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Kids turn out for ‘Farm Day’

DAILY LEADER / RACHEL EIDE / Homer Richardson (from left) and Edna Bishop of the Lincoln County Master Gardeners help Brody Taggart, 7, and Bryce Smith, 8, pot begonias Saturday at Farm Day at the Fair activities at the Mississippi Spring Fest and Fair. The boys both had definite plans for their plants. "I'm going to give this to my mom," aid Brody, obviously with Sunday being Mother's Day in mind. "I'm going to nurse mine," said Bryce.

DAILY LEADER / RACHEL EIDE / Homer Richardson (from left) and Edna Bishop of the Lincoln County Master Gardeners help Brody Taggart, 7, and Bryce Smith, 8, pot begonias Saturday at Farm Day at the Fair activities at the Mississippi Spring Fest and Fair. The boys both had definite plans for their plants. “I’m going to give this to my mom,” aid Brody, obviously with Sunday being Mother’s Day in mind. “I’m going to nurse mine,” said Bryce.

A rodeo queen, Bully the MSU Bulldog and local state lawmakers all came out Saturday to the Mississippi Spring Fest and Fair at the Lincoln Civic Center to help the Lincoln County Extension offices celebrate the Extension Service’s 100th anniversary.

County Extension offices across the country have been celebrating as May 8 marked the signing of the Smith-Lever Act of 1914, which officially created the National Cooperative Extension System.

Lincoln County extension agents partnered with Farm Bureau to bring “Farm Day at the Fair” to the Spring Fest and help them celebrate the 100-year anniversary. There was a cake-cutting Saturday at 11 a.m. with special guests, including Miss Rodeo America Paige Nicholson and Bully, Mississippi State University’s mascot.

State Sen. Sally Doty and state Rep. Becky Currie of Brookhaven were also in attendance to help Lincoln County celebrate.

Calvin Thomasee, 9, makes friends with a goat during Farm Day at the Lincoln Civic Center stall barn.

Calvin Thomasee, 9, makes friends with a goat during Farm Day at the Lincoln Civic Center stall barn.

Lincoln County Extension Director Rebecca Bates said local Southern Ag Credit agent Gary Blair went with other officials, including MSU President Mark Keenum and Mississippi Extension Service Director Dr. Gary Jackson, to the national celebration in Washington on Thursday.

Bates said the Extension Service is about bringing the latest knowledge and science to the very people who will use need it and use it the most – farmers.

“We bring research-based information directly from MSU to our farmers and clients here in Lincoln County,” she said. She explained the extension office is involved in activities at local schools as well as in the home.

“We work in areas of ag and natural resources,” she said. “We sponsor 4-H groups and our focus areas are in community and economic development and family and consumer sciences.” She said the Farm Day event at the fair was to show the public aspects of farm life in Lincoln County.

“It’s been a great day out here for the kids at Farm Day,” she said. “We wanted to highlight the importance of farm life in the state and in Lincoln County and I think we accomplished that.”

Lincoln County extension agent for family and consumer science LaToya Evans said the Farm Day activities are to show kids the connection between their food and some of the products they buy in the grocery store and the farms where the food comes from.

“It’s about showing kids how foods like butter, cheese, milk and bread, come from the farm and end up on their plates,” Evans said. She said some of the kids are surprised when they learn where things like butter come from.

Activities at Farm Day included making butter, milking a cow, making bread, harvesting crops, collecting honey, planting flowers and a petting zoo.

“We’ve been showing kids the whole process,” she said, “they got to see the milk from the cow be processed into butter and we talked about other products that are made of milk, too. We want kids to know where their food comes from.”

For more information about the Extension Service and other educational opportunities the service offers, call 601-835-3460 or email local agents at lincoln@ext.msstate.edu.