Fieldwork Helps Students Connect the Dots
LU Agriculture students in the AGR 211L (Soils in Our Environment) class had fieldwork at three Lincoln University farms to connect classroom learning with hands-on activities on soils. Students gained experiences in bulk density soil sampling, soil profiling, and the role of micro-organisms.
Students also gained a better understanding of how soil, water, and air are vital in the sustenance of life, the problems with declining productivity, the effect of soil degradation/erosion, conservation techniques, etc. In this type of learning environment, students have an opportunity to observe and discuss soil erosion and the practical aspects of improving soil and water conservation.
Course instructor, Dr. Onema Adojoh, an adjunct instructor during Spring Semester 2021, led students during the field activities. Student attendees were WrayVauze Given, Logan Jacob, Petra Andrei, Brittani Wolken, and Austin Branch.
For the AGR 414/L (Soil, Water, Air Quality Management/Lab) class, Dr. Adojoh arranged a field trip with Farm Manager, Mr. Jim Keevan of SelecTurf Farm, Inc. in Jefferson City. This special field trip exposed our agriculture students to the commercial side of soil management. Our students, Rachael Schulte, Hunter Scheidegger, Abby Wilbers, Aliyah Tucker, and Collin Ankton had an opportunity to learn:
• Various irrigation methods
• Turfgrass harvest for horticultural purposes
• Application of turfgrass harvest for biomass energy production
• The last glacial and sugar sand deposit and its implication for climate change study
• Water/vegetation conservation policy
Field experiences are not just a day away from the classroom; it is an opportunity to gain experience and connect students to their future professions. Such experiences also allow them to apply critical thinking skills in a real professional environment.
Dr. Nadia Navarrete-Tindall (LU Extension Native Plants Specialist) and her specialty crops at the Lincoln University Native Plant Laboratory are taking a bow for being noted as a “Garden of Excellence” by the Grow Native Program of the Missouri Prairie Foundation.
Click below to read the full-length article.
The online news article provided the history of the project established in 2010 at the LU Main Campus in Jefferson City. The garden consists of a wide variety of native trees, wildflowers, grasses and more. The area attracts many pollinators often never seen by local garden enthusiasts. The garden also serves as a working outdoor laboratory for research and educational purposes.
Click below for upcoming lectures:
Creating Production Plans for Minority Farmers
Through an external collaboration with the Columbia Center with Urban Agriculture, Dr. Eleazar Gonzalez (LU Agricultural Economics Program) and his team have continued their work to assist small farmers operating in the black farming communities in Central Missouri. The team is currently assisting one of the Black farmers with developing a production plan. The program will also help with strategies to connect with consumers in the Jefferson City area.
On May 14 and May 28, the Agricultural Economics and Marketing program offered training to Latino beginning farmers and ranchers in Monett, Missouri. Participants in the training sessions developed skills and knowledge to connect with local buyers. Mr. Shon Bishop and Ms. Angela Brattin, both farm outreach workers of Lincoln University Cooperative Extension-ISFOP shared their knowledge and offered further assistant to the Latino farmers in attendance. The picture below shows Ms. Brattin presenting a farmer-to-market approach in use at her farm.
The training was offered in Spanish. A translated version (English) has been made available. For more information, please contact Dr. Gonzalez at firstname.lastname@example.org
Native Plant Academy for Residents of Kansas City and Jefferson City
Persimmon, elderberry, wild plum, goldenglow (Rudbeckia laciniata), wild leeks (Allium tricoccum) and several other native edible plants and wildflowers, naturally found in Missouri, were the focus of the former Native Plants Program at Lincoln University from 2008 and 2017.
In December 2020, the new Specialty Crops Program was launched as part of Lincoln University Cooperative Extension. This new program will continue to promote native plants for their importance for human consumption and wildlife, with the potential to grow them as crops to generate income.
One such program is the Native Plant Academy (NPA). This program initiated on May 6, 2021 and will continue through September of this year. Four online webinars were conducted during the month of May and continued with in-person classes on June 5, June 12 and June 19.
The Native Plant Academy is supported with funds from the Missouri Department of Conservation (MDC) and the Missouri Prairie Foundation. Cooperators include Westside Housing, Deep Roots, Kansas City Public Library and local businesses Green Thumb Service Center and GardeNerd Consultations.
One of the goals was to have 30 or more underserved individuals able to receive introductory training on several aspects of native plants. They would learn about native plants commercially available, including wildflowers and trees. The training objectives were to learn of the importance of monarch butterflies and other pollinators; uses for human consumption; and value-added potential in the floral and landscaping industries. Hands-on activities included site preparation and establishment of a garden in a Westside Housing location.
The classes were provided at no charge and were open to the public. Attendees received a certificate of completion at the end of the program. Those who attended all classes received “paid” internships geared towards a possible new career path. Others were welcome to register at any time and were able to participate in workshops of their choice.
The program sought to increase the participation of Latinos, African American and other underserved and underrepresented individuals in conservation programs promoted by the MDC, especially those related to native plants, native pollinators and other wildlife.
LU Cooperative Extension Offers Engagement and Support at Community Career Exploration Fair
Lincoln University Cooperative Extension (LUCE) in Pemiscot County partnered with other community organizations for the Job and Career Exploration Fair on Saturday, May 15th, at Faith Temple Complex in Hayti, Missouri. During the event, more than 50 families came to view the LUCE display. Mariann Wright, 4-H Area Educator, shared 4-H and youth opportunities with emphasis on summer program participation.
The booth also included informational items from LU Department of Agriculture for perspective students highlighting degree programs and Agricultural scholarships. Among the favorite give-a-ways were the miniature “sheep” stress balls and beef sticks LU often extends to the public at other special events.
A majority of the visitors were unfamiliar with 4-H and LUCE opportunities being provided in the area. Ms. Wright was especially happy to reach this new audience with information regarding LUCE’s presence and educational options. This weekend event reached those who would not ordinarily witness Lincoln University activities.
The event setup was designed to engage actively with all family members. It incorporated a job fair for adults with career exploration for students. Employers had the opportunity to connect with potential employees of all skill levels and conduct face-to-face interviews. In conjunction with the career fair, there were fun activities for children, including a jump house, various interactive games and food.
The LUCE team used a new technique to engage youth. The families were given a career passport, a stamp for visiting each participating agency. Those with 100% completed passports were entered in door prize drawings. An evaluation of the overall event included a job survey and interviews from door prize winners.
The sponsor of the day was the Pemiscot County Acceleration Team. Southeast Missouri Food Bank was responsible for creating the team with the support of the Community Accelerator grant provided by Feeding America.
Lincoln University Cooperative Extension-Caruthersville Office is also an active member of this group, along with Pemiscot County Initiative Network (PIN), DAEOC, Pemiscot Memorial Hospital, Caruthersville Chamber of Commerce, and Faith Temple Complex-Church of God in Christ.
The continuing goal of each group is to decrease food insecurity and promote workforce development in the lower region of the Bootheel. The food bank was awarded the grant to improve hunger rates in Pemiscot County, where nearly 22% of its population are considered food insecure and more than 30% of children are living in a households without enough food to eat.
This community event was an enjoyable and successful way to connect members of the community with resources for jobs and other community services to help improve their economic outlook and achievements.
Lincoln University Cooperative Extension Area Educators and Staff Give Their All to Help Program Students Achieve
For the May 2021 Edition of the AEA TODAY newsletter, LU Cooperative Extension (LUCE) submitted an amazing story saluting Ms. Armani Hodges of Sikeston, Missouri. The story highlighted the tenacity she has exhibited throughout her young life as a participant in LUCE programs for youth development.
Ms. Hodges' many achievements show how much work LUCE area educators and staff put into assuring the success of youth growing up in Southeast Missouri. In the case of Ms. Hodges, she entered the LUCE program as a kindergartener and remained an active participant throughout her high school years.
Among the various programs, Ms. Hodges participated in 4-H, after-school programs, summer camp, agricultural camps, Summer Institute programs and Youth Futures. Armani also helped as a LU summer camp mentor and as an LU youth ambassador and stakeholder, and represented her community as a youth member of Police and Community Together, which Lincoln University Cooperative Extension helped to establish.
To read the complete story, please visit the AEA Extension Today Newsletter