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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.


Bright red and green ornamental peppers stand out against a background of green leaves and a small Christmas tree with multicolored lights.

Add Christmas Peppers to Your Seasonal Décor

December 4, 2018

If you want to spice up your Christmas décor this year, add some ornamental peppers to your indoor and outdoor displays. (Photo by Jonathan Parrish/Cindy Callahan)

A young buck grazes behind four turkeys in a green, grassy food plot.

MSU White-Tailed Deer Apps

November 30, 2018

Chronic wasting disease is the hot topic in Mississippi’s deer-hunting circles, and for good reason. MSU Extension experts encourage deer hunters to participate in the Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries, and Parks program for sampling deer to get an idea of where the disease has spread. (Photo by Michaela Parker/Cindy Callahan)

How to Add Backyard Water Features for Wildlife

November 27, 2018

If you like to watch the birds that visit your yard, you probably have at least one bird feeder. Adding a source of water will offer birds and other wildlife a much needed refuge when the weather is hot and dry. (Photo by Jonathan Parrish/Cindy Callahan)

A close-up of honey-cranberry granola bars that shows in fine detail the oats and cranberries.

The Food Factor | Homemade Honey-Cranberry Granola Bars

November 23, 2018

Making my own snacks gives me complete control over the ingredients. I love to use local honey in this recipe for homemade granola bars, which are lower in calories than most store-bought options, and are high in fiber. And the cranberries give this snack that sweet-tart combination I enjoy. (Photo by Jonathan Parrish/Cindy Callahan)

A round peanut butter and jelly sandwich sits on a white plate. It is decorated to look like a turkey, with green, red, and yellow apple slices for feathers, chocolate chips for eyes, cheese for a nose and legs, and a small bit of bacon for a wattle. The plate sits on a multicolored floral placemat.

Thanksgiving Fun for Kids

November 19, 2018

Thanksgiving season, while full of fun, laughter, and family, can also be hectic. Having small children can add to both the joy and the craziness. (Photo by Michaela Parker/Cindy Callahan)

A group of people stand behind a waist-high, elevated raised gardening bed full of green potato foliage.

Salad Table Success

November 16, 2018

Not into conventional gardening? A salad table just may be for you.

With these elevated gardening beds, you can grow fresh vegetables and herbs throughout the year right at your fingertips. These tables work well in small spaces and eliminate the physical demands of an in-ground garden. (Photo courtesy of Carla Moore)

A thin, eight-point buck stands beside a wall with drool coming from his mouth.

Chronic Wasting Disease: What You Need to Know

November 13, 2018

Hunting is a Big Deal in our family, and the news in mid-October that a second deer in Mississippi had tested positive for Chronic Wasting Disease, or CWD, was met with dismay. (Photo by the Kansas Department of Wildlife, Parks and Tourism/Michael Hopper)

A mixture of diced onions, green and red bell peppers, scrambled eggs, and shredded cheese on a flour tortilla.

The Food Factor | Breakfast Burritos

November 9, 2018

I’m always looking for ways to make healthy eating easier! This recipe for breakfast burritos makes eight tasty treats you can easily freeze for a low-cost, protein-filled breakfast on the go! (Photo by Jonathan Parrish/Cindy Callahan)

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)

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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