News From 2013
MISSISSIPPI STATE – New technologies are making it easier than ever to shop for that hard-to-buy-for person.
“Regardless of the shopper’s budget or the recipient’s skill level, there are many technological options available this year,” said Mariah Smith, assistant professor in the Mississippi State University Extension Service’s Center for Technology Outreach. “Some of the best ideas are the items that can support the more expensive electronics that people already have.”
JACKSON – During the holidays, children often focus on the gifts that await them, but now is the perfect time for parents to reinforce the importance of giving.
“This is a wonderful time of year for building appreciation and letting children experience the joy of serving others,” said Cassandra Kirkland, family life specialist with the Mississippi State University Extension Service. “There is a unique joy that comes from serving others, and that joy is what we want children to get excited about during the holidays.”
JACKSON – Family gatherings, marathon cooking sessions and shopping trips induce waves of anxiety instead of moments of joy for some.
“Some families feel a lot of pressure to create the perfect holiday experience by buying the latest toys for the kids, traveling to visit extended family, and attending every party,” said Cassandra Kirkland, family life specialist with Mississippi State University’s Extension Service.
By Kaitlyn Byrne
MSU Ag Communications
MISSISSIPPI STATE – Thanks to impressive live Christmas tree sales last year, customers seeking the best Christmas trees may need to buy early this year.
RAYMOND – Standing Pine Nursery is growing flowers – and its profit margin – by experimenting with an irrigation system designed for field crops.
The low pressure drip irrigation system helped increase the nursery’s efficiency and sustainability by reducing labor demands and water usage.
MISSISSIPPI STATE – In the rush of parties, shopping and decorating, families can enjoy traditions that bring some predictability to the craziness that often comes with the holidays.
Carla Stanford, Pontotoc County agent with the Mississippi State University Extension Service, said a tradition can be almost anything, but smaller is sometimes better.
MISSISSIPPI STATE – The amount of money available to a person does not change the importance of sticking to a budget during the holidays.
“People from any economic group can dig themselves into a hole during the holidays if they get carried away with emotional or irrational spending,” said Bobbie Shaffett, family resource management professor with the Mississippi State University Extension Service. “Debts created by excessive gift buying, travel, and decoration or food expenses could still be on credit card bills at this time next year.”
MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Corn mazes, pumpkin patches and Christmas tree farms are becoming more popular tourist destinations across the country.
Becky Smith, assistant professor in agricultural economics with the Mississippi State University Extension Service, works with various agritourism businesses around the state. She said each endeavor takes significant planning and effort. She answers the “what’s in it for me” question with one word: revenue.
MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Richard M. Kaminski, a longtime Mississippi State University professor, is being recognized for his contributions and service to wildlife science and conservation.
Kaminski, a professor in the MSU Department of Wildlife, Fisheries and Aquaculture, received the 2013 Clarence W. Watson Award at the Southeastern Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies’ meeting in Oklahoma City in October.
GOODMAN – Growers can get tips on preparing for spring planting during a Nov. 22 field day at the Alliance for Sustainable Agricultural Production Demonstration Farm in Goodman.
Experts from the Mississippi State University Extension Service and the Mississippi Agricultural and Forestry Experiment Station will discuss crop nutrient management, fall cover crops, soil testing, crop rotation, and pest, disease and weed control.
By Kaitlyn Byrne
MSU Office of Ag Communications
MISSISSIPPI STATE – A group of Mississippi State University students made a new music trail in Starkville more beautiful by improving its landscape.
MSU landscape architecture and landscape contracting and management students installed plants as part of a service-learning collaboration with the Pilot Club of Starkville’s Music Trail in McKee Park. The plants contribute to the aesthetic value of the trail and enhance the nature experience for park-goers.
MISSISSIPPI STATE – A Mississippi State University forestry professor was recently named a Fellow in the Society of American Foresters.
Emily Schultz was honored by the professional forestry organization for her contributions to the society and the forestry profession. Schultz is a professor in the MSU College of Forest Resources and Forest and Wildlife Research Center. Her areas of research include computer forest modeling, forest inventory, and hardwood growth and yield.
All gardeners know this is going to happen every year, and yet many are still surprised when it does. I’m talking about the arrival of freezing temperatures.
Despite the pleasant fall temperatures we are enjoying, there will come a time when we need to protect some of our landscape plants from freezing temperatures. And since no one reliably predicts the weather, now is a good time to get ready.
Many calls I receive are from gardeners who confuse frosts and freezes. While both are cold weather events, they are completely different.
MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Slow cooker season is here, when cool weather and longer nights make coming home to a ready-made meal the perfect end to a busy day.
Using a slow cooker has many advantages, especially during the busy holiday season, said Natasha Haynes, a Mississippi State University Extension Service agent in Rankin County.
MISSISSIPPI STATE – A statewide survey that Mississippi State University began this summer will continue next year as researchers look for a particular fungal disease that is developing resistance to chemical control.
In 2012, soybean fields in two Mississippi counties were found to have frogeye leaf spot fungi resistant to strobilurins, the class of fungicides commonly used for late-season disease management in soybeans.
MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Preparing for the production sale of horses from the Mississippi Agricultural and Forestry Experiment Station has required part old-fashioned hard work and part new-fangled technology.
This year, instead of broadcasting a live auction event, the Mississippi State University Extension Service’s Center for Technology Outreach has created a website for an online auction that will run Nov. 1-21.
MISSISSIPPI STATE – Fall planting of the state’s winter wheat crop is on schedule, and early-season growth looks good in fields planted so far.
According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Oct. 27 report, 28 percent of the state’s expected wheat crop had been planted. Unlike spring, when all row crops were well behind schedule, this estimate puts wheat exactly on track with the five-year average.
MISSISSIPPI STATE – Two groups known for their dedication to others met recently to talk about healthy living and community service.
Students from the Mississippi State University G.V. “Sonny” Montgomery Center for American Veterans joined the Controllers Generation II 4-H Club in Oktibbeha County for a tribute to the U.S. Armed Forces and a celebration of healthy living.
ROLLING FORK -- Emily Reid Carter is living her dreams and reliving the memories of Helen Johnstone Harris, a Delta woman who died in 1917.
A 1986 educational psychology graduate of Mississippi State University, Carter initially considered a move to Nashville to pursue a music career. As a student at MSU, she was active in the Baptist Student Union and sang in the Fishermen, one of the BSU’s performance groups. She also competed in the Miss MSU pageant using vocals as her talent.
Gardeners don’t always think of native grasses as a landscape highlight, but fall is the time when one really puts on a show. Gulf muhly grass is at its best in the fall and winter months.
Gulf muhly grass has a unique texture with spiky, upright leaves that offer summer interest. But it’s the plant’s last grand flourish that creates true landscape excitement. Muhly grass flowers in billowy masses that resemble pink clouds in the landscape. As long as there isn’t a hard freeze, the color will hold. Even after a freeze, the flower heads keep their airy shape.