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September 17, 2019

Three female teenagers wearing green blazers and khaki pants standing in front of the Supreme Court Building in Washington, D.C.

“4-H has something for everyone.” If you’re like me, you’ve probably heard that phrase a time or two. As cliché as it sounds, it’s true. There’s a wide variety of activities and clubs that ensure that everyone has a place in 4-H.


A man with a white goatee and dark-framed glasses leans on a table behind a small LED table lamp and a tray of seedlings. He wears a blue floral Hawaiian shirt and brown hat.

LED Lights for Starting Seeds Indoors

January 18, 2019

For people who love gardening, the long, dark, cold winter months can be torture. Gardening catalogs are fine, but their allure can only last so long before we want to get our hands back in the soil! (Photo by Jonathan Parrish/Cindy Callahan)

A thin stream of water drips from a stainless steel kitchen sink faucet.

How to Properly Drip a Water Faucet

January 15, 2019

Fortunately, we live in a state that doesn’t see a lot of bitterly cold winter weather. However, it can still get cold, even in the Deep South. When the weather forecast shows temperatures staying below freezing for several days, be prepared to drip your indoor faucets to keep your pipes from freezing and possibly breaking. (Photo by Michaela Parker/Cindy Callahan)

A colorful display of fruits and vegetables features a head of white cauliflower in the center with tomatoes, bell peppers, yellow squash, potatoes, plums and more radiating outward.

The Food Factor | How to Get More Vegetables in Your Diet

January 11, 2019

We all know we need to eat more vegetables, but finding ways to include them in our busy lives can be a challenge. It’s easy to get in a rut and eat the same vegetables year-round, but you may find some tasty options if you try something new! (Photo by Canstock)

A close up shows a drone hovering above an open field.

So, You Got a Drone

January 8, 2019

If you finally got that drone you’ve been wishing for, keep an eye on the federal regulations that govern their use to make sure you know what you can and can’t do with it. (Photo by Jonathan Parrish/Cindy Callahan)

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Four Food-Safety Resolutions for the New Year

January 4, 2019

If you are tired of New Year’s resolutions, let me ease your mind: these four tips are really fast, easy habits that will help you stay healthy. If you’ve got 20 seconds, you’ve got time for at least one resolution! (File photo by MSU Extension)

A close-up of a golden brown whole-grain pancake on a nonstick griddle, with parts of two other pancakes blurred in the background.

The Food Factor | Whole Grain Pancakes

December 21, 2018

Ready to enjoy a tasty breakfast treat without the guilt? These whole-grain pancakes will do the trick! Be sure to top with fresh or pureed fruit, such as sliced berries or bananas. (Photo by Jonathan Parrish/Cindy Callahan)

An adult wild hog and two piglets, all covered in coarse black hair, stand inside a wire-sided trap set in green grass on the edge of some woods.

Top Tips for Hunting Wild Hogs

December 18, 2018

Wild pigs must be trapped year-round, and the close of white-tailed deer season is the perfect time to begin planning your wild pig battle plan. (Photo credit: File Photo by MSU Extension )

A woman holds up a turquoise blue mug while sitting on a brown leather couch and smiling at the camera.

The Food Factor | How to Make Spiced Cider

December 14, 2018

The whole spices can be expensive, but they are strong, so they go a long way. If you’re not familiar with the spice mace, it tastes similar to nutmeg but is considered milder in flavor. (Photo by Jonathan Parrish/Cindy Callahan)

A man fits insulation around water pipes in an unfinished attic of a home.

Winterize Your Home Now!

December 11, 2018

The official start of winter is just around the corner. Are you prepared for cold weather around the house? (Yes, I mean more than having a significant supply of hot cocoa and blankets!) As anyone who has wrestled with a freezing cold garden hose can attest, it’s a lot more fun to deal with the details when outdoor temperatures are still somewhat pleasant. (Photo by Micheala Parker/Cindy Callahan)

A closeup of grouped poinsettias with variegated red, white, and green leaves.

How to Keep Poinsettias Healthy and Beautiful

December 7, 2018

If you love adding poinsettias to your Christmas décor, you may have found it difficult to keep them looking good in the past.

That’s because these delicate plants are finicky when it comes to air temperature and water. (Photo by Jonathan Parrish/Cindy Callahan)

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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