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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 23, 2017 - Filed Under: Crops, Weed Control for Crops

PONTOTOC, Miss. -- Row crop producers can learn best practices for adding auxin herbicides to their weed control tool box at a field day June 29.

The Mississippi State University Extension Service and Mississippi Agricultural and Forestry Experiment Station will host the event at the Pontotoc Ridge-Flatwoods Branch Experiment Station, located at 8320 Hwy. 15 South in Pontotoc.

May 23, 2017 - Filed Under: Commercial Horticulture, Organic Fruit and Vegetables

VERONA, Miss. -- A Mississippi State University vegetable expert is part of a project designed to support and strengthen organic farming in the Southeast.

Casey Barickman, an assistant horticulture professor with the MSU Extension Service and Mississippi Agricultural and Forestry Experiment Station, is working with colleagues from Tuskegee University, Auburn University, North Carolina State University, the Alabama Sustainable Agriculture Network and Oregon State University to give organic growers the information they need to develop efficient production systems.

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: Wildlife Youth Education

STARKVILLE, Miss. -- Three Mississippi State University Conservation Camps are giving Mississippi middle and high schoolers a chance to explore wildlife, the outdoors, and careers in science and nature this summer.

The MSU Extension Service and the MSU College of Forest Resources have offered the Conservation Camps since 2005.

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.

May 15, 2017 - Filed Under: Beef

RAYMOND, Miss. -- Cattle producers in south Mississippi can learn about techniques to improve herd health and advancements in production systems during an upcoming field day in Raymond.

The Mississippi State University Extension Service and Mississippi Agricultural and Forestry Experiment Station are hosting the Beef Cattle Herd Health Field Day on June 16 at the MSU Brown Loam Branch Experiment Station. The station is located at 1676 Brown Loam Road. The field day begins at 9 a.m. and ends at 2 p.m.

May 12, 2017 - Filed Under: Insects-Pests

STARKVILLE, Miss.—Mississippi State University researchers are continuing to study a "crazy" creature found in Mississippi’s coastal counties.

The tawny crazy ant, also known as Nylanderia fulva, is a non-native ant species that has been found in the southern United States, including Hancock, Jackson and Harrison counties in Mississippi. The ants are not widely distributed on the Mississippi gulf coast, but their presence can be overwhelming in areas that contain a crazy ant population, according to MSU researchers who study and monitor the ants.

Yellow squash is among the fruits and vegetables available for purchase at the Starkville Farmers Market on May 2, 2017. Early spring temperatures allowed some truck crops producers to plant their fruit and vegetable crops a little early this year. (Photo by MSU Extension Service/Kevin Hudson)
May 12, 2017 - Filed Under: Commercial Horticulture, Commercial Fruit and Nuts, Farmers Markets

RAYMOND, Miss. -- This year's early spring temperatures allowed some fruit and vegetable growers to plant their crops a little earlier than usual.

Jeremy Maness, Mississippi State University Extension agent in Smith County, said growers in his county have not experienced any problems so far despite a late freeze.

"Everything is going well," he said. "Tomatoes grown in greenhouses or high tunnels are ready now. We project watermelons will be ready around mid- to late June, and field tomatoes should be ready to start coming off the vine around the first week of June."

Tom McBeath of Union, Mississippi, explains a riding pattern he will judge to a group of young women. McBeath, a long-time volunteer with the Mississippi 4-H Program, is the American Youth Horse Council Adult Leader of the Year. (Photo by Jeff Homan)
May 10, 2017 - Filed Under: Youth Livestock, Equine

STARKVILLE, Miss. -- A long-time volunteer with the Mississippi 4-H program is the American Youth Horse Council Adult Leader of the Year.

Tom McBeath of Union, Mississippi, received the honor at the recent American Youth Horse Council symposium in Wakefield, Massachusetts. He has spent nearly four decades working with youth to establish strong foundations for successful experiences with horses.

State regulations govern on-site wastewater disposal systems to protect Mississippi’s people and environment. (File photo by MSU Extension Service/Kevin Hudson)
May 9, 2017 - Filed Under: Rural Water Association, Water Quality

STARKVILLE, Miss. -- Landowners building new home sites or camp houses typically put in septic systems to handle wastewater, but some may not realize that state regulations govern the process.

Jason Barrett, an assistant professor with the Mississippi State University Extension Service, said everyone concerned about the quality of drinking water and the safety of private wells, shallow aquifers and surface water should care about this issue.

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.

John Orlowski, a Mississippi State University assistant research and Extension professor, inspects soybean seedlings in a plot at the Delta Research and Extension Center in Stoneville. Orlowski will coordinate the first Mississippi Soybean Yield Contest. (Photo by MSU Delta Research and Extension Center/Kenner Patton)
May 8, 2017 - Filed Under: Soybeans

STONEVILLE, Miss. – The state's soybean producers can put their skills to the test this year in the first Mississippi Soybean Yield Contest.

Yield contests encourage growers to conduct on-farm research, evaluate their agronomic practices, and increase yields and profits.

The Mississippi Soybean Promotion Board funds the contest with producer checkoff funds. The Mississippi State University Extension Service and the Mississippi Soybean Association will administer the competition.

Deer University podcast launches May 11 and will be available to listeners free of charge.
May 8, 2017 - Filed Under: Wildlife, White-Tailed Deer

STARKVILLE, Miss. -- The Mississippi State University Extension Service will soon offer a weekly podcast that will be of interest to deer hunters and wildlife professionals in the Southeast.

Deer University launches May 11 and will be available to listeners free of charge on iTunes and at http://extension.msstate.edu/deeruniversity. Registration is the only prerequisite needed to listen and subscribe to the podcast.

May 8, 2017 - Filed Under: Water, Rural Water Association, Water Quality

HAZLEHURST, Miss. -- South Mississippi homeowners with private wells will have an opportunity next month to learn how to improve the functionality of their drinking water sources.

Private well owners can get their water screened for bacteria and can attend a workshop in Copiah County to learn how to better manage, operate and protect their private wells.

May 5, 2017 - Filed Under: Thad Cochran Agricultural Leadership Program TCALP

STARKVILLE, Miss. -- Early-career producers and allied agricultural professionals looking to develop leadership skills and policy knowledge about farming issues should apply to participate in Mississippi's premier agricultural leadership training program.

The Mississippi State University Extension Service, in partnership with the Mississippi Farm Bureau Federation, has established the Thad Cochran Agricultural Leadership Program, or TCALP.

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.

The Rankin County 4-H robotics team, Wait For It, was in the winning alliance of three teams at the FIRST Tech Challenge in Houston, Texas. Members Lilli Stewart, left, Lauren Blacksher, Noah Gregory, Maisyn Barragan, Jordan Hariel, Logan Hariel and Mathew Blacksher are on the playing field of Minute Maid Park in front of 25,000 people to receive their award on April 22, 2017. (Submitted Photo)
May 3, 2017 - Filed Under: STEM – Science Technology Engineering and Math

STARKVILLE, Miss. -- Mariah Morgan remembers inquisitive 8-year-olds, just learning how to program beginner robots for 4-H projects. The rest of the world now sees one of them as a team of champion programmers.

Wait For It, the Rankin County 4-H robotics club, just earned top honors at the FIRST Tech Challenge at Minute Maid Park in Houston. FIRST stands for "For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology."

This north Mississippi robotics team, Challenge Accepted, took part in the world competition in Houston, Texas. Team members from DeSoto and Tate counties are Jon Shidler, left, Jon Rodgers, Zack Sahnger, Skyler Smith, Brandon Hess, Nathan Rodgers and Alex Turner. Members not pictured included Ella Douglas and Cade Holliday. (Submitted photo)
May 3, 2017 - Filed Under: STEM – Science Technology Engineering and Math

STARKVILLE, Miss. -- Mississippi 4-H offers a unique way to celebrate the unofficial Star Wars Day, May 4, by encouraging support of the state 4-H Robotics Program.

May 4 is recognized for its connection to the famous movie line, "May the force be with you."

"May the Fourth has become a day to celebrate science, technology, engineering and math," said Mariah Morgan, an assistant Extension professor with the Mississippi State University Extension Center for Technology Outreach.

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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