Thirty-two high school students from throughout the state, including Jewell Vandevere of Yazoo County, participated in the 2019 Mississippi Soil and Water Conservation Youth Camp, held from June 9-13 at Hinds Community College in Raymond.
During camp, attendees spent time at the MS Museum of Natural Science and the MS Agriculture & Forestry Museum, visited Ross Cattle Farm in Raymond, toured Hinds Veterinary Tech School and a Pecan Nursery, watched a sawmill in operation at Copiah Lumber Company, and learned about genetics at Hinds CC Bull Test Station, polled Herefords at Penn’s Farm, soils at Boyd Soils Farm and tree seedlings at Weyerhaeuser Nursery.
Jamie Holt of MDWFP did a presentation on black bears, and the campers learned about aquatic ecology from Deb Veeder of Adopt-A-Stream and Barry Pessoney of NRCS, forestry from Jim Barnes of NRCS, and reptiles from Corey Wright, wildlife biologist and conservation educator at the MS Museum of Natural Science.
Penn’s Farm, Weyerhaeuser Nursery, Copiah County SWCD and Mississippi Cattlemen’s Association provided lunch during camp, and Mr. and Mrs. Herman Dungan of Jefferson Davis County hosted the campers at the Dungans’ lakeside cabin, where the youths enjoyed fishing, swimming and tubing, followed by a dinner prepared by the Dungans and Jefferson Davis County SWCD.
On Wednesday, after traveling to various sites including McClain’s Safari Park, the campers went to Bass Pro Shop in Pearl, then headed to Trustmark Park for dinner and a Mississippi Braves baseball game.
Camp concluded Thursday with a presentation on Energy Conservation by Mindy Stevens, HCC substantiality projects coordinator, in the morning, and an awards luncheon at 11:30 AM, at which Johnny Williams, Director of Sons of the King nonprofit organization, was the keynote speaker. Matt Wilson of Tallahatchie County was voted camp spokesperson and addressed campers and guests at the luncheon.
Holmes County Youth Camper Davian D. Powell was presented with a $3,000 Mississippi Association of Conservation Districts Endowment Fund Scholarship by MACD Board President Jerry Smith and MACD Board First Vice President Anita Cowan. All campers received Certificates of Participation.
Thank you to our sponsors: Mississippi Association of Conservation Districts, Inc., USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service, Copiah County Soil and Water Conservation District, Jefferson Davis County Soil and Water Conservation District, and the Mississippi Cattlemen’s Association.