What Blesses One, Blesses All
Kennett Community Garden's Resurrection Weekend
In celebration of the Easter holiday in April, the city of Kennett, Missouri came together to focus on the need to lessen the impact of food insecurity in the areas of Dunklin County in the southeast region. Reverend Dinah L. Tatman and the devoted members of St. John African Methodist Episcopal Church in Kennett planned a gardening event for the holiday's “Resurrection Weekend.”
Lincoln University Cooperative Research and Extension responded to the invitation to assist with the church’s gardening renewal project at the Kennett Community Garden located on the corner of Commercial and Vandeventer Streets in Kennett. Dr. Clement Akotsen-Mensah (LU State Integrated Pest Management Specialist) and Mr. Jim Shepard (LU ISFOP Farm Worker) and other local community leaders and residents joined together to help and rejoice during this season of “rebirth and renewal.”
With the aid of LU funding, Mr. Shepard installed a beehive box suitable for the garden. To get the garden off to a good start, he also administered soil sampling to ensure the garden would thrive throughout the whole season, in hopes of having an abundance of fresh fruits and vegetables to help feed local residents in nearby communities.
To learn more about the Kennett Community Garden, please visit the Kennett Missouri Chamber of Commerce Website.
Increasing Agribusiness Capacity
On April 16, program facilitators Dr. Eleazar U. Gonzalez (Assistant Professor, State Extension Specialist-Small Sustainable Farms and Ranches, and Ag. Economics and Marketing), Dr. Homero Salinas (Assistant Professor, Extension State Specialist - Animal Science - Small Ruminants), and Mr. David Middleton (Farm Outreach Worker - Southwest Region) conducted an onsite training to grow the agribusiness capacity of Latino farmers in Monett, Missouri. It was the first session of a twelve-workshop training series that mixes onsite and online farm training.
The session helped Latino farmers to develop their entrepreneurial mindset and enhance their knowledge of marketing livestock to final consumers.
Mr. Middleton and Dr. Gonzalez led a group of 11 Latino farmers to enhance their entrepreneurship in the livestock business. For training purposes, they used the case of “Middleton Small Natural Meats” (middletonsallnaturalmeats.com) to help Latino farmers understand what it takes to sell to local consumers. Mr. Middleton shared his innovative marketing strategies on how to sell different livestock products to end consumers.
The following workshop on April 30 focused on training Latino farmers with the tools to be able to access high pay markets (end consumers). During the first part of the training, Dr. Gonzalez assisted Latino farmers in developing an assessment of their farms. Ten Latino farmers responded to an assessment worksheet which outlined their farming resources and their capacities to implement agribusiness plans.
The latter part of the workshop involved Dr. Homero Salinas who offered training on pasture management and livestock. This three-and-a-half-hour workshop helped farmers develop awareness of their agribusiness capacities and pasture management.
Inside the rotunda of the Missouri State Capitol on April 22, members of the Missouri Legislature and other attendees honored Ms. Sheryl Maxwell (Program Educator Assistant III - Charleston Office) as the recipient of the 2020 DeVerne Lee Calloway Award. This event included the 2021 Women Legislators of Missouri Scholarship Presentation and DeVerne Lee Calloway Award Ceremony in the Capitol Rotunda.
Ms. Maxwell was recognized for her extensive record of community outreach accomplishments in Southeast Missouri during her many years of service, especially during the height and duration of the COVID-19 pandemic.
During the ceremony, seats were filled with many of her friends and co-workers, as well as representatives of various government agencies who responded to her call to assist with food insecurity issues in Southeast Missouri during the COVID-19 pandemic.
To personally congratulate her for her achievement, were Lincoln University President, Dr. Jerald Woolfolk; Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs, Dr. Alphonso Sanders; Mr. Carlos Graham, Chief of Staff/Executive Assistant to the President; Ms. Stacey Schulte, Assistant VPAF/Controller; and Dr. Majed El-Dweik, Dean of the College of Agriculture, Environmental and Human Sciences; and Ms. Yvonne Matthews, Associate Administrator, Cooperative Extension.
The DeVerne Lee Calloway Award is named after the first black woman in the Missouri state legislature, who served in office for nine terms from 1962 until 1980. Recipients of this prestigious award are nominated who reflect the same ideals of its namesake—liberty and equal opportunities for all.
The November 2020 Sheep Breeding Project
In April, Dr. Tumen Wiliji identified 120 ewes pregnant from the November 2020 sheep breeding project. The new additions to the flock are expected to be born in mid-April 2021. The first-born lamb on Freeman pasture was recorded on April 12. Most of the ewes are matured dams, so there will be more twins and triplet progeny.
The expected number of newborn lambs by the end of May will be in the range of 150-180.
Pasture lambing paddocks have shown good forage growth and ewes have the very best body conditions. In addition, there is also a small group of farm flock ewes lambing separately at the Lincoln University Carver farm. Farm Managers, Mr. Troy Wieberg and Mr. Eric Groose and their farm crews worked additionally hard, coping with a very busy and successful season at both locations.
Cathedral of St. Joseph Elementary School Students Learn a New Way to Grow Tall
On April 15, the Jefferson City News Tribune daily newspaper featured a news story about the exciting work Dr. Egilla (Assistant Professor of Horticulture -Soilless and Hydroponic Crop Production Specialist ) has brought to the students at Cathedral of St. Joseph School fourth-graders in Jefferson City.
Dr. Egilla’s research in vertical hydroponic gardening has captured the attention of gardeners of all ages.
The news story credited to Ms. Julie Smith tells of the collaborative efforts of School Principal Spencer Allen and Dr. Egilla on ways to increase student engagement.
According to the news story, Principal Allen was allowed to use federal Title IV funding to acquire the hydroponic gardening equipment for the school’s cafeteria.
To read the full story, please visit the News Tribune website.
To learn more about Dr. Egilla's hydroponic research, please visit the Lincoln University website.
4-H “One-4-One” Program in the Bootheel Celebrates Earth Day!
Lincoln University’s 4-H One-4-One Club and Girl Scout Troop #71259 celebrated Earth Day by planting trees at the Kennett Community Garden April 22.
The group, which is led by 4-H Area Educator Mariann Wright, invited other area youth and community members to participate in the planting of eight trees on the eastern border of the community garden property. The Willow Oaks and Roughleaf Dogwoods were obtained from the Missouri Department of Conservation’s tree seedling program that offers Missouri residents a variety of tree seedlings for reforestation, windbreaks, and erosion control as well as for wildlife food and cover.
The Kennett Community Garden was chosen for the site of this project due to Lincoln University Cooperative Extension’s current collaboration with the garden and its management team at St. John AME Church. In addition to Ms. Wright, guidance and preparation for the project were provided by Mr. Jim Shepard, Horticulture Area Educator with Lincoln University Cooperative Extension; Dr. Michael Milam, County Engagement Specialist in Agriculture and Environment with MU Extension; and Reverend Dinah Tatman, Pastor of St. John AME Church in Kennett.
More than forty area youth and community members supported the event. The youth participants who assisted with the project were given a tree with instructions on how to plant at their own homes.
Right Photo Caption (from left to right): Christina Mezo (co-leader), Chyna Palmer, Jim Shepard (project support), Kherington Mezo, Courtlynn Lynn, Chloe Chase, and Mariann Wright (leader)
The event was live streamed on Facebook and covered by local news media.
Building Intergenerational Relationships through Gardening
Plans are underway in Charleston Missouri to develop agricultural teaching and learning skills for elementary-aged students. Educators will include several members of LU Cooperative Extension staff who specialize in healthy eating habits. Efforts to prepare selected gardening areas began in March in anticipation of having plots ready for the start of the spring season.
By establishing the Lincoln University Cooperative Extension Charleston Outreach Center gardens, its staff planned a special program that will provide an opportunity for students, program participants, and the local community to learn about sustainable gardening techniques.
Agriculture has deep roots in Charleston, and it is important for the local populace to strengthen and renew these bonds. The gardens will help demonstrate what produce grows best in Missouri’s climate zone and give people an appreciation of the efforts it takes to bring food from the farm, the market and ultimately to the dinner table.
It has been estimated over 50% of all produce grown is wasted worldwide. Some of this waste correlates to an improper understanding of how to store and subsequently cook a variety of produce. With these gardens, Charleston Outreach Center will demonstrate to local stakeholders and the community residents how to not only grow exceptional fruits and vegetables, but how to properly store them, and the best ways to prepare them to maintain their highest nutritional value. This will allow participants to fully experience the joys of gardening and understand how much is invested in the entire process.
On the week of April 26, students participating in the Closing the Gap Afterschool Program were involved in service projects of preparing container gardens for various community programs. These container gardens are the beginning of intergenerational relationships between the students, the garden, program participants, and members of the Charleston community who will receive the benefits of the garden. Gardening is a way to provide not only fresh, healthy foods, but also provide people with a sense of ownership, enjoyment, and satisfaction of watching their vegetables grow.
The new garden will consist of tomatoes, squash, okra, peppers, greens, potatoes, and other vegetables that were requested by senior citizens in the community. Vegetables selected grow well in the Missouri Southeast area, produce in abundance, and are staples for a well-balanced diet. Vegetables will be distributed to senior citizen groups as well as other residents in the community to decrease food insecurities.
Ms. Michelle Hopkins (Family Consumer Science Teacher) and Sarah Eber (LU Human Nutrition and Health Program Coordinator) will work with students and stakeholders to teach the nutritional benefits of growing produce. Ms. Eber will also provide healthy recipes for preparing meals for the harvested items.
The garden area was prepared and will be used for already established plants to reduce the amount of time necessary to begin harvesting. Once harvested, the Program Educator will demonstrate how to properly clean and store the different varieties collected. Finally, the Program Educator and the Family Consumer Science Teachers will showcase a variety of ways to prepare fruits and vegetables while incorporating them into a balanced meal.
Gardening is a wonderful way to give people, especially our youth, a newfound appreciation and understanding of everything that goes into satisfying our nutritional needs. All involved are growing as a community, sprouting changes, and blooming beautifully together.
New Administrative Assistant for a Growing LU College of Agriculture Department
The former Department of Auxiliary and Engagement now includes the College’s Media Center. Due to the growth in staff, Cindy Thompson has been selected as the new Administrative Assistant for the Department of Media, Engagement and Auxiliary. Although Cindy started her new position on April 1, she has worked for Lincoln University in different capacities for a total of twelve and a half years.
Cindy started working for Lincoln University in 2006 as a secretary for the Paula J. Carter Center. Cindy moved to the Department of Agriculture in August of 2008 and was promoted to an Administrative Assistant for the Department of Agriculture and Cooperative Research in 2010. Cindy left the university in August of 2016 to care for her ailing mother and returned to Lincoln University in April of 2019, as an Accounting Clerk in Accounts Payable.
Cindy loves garage sales, crafting and spending time on the water fishing and boat riding. She is married to her high school sweetheart of thirty years. They have three grown children and five grandchildren, who are the center of their world! Cindy further shared that she is very excited to be a part of the Lincoln University’s College of Agriculture family again and is looking forward to working in her new role in the Media Center.
A Focus on Herd Health Concerns
On April 15, LU Assistant Professor and Extension State Specialist for Cooperative Extension & Research (Animal Science - Small Ruminants) Dr. Homero Salinas conducted a presentation titled “Foot Care and Common Herd Health Concerns” as part of his ongoing Small Ruminant Webinar Series. The two guest speakers were Dr. Christopher Baughman, DVM - State Extension Specialist for Small Ruminants and LU Cooperative Extension Associate Ms. Amy Bax.
The webinar discussion included topics on:
• Foot Scald and Foot Rot
• Zoonotic Diseases
• Common Diseases for Sheep and Goats
Cheese Production Skills Training for Haitian Women
To establish training for a group of women with dairy goats and cheese production in Jean Rabel in Haiti, the F2F Farmer to Farmer program at Partners of the Americas contacted Lincoln University for assistance. Dr. Homero Salinas (LU Assistant Professor, Extension State Specialist – Animal Science), has previously worked with the Haitian organization, Home Roots.
The goal of the training was to help the group advance in their skills and knowledge on safe and effective ways to increase cheese production. The training for the 15 Haitian women also included strategies for managing work teams.
The virtual event took place on April 30, in conjunction with Ms. Sara Dzimianski of the Purdue University Extension System.