School of Agriculture and Applied Sciences welcome students for annual Ag High School Day

Nearly 300 high school students, as well as several government agencies and vendors, took part in the School of Agriculture and Applied Sciences’ annual Ag High School Day Thursday, March 28 in the Extension and Research Complex.

Dr. Edmund Buckner, dean and director of Land-Grant Programs, greeted students and encouraged them to learn as much as possible during their stay. He urged students to think about their future goals and career plans and to consider a profession in the Agriculture field. 

“Here at Alcorn we prepare leaders and champions for life,” he said. “We want you to think about your future and how you plan to prepare for that future.”

Schools from Claiborne, Holmes, Jefferson, Leake, Sharkey, and Warren counties attended.

Students got to hear from some of the School’s student ambassadors and leaders as well as staff from the Office of Admissions, who provided students with admission requirements.

Denzell Weatherspoon, supervisor for Sanderson Farms and 2017 graduate, served as the event’s guest speaker. He stressed to students the importance of getting involved on campus, attaining internships, and networking.

“There are so many opportunities available in agriculture,” he said. “Talk to people and interact with your peers. Have fun, enjoy college, and most importantly get your work done.” Weatherspoon was also available to answer any questions that students had.

During informational sessions, students were exposed to many programs within the School, such as animal science, agriculture education, agri-business management, agricultural economics, plant and soil sciences, human sciences, environmental sciences, and the Department of Advanced Technologies.

Jalon Gaines, a sophomore from Port Gibson High School, had always planned on going to school for professional welding and engineering. After participating in High School Day, Jalon says that he is “really considering” coming to Alcorn and majoring in Animal Science.

“Today I learned so much more about Agriculture,” he said. “It makes great money and it’s something that you can stick with for life.” Jalon cites his favorite part of the day as seeing and feeding the different animals and learning more about the programs that the School of Agriculture and Applied Sciences has to offer.

Students also enjoyed hearing from the visiting vendors and organizations. Agencies like the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service; USDA Food Safety and Inspection Services; National Forests in Mississippi; USDA Rural Development; USDA Farm Service Agency and Agricultural Research Service were in attendance. There was also participation from ASU Extension, 4-H and Youth Development, the Small Farm Outreach Training and Technical Assistance Project, Army ROTC, and the Center for Conservation Research.

“I think the School should continue to host events like this,” said Pearlie Goodman, a retired teacher and Vicksburg High 4-H chaperone. “It is a very positive experience for young people to come and learn about the many things that they could do in the field of Agriculture.”

After the day’s festivities, students were treated to entertainment by campus DJs, and lunch, prepared by Mr. Perry Brumfield, director of Operations, Clinton Barnes, Clayton Washington, and Christopher Stampley.

For more information, contact Casnacita Gray, director of student services, at 601-877-6552 or [email protected].