The Montana Food CorpsWelcome to The Dirt!

We'd like to welcome you to our inaugural edition of Dirt, the newsletter of the Gulf States Regional Office of the National Center for Appropriate Technology. You are receiving this newsletter because you have expressed an interest in NCAT and ATTRA-National Sustainable Agriculture Information Service. Enjoy!

We opened...

...the Gulf States Office on June 3 and have been quite busy getting established at our offices at the Mississippi Roadmap for Health Equity building (the old New Deal Grocery) at the Jackson Medical Mall. The street address is 2548 Livingston Road, off Woodrow Wilson Boulevard in Jackson, Mississippi. [map↗]

Our Regional Director is...

...Rockiell Woods, (479) 575-1385

Rockiell Woods

Woods served as the regional Extension coordinator serving the Mississippi Delta for Alcorn State University prior to joining NCAT. A fourth generation soybean farmer in the Mississippi Delta, he holds a bachelor of science degree in agribusiness management and a master's degree in agriculture economics from Alcorn State.

Our Agriculture Specialist is...

...Felica Bell. (479) 575-1386

Felica Bell

Felica is a co-owner and operator of the RD&S Farm in Rankin County, which features natural livestock production and certified organic produce. She also serves as state chairwoman of the Mississippi chapter of the National Women in Agriculture Association and vice president of Southern Sustainable Agriculture Working Group. She also is the former vice president of the Mississippi Fruit and Vegetable Growers Association.

The Outreach Coordinator is...

...Jim Ewing. (479) 575-1390

Jim Ewing

Ewing had worked as a writer and editor for The Clarion-Ledger, Mississippi's largest newspaper, before joining NCAT. He is the former president of the Mississippi Fruit and Vegetable Growers Association and serves on the Administrative Council of the Southern Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education (SARE) Program and on its Producer Grants Committee.


Join us at the Mississippi Fruit and Vegetable Growers Association and Mississippi Agritourism Association Annual Conference.

November 13-15, 2013

Silver Star Conference Center
Choctaw, Mississippi

Conference Website

Featured publications
this month:

Pastured Poultry Nutrition and Forages

Grazing Calculator: Extended Cow Calf Pair

Irrigated Pastures: Setting Up an Intensive Grazing System That Works

Intensive Grazing System cover

Have a farm or ranch question?

Call ATTRA, the National Sustainable Agriculture Information Service toll-free at:

Or, en Espanol:

Contact the Gulf States office at 2548 Livingston Road
Jackson, MS 39213;
toll-free (866) 643-2767.

Recent Highlights

Farmer Field Day in Clay County, Mississippi

On Sept. 15, the Gulf States Office co-sponsored a Farm Field Day in Clay County, Mississippi, at the cattle ranch of Johnny Wray. Wray and his business partner, Elton Dean, own grass-fed beef that a Starkville couple, Dustin Pinion and Ali Fratesi, are raising as part of a pasture combination of beef, poultry, and swine. Dustin apprenticed with popular author/farmer Joel Salatin in 2011 and brought back his "mob grazing" techniques, which they use to produce all-natural beef, bacon, chicken, and eggs. About 70 people attended the field day and it proved so enjoyable, it may just be a "first annual," to be repeated next year! Stay tuned to Dirt for more updates!

Beginning Farmer Workshops on Mississippi-Alabama Gulf Coast

The Gulf States Office held Beginning Farmer Workshops in George and Greene counties in Mississippi on Aug. 29 and gave presentations on Farm Business Planning, Small Ruminant Grazing, and "What is Sustainable Agriculture?" in Mobile, Alabama, on Aug. 23. The workshops on the Gulf Coast were in partnership with the National Resource Conservation Service, the Farm Service Agency, Mississippi State University Cooperative Extension Service, and the Small Farms Research Center of Alabama A&M University and the Alabama Cooperative Extension Service. If you have neighbors and friends who are interested in beginning farming or operating a backyard market garden, contact us to see if we can hold a workshop in your area.

Small Farm Forums, Workshops in Alabama and Florida

Magnolia Flower The Gulf States staff attended workshops in Alabama and Florida during August and September. The office handed out brochures and printouts from the more than 300 articles on NCAT's ATTRA website ( on topics ranging from aquaponics to pastured poultry; from information on how farmers can get their produce certified organic to information on goats, sheep, and cattle; and on alternate energy, such as using solar power on the farm. Highlights included attending the Florida Small Farms and Alternative Enterprises Conference Aug. 2-4, 2013, in Kissimmee, Florida, and the Food & Farm Forum held by the Alabama Sustainable Agriculture Network in Tomaston, Alabama, Sept. 13, 2013. We are happy to attend conferences and seminars to reach out to new audiences for sustainable farming in the Gulf States region. Let us know about your event!

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Copyright © September 2013
The National Center for Appropriate Technology

NCAT Gulf States mailing address:
2548 Livingston Road
Jackson, MS 39213

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