Many people know about the University of Southern Mississippi Gulf Coast Research Lab in Ocean Springs, working to understand more about the habitat of the Mississippi Sound. Jackson County also has another resource in the Mississippi State University Extension.
“We’re part of the university but not on the academic side,” said Terri Thompson, County Coordinator and Family Consumer Sciences agent. “Every county in the state of Mississippi gets two or three agents. Agents cover areas from agricultural, family consumer sciences, county coordinators, and 4-H.”
The purpose of the Extension Center and its agents is to assist the community in the areas of agriculture.
“One of the biggest things we do for Jackson County we have homeowners that come in they have tree questions, grass questions, or bug questions,” Thompson said. “We do soil testing, plant identification, bug identification. We may not do it in the office, but they can bring it to us and we can get it to the right person so say what the homeowner needs to do.
“I work with youth and adults, and I do programs with the Jackson County Civic Action Committee centered around different topics like hurricane preparation, nutrition and health, and money management. Caitlin McLeod is our 4-H Agent, and she works with youth ages 8-18. She works with a few community clubs like the horse club, livestock club, shooting sports club, and different activities throughout the school systems in Jackson County.”