Dr. Girish K.S. Panicker, director, and William Watson, field technician of the Center for Conservation Research,explain the health benefits of melons to Mississippi State Fair attendees, and distribute seeds of two introduced melon varieties free of cost.

“Over 3,500 Mississippi State Fair goers have taken part in the various workshops provided by the Extension Program staff this year,” said Manola C. Erby, youth specialist for Alcorn State University Extension Program, about the University’s participation in the annual Mississippi State Fair held October 7-18, 2015, at the Mississippi Fairgrounds Complex in Jackson, Mississippi.

For the last 10 years, the Extension Program has taken part in the grand festivities of this 12-day extravaganza to market and introduce programs within Extension, while providing research and educational information to the general public.

This year, Extension provided workshops to target farmers, ranchers, youth and families within the state.

“Participants gained knowledge that will aid them in the modification of recipes to reduce fat, sugar, and salt intake; the selection and use of small appliances to prepare healthy meals for their families as well as the selection of proper exercise equipment and clothing,” Erby said.

The participants were also given information on selecting exercises that could be easily done at home; how to use the Globe Bucket Process as an irrigation system for household plants, containers and flower gardens; as well as establishing farmers markets and how to effectively package and market their products.

The Extension personnel provided activities that catered to the youth and their families. A bicycle was set up at the rodeo to teach the youth and their families about proper bicycle safety and through the “Dangerous Driving” activity, the youth were informed about distractions while operating a vehicle.

For more information on Extension programs, please contact Manola Erby at (601)877- 0250, or [email protected].