Alcorn’s Center for Conservation Research holds annual School to Farm Program
Every year since 2001, local schools bring their students to Alcorn State University to participate in an informal “School to Farm” educational program held by the Center for Conservation Research. This year was not an exception as students of Jefferson County High School attended the program on September 23, and enjoyed learning about organic agriculture as well as tasting fresh fruit at the Conservation Research site on the Lorman campus.
“Around 2,000 students have attended this program since its inception. This year, the ninth, tenth and eleventh graders were exposed to the latest technologies applied on farms; thereby, giving them an opportunity to learn about various careers in agriculture,” said Dr. Girish K.S. Panicker, director of the Conservation Research Center.
The methods applied in this educational program included farm tours, method and result demonstration, group discussion, exhibitions, distribution of printed information, and mentoring. Farm tours provided the students an opportunity to see the results of new scientific techniques, the latest and sophisticated implements, and allow them to learn about suitability and application of those technologies in their area of interest.
Markesia Council, an eleventh grader, enjoyed the program and learned a lot about agriculture.
“I am considering majoring in agribusiness when I graduate from high school, and Alcorn showed me today that it has a very strong Ag program.” She said, “I also think that even though I want to be on the business side of agriculture, it is important to get out on the field and learn the basics of production.”
Agriculture teacher Marcus Alsworth, who accompanied the students, said, “We are so thankful to Alcorn for providing this educational and fun program, and treating our students to delicious fresh fruit and refreshments. Our students learned so much during the program and many of them are now strongly considering applying to the Ag program at Alcorn.”
Dr. Panicker shared, “We are elated to say that the program was a success and we sponsored it entirely from the funds generated by selling part of the muscadine harvested.”
For more information on the Center of Conservation Research, contact Dr. Girish K.S. Panicker at [email protected] or call (601) 877-6598.