Mississippi State University

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Jared Harris

Coastal Project Coordinator

Education: B.S., Mississippi State University; M.S. University of Southern Mississippi

Project Funded: REACH

Due to the increase in societal awareness and concern for natural resources, agricultural producers are under increased scrutiny from federal and state regulatory agencies, specifically those that are concerned with water quality and resource management issues. My goal as the coastal project coordinator for REACH is two-fold: 1) Use outreach to educate producers on the benefits of conservation and best management practices, and 2) Use research to document and showcase the economic and natural resource benefits of implementing best management and landscape stewardship practices. The REACH program provides a unique opportunity to showcase how agricultural producers in Mississippi are willing to proactively address resource concerns at the farm level and hopefully change the perception of agriculture using innovative and novel outreach and educational methods. Agricultural practices in the coastal region of Mississippi are very different from traditional row cropping operations that are prevalent in the delta region of Mississippi. Thus, a primary objective of mine is to expand the commodity base of producers enrolled in REACH (i.e. poultry, dairy, etc.), which will increase the impact that can be accrued from the implementation of best management practices.