News From 2012
MISSISSIPPI STATE -- In an industry with small profit margins, a perishable product and fierce, largely unregulated competition, one Mississippi company has confidently filled its market for more than 30 years.
Pride of the Pond is the catfish processing operation of Battle Farms of Tunica. Owned by Bill Battle, the farm has about 10,000 acres of row crops and 2,700 acres of ponds in Panola, Tunica and Quitman counties. The state-of-the-art catfish processing plant is located just a few miles outside Tunica and employs 121 people.
Students across the state are hitting the books and buckling down for a great school year. Likewise, teachers across the state are engaging youth in science, technology, engineering and math activities…but there are only so many hours in a school day, and teachers cannot do it all.
Groups like Mississippi 4-H can help fill in the gap and interest kids in careers in technology fields. The Mississippi State University Extension Service’s 4-H youth program partners with local organizations to bring robotics to the classroom and after-school clubs.
MISSISSIPPI STATE – July brought 32,000 grasshoppers to Mississippi State University, but rather than being a plague of locusts, they are a research bonanza.
The Mississippi Entomological Museum is borrowing a portion of the grasshopper collection from the Smithsonian Institution’s National Museum of Natural History. JoVonn Hill, a research associate with the Mississippi Agricultural and Forestry Experiment Station, said the collection complements what MSU already has.
CLARKSDALE – Mississippi State University will hold the first North Mississippi Peanut Field Day on Aug. 29 in Coahoma County.
Registration for the half-day event begins at 9 a.m. Activities will include updates by MSU research and Extension specialists, as well as harvest demonstrations. The event will be held at Mark and John Agostinelli’s farm on Monty Martin Road off New Africa Road in Clarksdale. Snacks will be provided by the Mississippi Peanut Growers Association.
VERONA – Mississippi State University recently hosted the academic equivalent of a “baited field” for row-crop farmers, consultants, university researchers, Extension agents and industry representatives.
The North Mississippi Row Crops Field Day Aug. 9 provided the latest research information and recommendations for local producers at the North Mississippi Research and Extension Center in Verona. Participants also heard from Mississippi Commissioner of Agriculture and Commerce Cindy Hyde-Smith.
OCEAN SPRINGS – The St. Martin High School 4-H Club took second place in the 4-H edition of the Great American Seafood Cook-Off.
“I am so proud of them and their accomplishment,” said Evelyn DeAngelo, Jackson County 4-H Agent with Mississippi State University’s Extension Service. “I know they were a bit disappointed not to win first place, but their second place win paired with last year’s first place has established Mississippi as the team to beat in future competitions.”
MISSISSIPPI STATE – A professor with the Mississippi State University College of Veterinary Medicine received national recognition from the American Veterinary Medical Association for his dedication to animal welfare.
Dr. Phil Bushby received the 2012 American Veterinary Medical Association’s Animal Welfare Award at the national convention in San Diego. He has taught at MSU since 1978 and holds the Marcia P. Lane Endowed Chair in Humane Ethics and Animal Welfare.
Summer’s heat can be pretty hard on flowering annual and perennial plants, but colorful foliage plants can fill in those gaps in the landscape and containers.
Foliage plants provide color without relying on flowers, so you don’t have to wait for the show to begin. Plants with colorful foliage are attractive the moment they are transplanted into your landscape.
Foliage standbys in the landscape are caladium, ginger and cannas, but there are lots of other choices. One colorful foliage plant that is underused in our Mississippi landscapes is the copperleaf plant.
MISSISSIPPI STATE – The bright spot for Mississippi’s smaller-than-normal rice crop is that it is looking good at harvest, thanks to an early start and a favorable growing season.
Nathan Buehring, rice specialist with the Mississippi State University Extension Service, said most of the state’s rice was planted by mid-April, putting it about two weeks ahead of schedule.
“Everything so far looks good,” Buehring said. “This is one of the earliest planted crops we have ever had, and we’ll be heavy into harvest by the middle of August.”
MISSISSIPPI STATE – When a new plant becomes an overnight sensation in gardening circles, plant lovers who wonder how a previously unknown variety can end up with star status can turn to a Mississippi State University professor for the answer.
Rick Snyder, a vegetable specialist with the Mississippi State University Extension Service and Mississippi Agricultural and Forestry Experiment Station, grows a garden of test vegetables as part of the All-America Selections program.
JACKSON – A pet’s bad breath is not just offensive; it could be a sign the animal has periodontal disease.
“By the age of 3 years, up to 80 percent of dogs and cats have some degree of periodontal disease if regular home care has not been done,” said Dr. Diana Eubanks, associate clinical professor at Mississippi State University’s College of Veterinary Medicine.
MISSISSIPPI STATE – More than a year after a tornado ripped through the small town of Smithville, students are returning to temporary classrooms, but they still have access to current technology.
The Mississippi State University Extension Center for Technology Outreach, formerly known as Computer Applications and Services, donated 40 refurbished computers to the Monroe County School District for the schools in Smithville.
MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Mississippi teens can soon be trained in disaster preparedness in their communities, something usually done by only a small percentage of adults.
Mississippi State University’s Extension Service is certifying trainers for the Mississippi Youth Preparedness Initiative, or MyPI. One goal is to teach teenagers how they can help themselves, their families, and their communities prepare for and respond to disasters.
MISSISSIPPI STATE – Everything came up roses at a recent national conference for representatives of Mississippi State University’s floral design and management program.
Students and faculty in MSU’s floral management concentration in the horticulture program traveled to Miami to compete at the American Institute of Floral Designer’s annual meeting. While there, they received multiple honors.
MISSISSIPPI STATE – Two global veterinary health experts visited the Mississippi State University College of Veterinary Medicine to show students how veterinarians protect animal and human health.
MSU-CVM students learned about international veterinary medicine’s opportunities and challenges from Dr. David Sherman, international veterinary medical consultant and clinical associate professor at Tufts University Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine, and Dr. Gary Vroegindewey, director of the Global Health Initiatives at the Virginia-Maryland College of Veterinary Medicine.
By Alicia Barnes
School of Human Sciences
MISSISSIPPI STATE – Distractions, fatigue and stress have contributed to the vehicular heatstroke deaths of an estimated 610 children over the past 21 years.
With fatalities occurring in the spring, summer, and fall every year, the Mississippi Child Care Resource and Referral Network at the Mississippi State University Extension Service wants parents and caregivers to be aware of the danger of children being left in vehicles.
QR codes, or quick response codes, are popping up all over the place. They are showing up on the back of my bills, business cards, and even the church bulletin! QR codes are those squares containing three large black boxes on the perimeter of the square and many smaller black boxes within the square. The smaller boxes can form either a random pattern or an actual image.
By the time August arrives, everyone wants to find a durable, colorful plant, and one of my favorites is the annual flowering vinca.
Annual flowering vinca has dark green, glossy foliage with a prominent rib in the middle. The foliage color makes a great background for the outstanding flower colors. These colors range from white to dark red, some with dark or white eyes. Botanically speaking, annual flowering vinca is Catharanthus rosea, but some garden centers may label it Madagascar periwinkle.
MISSISSIPPI STATE – Despite high heat and long periods without rain, the state’s cotton is looking pretty good, although dealing with reduced acres.
JACKSON – Usually the question of “what’s for dinner?” inspires a last-minute mad dash through the nearest supermarket for a quick and convenient meal or a call to the local pizza delivery restaurant. But planning meals in advance can save time and money, keep diets healthy and reduce food waste -- all while saving the cook’s sanity.
Pamela Redwine, nutrition and food safety area agent with Mississippi State University’s Yalobusha County Extension Service, said taking some time each week to plan a menu will save time later.