We are…community advocates. We are Alcorn.

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Lorman, Miss. (January 10, 2014) – Seventy-six high school students from the Chamberlain-Hunt Academy and Jefferson County High School attended an annual informal scientific and educational program “School to Farm” hosted recently by the Center for Conservation Research at Alcorn State University.

“The fundamental objective of this educational program is to expose high school students to the latest technologies applied on farms,” said Dr. Girish Panicker, associate professor and center director. “They are exposed to future careers in this great field of enormous scope and excellent job opportunities.”

During the program spearheaded by Panicker, the students toured the conservation research site and learned about various aspects of agriculture from the School of Agriculture, Research, Extension and Applied Sciences (AREAS) administrators, faculty and staff. Program participants received information and witnessed demonstrations of conservation research programs on horticultural crops for soil and water conservation, residue and nutrient management, and organic and no-till crop production. They were impressed with the results of new farming techniques demonstrated on plots of blueberries, muscadine, persimmons and Asian medicinal vegetables. Students and their teachers were offered refreshments at the field, and received fresh persimmons and pecan nuts to take home.

“The program has been successfully held since 2001 and over the years hosted some 1800 high school students. We are elated to say that the program was sponsored entirely with the revenue generated from the sale of farm produce, stated Panicker. “Also, we encourage students to share the information and skills received during the program with their family and in the community.”

The Center is active in providing information and training to the community and training to small and limited-resource farmers in particular. Throughout the year, several workshops and field days are held to assist community members to adopt organic and no-till farming practices, encourage them to grow and consume vegetables and fruits to improve their health.

Panicker added, “The Center has just introduced 103 varieties of melons from around the globe to help fight obesity in our state. Through high school students (our future generation) and farmers, the center is encouraging all Mississippians to wipe out obesity and make the state healthier and happier.”


Alcorn State University is a premier comprehensive land-grant university that develops diverse students into globally competitive leaders, and applies scientific research through collaborative partnerships that benefit the surrounding communities, state, nation, and world.