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News Filed Under Farming

A woman stands in front of several award ribbons.
November 21, 2017 - Filed Under: 4-H, Women for Agriculture

INDIANOLA, Miss. -- Learning how to show pigs in 4-H livestock competitions made a leader out of Sarah Thomas Smith.

Smith, 17, is a junior at Indianola Academy in Sunflower County, Mississippi. She has been an active member of the Sunflower County Livestock 4-H club since 2010.

November 10, 2017 - Filed Under: Agriculture, Farming

STARKVILLE, Miss. -- A web-based smartphone app developed by the Mississippi State University Extension Service allows state climate officials to document drought conditions and provide information vital to Mississippi farmers recovering from dry weather.

A pair of hands pull rich soil from the ground with green grass around it.
November 10, 2017 - Filed Under: Crops, Farming, Natural Resources, Environment

STARKVILLE, Miss. -- A recent survey revealed that thousands of farmers are planting cover crops and reporting benefits from the practice.

While only a few respondents to the fifth annual cover crop survey were from Mississippi, the study revealed more landowners appreciate the practice of growing crops to protect and enrich the soil. Most respondents were from the Midwest in the survey conducted by the Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education program and the Conservation Technology Information Center.

November 9, 2017 - Filed Under: Agri-business

The Alliance of Sustainable Farms field day will be Nov. 17 at Yokna Bottoms Farm in Oxford. 

Farm owner Doug Davis will show attendees the sustainable practices he uses on his 6-acre vegetable farm. Topics include late fall production, washing and storing, overwintering crops, cover crops, pest control and community-supported agriculture. 

The field day is free, but preregistration is required. Onsite check-in begins at 10 a.m. The program begins at 10:30 a.m. and ends at 2:30 p.m. Yokna Bottoms Farm is located at 26 County Road 471 in Oxford.

Dressed in a pink T-shirt and blue jeans, broiler grower Teresa Dyess stands next to two wagon wheels in front of a barn on her family farm.
October 20, 2017 - Filed Under: Women for Agriculture, Poultry

In three days, Teresa Dyess shifted her business focus from produce to poultry.

The change began two years ago with an offhand remark from her husband, Joe Dyess.

 “He told a broiler grower in Wayne County we wouldn’t mind building pullet houses because we wanted to diversify our farm,” she said. “We didn’t think any more about it, and then the next day a poultry processor called and offered us a contract. A banker came the next day, and everything fell into place.”

Lanette Crocker, coordinator for the MSU Extension Service in Wayne County, said Teresa Dyess’ adaptability has helped her maintain success through the farm’s transition.

October 6, 2017 - Filed Under: Agri-business, Agri-tourism

Rehoboth Farms will host the upcoming Alliance of Sustainable Farms field day Oct. 20 in Pelahatchie. 

Topics include beekeeping, home canning, and expanding markets and sales opportunities. Attendees also will tour the family-owned farm where the owners grow and sell fresh produce and eggs, along with canned fruits, preserves, sauces and seasonings. The farm includes spaces that can serve as a venue for weddings, meetings and other large gatherings.

Woman pictured with arms resting on boxes labeled “Mississippi Sweet Potatoes.”
September 29, 2017 - Filed Under: Women for Agriculture

Wouldn’t it be nice if entering a Mississippi State University classroom solved every midlife crisis?

At age 52, Sylvia Clark found herself at a crossroad as she reflected on her life as a small business owner and caregiver for her family. Reared on a Webster County farm, Clark married shortly after earning an associate’s degree and settled into her role as the wife of a Vardaman sweet potato farmer. Eventually, their children were grown and their parents no longer needed her care. With the support of her family, Clark enrolled at MSU in 2006 to finish her formal education in agriculture and extension education.

September 7, 2017 - Filed Under: Agri-business, Trees

CARROLLTON, Miss. -- Producers interested in growing fruit trees can learn about tree grafting and varieties during a Sept. 15 field day. 

Southern Cultured Orchards and Nursery in Carrollton will host the Alliance of Sustainable Farms event. Attendees will see a grafting demonstration, learn about varieties that grow well in Mississippi and tour the farm’s orchard.

The field day is free, but preregistration is required. Onsite check-in begins at 10 a.m. The program begins at 10:30 a.m. and ends at 2:30 p.m. The field day begins at Stephenson’s Bluff, located at 1012 College St. in Carrollton. 

Terri Doyle grows sunflowers at Coastal Ridge Farm on the Mississippi Gulf Coast and sells them to wholesale distributors and at farmers markets. (Photo by MSU Extension Service/Kevin Hudson)
August 10, 2017 - Filed Under: Agriculture, Commercial Horticulture, Farming, Agri-business, Women for Agriculture

PICAYUNE, Miss. -- What was once a Grade A dairy farm for more than 20 years now serves as the flower farm owned by Terri Doyle and her husband, Dave.

Located on the Mississippi Gulf Coast, Coastal Ridge Farm offers fresh bouquets that can be found at Rouse's Markets in the New Orleans area and on the coast from May to November.

"The dairy industry had been getting tougher every year for small dairies," Terri Doyle explained. "When Hurricane Katrina hit and destroyed a lot of our property, Dave and I decided it was time to close the dairy."

Mississippi State University Extension associate Richard Atwill of the Delta Research and Extension Center in Stoneville, right, explains the peanut crop management process to participants in the Cochran Fellowship Program on June 21, 2017. (Photo submitted by Prem Parajuli)
July 28, 2017 - Filed Under: Agriculture, Farming

By Jessica Smith
MSU Extension Service

STARKVILLE, Miss. -- A climate-smart agriculture program at Mississippi State University helped train international agricultural leaders to achieve the global priority of maintaining safe, reliable food supplies.

Knowledge of potential customers and partnerships with local businesses and attractions can help Mississippi bed-and-breakfast businesses become even more desirable destinations. (Photo by MSU Extension Service/Amy Myers)
July 28, 2017 - Filed Under: Agri-business, Agri-tourism

VICKSBURG, Miss. -- Those managing historic homes must make a profit while creating a welcoming place for paying guests, a challenge addressed at a recent Mississippi State University short course.

Sandy Havard, MSU Extension Service agent in Warren County, said the summer workshop was a unique training opportunity set up to help improve communities and local businesses.

Natasha Haynes, Mississippi State University Extension agent in Rankin County, advocates choosing one local ingredient to spotlight in a menu, such as this squash growing at the Southern Heritage Garden at the Vicksburg National Military Park on June 13, 2017. (Photo by MSU Extension Service/Bonnie Coblentz)
July 12, 2017 - Filed Under: Commercial Fruit and Nuts, Farmers Markets, Agri-tourism, Food, Nutrition

VICKSBURG, Miss. -- Foods grown on Southern farms should end up on Southern tables, especially when those tables are in the state’s many historic bed-and-breakfasts.

That was the message Mississippi State University Extension Service personnel sent home with participants in a recent workshop.

“Nobody wants to go to a Southern B&B and not experience the food, so think about serving local foods,” said Brent Fountain, Extension nutrition specialist.

Christine Coker, a horticulture specialist with Mississippi State University, began sowing the seeds for her career in elementary school as a 4-H member. Now, she helps put food on Mississippians’ tables with her research and Extension projects.
July 5, 2017 - Filed Under: Commercial Horticulture, Women for Agriculture, Food, Flower Gardens, Vegetable Gardens

BEAUMONT, Miss. -- For 16 years, Christine Coker has been doing what she loves: putting food on people's tables.

"In college, I really liked the study of plants, but I knew I wasn't going to be the world's greatest botanist," she said. "What I really wanted to do was feed people."

Colleen Wilkins, owner of Sunnyside in Natchez, gathers ideas while visiting the Southern Heritage Garden at the Vicksburg National Military Park on June 13, 2017. (Photo by MSU Extension Service/Bonnie Coblentz)
June 30, 2017 - Filed Under: Agri-tourism, Lawn and Garden, Flower Gardens

VICKSBURG, Miss. -- The Southern Gardener, Gary Bachman, would like to see Mississippi's historic bed and breakfast owners step up their game in the garden.

"What is your budget for your landscape and labor costs? Do you serve anything you grow and use your own flowers?" Bachman asked owners at a recent Mississippi State University Extension Service workshop. "I want to show you how, with minimal effort and minimal out-of-pocket expense, you can get a good return on investment from the landscape of your historic properties."

AFBF Group: Mississippi State University President Mark E. Keenum, center, met with American Farm Bureau Federation President Zippy Duvall, second from right, June 21 in Starkville, Mississippi. Duvall visited MSU for meetings with university leaders and tours of campus facilities. The meeting also included, left to right, MSU Associate Vice President for the Division of Agriculture, Forestry and Veterinary Medicine Bill Herndon; AFBF Director of Executive Communications and Projects Lynne Finnerty; MSU Vic
June 22, 2017 - Filed Under: Farming

STARKVILLE, Miss. -- Mississippi State University and the Mississippi Farm Bureau Federation co-hosted leaders of the largest nonprofit farmers' organization in the U.S. this week.

Zippy Duvall, president of the American Farm Bureau Federation, and others with the Mississippi Farm Bureau met with agricultural producers and toured MSU research and Extension facilities across the state during their visit.

Amanda Stone, dairy specialist with the Mississippi State University Extension Service, studies the herd at the MSU Bearden Dairy Unit and brings the latest research-based information to the state’s dairy producers. (Photo by MSU Extension Service/Kevin Hudson)
June 19, 2017 - Filed Under: Women for Agriculture, Dairy

By Jessica Smith
MSU Extension Service

Providing expertise and knowledge to Mississippi dairy producers was not always a career goal for dairy specialist Amanda Stone.

Stone has been an assistant professor since August 2016 with the Mississippi State University Extension Service in the Department of Animal and Dairy Sciences, where she works directly with students, dairy producers and MSU Extension agents.

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.

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.

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.

April 18, 2017 - Filed Under: Agriculture, Agri-business, Agricultural Economics

GREENWOOD, Miss. -- Farmers can learn a variety of useful information about tomatoes and cucumbers during a May 19 Alliance for Sustainable Agricultural Production field day.

Hosted at Levee Run Farm in Greenwood, the event will cover composting and trellising these crops, as well as ways to control insects and disease. Attendees also will learn about the family farm’s vegetables, flowers, fruit trees, high tunnels and pastured poultry.

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