• Last modified 756 days ago (June 22, 2017)


Intern finds Marion’s hospitality refreshing

Staff writer

Jackson, Mississippi, and Marion, Kansas, are vastly different cultures, but Lee Jones finds Marion’s culture a pleasant change.

A Jackson native, the soon-to-be senior at Alcorn State University in Lorman, Mississippi, is in Marion for a summer internship with Natural Resources Conservation Service.

People have been friendly and accepting here, Jones said.

“I tell you, southern hospitality is a myth,” Jones said.

He’s used to hearing frequent sirens in Jackson because of its higher crime rate.

“At Jackson, every night somebody is shooting at somebody,” Jones said.

At Jackson, he said, he gets followed through stores and watched even if he has shopped there 15 years. Not so in Marion, where he is simply a customer.

One of nine children in his family, Jones was born in Jackson, then moved to Terry, Mississippi, at age 7. After that, the family moved back to Jackson.

The road to Marion began when NRCS conducted a hiring event in Atlanta, Georgia. He wasn’t able to attend, but his university adviser said he could submit an application online.

Jones is majoring in environmental science with an emphasis in agriculture. He also is president of the Minorities in Agriculture, Natural Resources and Related Sciences organization at Alcorn. That might be what drew six NRCS field office managers to call him.

The first, however, was Matt Meyerhoff at Marion. After Jones talked to Meyerhoff and Sheldon Hightower, he got calls from Louisiana, Nevada, California, Georgia, and the District of Columbia.

His choice came down to “first come, first served.”

“Kansas called me first,” Jones said.

Marion has made such a good impression, Jones can see himself returning on a more permanent basis.

“As of right now, I want to come back to Kansas and work my way up the ladder and become a district supervisor for NRCS,” Jones said.

Last modified June 22, 2017