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September 15, 2023 - Filed Under: Health and Wellness, Mental Health First Aid

STARKVILLE, Miss. – A Mississippi State University Extension instructor has been selected to a national Extension Foundation committee focused on improving mental health.

September 13, 2023 - Filed Under: Insects, Insect Identification, Lawn and Garden, Plants and Wildlife, Smart Landscapes, Places for Wildlife, Natural Resources

PICAYUNE, Miss. -- School groups, nature enthusiasts and the public can enjoy two fun-filled days of exciting, hands-on learning about the environment, ecosystems, wildlife and insects at the Mississippi State University Crosby Arboretum in Picayune. BugFest offers insect-related displays, interactive exhibits, games and crafts. Biologists, naturalists, entomologists and other experts from Mississippi, Louisiana and Alabama will host booths and give presentations on butterflies, bats, caterpillars, beetles, crayfish, ladybugs, hissing cockroaches, dancing praying mantises, native and exotic arthropods and more.

People look at plants in a garden.
September 12, 2023 - Filed Under: Master Gardener, Lawn and Garden, Flower Gardens

Garden enthusiasts of all ages are welcome Oct. 21 to Fall Garden Day at the North Mississippi Research and Extension Center in Verona. The event will be held from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Mississippi State University facility.

September 11, 2023 - Filed Under: Family, Children and Parenting, Mississippi Child Care Resource and Referral

RAYMOND, Miss. -- Individuals interested in working with young children and families are encouraged to apply for job openings with the Mississippi State University Extension Service. Mississippi Child Care Resource and Referral at MSU Extension is hiring program associates and office associates in several counties statewide.

Three potted plants have green leaves with stripes or spots.
September 11, 2023 - Filed Under: Flower Gardens

During a recent visit with a friend, I admired her stunning indoor plants. She mentioned some of their names, and I realized that a couple of them had outdated names that have been recently updated. Plants, like all living things, are constantly evolving and changing.

September 8, 2023 - Filed Under: Community, City and County Government, Economic Development, Rural Development, Small Business

RAYMOND, Miss. -- Tourism employees, city council members, elected officials and others interested in growing tourism in rural areas are invited to attend an upcoming tri-state conference. The Alabama-Mississippi-Tennessee Rural Tourism Conference will be held Oct. 23-25 in Cleveland, Mississippi. The conference is open to anyone who works in tourism, economic development or public service. Attendees will have the opportunity to network with professionals in the tourism industry and attend multiple educational sessions.

A person’s right hand rests on a computer mouse while their left hand rests on a laptop keyboard.
September 8, 2023 - Filed Under: Keys to the Community, Agriculture, Agricultural Economics, Economic Development, Rural Development, Small Business

RAYMOND, Miss. -- In Mississippi, 230,000 residents lack access to high-speed internet and the many benefits it offers, but the Mississippi State University Extension Service is working to help change that. Devon Mills, an assistant Extension professor of agricultural economics, is leading an effort to build an inventory of all the organizations in the state working to promote digital skills and literacy. This effort, called the Mississippi Digital Asset Mapping Project, is helping spread the word about a survey to help construct that inventory.

Green plants grow in rows surrounded by brown grass stems.
September 8, 2023 - Filed Under: Corn, Healthy Soils and Water

Despite several recognized benefits of growing winter cover crops, this conservation system has limited acceptance, something Mississippi State University researchers are trying to change by identifying and better managing risks.

Among the significant benefits of planting a green crop on farmland otherwise exposed to winter elements are improved soil health, water quality and erosion control. But cover crops grow into the optimal spring planting times for summer crops. This complicates their use and can reduce productivity of the summer crop.

For the last several years, MSU research has addressed various aspects of this issue, primarily focusing on cover crop management and cover crop species.

Bare plants are covered in white cotton.
September 7, 2023 - Filed Under: Cotton

High temperatures and drought since early July left some cotton acreage not worth harvesting, while others with irrigation may still make an excellent crop in Mississippi.

“Statewide, cotton yields are highly variable depending on where you’re standing,” said Brian Pieralisi, cotton specialist with the Mississippi State University Extension Service.

Wayne County, Mississippi 4-H’ers display their first place award plaques earned at the National Wildlife Habitat Education Program contest.
September 6, 2023 - Filed Under: 4-H

WAYNE COUNTY, Miss. -- A team of Mississippi 4-H’ers brought home a first-place award this summer in a national wildlife habitat management competition. The three-member team competed in the National Wildlife Habitat Education Program contest in Milford, Iowa, July 31-Aug. 2.

A stone and steel ant sculpture is beside a path through moss.
September 4, 2023 - Filed Under: Flower Gardens

I recently visited a beautiful moss garden at the home of Jack and Nadine in Petal. As I entered the garden, I was welcomed by a charming moss garden sign and a variety of ant sculptures scattered throughout the area, adding a delightful and whimsical touch.

August 30, 2023 - Filed Under: Agriculture, Rice

STARKVILLE, Miss. – Bolivar County, Mississippi, is the place to be for rice connoisseurs Sept. 21.

Rice Fest will highlight the commodity from 4-9 p.m. in downtown Merigold.  Not only is it National Rice Month, but this year marks the 33rd year Delta Rice Promotions has highlighted the state’s rice producers and industry. The event is free of charge and open to the public.

August 28, 2023 - Filed Under: Pesticide Applicator Certification, Insects, Pests

MISSISSIPPI STATE , Miss. -- A Mississippi State University Extension Service specialist has been elected to the executive board of the American Association of Pesticide Safety Educators. Gene Merkl, program manager for pesticide safety education for the state of Mississippi, will serve as president-elect for the nationwide organization. His service on the board is a three-year commitment.

Delicate, pink flowers and tiny, green berries line a branch.
August 28, 2023 - Filed Under: Flower Gardens

I have noticed that more gardeners than ever are interested in having native plants in their landscapes. This trend just makes sense. Native plants occur naturally in a region without being introduced by humans. They are adapted to their region and do not require a lot of maintenance or upkeep.

One native plant you might like to include in your landscape is the American beautyberry.

A group of goats stands in a temporary holding area in a barn.
August 24, 2023 - Filed Under: Agriculture, Forages, Livestock, Goats and Sheep

LEAKESVILLE, Miss. -- Most goat meat sold in the U.S. is imported, but a group of Mississippi meat goat producers wants to see that change. A first-of-its-kind test in the state is underway to help them meet that goal. The Southeastern Buck Performance Test aims to improve the profitability of the meat goat industry in the region by improving meat goat genetics.

Kendall Garraway portrait
August 23, 2023 - Filed Under: Agriculture

BOLTON, Miss. -- Gaddis & McLaurin sounds more like the name of a law firm than a general store, but since the 1870s, the name is synonymous with all manner of dry goods in the Hinds County community of Bolton.

Its expansive range of inventory is one reason for its longevity. Items normally found at local co-ops – animal feed, grass seed, lumber, tools and hardware – have been the store’s calling card for much of its existence. Over time, store owner and longtime row crop producer Kendall Garraway has brought in a multitude of home and garden items.

Wood chips lie at the base of a tree stump that has been chewed into a point.
August 22, 2023 - Filed Under: Wildlife, Nuisance Wildlife and Damage Management, Urban and Backyard Wildlife

Shortly after Emily Duggar bought property in Madison County to build a house near Canton, she realized there were beavers on a creek that ran through the back of the property.

“We saw evidence that beavers were taking down trees and gnawing on trees,” Duggar said. “We could see they were building a dam, and they’ve since built two more dams. The water is rising,” she said. “We haven’t had any flooding yet, but we’ve heard that some people who live in the neighborhoods behind our property have flooding from the creek.”

An old wheelbarrow filled with flowers sits on a tree stump.
August 21, 2023 - Filed Under: Flower Gardens

Recycling objects and turning them into container planters can be fun, and it is a unique way to add visual interest to your landscape. If the object can hold soil, it can be used as a planter.
An old wheelbarrow turned into a beautiful container planting adds a whimsical, country feel to any garden space.

A group of 4-H’ers pose for a group photo at the Congressional Awards ceremony.
August 14, 2023 - Filed Under: 4-H, STEM – Science Technology Engineering and Math, Leadership

Fifty-seven Mississippi 4-H’ers received the highest honor given to youth civilians by the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives.

The Aug. 6 Congressional Award ceremony marks the 25th anniversary of the partnership between the Congressional Award Program and the Mississippi State University Extension Service 4-H Youth Development Program.

A batch of live catfish is caught in a net.
August 14, 2023 - Filed Under: Catfish

STARKVILLE, Miss. -- As long as feeding catfish stays pricey, anticipate paying more for fillets at the grocery.

“High grain prices in recent years have pushed catfish feed prices to $495 to $525 per ton, depending on protein level,” said Jimmy Avery, Mississippi State University Extension Service aquaculture professor at the Delta Research and Extension Center in Stoneville. Five-year averages for 32% protein feed hovered in the $375-to-$420-per-ton range between 2017 and 2021.

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