A rose to all those who turned out Saturday to celebrate the unofficial grand opening of the Lowndes County Agri-Center, more commonly known as the County Horse Park. The horse show and barrel races, sponsored by the Magnolia Riding Club with the volunteer support of the Lowndes County 4H Club, hosted the event as a way to introduce the community to the county’s $2.6 million multi-purpose facility, which includes a 45,000 square-foot covered arena as well as the offices of the Mississippi State Extension Service and the 4H Club. Although the arena has been available for individuals and small groups to use for almost two years, the venue was not ready for larger events until the completion of the parking area. With the $160,000 parking lot project now complete, the Agri-Center is now ready to fulfill its full potential. Saturday’s event was a perfect way to celebrate that important milestone.
A rose to BCReactive Energy, an engineering club set up by students at Mississippi State about a year ago, for landing a $250,000 grant to find solutions for removing carbon dioxide from the atmosphere. The grant came through a competition sponsored by the California-based XPRIZE Foundation, a nonprofit that promotes innovation and collaboration in addressing climate change. MSU senior biological engineering major Colby Freeman founded BCReative in September 2020 as a way to give students the opportunity to create projects involving carbon capture and make an impact in renewable energy. In its submission, BCReative produced a proposal involving a version of bioenergy with carbon capture storage by utilizing sustainably sourced biomasses such as agricultural residues and improved force crops. Freeman said his group will use the $250,000 to buy all of the necessary equipment to build the proposal and fund a graduate student worker for the project. Freeman said he hopes to receive additional funds in order to be able to reach the goal of 1,000 tons of capture by 2024. “It basically gets us off the ground and gets us started on the real work of developing our solution further,” Freeman said.
A rose to the group of financial advisors who recently came together to help families and individuals in Starkville through a food drive coordinated through Starkville Strong. During their food drive, the six advisors collected 480 pounds in supplies, 465 food items and 153 hygiene products that were distributed to pantries in the city. The event is part of Ameriprise’s National Day of Service, which is held throughout the country each November. Starkville Strong was established in March of 2020 to help and support businesses and individuals affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. The group was formed on Facebook as a volunteer-driven organization, and it has quickly grown to be a staple in Starkville. They take on issues such as food insecurity, job placement, temporary housing, rent assistance and utility assistance within the community.
A rose to Danny Smith, East Mississippi Community College turf and landscape instructor, for his recent selection as the 2021 Outstanding Turfgrass Professional award presented annually by the Mississippi Turfgrass Association. Smith’s selection for the award was announced Nov. 3 during the Mississippi Turfgrass Association’s annual meeting at the Mississippi Coast Coliseum & Convention Center in Biloxi, which coincides with the Deep South Turf Expo, a trade show featuring educational breakout sessions attended by hundreds of turfgrass professionals from throughout the region. Smith has taught Landscape Management and Golf/Recreational Turf Management at EMCC’s Lion Hills Center since 2013. Both programs are offered as a one-year certificate and as an Associate of Science degree. Smith, who grew up in Macon and graduated from Alcorn State with a degree in agriculture education, started EMCC’s landscape and turfgrass programs at Lion Hills eight year ago. We congratulate Smith on this prestigious honor.
The Dispatch Editorial Board is made up of publisher Peter Imes, columnist Slim Smith, managing editor Zack Plair and senior newsroom staff.