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News From 2024

Colorful plants hang in two rows.
March 11, 2024 - Filed Under: Flower Gardens

If you’re considering adding some vibrant color to your landscape, bougainvillea might be the perfect choice. Mississippi’s climate can be quite different from the tropical regions where bougainvillea is native, but with a little care and attention, you can successfully grow these stunning plants.

A group gathers around a decorated table.
March 6, 2024 - Filed Under: Commercial Horticulture, Floral Design

Although known for cutting-edge agricultural research and leading the way in world food security efforts, Mississippi State University is no lightweight in researching some of the beautiful things, including colorful flowers and foliage. Floriculture is the cultivation of flowering plants and ornamentals and is a subset of horticulture, the science of cultivating fruits, vegetables and other plants. While not necessary to stave off world hunger or find a cure for cancer, floriculture is a significant industry, and its support is a priority to MSU.

March 5, 2024 - Filed Under: Pesticide Applicator Certification, Pests

Professionals involved in pest management in Mississippi can attend a Mississippi State University workshop on March 26 to renew a variety of licenses and certifications. The 2024 General Pest Management Workshop will be held from 8:45 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the MSU Central Mississippi Research and Extension Center in Raymond. Lunch will be provided. Participants must pay a $25 registration fee by March 15 to reserve a spot in the workshop.

March 4, 2024 - Filed Under: About Extension, Extension Administration, Regional Extension Coordinators

STARKVILLE, Miss. -- The Mississippi State University Extension Service’s Delta region will soon have new leadership.

Rounded tips of green succulent leaves are edged in red.
March 4, 2024 - Filed Under: Flower Gardens

In the realm of gardening, few plants offer the versatility, resilience and sheer beauty of sedums. It’s no wonder why I’ve seen the popularity of these remarkable succulents grow.
These remarkable plants, also known as stonecrops, have captivated the hearts of gardeners and plant enthusiasts around the world for centuries. If you are not familiar with these beauties, I hope you will be intrigued enough to try them yourself.

Seven women stand in the Mississippi State Capitol building.
February 29, 2024 - Filed Under: Mississippi Child Care Resource and Referral

Staff from the Mississippi State University Extension Service’s Early Childhood Programs attended the 2024 Early Childhood Capitol Day on Feb. 6.

February 28, 2024 - Filed Under: Vegetable Gardens

With nearly a decade of horticultural production experience, the new vegetable specialist with the Mississippi State University Extension Service plans to serve growers statewide.

People sit around a table.
February 26, 2024 - Filed Under: Agriculture, Commercial Horticulture, Beef, Equine, Goats and Sheep, Forestry, Wildlife

RAYMOND, Miss. -- Small ruminants are a popular choice for people like J.T. Crownover who want to get into the livestock business but do not want to raise cattle. Crownover attended the Central Mississippi Research and Extension Center’s Producer Advisory Council meeting Feb. 20. The forum, where agricultural producers can discuss their needs with MSU administrators, researchers, specialists and Extension agents, was the catalyst for the university’s active small ruminant program.

Ferns with two different leaf shapes and colors fill the frame.
February 26, 2024 - Filed Under: Flower Gardens

If you wonder what plants can be used in shaded areas of your landscape, I suggest that hardy and low-maintenance ferns are a great choice for adding lush, green foliage. Ferns come in a variety of sizes, textures and colors that can add visual interest to darker areas of the landscape. While we can grow lots of ferns in hanging baskets and pots, picking the ones to plant in the ground is a bit trickier.

A woman scrapes vegetable scraps off a cutting board into a countertop compost bin.
February 21, 2024 - Filed Under: Health and Wellness, Lawn and Garden, Flower Gardens, Vegetable Gardens, Natural Resources, Waste Management

RAYMOND, Miss. -- Many of the practices associated with sustainability, such as recycling, can be extended into the garden. Composting is a way to help reduce organic waste that goes to the landfill and helps feed gardens. These organic materials, which include grass clippings, leaves and other yard wastes, account for about 30% of trash that goes to the landfill.

Four people at a table talking to each other.
February 19, 2024 - Filed Under: Extension Program Priorities, Research and Extension Centers, Agriculture

VERONA, Miss. -- The forestry specialist roster at Mississippi State University Extension Service is growing, mostly in response to feedback received from industry professionals at Producer Advisory Council meetings.

Red and yellow blooms blanket plants in a greenhouse.
February 19, 2024 - Filed Under: Flower Gardens

A few weeks ago, I had the pleasure of visiting Coach’s Cedar Creek Farm in Lucedale where I was awestruck by the brightly blooming Amstel begonias growing in one of their greenhouses.
These begonias, also known as Rieger begonias, are a unique blend of tuberous and wax begonias.

A large, pink bloom resembles an open rose.
February 12, 2024 - Filed Under: Flower Gardens

I recently had the pleasure of exploring Mr. Jim Smelley’s impressive camellia collection with some of the Pearl River County Master Gardeners. I began thinking about how these beautiful plants with their gorgeous blooms could be the perfect Valentine’s Day gift for plant lovers.

February 9, 2024 - Filed Under: Natural Resources, Marine Resources

STARKVILLE, Miss. -- The National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine have awarded grant funding to Mississippi State University to establish a Gulf Coast-based climate resilience fellowship.

The MSU Extension Service was awarded nearly $500,000 to launch the program, known as Expanding and Diversifying Youth Climate Resilience Opportunities in Coastal Mississippi.

A teenage boy poses with a goat.
February 9, 2024 - Filed Under: 4-H, 4-H Livestock Program, Join 4-H

JACKSON, Miss. -- Hinds County 4-H’er Mason Williams had already represented Mississippi in a national competition less than a year ago, so showing animals in a statewide event was no sweat.

“Those experiences make it a little bit easier to be in front of all those people,” Williams said. “It doesn’t take all the pressure away, but it makes it easier to manage, so when you walk out there and see everybody, you don’t get stage fright.”

Pasture with dying grass.
February 6, 2024 - Filed Under: Forages, Management - Forages

STARKVILLE, Miss. -- In less than half a year, Mississippi pastures have endured drought conditions and subfreezing temperatures, but landowners can soften the blow winterkill deals to their winter grazing systems.

Rocky Lemus, forage specialist with the Mississippi State University Extension Service, said moderated grazing, cover crop planting and adequate soil nutrition can keep winterkill in cool-season annual grasses from being widespread. Some forage loss is still to be expected.

A piece of pine tree bark with Ips beetle grooves.
February 5, 2024 - Filed Under: Natural Resources, Forestry, Forest Management, Forest Pests, Urban and Community Forestry

RAYMOND, Miss. -- As drought takes its toll on Mississippi’s trees, foresters encourage landowners and homeowners to be on the lookout for pine bark beetles as spring arrives.

A small, rounded tree grows in a landscape.
February 5, 2024 - Filed Under: Flower Gardens

Did you know there is a tree that produces fruit in late winter and early spring? That tree is the loquat, and as I drive around Mississippi on these cold winter days, I have noticed many of them in gardens and landscapes. With their evergreen elegance and delectable fruit, loquat trees add a bit of subtropical charm.

February 5, 2024 - Filed Under: Natural Resources, Water, Mississippi Well Owner Network

HOLLY SPRINGS, Miss. -- The Mississippi State University Extension Service will offer free bacteria screenings for private water well owners in Marshall County during an upcoming free program.

February 1, 2024 - Filed Under: Community, City and County Government, Economic Development

RAYMOND, Miss. -- Volunteers, employees and board members of the tourism sector or related organizations can get training and build networks with other tourism professionals in an upcoming certificate program. The Excellence in Tourism Leadership Program is offered by the Mississippi State University Extension Service Center for Government and Community Development in partnership with the Mississippi Tourism Association. The program will help tourism professionals learn how to market and increase tourism while gaining insight about leadership, advocacy, public policy and administration. The two-year program offers the opportunity to earn two separate certificates -- an associate certificate and a master certificate.

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