- December 2021
MSU Extension Service/Human Sciences
Years in Position: 6
Years at MSU: 21
For Julie White, teaching children about farming is second nature.
She is the coordinator of the FARMtastic program and liaison for the GrOW, or Gardening and Overall Wellness, program with the Starkville Oktibbeha County School District. As a farmer herself, she is well-suited to educate Mississippi’s children about agriculture.
“In our family, farming is more than just a tradition,” White said. “It is truly a way of life. There is nothing better than watching baby calves run across the pastures. My husband and I are raising our children the way we were raised. We are teaching our children how to take care of the land and animals that have been entrusted to them.”
FARMtastic is a hands-on learning activity for third graders. Developed and coordinated by the Extension Service, the exhibit sets up in agricenters across the state and schools visit by appointment. The walk-through exhibit teaches children about Mississippi’s agricultural commodities. Teachers receive supplemental teaching materials related to each exhibit.
The GrOW program teaches sixth and seventh graders in the Starkville Oktibbeha County School District about nutrition, gardening, wellness activities, and healthy behaviors.
As a former 4-H’er, White said she knew she wanted a career with Extension from an early age.
“I knew long before I went to college that I wanted to work for Extension,” she said. “4-H made me who I am, and I wanted to give back. Getting to work with children and seeing them have those ‘lightbulb’ moments is rewarding and my favorite part of this job.”
White says she can recall many favorite moments throughout her 21 years with Extension, but the memories from the 10 years she’s spent coordinating FARMtastic have ranked at the top.
“Seeing the growth and change of the program along with all the fun and education the students were able to experience have made wonderful memories for me,” she said. “Life truly is FARMtastic!”
White said working for Extension has allowed her to impact many lives.
“Extension has so much to offer both youth and adults,” she said. “If you love people and love helping them, you’ll be successful as an Extension employee. My Extension career is rewarding because I have the chance to help someone every single day!”
White’s husband, William White, is the facilities coordinator for the Leveck Research Station, also called South Farm. They have two children, Matthew, 16 and Morgan, 14.