Extension service to celebrate 100 years
by Paisley Boston
May 06, 2014 | 1775 views | 0 0 comments | 21 21 recommendations | email to a friend | print
The Mississippi State University Extension Service is turning 100 and to celebrate its sentinel birthday, Bolivar County Extension Office is hosting an open house.

The event is set to take place Thursday from 9 a.m.-2 p.m.

"We want the public to come out and join us. We are going to have various displays setup to showcase the different programs that we have at our office," said Bolivar County Extension Coordinator Laura J. Giaccaglia.

"We want to invite the public to come out and engage in a learning experience while they also learn the purpose of the Extension Service," she added.

Extension's overall purpose is educate and empower people to make intelligent decisions relating to their vocations, their families, and their environment.

"We will have a Master Gardener booth, Mississippi Homemaker Volunteer booth, 4-H, Forestry, Agriculture and Delta Rice Promotions," continued Giaccaglia.

The Smith-Lever Act of 1914 established the Cooperative Extension System, a publicly funded, informal educational system that links the United States Department of Agriculture, the land-grant university system and individual counties.

As the off-campus educational arm of Mississippi State University, Extension provides current research and educational information to individuals in all 82 counties.

Mississippi State University Extension Service is also a cooperating partner with Alcorn State University, the 1890 land-grant institution in Mississippi.

Agriculture and natural resources, family and consumer education, enterprise and community resource development and 4-H youth development are Extension's ongoing priorities or 'base programs.' From these base programs, specific subjects or efforts emerge to receive emphasis for a period of time.

"We will have volunteers that will be working the stations to answer any questions the public may have. We will also have a resource and referral bus for teachers. They will be able to walk through the bus and see what kind of resources that Mississippi State University has for them to use in their classroom," said Giaccaglia.

Extension provides research-based information, educational programs and technology transfer focused on issues and needs of the people of Mississippi, enabling them to make informed decisions about their economic, social, and cultural well-being.

"This is an opportunity for people to come out and see what the Extension Service does. People have often come to me and inquired about the purpose of the Extension Service. This is a good opportunity for people to come out and see what services that we can offer to them," continued Giaccaglia.

The Extension Service believes agriculture and its related enterprises are of major economic importance in Mississippi.

It directs programs and resources to reflect this importance.

It also believes that quality of life is affected by the reciprocal relationship between people and their environment and will continue to emphasize environmental issues.

It recognizes the critical need for human resource development and ways to help families and youth cope with an ever-changing society.

The goals of Extension are to focus on quality services and programs that are client-driven, instill a future-oriented perspective in staff members, advisors, partners, and clients, be responsive to new or different needs by maintaining flexibility in programming efforts, develop a level of alternative resources to allow for adjustments to changing demands or critical needs, expand efforts to help clients compete in a global economy, foster an environment that will enable staff members and volunteers to achieve their full potential and project a positive image that will broaden public understanding of Extension's mission, goals, programs, and accomplishments.

"This event will definitely be a wonderful learning experience for some. I encourage individuals to come out and see how we can better serve their needs by teaching them skills and educating them on various practices," said Giaccaglia.