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News From 2010

Henry Wan, assistant professor at Mississippi State University's College of Veterinary Medicine, developed a computer program that provides a better understanding of why flu viruses mutate and how they spread. (Photo by Tom Thompson)
February 25, 2010 - Filed Under: Animal Health

By Karen Templeton
MSU Ag Communications

MISSISSIPPI STATE – A Mississippi State University researcher has found that biology and computer science make the perfect combination for tracking animal flu viruses.

February 19, 2010 - Filed Under: Agriculture, Cotton, Insects-Crop Pests, Insects

MISSISSIPPI STATE – Cotton production costs continue to climb in most categories with one exception – boll weevil control.

When the boll weevil eradication program first entered Mississippi’s eastern counties in 1997, cotton growers were assessed $20 per acre. As the program progressed westward, first-year assessments ranged from $20 to $24 per acre. Initially, weevils were also in the fields robbing growers of yields.

February 18, 2010 - Filed Under: Community

MISSISSIPPI STATE – Mississippi State University will help contractors wanting to continue their access to projects on certain buildings built before 1978 as an April training deadline approaches.

Contractors are required to be lead-certified by the Environmental Protection Agency by April 22 to perform projects that disturb lead-based paint in homes, apartments, child-care facilities and schools built before 1978.

February 18, 2010 - Filed Under: Wildlife Youth Education

MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Those with a love for the outdoors have four conservation camps to take advantage of this summer offered through Mississippi State University’s College of Forest Resources.

Three of the camps are intergenerational and are geared for anyone interested in the outdoors. Designed for students 10 or older, the camps are useful for those who participate in the Envirothon or on Wildlife Habitat Evaluation Program teams. Students may attend individually or with parents and grandparents. 

February 18, 2010 - Filed Under: Agriculture, Plant Diseases

MISSISSIPPI STATE – The plant disease diagnostic lab at Mississippi State University handled 726 samples in 2009, and nearly 100 of these were digital images rather than actual samples of diseased plants.

Clarissa Balbalian, diagnostician and lab manager with the MSU Extension Service, said the lab made reasonably confident diagnoses of 75 percent of these digital samples without requiring physical samples.

“That success rate is primarily due to the excellent quality of the photographs and the detailed descriptions that accompanied them,” Balbalian said.

Mississippi State University plant pathologist Tom Allen checks cotton seedlings for black root rot disease, a fungus that causes plants to rot from the roots. (MSU Delta Research and Extension file photo)
February 18, 2010 - Filed Under: Agriculture, Cotton, Soybeans, Plant Diseases

By Rebekah Ray
Delta Research and Extension Center

STONEVILLE -- Black root rot, a fungal disease that infects cotton and soybeans, may be affecting more soybean acres across the Delta, and Mississippi State University researchers are working to prevent its impact.

The yellow flowers of this kalanchoe will last for weeks. Although the individual flowers are small, they are numerous enough to create a splash of color for winter enjoyment. (Photo by Lelia Kelly)
February 18, 2010 - Filed Under: Lawn and Garden, Cut Flowers and Houseplants

This time of year can be hard on gardeners. The weather is nasty and we’re all closed up inside the house getting more irritable by the minute.  It’s time to liven the mood with a blooming houseplant.

Check out your local garden centers or even the grocery store’s florist department for a cheery blooming azalea, Reiger begonia, cineraria or kalanchoe. Once you bring yours home, there are a few things you can do to get the longest cheery impact.

Alonzo Gibson, a furniture-manufacturing employee with Fulton-based Max Home, has benefited from specialized managerial training developed by Mississippi State University's Franklin Furniture Institute. (Photo by Ronnie Cook)
February 18, 2010 - Filed Under: Forestry, Wood Products

MISSISSIPPI STATE – Many furniture manufacturers have indicated their desire for formal manager education and training within their organizations, and Mississippi State University has responded to this need by designing specialized training.

In the furniture industry, first-line supervisors are responsible for managing workers and coordinating all of the activities to make, ship, sell and deliver thousands of pieces of furniture, but there is little formal education and training available to them.

Forrest County 4-H members Alexandra Pittman, 12, and Carson Keene, 5, of Hattiesburg, prepare to take Pittman's Mississippi bred grand champion goat, which was the reserve champion light heavyweight goat, into the auction ring at the Dixie National Sale of Junior Champions on Feb. 11. Buyers donated more than a quarter of a million dollars at this year's sale of 42 market animals. (Photo by Kat Lawrence)
February 15, 2010 - Filed Under: 4-H, Youth Livestock

JACKSON -- The Dixie National Sale of Junior Champions is more than a place to highlight the state’s top market animals; it is a place to meet the next generation of champion youth.

Parents Connie and Allen Keene of Hattiesburg took part in livestock projects when they were teen-agers. Now, they are watching their children -- Alexandra Pittman, 12, and Carson Keene, 5 -- follow in their footsteps and beyond.

February 11, 2010 - Filed Under: Food, Nutrition

MISSISSIPPI STATE – The Southern Rural Development Center at Mississippi State University will administer a federally funded program that encourages new and innovative research on food and nutrition assistance issues.

February 11, 2010 - Filed Under: Farming, Community

MISSISSIPPI STATE – The Mississippi Agricultural and Forestry Experiment Station will hold a Farm and Industrial Equipment Auction Feb. 27 at the Mississippi Horse Park and Agricenter in Starkville. 

The auction will begin at 10 a.m. and feature a wide range of surplus equipment being sold for Mississippi State University. The equipment and vehicles for auction include tractors, trackhoes, ditchers, skid steers, combines, cotton pickers, trailers and ATVs.

Avoid pruning crape myrtles at the same spot on the trunk each year, cutting instead at a place about 12-18 inches higher than before. This will result in a healthier, better-structured tree. (Photo by Jeff Wilson)
February 11, 2010 - Filed Under: Lawn and Garden

We've all seen it happen, and some of us have even committed it. We try not to stare, but we can't look away. It's just so...well, ugly. It is 'crape murder,' and it's no laughing matter.

Crape murder occurs when crape myrtle trees are pruned to the same point for many years, causing unsightly knots on the trunks. This greatly diminishes the plant's aesthetic appeal and its structural integrity.

Longtime Warren County 4-H club leader Gloria Smith displays certificates she received from the state 4-H program and the Mississippi Volunteer Leaders Association for her service to youth. (Photo by Patti Drapala)
February 11, 2010 - Filed Under: 4-H, Leadership, Mississippi Homemaker Volunteers

By Patti Drapala
MSU Ag Communications

VICKSBURG – Crocheting may be a dying art to some people but not to Gloria Smith.

Smith is a 4-H volunteer leader in Warren County and has spent 50 years providing youth the direction they need to be successful in life. She began her lifelong journey by learning a skill that put her on a path to work with youth.

February 11, 2010 - Filed Under: Wood Products

MISSISSIPPI STATE – Mississippi’s forest industry is poised to take advantage of an old technology that turns sawmill residues into environmentally friendly energy sources for heat and electricity.

Wood pellets are made of the waste products of lumber production, and they can be burned for heat in homes and used to produce energy for industry. The knowledge and technology to make wood pellets have been around for centuries.

Columbus resident Terry Brewer unveils a portrait of her 15-year-old dog, Abby, that she commissioned in honor of faculty, students and staff at Mississippi State University's College of Veterinary Medicine. The portrait will hang in the Small Animal Clinic's reception area. (Photo by Tom Thompson)
February 11, 2010 - Filed Under: Animal Health, Pets

By Patti Drapala
MSU Ag Communications

MISSISSIPPI STATE – Diabetes can be difficult to manage in animals, but one Columbus family learned to master the task with help from Mississippi State University’s College of Veterinary Medicine.

Much like the displays at the 2009 Everything Garden Expo near Starkville, visitors to the second annual event on March 6 and 7 will have the opportunity to see many unique items for the home garden. (Photo compliments of MSU Ag Communications)
February 4, 2010 - Filed Under: Lawn and Garden, Flower Gardens, Vegetable Gardens

MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Mississippi gardeners will have an opportunity to attend an exposition honoring plants and all things related to them at an event the first weekend in March.

The Everything Garden Expo will take place March 6 and 7 at the Mississippi Horse Park, located on Mississippi State University’s South Farm. Doors will be open from 8 a.m. until 6 p.m. on Saturday and from 11 a.m. until 5 p.m. on Sunday. Admission is $5, and children 6 and younger are admitted free.

Savvy gardeners know they can share a message from the heart this Valentine's Day with the flowers they give. Tradition says red tulips tell the recipient, "I love you." (Photo by Scott Corey)
February 4, 2010 - Filed Under: Lawn and Garden, Flower Gardens

With Valentine’s Day just around the corner, many people start thinking of giving roses to their sweetie, but they often worry that their choice will send the wrong message on this day dedicated to love.

Valentine’s Day has many legends surrounding its origin, but the truth is, no one really knows much about its beginnings. Some say St. Valentine of Rome is the saint associated with this holiday, while others claim it is St. Valentine of Terni. Both died on Feb. 14.

Newton County Extension 4-H agent Katrina McCalphia, left, and volunteer leader Johnnie Mae Walker have worked together on many projects that develop leadership skills of youth and provide opportunities for community service. (Photo by Patti Drapala)
February 4, 2010 - Filed Under: 4-H, Community

By Patti Drapala
MSU Ag Communications

MISSISSIPPI STATE – Newton’s business and civic leaders have always expected a visit from Johnnie Mae Walker on behalf of the annual 4-H bike-a-thon for St. Jude Children’s Hospital, but they grew worried when other people appeared in her place. 

Tuskegee University veterinary student Alexandria Murphy, left, performs a procedure for Dr. Andrea Varela-Stokes, assistant professor at Mississippi State University's College of Veterinary Medicine. Murphy took part in the college's summer research program to explore careers in biomedical research. MSU's new mentoring program may increase the number of minority students enrolled in veterinary schools or advanced degree programs in science. (Photo by Tom Thompson)
February 4, 2010 - Filed Under: Animal Health

By Patti Drapala MSU
Ag Communications

MISSISSIPPI STATE – Mississippi State University is working to reach underserved communities through a new mentoring program that encourages minority students to pursue veterinary medicine and graduate degrees in the biological sciences. 

Big Train A' Comin, a 3-year-old bay thoroughbred, is available to horse owners wanting to breed their mares to Mississippi State University's new, top-pedigree stallion. (Photo compliments of MSU Ag Communications)
January 28, 2010 - Filed Under: Agriculture, Livestock, Equine

MISSISSIPPI STATE – Horse owners can look to Mississippi State University for their mares’ reproductive services from quality studs including a new, top-pedigree thoroughbred stallion.

West Coast businessman Neal Jones donated Big Train A’ Comin, a 3-year-old bay stallion. He is the son of Giant’s Causeway, the 1997 European Horse of the Year, and Snowfire, also a past winner in European races. His arrival comes more than a year after MSU lost its top stallion, Minister Slew, to a catastrophic leg injury during a severe thunderstorm.