E.X.C.E.L Program a Huge Success

The 2017 E.X.C.E.L Program, an agriculture and natural resources focused summer camp for youth 16-18 years of age, kicked off June 4 with an opening ceremony in the School of Agriculture and Applied Sciences, Extension and Research Complex, Ray Johnson Assembly Center, Lorman campus.

According to Casnacita S. Gray, the School’s student services coordinator, 19 youth from across the state of Mississippi and various parishes within Louisiana were selected to attend the June 4-16 two-week residential program.

The particpants discovered the joys of conservation and natural resource management through classroom instructions and activities where participants learned the importance of conserving natural resources, wildlife habitat management, various soil characteristics, soil sampling on farm operations, meat goat operation and production, water management, Geographic Information System (GIS), and remote sensing as tools.

Participants were, also, introduced to career opportunities offered by the United States Departments of Agriculture Forest Service, Natural Resource Conservation Service, Farm Service Agency, Rural Development and Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries and Parks.

The camp activities, also, included an amazing adventure abroad a Biloxi Shrimping Cruise in Gulf Port, Mississippi, and a fun-filled day at Buccaneer State Park in Waveland, Mississippi.

At the closing program on June 16, participants presented PowerPoint presentations to showcase their wonderful two-week experience. Because of the E.X.C.E.L Program, many of the participants have decided to follow an agricultural career path, including five participants who will enroll in the Department of Agriculture fall 2017.

For more details on the E.X.C.E.L. Program and other recruiting events, contact Gray, at 601-877-6552 or [email protected].

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