017.
The Extension Service moved into new quarters at the renovated Piggly Wiggly building on Spring Street this year. A third Extension agent position has been planned, but as of now a freeze in hiring has held up funding of this position. The new agent will take over many of the 4-H and youth activities programs.
The Extension Service is a program of Mississippi State University.
Special thanks were in order for the meal for this year’s annual report meeting provided by Marshall County MHV members and Farm Bureau.
Marshall County Extension can be followed on social media - Facebook (Marshall County Extension Office), Twitter (MarshallCoExt) and Instagram (marshallextension).