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July 19, 2019

A small child runs barefoot through tall grass and has red insect bites on his calf.

Being outside in the summertime can feel like a battle against nature. Mosquitoes. Ticks. Chiggers. (Photo by CanStock)


Fingers steady an upside-down flower pot as a drill bit pierces the bottom to make drainage holes.

So Why Do Plant Containers Have Drain Holes?

November 6, 2018

You’ve got a lovely container, and you want to put a plant in it. But if that container doesn’t have drainage holes, you’ll end up with a dead plant. (Photo by Jonathan Parrish/Cindy Callahan)

Three adult males stand outside a building.

Behind the Scenes at Extension Annual Conference

November 2, 2018

Every year Mississippi State University Extension administration, faculty, agents, and staff gather to celebrate exemplary programs, honor contributions to Extension’s mission, and to discuss the vision for Extension’s future. (Photo by Micheala Parker)

A close-up of a trail camera’s display window as it is being programmed.

How to Use Trail Cameras for Backyard Wildlife

October 30, 2018

Trail cameras aren’t just for hunters. They can be great additions to the backyard if you enjoy observing visiting wildlife. Trail cameras also capture what happens while you’re at work, school, or asleep. (Photo by Jonathan Parrish/Cindy Callahan)

Roasted and seasoned broccoli florets, sweet potato chunks, and whole baby carrots on a foil covered sheet pan.

The Food Factor | Easy Roasted Veggies

October 26, 2018

Some days it’s hard to get all of my daily servings of fruits and vegetables. One way I’ve found to solve this problem is roasting an assortment of vegetables in the oven. I get to choose my favorite seasonal vegetables, which are usually more affordable. I love the texture and flavor of roasted vegetables too. (Photo by Jonathan Parrish/Cindy Callahan)

Hands spoon a ground meat and riced cauliflower mixture into a raw green bell pepper held over a stainless steel bowl.

Slow Cooker Stuffed Bell Peppers

October 23, 2018

The days are getting shorter, and if you’re like me, you don’t always feel like cooking when you get home -- but you don’t want to eat fast food either. (Photo by Jonathan Parrish/Cindy Callahan)

Black and white Hostein cows and light brown Jersey cows graze on green grass.

From the Field: Where Does Milk Come From?

October 19, 2018

On a rainy day in early autumn, hundreds of people packed into the Mississippi State University Joe Bearden Dairy Center to learn where their milk, butter, yogurt, and ice cream come from. (File Photo by Kat Lawrence)

Two children waiting at a well-lit door for Halloween treats.

Tips for a Safe Halloween

October 16, 2018

Halloween is a fun time for all! Who doesn’t love dressing up as something or someone you could only be in your wildest dreams? And not to mention the candy! Oh, the candy. Kids of all ages look forward to a bucket full of treats! (Photo by Michaela Parker)

Several browned bone-in chicken thighs on top of halved baby potatoes and green beans on a foil-covered sheet pan.

Sheet Pan Greek Chicken

October 12, 2018

If you like one-pot meals but want a little more variety in your dinnertime favorites, sheet pan suppers are the way to go! If you line your pan with foil, you’ll spend less time at the stove top AND the kitchen sink. (Photo by Jonathan Parrish/Cindy Callahan)

Extension for Life header.

How to Choose and Care for Houseplants

October 9, 2018

If you struggle to keep houseplants healthy, you probably don’t have the right plant for your home or office.  (Photo by Kevin Hudson)

A group of teenagers posing on a stage.

Join the 4-H Family

October 5, 2018

Ah yes, 4-H. We talk about it quite a lot in Extension. You’ve probably seen the green clover on our website and around your community. You might even know some 4-H’ers who talk about how much they love being a member. But what exactly is it? (Photo by Kevin Hudson)

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About Extension for Real Life

Extension for Real Life is a product of the MSU Extension Service’s Office of Agricultural Communications.

That’s a long way of saying we are professional communicators who get to talk about food, families, 4-H, flowers, and farming for a living. Pretty good gig, right?

The three main writers for the blog are Ellen Graves (Seamstress of Social Media Strategy), Susan Collins-Smith (Content Connector) and Keri Lewis (Captain Cat Herder). But we get by with a lot of help from our friends in Ag Comm and Extension!

You can reach us at 662-325-2262 or extreallife@msstate.edu