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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.

La-Z-Boy Inc. has donated about 130 boxes of discarded upholstery fabric to the Mississippi State University Extension Service. Sylvia Clark, left, an Extension family and consumer sciences associate, and student worker Kamau Bostic unpack the truckload of material March 24, 2017. (Photo by MSU Extension/Kat Lawrence)
March 28, 2017 - Filed Under: Mississippi Homemaker Volunteers

STARKVILLE, Miss. -- Mississippi Homemaker Volunteer Clubs have a new supply of sewing material thanks to a large donation.

La-Z-Boy Inc. gave the Mississippi State University Extension Service about 130 boxes of discarded upholstery fabric -- enough to fill a 24-foot trailer.

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."

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