Alcorn hosts Port Gibson High School and Hinds Community College Students

Alcorn State University School of Agriculture, Research, Extension and Applied Sciences hosted students from Port Gibson High School and Hinds Community College – Utica at Alcorn Jan. 23.

During the event, visiting students learned about the department’s academic offerings, scholarships and admission requirements as well as about various careers available in agriculture.

Dr. Daniel Collins, chair, Department of Agriculture, gave an overview of the 1890s land-grant university system.

“This visit is important and helps train the next generation of agricultural scientists and professionals in order for our country to keep its competitive edge in agricultural production. Partnerships with K-12 schools and community colleges are vitally important,” said Collins.

The students toured the Center for Ecology and Natural Resources building where they visited displays and learned from Alcorn faculty and researchers about biotechnology, forestry, environmental science, agribusiness, animal science, plant and soil science, and the Center for Conservation Research. They were able to get hands-on experience with animals and learned how to extract DNA.

Jerrica Smith, a senior, Port Gibson High School, is planning to apply to Alcorn to study animal science.

“The visit to Alcorn was so interesting! I’ve learned how scientists use extract from the turmeric plant to treat and cure cancer and enjoyed my encounter with animals,” said Smith.

Chris Finley, a freshman from Hinds Community College, shared, “I’ve always been interested in agriculture. My family has a garden and I help take care of it. Also, my dad works for USDA and I would like to follow his footsteps and major in plant and soil science.”

According to Eugene Brown, director of student union and campus activities at Hinds Community College, he is thankful to Alcorn State for educating his students on research and employment opportunities available in agriculture and offering an outlet for furthering their education upon graduation from high school and community college.

An agriculture teacher at the Claiborne County Career and Technology Center, Karla Turner-Bailey, agreed with Brown.

“It is important that students develop a tie with a land-grant institution when learning about agriculture, develop networking skills and broaden their horizons.”

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