Campus leaders celebrate MSU Community Garden

MSU Student Body President Mayah Emerson and MSU President Mark Keenum at the ribbon cutting ceremony of the MSU Community Garden on campus. (Photo by Briana Rucker, SDN)

Staff Writer

Mississippi State University President Mark Keenum, students and faculty celebrated the grand opening of the MSU Community Garden on campus as a start to Green Week.

The garden was a student-led initiative. It features various technology throughout including a farm box, compost, trellis, pergola, a water wicking system, water and irrigation systems and benches.

"We are excited that two years later it's open," said Student Body President Mayah Emerson.

Emerson said three years ago a student by the name of Eddie White decided that MSU needed to be more green. He lobbied for resources and created a proposal process for students to be able to submit ideas and get funding for their ideas. Keenum applauded the student association for the garden, and also the faculty for their leadership and involvement in the process.

"This is something that's a show piece for us and something for us to all take great pride in," said Keenum.

The primary purpose of the garden was to create a space for students and staff to grow healthy food on campus. In addition, it serves as an outdoor laboratory for sustainable and healthy food courses on campus as well as providing a platform for university research endeavors.

In his speech Keenum addressed the importance of making a difference collaboratively as a land-grant university. He stated many students who attend MSU weren't raised by families that had gardens or agriculture. It's a new phenomenon for their students.

"I grew up in a family that had a garden and I worked in that garden," Keenum said. "I understand the value of literally the fruits of your labor, harvesting your produce from your garden."

Keenum believes the garden will be a great start in making a difference as he stated that global hunger is still a challenge today.

"In the next three decades, we're going to go from seven billion to more than 10 billion people. We're adding three billion more people to our global dinner table," Keenum said.

"Things like this wonderful garden that we're celebrating here today, things like this are going to help make a difference in small ways but every little bit helps to address small challenges that they will face in the future," he added.

For more MSU Green Week events visit their social media, MSU Goes Green.