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News From 2012

February 24, 2012 - Filed Under: Community

STARKVILLE -- A March 21 summit at Mississippi State University will feature the latest news in furniture manufacturing and government regulations.

Speakers at the conference include Jerry Epperson, managing director of Mann, Armistead, and Epperson Ltd.; Bruce Cochrane, owner of Lincolnton Furniture; and Wyatt Bassett, president of Vaughan-Bassett Furniture.

Topics will include recent changes in China and their effect on domestic furniture production, opportunities for a resurgence of manufacturing in America, and regulations impacting furniture production.

Honey bees forage on flowers, such as henbit, about a month earlier than usual due to warm winter temperatures. (Photo by Kat Lawrence)
February 23, 2012 - Filed Under: Agriculture, Beekeeping, Insects

MISSISSIPPI STATE – Warm weather in January and early February is causing honey bees to be active before they have enough food to eat, and the state’s beekeepers need to monitor colonies for starvation, a Mississippi State University expert said.

February 23, 2012 - Filed Under: Agriculture, Commercial Horticulture, Fruit, Food Safety

MISSISSIPPI STATE – The General Food Safety Training and Acidified Canned Foods Training for farmers’ market vendors will be held March 13 in Pontotoc, March 15 in Gulfport and March 20 in Brookhaven.

Brandi Bourg
February 23, 2012 - Filed Under: Beef, About Extension

MISSISSIPPI STATE – A Louisiana native has joined Mississippi State University’s Extension Service as a beef specialist.

Brandi Bourg grew up in south Louisiana and was involved in the Junior Simmental Association and state livestock program. She earned her bachelor’s degree from Louisiana State University, where she was a member of the Livestock Judging Team, active in the Block and Bridle Club and a student worker at the beef unit. She earned her master’s and doctorate degrees from Texas A&M University and has experience in research and teaching.

February 23, 2012 - Filed Under: Family, Family Financial Management

By Kaitlyn Byrne
MSU Ag Communications

MISSISSIPPI STATE – With spring break around the corner, affordable vacation plans are on many people’s minds.

Bobbie Shaffett, family resource management specialist with the Mississippi State University Extension Service, said early planning is the key to budgeting for a vacation. She suggested that would-be vacationers calculate the expected cost of transportation, lodging, meals and entertainment, then compare that figure to the amount the budget will actually allow.

February 23, 2012 - Filed Under: Technology

The temperatures are warming up, and the daffodils are blooming. My 2012 gardening adventure is under way. I am confident that my neighbors think I am excavating my backyard in hopes of finding buried treasure. Little do they realize that the buried treasure is none other than tree roots and stumps. Trying to tame the wildness that is my backyard requires tenacity, hard work and access to good information.

The newly formed fruits and nuts commodity group met for the first time to set priorities for research and education programs at Mississippi State University during the annual North Mississippi Producer Advisory Council meeting. (Photo by Bob Ratliff)
February 21, 2012 - Filed Under: Agriculture, Crops, Commercial Horticulture, Livestock, Catfish

VERONA – Advocates for agriculture met at the North Mississippi Research and Extension Center in Verona on Feb. 16 to identify priorities for research and Extension Service education programs at Mississippi State University.

Scientists from the Mississippi Agricultural and Forestry Experiment Station, specialists with the MSU Extension Service and almost 250 members of the North Mississippi Producer Advisory Council spent the day discussing current research and educational needs, as well as the challenges growers face on their farms.

The color palette of the Senetti pericallis is in the blue to purple range and includes bright magenta blooms to brighten the final weeks of winter.
February 20, 2012 - Filed Under: Lawn and Garden, Flower Gardens

Like every gardener in Mississippi, I get spring fever this time of year. Seed catalogs are piling up higher every day. When visiting garden centers, I’m tempted by the racks of vegetable transplants available. I’ve even seen tomatoes on a warmer weekend. What’s a gardener to do?

To help hold us over until spring really arrives, African daisies and Senetti pericallis are perfect additions for landscape color. Both like the cooler early spring temperatures and can be used exactly like the mums we used last fall.

February 17, 2012 - Filed Under: Technology

MISSISSIPPI STATE – Broadband Internet usage in Mississippi is catching up to the national average more quickly than recent national studies report, according to a statewide survey conducted by the Southern Rural Development Center at Mississippi State University.

Information on this Internet and broadband use survey is available at

February 17, 2012 - Filed Under: Agriculture, Women for Agriculture

MISSISSIPPI STATE – Women involved in the operations of agricultural businesses and their business partners are invited to attend an upcoming statewide conference at Mississippi State University.

Mississippi Women for Agriculture will meet March 9 and 10 to receive updates on current issues facing agriculture and reinforce information shared at previous workshops. The workshop is open to all women with an interest in farming, including those who have taken part in previous seminars.

February 16, 2012 - Filed Under: Agriculture, Fruit

MISSISSIPPI STATE – New plant hardiness maps released by the U.S. Department of Agriculture increased Mississippi’s average low temperatures by 5 degrees.

Eric Stafne, Mississippi State University assistant Extension professor for fruit crops, said the maps provide good average information, but individuals still must make careful planting decisions.

Tim Walker
February 16, 2012 - Filed Under: Agriculture, Crops, Rice

STONEVILLE -- A Mississippi State University associate research professor was recently named the 2012 Rice Researcher of the Year.

Tim Walker, an agronomist at the Delta Research and Extension Center in Stoneville, received the honor at the 15th Annual National Conservation Systems Cotton and Rice Conference in Tunica.

“We are fortunate to have Dr. Walker at the Delta Research and Extension Center,” said Steve Martin, professor and head of the center. “His work supports the many farms that grow rice in the Delta region.”

February 16, 2012 - Filed Under: 4-H

MISSISSIPPI STATE – About 200 4-H youth program volunteers with the Mississippi State University Extension Service will gather in Starkville for two days of leadership training in late February.

The annual 4-H Volunteer Leaders Conference will be held Feb. 24 and 25 at the Bost Extension Center at MSU. This volunteer development event, supported by Monsanto and National 4-H Council, will bring 4-H leaders together to network and learn about innovative programs that can bring fresh perspectives and activities to 4-H programs across Mississippi.

Kelli Jones
February 16, 2012 - Filed Under: Animal Health, Poultry

MISSISSIPPI STATE – Dr. Kelli Jones of Mississippi State University’s College of Veterinary Medicine has won the World Veterinary Poultry Association Young Veterinarian of the Year award.

Jones, who is a Diplomate of the American College of Poultry Veterinarians and an assistant clinical professor in CVM’s Department of Pathobiology and Population Medicine, is an expert in avian medicine and poultry disease diagnostics. She serves Mississippi’s $2.21 billion poultry industry through her work at CVM’s Poultry Research and Diagnostic Laboratory in Pearl.

Phillip Talley helped to plant one-third an acre of pine seedlings during the Feb. 11, 2012, workshop held at Hood Boy Scout Camp in Hazlehurst to help members of the Andrew Jackson Council earn their forestry merit badges. (Photo by Susan Collins-Smith)
February 16, 2012 - Filed Under: Community, Forestry

HAZELHURST – More than 200 Boy Scouts in the Andrew Jackson Council met at Hood Boy Scout Camp in Hazlehurst Feb. 11 for a workshop to help them earn their forestry merit badge.

Instructors from the Mississippi State University Extension Service, Mississippi Forestry Commission, Mississippi Forestry Association and Weyerhaeuser Company taught the scouts about forestry resources, stewardship and the forestry profession.

February 16, 2012 - Filed Under: Family

MISSISSIPPI STATE – African-American couples with long and satisfying marriages credit God, love and communication as keys to their enduring relationships, researchers at Mississippi State University have found.

February 16, 2012 - Filed Under: Technology

February is African-American history month. If celebrating your heritage has you digging for the roots of your family tree, consider using the Internet for help.

Genealogy research is one of the fastest-growing hobbies in America. More and more people want to know where they came from and how they ended up here. The Internet offers many useful tools to those of us who cannot travel to visit historical archives in other states or the Arlington National Cemetery in Washington, D.C.

Dr. Locke Karriker, director of the Swine Medicine Education Center at Iowa State University, left, receives the 2012 College of Veterinary Medicine Alumnus of the Year award at Mississippi State University from Dr. Kent Hoblet, the college's dean. (Photo by MSU University Relations/Russ Houston)
February 15, 2012 - Filed Under: Animal Health

MISSISSIPPI STATE – Dr. Locke Karriker was presented the College of Veterinary Medicine’s 2012 Alumnus of the Year Award at Mississippi State University.

Karriker, who currently serves as the director of the Swine Medicine Education Center at Iowa State University’s College of Veterinary Medicine, grew up in North Carolina’s coastal area and cultivated an interest in agriculture at an early age.

Alexandra Pittman of Forrest County 4-H set a record with her reserve champion medium weight goat, which brought $100 per pound. (Photo by Kat Lawrence)
February 14, 2012 - Filed Under: 4-H, Youth Livestock

MISSISSIPPI STATE – The 2012 Dixie National Sale of Junior Champions was the most successful sale to date, bringing in almost $300,000.

Blue butterfly plants have intricate flowers that actually resemble little blue butterflies in flight. (Photo by MSU Extension Service/Gary Bachman)
February 13, 2012 - Filed Under: Lawn and Garden, Flower Gardens

If you’re like me and constantly looking for true blue flowers, you will want to be sure to make a place in your garden for the blue butterfly plant.

I enjoy spring, when greenhouses and garden centers start offering all sorts of new and exciting plants for our Mississippi landscapes and gardens. I’m always on the lookout for blue flowers to include in the landscape.