Deputy USDA chief set for Alcorn visit

Published 12:04 am Saturday, March 19, 2011

Dr. Kathleen A. Merrigan, deputy secretary of the U.S. Department of Agriculture, will visit Alcorn State University Friday.

Merrigan’s appearance at the Alcorn School of Agriculture, Research, Extension and Applied Sciences will take place from 9 a.m. to noon on the Lorman campus.

Merrigan, who works alongside U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack, oversees the USDA’s $149 million budget and daily operations. She serves on the President’s Management Council and has overseen the Know Your Farmer, Know Your Food effort. In November 2009, she became the first woman to lead the country’s Ministerial Conference of Food and Agriculture Organization.

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Time Magazine in 2010 listed her among its 100 Most Influential People in the World.

Miss Magnolia seeking contestants

The Miss Magnolia State Pageant is seeking contestants for its Vicksburg contest.

The pageant is set for March 26 at the Vicksburg Convention Center.

Fourteen age categories and a married division are available. Winners will receive cash prizes and scholarships.

The junior, teen and married winners will advance to the state competition, set for Nov. 19-20 in Vicksburg. The Little Miss and Men’s winners will advance to the state contest, also to be held in Vicksburg, July 23-24.

Participants may register as late the day of the pageant.

Call Chris Shannon at 601-892-3982 or visit

Rocky Springs trails closed for work

Two Natchez Trace Parkway trails at Rocky Springs have been closed for maintenance.

Closures began Friday for the horse trail at Fisher Ferry Road and the Owens Creek hiking trail from the Rocky Springs Campground, south to Owens Creek.

Rocky Springs is in Claiborne County.