Alcorn holds its annual Ag Field Day

Over 570 participants from all over the state of Mississippi and Louisiana attended Alcorn’s annual Agricultural, Research, Extension and Applied Sciences Field Day August 27, on the Lorman campus. Agency personnel participants from the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) and other federal officials were present.

This year’s theme was, “Diversity and Sustainable Agriculture: Celebrating More Than 125 Years of Providing Access and Enhancing Opportunities.”

Dr. Dewayne L. Goldmon, outreach lead for Monsanto Company, served as the luncheon keynote speaker. Goldmon, a seasoned professional in the field of agriculture, who has been working for Monsanto, a sustainable company that delivers agricultural products that support farmers all around the world, since 1995, spoke on the importance of all those engaged in agriculture to work together and contribute to the highest level in order to feed the world.

“By the year 2050, the world’s population will reach nine billion people and in the next 35 years, we will have to produce as much food as we have produced during the existence of mankind to date,” Goldmon said. “So, it’s no longer a small farmer versus big farmer. There is no a single person or a single company who can do it by themselves. It is now the time to put all hands on deck in order to sustainably meet the growing demand.”

The program also included demonstrations and exhibits on a wide array of important topics.

“The participants gained knowledge in the areas of agricultural economics, agricultural education, animal science, biotechnology, entomology, extension, forestry, human sciences, and plant and soil science,” said Dr. Patrick Igbokwe, director of the Alcorn Experiment Station and the Ag Field Day chair.

Several participants shared their impressions of the event.

Petal, Mississippi farmer Ben F. Burkett has been attending Alcorn’s agricultural events since 1975.

“It is always a learning opportunity here at Alcorn; every year I hear something new,” he said. “Several years ago I learned about growing culinary herbs, and I have been growing bay leaf ever since. It has been a very successful crop for me. This year, I received information on hot peppers and I’m now planning to start growing it next year.”

Thessalonians Jackson of the Jackson Family Shiitake Mushroom Farm, an organic mushroom production in Amite County, Mississippi, started growing mushrooms after attending a workshop held by Alcorn State two years ago.

“Our family is thankful to the University for teaching us and for its continuous support. It has been an unforgettable experience,” said Jackson. “We enjoy this business so much and it’s a good source of a supplemental income. We look forward to continuing to work with the School of Agriculture, Research, Extension and Applied Sciences to help us diversify and develop our business.”

A retired Brookhaven School District employee Johnny Waller Sr. and his wife Marilyn came to the Field Day to get information on how to make their garden more efficient.

“We learned to get our soil tested, how to manage small plots and evaluate crop rotation. Also, we enjoyed the presentations on medicinal herbs and other alternative crops, they were very informative.”

To access photos from the day-long event, click on the Alcorn FLICKR account:

For more information on the Ag Field Day as well as ongoing research at the Alcorn

Experiment Station, contact Dr. Patrick Igbokwe at [email protected] or (601) 877-2466.

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