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News By Department: Agricultural Communications

The Food Factor logo is a light green pear with a chemistry beaker in the place of the A in the title, The Food Factor, on a peach-colored background.
April 27, 2018 - Filed Under: Food

I never knew how much I learned about cooking from my mother and her mother, whom we called Mou, until I grew up and started cooking on my own. With today’s busy lifestyles, many families no longer have the advantage of experienced home cooks passing their skills to the next generation. (Photo by Zac Ashmore and Jonathan Parrish)

A coiled copperhead snake looks at the camera.
April 24, 2018 - Filed Under: Natural Resources, Wildlife, Snakes

If you like to enjoy the great outdoors during spring and summer, you are not alone.

Whether you’re out hiking, fishing, camping, kayaking, horseback riding, or working in your backyard, you’ll likely come across many types of wildlife, including snakes. Just the thought of a snake can cause many people to shudder with fear. But learning about the kinds of snakes you may encounter in your area and how they behave can help you avoid a dangerous encounter.

On the left is a close-up photo of a worker bee specimen, on the right is a close-up photo of a Southern yellow jacket specimen.
April 19, 2018 - Filed Under: Insects, Lawn and Garden, Insects-Pests

A yellow-gold insect buzzes around your head and your first instinct is to swat. Or run. Or swat while running.

The fear of being stung can send me into fight or flight mode in seconds . . . and I’m a beekeeper. True story. No one likes being stung! (Photo by Mississippi Entomological Museum/Joe Macgown)

MSU Extension Agent Natasha Haynes, an African American woman with chin-length straight black hair stands behind a kitchen table displaying a crock of kitchen utensils, a red pot, and assorted home-canned and fresh fruits and vegetables.
April 17, 2018 - Filed Under: Food, Health

We’ve been working on a Top Secret Project for several months! Whether you are already a fan of our TV show, The Food Factor, or you are just hearing about it for the first time, we are excited to announce all new, fresh digital content will launch in May. More tips, recipes, and the how-to content you’ve been asking for! (Photo by Kevin Hudson)

April 13, 2018 - Filed Under: Insects-Human Pests, Lawn and Garden, Herb Gardens

Growing herbs in containers on your porch or doorstep gives you a lot of bang for your buck.

Most herbs grow without fuss, look lovely, smell wonderful, and add fabulous flavors to your home-cooked meals. More flavor means you can cut back on salt and fat! (Photo by Canstock Photo)

An air plant terrarium is a hollow, vented glass container with decorative sand and pebbles, twigs or driftwood, moss, and a dusty green tillandsia plant, also called an air plant.
April 6, 2018 - Filed Under: Cut Flowers and Houseplants

Air plants are popular, easy-to-care-for decorations. They are ideally suited for dorm rooms, apartments, and offices where watering plants may be more challenging, but are a lovely addition to any space. They also make great gifts, because you can buy materials in bulk. (Photo by Kevin Hudson)

Four separate cucurbit crops grown in a field.
April 3, 2018 - Filed Under: Agriculture, Crops, Lawn and Garden, Plant Diseases, Vegetable Diseases

MSU scientists are on the lookout for a cucurbit crop bandit. And they need your help!

Cucurbit downy mildew is a sneaky thief with the ability to quickly and significantly reduce yields or wipe out entire crops of susceptible cucurbits, including cucumbers, melons, pumpkins and squash. (File photo by Rebecca A. Melanson)

An illustration depicts a large yellow chick with a graph showing the number of Salmonella outbreaks since 2000 and includes text instructions to wash hands after handling backyard poultry.
March 30, 2018 - Filed Under: Youth Poultry, Agriculture, Livestock, Poultry

Baby chickens are so cute and cuddly that few people can resist holding them. Unfortunately, as public interest in raising backyard birds has grown so has the number of Salmonella outbreaks in the U.S. (Photo by Centers for Disease Control and Prevention)

More than 20 newly hatched chickens covered in yellow down bask under warming lamps in a large black tub.
March 27, 2018 - Filed Under: Youth Poultry, Livestock, Poultry

Some people can’t resist the latest spring fashions. Others plant flowers in profusion.
Then there are those, like me, who are highly susceptible to the cheerful chirping of newly hatched chicks. (Photo by Kat Lawrence)

Browned ground beef, chopped onions, celery, and garlic in a non-stick skillet ready to spoon into individual freezer bags.
March 23, 2018 - Filed Under: Food, Nutrition

I love to cook, but I’m always interested in learning about shortcuts.
That’s why I was really excited to watch this episode of “The Food Factor” – because MSU Extension Agent Natasha Haynes talks about saving time and money! (Photo by Brian Utley and Jonathan Parrish)

A piece of hardware cloth encircles a small, layered pile of organic waste.
March 20, 2018 - Filed Under: Lawn and Garden, Flower Gardens, Vegetable Gardens

Compost is a great soil conditioner. It helps the soil hold water and improves clay and sandy soils. Starting your own pile is easy and can help keep organic waste out of landfills. (Photo by Gary Bachman)

A medical doctor holds a vile of medication and talks to a young man in the Rural Medical and Science Scholars program.
March 16, 2018 - Filed Under: STEM – Science Technology Engineering and Math, Food and Health, Rural Health

Do you know a high school student interested in working in the medical field or a related science career one day?
The Rural Medical and Science Scholars program could be for them.
(Photo by Kevin Hudson)

A green smoothie fills a tall clear drinking glass and has a red and white striped straw in it.
March 13, 2018 - Filed Under: Food, Nutrition

Confession: I have made some disgusting smoothies.
Whenever I’ve attempted to simply throw together a few ingredients, I have ended up with something that looked and tasted awful. (Photo by Kevin Hudson)

Side by side photos showing the right and wrong ways to mulch around a tree trunk. (Photos by Kevin Hudson and Gary Bachman)
March 8, 2018 - Filed Under: Lawn and Garden, Landscape Architecture, Trees

What do doughnuts and volcanoes have in common?

Mulch.

Properly applied, mulch can:

Photo of a gray and white Craftsman style house illustrates a list of seven tips for making homes healthier.
March 5, 2018 - Filed Under: Family, Children and Parenting, Healthy Homes Initiative

Taking care of your home will make it a healthier environment for your loved ones. (Illustration designed by Beth Barron)

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March 2, 2018 - Filed Under: Turfgrass and Lawn Management, Weed Control for Lawn and Garden

If you want to get rid of weeds in your home lawn, now is the time to apply herbicides to control them.

Late February and early March is the ideal window to apply pre-emergent herbicides that control various weeds in home lawns. But you want to make sure you buy the right ones and apply them correctly.

Miniature green bok choi plants grow in small window box containers.
February 26, 2018 - Filed Under: Flower Gardens, Herb Gardens, Vegetable Gardens

Intimidated by gardening? Yes?
Our advice: start small. You don’t have to commit to a half-acre garden. Try planting a few of your favorite vegetables in containers.
(Photo by Gary Bachman)

A brown swallowtail butterfly with white spots drinks nectar from a flowering pink and yellow lantana plant.
February 22, 2018 - Filed Under: Beekeeping, Lawn and Garden, Flower Gardens, Landscape Architecture

Sometimes bad news can feel overwhelming, as if one person can do little to make a difference. Growing plants that support honeybees and butterflies doesn’t solve a major world problem, but it can give these important pollinators a boost while also offering loads of beautiful color to your yard or garden. Now is the time to plan! (Photo credit: Kat Lawrence)

A woman with a dog in front of chocolates, which can make dogs sick.
February 20, 2018 - Filed Under: Community, Disaster Response

It’s National Love Your Pet Day, so give those four-legged family members extra special treatment. More noggin’ pats and extra-long walks are in order. But be careful with the treats. Some human foods can be harmful to pets. For dogs, that includes chocolate. (Photo/video credit: MSU Extension/ Brian Utley)

USDA graphic explains egg grades and sizes and what the carton labels mean.
February 16, 2018 - Filed Under: Food

Eggs are a staple in most kitchens, and for good reason. They’re a great source of protein and can be prepared a variety of ways for any meal of the day. They’re even good snacks. (Photo by USDA)

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