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News From 2012

People who want to control food quality and availability, improve their diets and save money are investing time and energy in community gardens. (Photo by MSU Kat Lawrence)
March 8, 2012 - Filed Under: Vegetable Gardens

MISSSSIPPI STATE -- Community gardens have gained popularity in Mississippi recently because they can improve health and environmental sustainability.

Before : Charity Womack (front row, left) wanted a healthier lifestyle so she joined other members of the Tunica County 4-H Club in the Move to Lose program, with encouragement from 4-H agent Ebony Jones (far right).
March 8, 2012 - Filed Under: 4-H, Family

By Kaitlyn Byrne
MSU Ag Communications

MMISSISSIPPI STATE -- Tunica County 4-H is striving to help kids and teens achieve healthier lifestyles through a new program called Move to Lose.

Ebony Jones, Tunica County 4-H agent, started the Move to Lose program in September after she saw an interest in a healthier lifestyle among her 4-H’ers.

March 8, 2012 - Filed Under: Technology

Spring break is just around the corner, and children everywhere are gearing up and packing up to head to their grandparents’ homes. In turn, grandparents are frantically searching for activities to keep the grandkids busy.

Lane Segerstrom brought corn and specially dyed kenaf fibers to Mississippi State University for research to develop stronger pressed board products for his company, Corn Board Manufacturing Inc.
March 8, 2012 - Filed Under: Agriculture, Wood Products

MISSISSIPPI STATE -- A fibrous plant researched at Mississippi State University may end up at the Olympics in the form of a specialty gun stock.

“We’re exploring how to make a commercial product out of an agricultural byproduct and kenaf, a quick-growing plant,” said Dan Seale, forest products professor in MSU’s Forest and Wildlife Research Center.

Michael Seymour
March 8, 2012 - Filed Under: Landscape Architecture

MISSISSIPPI STATE -- The Council of Educators in Landscape Architecture honored Mississippi State University associate professor Michael Seymour with the national 2012 Excellence in Teaching Award.

Seymour has taught in MSU’s College of Agriculture and Life Sciences in the Department of Landscape Architecture for seven years. He has distinguished himself as an outstanding educator, researcher and colleague, said Sadik Artunc, head of the landscape architecture department.

March 6, 2012 - Filed Under: Rural Health

MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Mississippi State University’s program aimed at getting high school students interested in medical careers is taking applications until March 21.

The Rural Medical Scholars program is a five-week, residential program for rising high school seniors. Other than the $60 registration fee, there is no cost to attend the program. Those who successfully complete the program will have taken two college pre-med courses and learned more about the medical field while shadowing professionals on the job.

Carla Huston
March 6, 2012 - Filed Under: Animal Health, Community

MISSISSIPPI STATE -- A veterinarian at Mississippi State University has been named the state’s top veterinarian, an honor that has now come to MSU’s College of Veterinary Medicine three times.

Dr. Carla Huston, associate professor in the Department of Pathobiology and Population Medicine, was named the Mississippi Veterinarian of the Year by the Mississippi Veterinary Medical Association. The award was announced at the 2012 MVMA winter meeting in Starkville.

Mississippi State University students in the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences' Apparel, Textiles, and Merchandising program swept the awards in the student merchandising exhibit competition at the recent Mississippi Association for Family and Consumer Sciences annual state conference. From left: Storey Wilson, third place; Hana Ali and Holly Farlow, first place; Lashaunda Bobbett, second place. (Photo by Kat Lawrence)
March 5, 2012 - Filed Under: Community
Pretty Much Picasso is a unique supertunia. It has pink petals with a purplish throat and lime green flower edges that tend to blend into the foliage.
March 5, 2012 - Filed Under: Lawn and Garden, Flower Gardens

As gardeners look forward to the spring planting season, many go in droves to the various garden shows and displays to see some of the newest and flashiest flowers on the market. This weekend at the Gulf Coast Garden & Patio Show was no exception.

Mississippi gardeners got the chance to see the new Mississippi Medallion-winning plants for 2012. This year’s flowering plant winner is Vista Bubblegum supertunia. The flowers are a clear, bright pink and have performed well in Mississippi gardens the past few years.

March 1, 2012 - Filed Under: Technology

With the price of gasoline on the rise, many families are opting to stay close to home for their spring break vacation, and planning is as important for a staycation as it is for an overseas trip.

To ensure a fun time is had by all, even the youngest in the group, create a staycation passport using either your computer’s clip art or the site

March 1, 2012 - Filed Under: Agriculture, Water, Rural Water Association

MISSISSIPPI STATE – Extension specialists are studying water wells in Mississippi to develop educational information on maintenance and water quality for well owners, drillers and others.

Billy Dictson, a trainer with the National Center for Biomedical Research and Training, and Queen Swayze, a food program specialist with the Mississippi Department of Health, discuss issues related to agricultural disasters. Mississippi State University's Extension Service organized the awareness training, held on Feb. 21, 2012, in Brandon to help first responders and others recognize the vulnerability of plants, animals and food supplies. (Photo by Linda Breazeale)
March 1, 2012 - Filed Under: Agriculture, Disaster Preparedness

BRANDON – First responders and others with an interest in agriculture are recognizing its vulnerability to disasters by taking part in statewide awareness training.

The National Center for Biomedical Research and Training is overseeing a three-year pilot program in Mississippi, Louisiana and New Mexico. The Extension Service in each state will train 900 people per state annually to respond to intentional, accidental and naturally occurring disasters. Mississippi State University’s Extension Service held its first training recently in Brandon.

March 1, 2012 - Filed Under: Agriculture, Crops, Livestock, Catfish

BILOXI – Coastal producers and growers shared their concerns and needs at a Mississippi State University listening session Feb. 28 in Biloxi.

The fifth annual Producer Advisory Council meeting was held at MSU’s Coastal Research and Extension Center. Eleven commodity groups attended the meeting. They represented commercial ornamental horticulture, home horticulture, fruits, vegetables, livestock, horses, cotton, corn, soybeans, peanuts, forestry, seafood and aquaculture, and bee keepers.

Warm winter temperatures may improve the survival of stink bugs, such as this as this Southern green stink bug. Stink bugs afflict vegetable crops and row crops, especially soybeans. (Photo courtesy of Angus Catchot)
March 1, 2012 - Filed Under: Agriculture

MISSISSIPPI STATE – Many Mississippians wonder whether the mild winter will increase the insect pest populations in their gardens and fields this year. However, spring weather could be the more significant factor, said Mississippi State University experts.

MSU Extension Service entomologist Angus Catchot said he is asked about the impact of the winter weather on insect populations everywhere he goes.

March 1, 2012 - Filed Under: Agriculture, Commercial Horticulture, Fruit, Food

By Kaitlyn Byrne
MSU Ag. Communications

MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Mississippi State University is part of an effort to connect restaurants with Mississippi producers to get fresh local produce to consumers.

MSU’s Extension Service is promoting Eat Healthy Mississippi, a campaign sponsored by the Mississippi Hospitality and Restaurant Association. The program unites restaurant chefs seeking local foods for their menus and growers who can supply fresh fruits and vegetables. In turn, restaurant patrons will have access to healthier foods.

Sylvia Byrd
March 1, 2012 - Filed Under: Food and Health, Nutrition

MISSISSIPPI STATE – Sylvia Byrd and two nutrition students in Mississippi State University’s College of Agriculture and Life Sciences will be honored at a statewide awards function March 8.

Mississippi State University research scientist Brian Baldwin developed Freedom giant miscanthus, a biofuel feedstock used to create tank-ready gasoline. (Photo by MSU Ag Communications/Scott Corey)
March 1, 2012 - Filed Under: Agriculture, Biofuels

MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Cool Planet Biofuels recently announced it has used Freedom giant miscanthus to create gasoline, a breakthrough in the biofuels industry.

Eric Stafne
March 1, 2012 - Filed Under: About Extension, Commercial Fruit and Nuts, Fruit, Nuts

POPLARVILLE – Mississippi fruit producers have a new specialist to consult about crop problems and advise them on best practices.

Mississippi State University’s Extension Service has hired Eric Stafne as the assistant Extension professor of fruit crops. He is located at MSU’s Coastal Research and Extension Center in Poplarville.

Hard-working and low-maintenance Indian hawthorns have star-shaped flowers held in loose clusters above evergreen foliage that is thick and leathery. (Photo by Gary Bachman)
February 27, 2012 - Filed Under: Lawn and Garden, Flower Gardens

As springtime arrives across Mississippi, azaleas are starting to put on their colorful show. While these walls of pink and clusters of red and spots of white are well-known and anticipated, a spring-blooming shrub that does not get as much attention is the Indian hawthorn.

February 24, 2012 - Filed Under: Animal Health

MISSISSIPPI STATE – Registration is now open to school groups for the Mississippi State University College of Veterinary Medicine’s annual open house, to be held April 13 and 14.

The open house will take place both days between 8:30 a.m. and 3 p.m. at the Wise Center, located on the south side of campus off Spring Street in Starkville. The April 13th program is for pre-registered school groups, and the April 14th program is open to anyone in the community. School groups can register for this free event by contacting Brandi Van Ormer at (662) 325-0465.