The purpose of the visit was to discuss dirt management and its significance to the Bolivar County Exposition Center.
This visit was part of an ongoing project that the board of supervisors is using to find new avenues for revenue within the county.
"We were basically looking at ways to properly manage dirt so that we can make the expo center a more suitable arena for any event," said County Administrator Will Hooker.
According to Hooker, the primary purpose of this project is to develop a strategy to expand the number of events hosted at the expo center and to attract visitors to increase economic activity.
The dirt at the expo center is significant because the amount and type of soil present determines the type of events that can be held.
To assure that this is an inclusive process, the board of supervisors has asked Stennis to actively receive input from the expo board committee members, community organizations and local businesses and citizens throughout the county.
According to Service Specialist for the Mississippi State Extension Service Rachel Carter, the Bolivar County Exposition Center is being used as a model to aid other expo centers around the state.
"There are a lot of expo centers in Mississippi that are struggling to find revenue. We are working very hard to find solutions for the expo center in Bolivar County. We are very excited about this project and we were honored that the supervisors came to us for assistance," said Carter.
"Our goal is to help Bolivar County utilize its resources by providing educational information about its resources," she added.
According to Hooker, the Stennis Institute is a vital resource to the future development of the expo center and the community.
"One of the greatest aspects about our partnership with Stennis is the fact that the institute helps us to make sound decisions. They provide us with factual information, which in turn aids us in the decision making process," added Hooker.
The county received a rural development grant from United States Department of Agriculture to offset the cost of the project.
Hooker said that the funding allows the county to have a marketing analysis and a feasibility study into the economic impact and possibilities of the property so that the county could prioritize things that can and should be improved.