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Sandra Jackson, an agent of the Mississippi State University Extension Service in Winston County, helps 6-year-old Akilah Goss assemble a Lego maze March 16, 2017. Jackson was the first agent to teach the 4-H Lego Engineering Club curriculum, which is a STEM program geared toward 4-H’ers aged 5 to 7. (Photo by MSU Extension/Kevin Hudson)
March 23, 2017 - Filed Under: 4-H, Technology

LOUISVILLE, Miss. -- Thirteen Winston County children were the test pilots of a new 4-H program while their schools were on spring break.

After seeing a demonstration of the 4-H Lego Engineering Club curriculum in February, Sandra Jackson, an agent of the Mississippi State University Extension Service in Winston County, immediately wanted to use it during a camp she was leading in March. The program, designed for Cloverbuds, or 4-H'ers aged 5-7, uses Lego bricks as teaching tools for fundamentals of science, technology, engineering and math -- STEM.

Molly and Brad Judson of Clay County are one of four couples who recently earned the National Outstanding Young Farmers award. They were nominated by Charlie Stokes, right, their Mississippi State University Extension Service agent, for the recognition from the National Association of County Agricultural Agents. (Photo by MSU Extension Service/Linda Breazeale)
March 20, 2017 - Filed Under: Agriculture, Community

National Agriculture Week: March 19-25, 2017

WEST POINT, Miss. -- Mississippi's agricultural future is safe in the hands of some of the nation's best farmers. Brad and Molly Judson of Clay County have the award to prove it.

Charlie Stokes, area agronomy agent with the Mississippi State University Extension Service, nominated the winning couple for the National Outstanding Young Farmers award. The National Association of County Agricultural Agents sponsors the recognition program.

February 21, 2017 - Filed Under: Community, Economic Development, Technology

RAYMOND, Miss. -- Mississippians can apply to participate in an upcoming workforce development program to help them get work-from-home jobs.

The program recruits, trains, places and mentors participants for full-time or part-time customer service jobs. The Mississippi State University Extension Service is implementing the program in partnership with community colleges, WIN Job Centers and public libraries.

The pilot program initially will be offered in Verona, Mathiston, Scooba/DeKalb and Biloxi.

January 10, 2017 - Filed Under: Community

PICAYUNE, Miss. -- Local craftsmen will display their metalworking skills during this year's Forge Day at the Mississippi State University Crosby Arboretum.

Artists will demonstrate blacksmithing and metalworking techniques at the event on Jan. 28 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Interested individuals can learn how to begin these hobbies.

Some artists will allow adults and children to try out metal forging. Signed waivers are required and protective gear will be provided.

Knife sharpening will be available. Some artists will offer products for sale.

January 6, 2017 - Filed Under: Community, Children and Parenting, Family Financial Management

STARKVILLE, Miss. -- Mississippi farmers know they can turn to the Mississippi State University Extension Service for solid advice, but newly married couples can rely on the same source for friendly help with family challenges.

The Extension Service offers numerous publications online and in county Extension offices that address a wide variety of issues important to newlyweds. Topics include budgeting, nutrition, child rearing, conflict resolution, fitness and job skills. County offices also offer a wide range of training programs to area residents.

Professional florists can learn to make arrangements for bouquets like this one during a two-day wedding floral workshop on Jan. 30 and 31offered by Jim DelPrince, floral design specialist with the Mississippi State University Extension Service. (Photo by MSU Extension Service/Jim DelPrince)
January 6, 2017 - Filed Under: Community

BILOXI, Miss. -- Professional florists and others who want to begin or expand businesses can learn about wedding floral design during an upcoming two-day workshop.

Jim DelPrince, floral specialist with the Mississippi State University Extension Service, will conduct the Wedding Floral Design Workshop Jan. 30 and 31 in Biloxi.

November 10, 2016 - Filed Under: Technology, Children and Parenting

STARKVILLE, Miss. -- Before buying electronic educational gadgets to help children learn, adults need to recognize the difference in active engagement and passive entertainment.

Louise E. Davis, a professor of child and family development for the Mississippi State University Extension Service, said children who are less than 2 years old should not be exposed to interactive digital media. Instead of screen time, she suggested playing with Lego bricks or large building blocks, as well as reading books together, as ways to encourage imagination.

Xenia Wickline, center, is a Biloxi community advocate who works with Kim Gowdy, left, to deliver educational sessions to women in the Mujeres Unidas (Women United) program. Rosa Bender has participated in the program for more than a year. (Photo by MSU Extension Service/Kat Lawrence)
November 3, 2016 - Filed Under: Community

BILOXI, Miss. -- When Mississippi State University Extension Service agent Kim Gowdy began teaching parenting skills classes to Hispanic immigrants, she had just one challenge: Gowdy does not speak Spanish.

"My audience for these classes is all Spanish-speaking women," said Gowdy, who is based in the Harrison County Extension office. "I have an interpreter who translates for me, and when I have presentations, she will make the slides in Spanish, and then translate what I say."

November 1, 2016 - Filed Under: Community, Economic Development

STARKVILLE, Miss. – A resource developed by the Mississippi State University Extension Service shows shifts in county populations based on exemptions reported in 2014-2015 federal tax returns.

Developed by MSU Extension specialist Roberto Gallardo, the online map of Mississippi shows counties in green and red. Red represents counties where more people moved out than moved in, or a negative net migration. Counties in green had a positive net migration. Only 25 Mississippi counties had a positive net migration.

Judy Breland, Mississippi State University Extension Service agent in Stone County, demonstrates pine needle basket weaving at the 2015 Piney Woods Heritage Festival at the MSU Crosby Arboretum in Picayune, Mississippi. The 2016 festival is set for Nov. 18 and 19. (Photo by Mississippi State University Extension Service/Pat Drackett)
November 1, 2016 - Filed Under: Community

PICAYUNE, Miss. -- Craftsmen will showcase the skills and traditions of the Piney Woods region on Nov. 18 and 19 during the Piney Woods Heritage Festival.

Visitors to the Mississippi State University Crosby Arboretum in Picayune will enjoy educational exhibits and skills demonstrations, including blacksmithing, quilting, spinning and basket making. Local musicians will perform traditional music throughout the day on Nov. 19.

Mississippi Representative Ken Morgan of Marion County, left, examines a wood product held by Dan Seale, a professor of sustainable bioproducts at the R.T. Clapp Forest Products Lab at Mississippi State University. Morgan and other members of Senate and House agricultural committees visited MSU on Oct. 18 and 19, 2016. (Photo by MSU Extension Service/Kevin Hudson)
October 21, 2016 - Filed Under: Community

STARKVILLE, Miss. -- Mississippi State University hosted state legislators serving on agricultural committees to provide a glimpse into the institution's efforts to support veterinary medicine, forestry and agriculture.

Bill Herndon, associate vice president for the MSU Division of Agriculture, Forestry and Veterinary Medicine, helped plan the Oct. 18 and 19 tours. About 25 members of the Mississippi House and Senate agricultural committees visited the university's north farm, dairy processing plant, Wood Magic Science Fair and College of Veterinary Medicine.

Lynn McMahan of Vancleave, past president of the Mississippi Master Gardeners, learns about plant diseases from Clarissa Balbalian, manager of the Mississippi State University Extension Service's plant diagnostic lab, during campus tours in 2013. (File photo by MSU Ag Communications/Linda Breazeale)
October 12, 2016 - Filed Under: Master Gardener

TUPELO, Miss. -- For more than a quarter century, Mississippians with a love for horticulture have been helping to educate and serve their communities through a nationwide Extension Service program.

Marjan de Regt, right, a Washington County row crop farmer from the Netherlands, visits her son, Skyler, an agribusiness major at Mississippi State University. (Photo by MSU Extension Service/Kat Lawrence)
October 11, 2016 - Filed Under: Agriculture, Women for Agriculture, Community

HOLLANDALE, Miss. -- Marjan de Regt and her husband, Jan, planned to spend three years farming in the Mississippi Delta before returning to their native Netherlands.

That was 29 years ago, and the family still calls Hollandale home.

The de Regts farmed 2,600 acres of soybeans, 500 acres of rice and 200 acres of corn in 2016. This year was only the third time they tried corn.

Monroe County Extension agent Randall Nevins, left, reviews horticulture career options with Karen Carothers and Elsie Buskes, both of Oxford, Mississippi. Dennis Reginelli, right, a regional specialist with the Mississippi State University Extension Service, joins the discussion at a career expo for eighth-graders in Tupelo, Mississippi, on Oct. 5, 2016. (Photo by MSU Extension Service/Linda Breazeale)
October 7, 2016 - Filed Under: Agriculture, Community, Natural Resources

TUPELO, Miss. -- Some eighth-grade students may have career dreams but no clue how to make them real. Others may not even have dreams yet.

Bill Burdine, a regional specialist with the Mississippi State University Extension Service, helped assemble professionals to staff exhibits in the agriculture and natural resources section of a recent career expo in Tupelo. The 2016 Imagine the Possibilities Northeast Mississippi Career Expo targeted 7,000 eighth-graders from 72 school districts in 17 counties.

October 6, 2016 - Filed Under: Agriculture, Community

Mississippi State University agribusiness student A.J. Bland is among 21 U.S. students to receive a National Black Farmers Association scholarship.

Bland, a Tunica native, is the recipient of a $5,000 scholarship that will help him pursue his degree in agribusiness.

-More-

Christa Lee, owner of LoveLee Rolls in Starkville, Mississippi, flours her work surface on Sept. 30, 2016, as she prepares to bake cinnamon rolls for her cottage food business. (Photo by MSU Extension Service/Kat Lawrence)
October 5, 2016 - Filed Under: Farmers Markets, Rural Development, Food, Food Safety

STARKVILLE, Miss. -- A recipe for cinnamon rolls that she found in college turned into a profitable hobby business and now a cottage industry for Christa Lee and her husband, Tyson.

Their business, LoveLee Rolls, sells pans of baked cinnamon rolls at the Starkville farmers market all summer and by word of mouth the rest of the year.

“We started in July 2014. I was staying home with the baby, and we didn’t really need more money -- just thought it would be a fun hobby,” Christa Lee said. “On the way home from the beach one day, we said, let’s just do it.”

Fall chrysanthemums are right behind these blooming pansies, and both will be available at the Mississippi State University horticulture club’s annual fall plant sale. The sale will take place from 8 a.m. until 5:30 p.m. Oct. 6 and 7 at the Veterans Memorial Rose Garden, located at the Highway 182 entrance to the R.R. Foil Plant Science Research Facility. (Photo by MSU Extension Service/Linda Breazeale)
September 30, 2016 - Filed Under: Community, Flower Gardens

STARKVILLE, Miss. -- Gardeners can add fresh color to their landscapes with plants purchased at the Mississippi State University horticulture club’s annual fall plant sale.

This year’s sale will take place from 8 a.m. until 5:30 p.m. Oct. 6 and 7 at the Veterans Memorial Rose Garden, located at the Highway 182 entrance to the R.R. Foil Plant Science Research Facility.

Popular flowering plants, such as chrysanthemums, pansies and snapdragons, will be available for purchase. Pumpkins and flowering kale also will be for sale.

Agritourism offers opportunities for entertainment -- such as this corn maze shown at Mitchell Farms in Collins, Mississippi -- that also educate about agriculture and add to local revenue streams. (File photo by MSU Extension Service/Kevin Hudson)
September 28, 2016 - Filed Under: Agri-tourism, Rural Development

DUCK HILL, Miss. -- Mississippi is one of many states to proclaim October as Agritourism Month, but the industry’s peak season has already begun in earnest.

Katie Robinson, owner of Bull Bottom Farms in Montgomery County and president of the Mississippi Agritourism Association, opened her family farm’s seventh annual fall festival to the public Sept. 23. She and her husband, Nic, a row crop producer, will host families, students and church groups for the next five weekends.

September 27, 2016 - Filed Under: Agri-tourism, Rural Development

COLUMBUS, Miss. -- Two Mississippi State University Extension Service specialists are among featured speakers at this year’s Mississippi-Tennessee-Alabama Rural Tourism Conference Oct. 24-26.

The annual meeting will provide marketing and communication strategies to assist groups involved in creating attractions and tourism events in their communities. These groups include tourism professionals, fair boards, festival committees, garden clubs, community volunteers and local elected officials.

September 26, 2016 - Filed Under: Community, Economic Development

STARKVILLE, Miss. -- Having access to and knowledge of digital devices and Internet use opens up community economic development prospects, and a new report from the Mississippi State University Extension Service offers county-level insights.

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