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News From 2012

April 12, 2012 - Filed Under: Agriculture, Forages, Beef

TYLERTOWN -- Beef and forage producers in Mississippi and Louisiana can learn how to improve their beef herds and pastures at a May 19 event in Walthall County.

The Mississippi/Louisiana Beef and Forage Field Day begins at 8:45 a.m. at the Livestock Producer’s Sale Barn located on Highway 98 East in Tylertown.

Topics include clover, heifer development, expected progeny difference in bull selection, herbicides, and alfalfa varieties for South Mississippi.

4-H tech team members Meredith Koch and Austin Richey share their knowledge about social media, digital filmmaking and other computer-related skills with people in their communities. (Submitted Photo)
April 12, 2012 - Filed Under: 4-H, Technology

By Kaitlyn Byrne
MSU Ag Communications

MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Tech-savvy 4-H’ers in Mississippi are using their skills to help their communities get connected.

The Mississippi 4-H tech team is composed of 25 senior 4-H’ers who lead technology workshops on such topics as social media and digital filmmaking. Team members are selected through a competitive process and undergo intensive training.

April 12, 2012 - Filed Under: Technology

Spring is in the air, and graduating seniors are fighting off senioritis as they prepare to take their final exams. Many of these students are in the process of looking for summer jobs or their first full-time jobs. With a tough job market, students need to use every resource available to market themselves to potential employers, including social media, such as Facebook.

April 11, 2012 - Filed Under: Community, Lawn and Garden

MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Local gardeners will have the opportunity to select spring bedding plants and support students in the horticulture club at Mississippi State University during the annual plant sale this Friday and Saturday.

This year’s sale will take place from 9 a.m. until 6 p.m. Friday, April 13, and from 8 a.m. until 1 p.m. Saturday, April 14, in the campus greenhouses behind Dorman Hall on MSU’s main campus.

A wide variety of plants will be available such as summer annuals, perennials, herbs and vegetables.

April 10, 2012 - Filed Under: 4-H

MISSISSIPPI STATE -- The 13th annual Mississippi 4-H Golf Classic will be at the Lake Caroline Golf Course in Madison on Tuesday, May 22.

The annual golf classic is a fundraiser for the Mississippi 4-H youth development program, part of the Mississippi State University Extension Service. Development officer Morris Houston said the event was moved to the new location to make it more convenient and accessible for participants.

Mandevilla flowers are displayed against dark green, leathery foliage. Mandevilla blooms from early summer through first frost. (Photo by Gary Bachman)
April 9, 2012 - Filed Under: Lawn and Garden, Flower Gardens

If you’re thinking about what you want your porch or deck to look like this summer, consider how you can use Mandevilla, a vining plant best known for its showy displays of summertime flowers.

You can find these plants in red, pink and white at garden centers. Flowers are displayed against a backdrop of dark green, leathery foliage. Leaves can be quite large -- up to 8 inches long. Some selections have smaller leaves. The plants are sometimes sold as Dipladenia, which rhymes with gardenia.

Mississippi strawberry growers began harvesting this popular fruit two weeks earlier than usual because of warmer temperatures statewide. (Photo by Kat Lawrence)
April 5, 2012 - Filed Under: Agriculture, Crops, Fruit

MISSISSIPPI STATE -- An early strawberry season delights consumers, but growers must keep an eye on this spring’s fickle weather to protect their delicate and valuable crop.

April 5, 2012 - Filed Under: Family, Food and Health, Nutrition

MISSISSIPPI STATE -- A glass of milk may not look like preventive medicine, but daily calcium intake can build strong bones that are less likely to break.

“Osteoporosis is a loss of bone density to the point where fractures occur earlier and more easily. While more prevalent in women, men can also have osteoporosis,” said Diane Tidwell, associate professor in Mississippi State University’s Department of Food Science, Nutrition and Health Promotion. “As the baby boomers get older, we’ll see a lot more osteoporosis, simply because our society is aging.”

April 5, 2012 - Filed Under: Technology

Having grown up in a very small town where everybody knew everyone else’s business, I have come to appreciate the anonymity of big (or rather, bigger) city life, and Google is threatening that anonymity for many of us.

Granted, my current residence is not New York City, but I come from a town that counted the people twice and the cows and tractors once in an effort to keep the post office. As a result, I’ve learned to appreciate the ability to go out to dinner with someone and not hear it on the prayer list Sunday morning.

Byron Williams, assistant Extension and research professor in the department of food science, nutrition and health promotion, talks about the recent misconceptions concerning "pink slime" related to lean, finely textured beef.
April 5, 2012 - Filed Under: Agriculture, Beef

MISSISSIPPI STATE -- A Mississippi State University meat scientist is describing recent media reports as irresponsible journalism that casts a shadow over established practices that make certain ground beef products healthier and safer.

4-H'ers are increasingly choosing to show goats because of the animals' small size and gentle behavior. (Photo by Scott Corey)
April 5, 2012 - Filed Under: Agriculture, Goats and Sheep

MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Take a look at 4-H livestock show rings anywhere in the state. There are nearly as many goats as hogs, sheep or steers.

“We’ve increased the numbers of goats shown by about 25 percent each year since the first year,” said Kipp Brown, area 4-H livestock agent and meat goat specialist with Mississippi State University’s Extension Service. “It’s helping the kids, the producers and the 4-H program.”

Lanai Verbena Deep Pink (top) makes an excellent choice for hanging baskets, ground covers and containers.
April 2, 2012 - Filed Under: Lawn and Garden, Flower Gardens

I think every gardener should take advantage of verbena, a plant that provides three seasons of color.

Verbena is a great flowering plant and belongs to a group of versatile plants that have been proven garden staples for years.

One of verbena’s best attributes is its flowering potential. These plants provide abundant color starting in the early spring and continuing right through the fall. If you protect them from frosts, you can extend their flowering well into late fall. Verbena also attracts butterflies all flowering season.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture forecasts Mississippi farmers to plant 1.75 million acres of soybeans, down by 70,000 acres in 2011. This will mark the third consecutive year of reduced soybean acreage in the state. Soybeans remain the leader in the state's planted acreage. (2011 Photo by Kat Lawrence)
March 30, 2012 - Filed Under: Agriculture, Agricultural Economics, Crops

MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Crop rotation benefits and market prices remain the driving forces behind farmers’ planting decisions.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s prospective plantings report, released March 30, forecasts 4.67 million acres planted in nine Mississippi crops, an increase of 3 percent from total acreage in 2011.

John Michael Riley, agricultural economist with Mississippi State University’s Extension Service, said farmers probably are making their decisions to plant or not to plant soybeans and corn based on rotational needs.

March 29, 2012 - Filed Under: Technology

Older adults are sometimes hesitant to adopt smartphones, but smartphones can eliminate one of their most common cell phone problems: text too small to read.

Miss Dixie National Paige Nicholson and Miss Mississippi Rodeo Samantha Golden joined Mississippi State University Extension Service director Gary Jackson at the 2012 Dixie National Sale of Junior Champions to support youth development and agriculture. (Photo by Kat Lawrence)
March 29, 2012 - Filed Under: Youth Livestock, Agriculture, Livestock

By Kaitlyn Byrne
MSU Ag Communication

MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Miss Dixie National and Miss Rodeo Mississippi are both current Mississippi State University students striving to raise awareness about the importance of livestock and agriculture.

Paige Nicholson, Miss Dixie National, is a junior agricultural information science major in the College of Agriculture and Life Science. Samantha Golden, Miss Rodeo Mississippi, is a sophomore pre-accounting major.

Nicholson said she hopes to use her education to lend a strong voice for agriculture.

Barakat Mahmoud, an Extension research professor with Mississippi State University, recently spent three weeks teaching food preservation methods to 13 agriculture agents in Mozambique, Africa. (Submitted Photo)
March 29, 2012 - Filed Under: Agriculture, Community, Food and Health, Food Safety

BILOXI -- Mozambique’s farmers can now preserve and better market their mango harvest thanks to training provided by a Mississippi State University specialist.

Gary Bachman is the host of "Southern Gardening," the television program, radio segment and newspaper column produced by the Mississippi State University Extension Service. (Photo by Kat Lawrence)
March 29, 2012 - Filed Under: Lawn and Garden, Flower Gardens

MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Mississippi State University’s gardening public image has taken several forms over its 27-year history, but what is now known as “Southern Gardening” with Gary Bachman has a long history of impacting landscapes in Mississippi.

“Southern Gardening” is a weekly newspaper column, radio segment and television feature produced by the MSU Extension Service. Bachman, the current host, is a horticulture specialist at MSU’s Coastal Research and Extension Center in Biloxi.

To minimize tick exposure, wear rubber boots and tuck pant legs into the boots so ticks cannot crawl onto clothing, advise Mississippi State University experts. (Photos by Jerome Goddard)
March 29, 2012 - Filed Under: Agriculture, Insects-Human Pests, Insects

MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Before heading down the trail on a nature hike, take time to protect yourself and your pets from ticks and the diseases they carry, advised Mississippi State University experts.

Clyde Taylor
March 29, 2012 - Filed Under: Animal Health, Community

MISSISSIPPI STATE -- A charter faculty member of Mississippi State University’s College of Veterinary Medicine has been inducted into the state’s veterinary profession’s Hall of Fame.

Dr. Clyde Taylor, a native of Natchez, was named to the Mississippi Veterinary Medical Association’s Hall of Fame at their recent winter meeting in Starkville. He spent his entire career in Mississippi, working first in the Department of Agriculture, then in private practice in Brandon and finally on the faculty at MSU.

The orange and red flowers of 2012 Mississippi Medallion-winner butterfly weed make it a colorful addition to the landscape.
March 26, 2012 - Filed Under: Lawn and Garden, Flower Gardens

Home gardeners show a growing interest in using native plants in the landscape, as these have a high tolerance for local environmental conditions. While they have a better chance of survival, they are sometimes limited in their ability to create excitement in the landscape.

I want to introduce you to some native plants that have no problem adding pizazz to a landscape. Two you should consider are butterfly weed and Virginia sweetspire. Both have been named Mississippi Medallion winners for their superior garden and landscape performance.