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Four women, each with a foot on her shovel, look at the camera as they prepare to dig a hole for a small tree.
November 21, 2017 - Filed Under: Master Gardener, Mississippi Homemaker Volunteers

STARKVILLE, Miss. -- Several Mississippi Master Gardener groups marked the state's bicentennial with near-perfect tributes -- by donating and planting Magnolia grandifloras in their communities.

"The tributes are perfect in a state known for its generosity, service to others and love for the environment," said Gary Jackson, director of the Mississippi State University Extension Service.

October 31, 2017 - Filed Under: Community

The Mississippi State University Crosby Arboretum will host the Piney Woods Heritage Festival on Nov. 18.

The 15th annual event celebrates the region’s heritage with presentations, displays and demonstrations of historical skills and crafts, including blacksmithing, spinning, basket making, quilting and more.

October 12, 2017 - Filed Under: Community, Environment

BILOXI, Miss. -- The 2017 Mississippi Coastal Cleanup has been rescheduled for Nov. 18 in the aftermath of Hurricane Nate. 

“Authorities have closed all beaches for the cleaning that has to be done after the hurricane,” said Eric Sparks, event co-coordinator and assistant professor with the Mississippi State University Extension Service. “It is illegal for anyone to be on the beaches until authorities reopen them, so we had to postpone our cleanup event.”

Volunteer teenagers use a prop resembling the human brain to demonstrate brain function to children.
September 28, 2017 - Filed Under: 4-H, Junior Master Wellness Volunteer

STARKVILLE, Miss. -- October is Children’s Health Month, but Mississippi’s Junior Master Wellness Volunteers are dedicated year-round to “promoting healthy living through community connections” in the state.

The Junior Master Wellness Volunteer program, or JrMWV, is a community health education and volunteer leader training program offered through the Mississippi State University Extension Service 4-H program in partnership with the University of Mississippi Medical Center and the UMMC/Myrlie Evers-Williams Institute.

Ann Sansing, MSU Extension community health coordinator, said this is the latest program developed in a five-year partnership with the medical center around delivery of the Community Health Advocate curriculum, which began there under the leadership of Dr. Rick deShazo. 

Two men on a stage holding a FEMA certificate and looking at the camera.
September 19, 2017 - Filed Under: Disaster Preparedness

STARKVILLE, Miss. -- The leader of a Mississippi-based, national initiative to help families and communities prepare for disasters has earned an additional certification from the Federal Emergency Management Agency.

Ryan Akers, an associate Extension professor in the Mississippi State University School of Human Sciences, just graduated from an in-depth course provided by FEMA. The curriculum addressed advanced concepts in disaster management, agency organization, community response and emergency professions.

September 18, 2017 - Filed Under: Community, Environment

Coastal Cleanup moved to Nov. 18 after Nate!

BILOXI, Miss. -- Volunteers can help tidy Mississippi’s beaches and other coastal areas during the 2017 Mississippi Coastal Cleanup on Oct. 21.

The 29th annual event begins at 8 a.m. and ends at 11 a.m. at more than 40 sites in Jackson, Harrison and Hancock counties. Participants will help remove plastic bottles, food wrappers, cigarette butts and other trash.

Organized by the Mississippi State University Extension Service and the Mississippi Marine Debris Task Force, this event has helped remove millions of pounds of trash from the state’s beaches, waterways and barrier islands since 1988. Last year alone, volunteers removed 14 tons of litter from about 200 miles of coastal area.

Two men move cases of bottled water in a storehouse.
September 15, 2017 - Filed Under: Disaster Response

STARKVILLE, Miss. – First responders and disaster experts know that good intentions can lay the foundations for disastrous conditions after hurricane winds and floods subside.

Through the Mississippi State University Extension Service, Anne Howard Hilbun conducts disaster response training for citizens and emergency workers. She is an instructor with the MSU Extension Center for Government and Community Development.

September 15, 2017 - Filed Under: Community, Mississippi Well Owner Network, Rural Water Association, Water Quality

BATESVILLE, Miss. -- Private well owners in seven Delta counties can get water samples pH tested and screened for bacteria and lead at an educational workshop in Batesville. 

The Mississippi State University Extension Service is cohosting a free well-owner workshop at the Extension office in Panola County Oct. 10 from 6 to 8 p.m. 

Residents of Panola, Tallahatchie, Sunflower, Bolivar, Leflore, Quitman and Coahoma counties can get their private well water screened for free. The workshop is open to all well owners. Attendance is not required to participate in the water testing.  

In order to make Starkville a more walkable community, bike lanes and sidewalk additions were constructed downtown on August 15, 2017. (Photo by MSU Extension Service/Jessica Smith)
August 15, 2017 - Filed Under: Health and Wellness, Community, Food and Health, Landscape Architecture

STARKVILLE, Miss. -- Walking is an easy, enjoyable way for individuals to be more physically active and for communities to improve healthy living.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, there are many potential health benefits of physical activity: weight control, cardiovascular health, cancer prevention, stronger bones and muscles, improved mental health and mood, and reduced risk of type 2 diabetes and metabolic syndrome.

Brett Rushing, an assistant professor at Mississippi State University, discusses various planting and maintenance methods used on four native wildflower plots at the MSU Coastal Plains Branch Experiment Station in Newton on July 13, 2017, during the Wildflower Field Day. (Photo by MSU Extension Service/Susan Collins-Smith)
July 20, 2017 - Filed Under: Community, Natural Resources, Environment

NEWTON, Miss. -- Travelers on Mississippi highways and interstates may have noticed colorful stands of native wildflowers planted in various sites for the last two years.

Part of the Wildflower Trails of Mississippi project, these patches of flowers and grasses serve as testing areas for roadside plantings that project coordinators hope will attract tourists and provide colorful habitat for pollinators for years to come. Initiated in 2015, the project is coordinated by Keep Mississippi Beautiful and supported by Mississippi State University and several state agencies.

July 18, 2017 - Filed Under: Economic Development, Rural Development, Technology

STARKVILLE, Miss. -- Expansion of high-speed internet to rural Mississippi areas is the focus of a new publication from the Mississippi State University Extension Service.

Mississippi has the lowest broadband access in the nation, with 36 percent of the state's residents lacking the infrastructure. Roberto Gallardo, an associate Extension professor in the Center for Technology Outreach, said this problem leaves residents of those areas at a disadvantage.

Jim DelPrince, Mississippi State University Extension Service floral specialist, will teach professional florists and entrepreneurs how to design for weddings during a workshop on Aug. 7 and 8. (Photo by MSU Extension Service/Jim DelPrince)
July 5, 2017 - Filed Under: Community, Economic Development

BILOXI, Miss. -- An upcoming two-day workshop will teach professional florists and others who want to begin or expand businesses about wedding floral design.

Jim DelPrince, floral specialist with the Mississippi State University Extension Service, will conduct the Wedding Floral Design Workshop Aug. 7 and 8 in Biloxi.

Warren County Master Gardener Yolanda Horne checks on worms living in a plastic bin on June 13, 2017. The worms were part of an exhibit on composting at the Know Your Roots: Grow Your Business workshop in Vicksburg, Mississippi. (Photo by MSU Extension Service/Bonnie Coblentz)
June 16, 2017 - Filed Under: Agri-tourism, Community, Master Gardener, Lawn and Garden

VICKSBURG, Miss. -- Mississippians from a wide variety of backgrounds spent a day thinking of new ways to use landscapes and gardens to bring more profit and better value to agricultural enterprises and historic homes.

Know Your Roots: Build Your Business brought 29 participants together for the daylong workshop June 13 at the Southern Cultural Heritage Center. Sandy Havard, Warren County agent with the Mississippi State University Extension Service, coordinated the event.

Ryan Akers (left), an assistant Extension professor in the Mississippi State University School of Human Sciences, helps 4-H members examine items in a disaster preparedness backpack. Madison Crawford (second from left) and Leigh Anne Walley, both of Greene County, joined Caleb Walley and Bo Henderson, both of Wayne County, in the workshop on June 1 at the 2017 State 4-H Congress in Starkville, Mississippi. (Photo by MSU Extension Service/Linda Breazeale)
June 2, 2017 - Filed Under: Disaster Preparedness

STARKVILLE, Miss. -- June kicks off hurricane season, but every community in Mississippi is vulnerable to a variety of disasters throughout the calendar year.

Representatives of the Mississippi State University Extension Service have been on the front lines of preparedness and recovery efforts since the organization’s earliest days.

An upcoming Farm Fresh and Healthy Tour in and around Starkville, Mississippi, will show participants where their food comes from before it ends up at a local market. Here, Debra Shafer and her grandson Sam Shafer of Starkville browse produce at the Starkville Farmers Market May 2, 2017. (Photo by MSU Extension Service/Kevin Hudson)
May 24, 2017 - Filed Under: Agriculture, Community

STARKVILLE, Miss. -- The Mississippi State University Extension Service is hosting a mom's day out with a farm twist on June 13.

A group of 15 mothers of school-aged children will participate in a Farm Fresh and Healthy Tour in and around Starkville. The event includes a tour of a local producer's farm and a visit to a livestock production facility, such as a beef, poultry or dairy operation.

After the tours, Chef Jay Yates from the Veranda will offer a cooking demonstration.

May 19, 2017 - Filed Under: Agri-tourism, Community, Economic Development

VICKSBURG, Miss. -- Mississippians trying to turn the highest business profit from the beautiful architecture of their historic homes can learn ways to maximize the landscape through a Mississippi State University Extension Service course.

The MSU Extension Service is offering the daylong Know Your Roots: Grow Your Business workshop in Vicksburg June 13 from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the Southern Cultural Heritage Center. The registration deadline is June 1.

May 16, 2017 - Filed Under: Community, Technology, Family, Children and Parenting

RAYMOND, Miss. -- Educators planning for next year can participate in a free, online train-the-trainer course that will help them teach children and adults how to recognize and combat cyberbullying.

The Mississippi State University Extension Service partnered with the Mississippi Attorney General's Office and the Mississippi Department of Education's Office of Healthy Schools to develop the program.

Law enforcement officers, school resource officers and other interested adults can also participate.

Brittny Fairley, right, checks Dequesia Perry’s blood pressure in their health science class at the Hinds County Career and Technical Center in Raymond, Mississippi, on May 4, 2017. They are members of the Mississippi State University Extension Service 4-H Junior Master Wellness Volunteers group in Hinds County who received training to deliver basic health information and provide supervised basic screenings. (Photo by MSU Extension Service/Susan Collins-Smith)
May 9, 2017 - Filed Under: 4-H, Community, Leadership, Junior Master Wellness Volunteer, Health, Rural Health

RAYMOND, Miss. -- Rocheryl Ware sees members of her 4-H Junior Master Wellness Volunteer group as catalysts that can help change Mississippi's health landscape.

Lida McDowell holds an alternanthera plant at her home in Hattiesburg, Mississippi, on April 27, 2017. McDowell is a member of the Pine Belt Master Gardeners -- one of more than 60 such groups throughout the state that operate under the supervision of the Mississippi State University Extension Service. (Photo by MSU Extension Service/Kevin Hudson)
May 4, 2017 - Filed Under: Women for Agriculture, Master Gardener

HATTIESBURG, Miss. -- Lida McDowell taught science and math for 30 years at the high school and university levels, and she keeps finding ways to educate while enjoying an interest she had no time to pursue until retirement.

The raised-bed vegetable gardens she and church friend Karen Walker maintain year-round serve as a classroom for a young audience at Thames Elementary School in Hattiesburg.

“What we’re trying to do is get the kids to enjoy nature, be outside and appreciate where their food comes from,” McDowell said.

Brett Rushing, an assistant Extension and research professor at the Mississippi State University Coastal Plain Branch Experiment Station, works with Neeley Norman, left, and Sarah Kountouris on the Wildflower Trails of Mississippi, a program coordinated by Keep Mississippi Beautiful intended to turn Mississippi roadsides into pollinator habitats and tourist attractions. Norman is assistant director of Keep Mississippi Beautiful, and Kountouris is director. (Photo by MSU Extension Service/Kat Lawrence)
May 1, 2017 - Filed Under: Community, Natural Resources

A Mississippi State University researcher is helping turn Mississippi roadsides into eye-catching pollinator habitats and tourist attractions.

Dr. Brett Rushing, an assistant Extension and research professor at the MSU Coastal Plain Branch Experiment Station in Newton, supports Wildflower Trails of Mississippi in its effort to fill available and suitable property across the state with colorful, native wildflowers and grasses. Coordinated by Keep Mississippi Beautiful, this project began in 2015.

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