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Feature Story from 2007

May 3, 2007 - Filed Under: Commercial Horticulture

MISSISSIPPI STATE -- High fuel prices give many people a reason to complain, but they also may drive the resurgence of an industry that was big business in Mississippi 100 years ago.

David Nagel, vegetable specialist with the Mississippi State University Extension Service, said fuel prices have made it more difficult for vegetable growers on the West Coast to ship produce across the country and still make a profit.

May 3, 2007 - Filed Under: Children and Parenting

MISSISSIPPI STATE -- A new reality show will help Mississippi's 3- and 4-year-old children prepare for their first day of school.

Mississippi State University's Extension Service is tapping into the latest media trend by providing a unique glimpse into an accredited classroom and training child-care providers to prepare preschoolers for kindergarten. They are demonstrating that some reality shows are not only entertaining, they also can be educational.

May 4, 2007 - Filed Under: Timber Harvest

MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Mississippi's 2006 timber harvest value declined almost 17 percent from the previous year, and industry watchers do not expect much improvement in 2007.

Glenn Hughes, a forestry professor with Mississippi State University's Extension Service, said a significant amount of Hurricane Katrina-damaged timber remains in storage -- wet-decked -- in lumber yards awaiting use.

Carl Blair checks thermometers that record the 24-hour high and low temperatures.
May 7, 2007 - Filed Under: Community

MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Each morning Carl Blair, like many people, checks the weather, but his interest in the weather is part of a tradition that goes back 125 years.

Blair is an equipment operator for the Mississippi Agricultural and Forestry Experiment Station at Mississippi State University and his duties include recording data collected by National Weather Service equipment located on campus.

Timothy Traugott
May 10, 2007 - Filed Under: Forestry

MISSISSIPPI STATE -- A Mississippi State University Extension forestry specialist is the Forest Landowners Association’s Extension Forester of the Year.

The organization, which is comprised of forest landowners in 17 southern states, selected MSU Extension professor Timothy Traugott for the 2007 honor. 

During 22 years as an MSU Extension forestry specialist, Traugott has conducted almost 300 workshops and short courses for more than 8,000 Mississippi landowners.

The MSU Extension Service distance education program team members include (from left) Steve Hankins, Susan Fulgham, Jane Parish and Susan Seal. (Photo by Marco Nicovich) See larger view.
May 10, 2007 - Filed Under: Community, Technology

By Courtney Coufal
MSU Ag Communications

MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Efforts to take university-level training to every corner of the state have earned the Mississippi State University Extension Service two national awards.

The American Distance Education Consortium and the U.S. Distance Learning Association both recognized the Extension Service for its outstanding and comprehensive distance education program. The program provides Mississippians with educational instruction when physical distance separates students and instructors.

May 10, 2007 - Filed Under: Community

MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Many Mississippi teenagers become mothers long before they are ready to celebrate Mother's Day, leaving many of them with a lifetime of struggle.

Mississippi has the highest teen birthrate of any state in the nation, according to the National Campaign to Prevent Teen Pregnancy Web site, In 2003, the last year for which data is available, 65 girls per 1,000 age 15-19 had children, for a total of 6,625 babies born to teenagers.

Mississippi farmers are expected to plant 16,000 acres of peanuts in 2007, repeating the amount growers planted last year when they harvested these peanuts. (Photo by Robert H. Wells/MSU's Delta Research and Extension Center)
May 11, 2007 - Filed Under: Peanuts

MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Mississippi's peanut growers have been planting ahead of the five-year average, but fields need rain to keep them on track.

By the May 6 crop report issued by the National Agricultural Statistics Service in Mississippi, farmers had planted 12 percent of the state's peanut crop. The five-year average for that date is 5 percent. Agronomists with Mississippi State University's Extension Service said the ideal planting time typically concludes around June 1, but peanuts can be planted later if necessary.

Photo of a wild hog
May 17, 2007 - Filed Under: Nuisance Wildlife and Damage Management

By Andrea Cooper
MSU College of Forest Resources

MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Feral hogs have perhaps the worst reputation of any wild game animal in the nation, and Mississippi State University researchers hope to gain the upper hand by studying their habitat and populations.

While hunters enjoy pursuing these elusive and dangerous animals, most landowners view wild hogs as nuisances because of their extremely destructive foraging habits. 

May 18, 2007 - Filed Under: Cotton

MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Mississippi's cotton fields are benefiting from timely rains and are off to one of their best starts in recent years, but the crop has significantly fewer acres in 2007.

By the middle of May, more than 70 percent of the state's cotton was planted and 35 percent was emerged, according to a report by the National Agricultural Statistics Service in Mississippi.

May 24, 2007 - Filed Under: Beekeeping

MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Area beekeepers can expand their knowledge of the bee business at a beekeeping short course scheduled for June 12 from 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. on the Mississippi State University campus.

Workshop topics include fall and winter management, parasitic mites, diseases and pests of honey bees, area honey plants and honey flows, and swarm management. Bee enthusiasts also will learn about starting and developing productive colonies, re-queening colonies, dividing colonies, and sampling for mites and diseases.

Chris Bell sits next to his tractor that has been equipped with a lift device and hand controls so he can operation it from his wheelchair. (Photo by Emily Knight/Mississippi State University Extension Service) See larger view.
May 24, 2007 - Filed Under: Agriculture

MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Chris Bell of Newton County is the latest Mississippian with a disability to benefit from a program designed to maintain agricultural lifestyles despite a life-altering event.

Bell, 57, of Lawrence, is a cattle farmer who uses a wheelchair, the result of a 2005 medical procedure that went wrong. He lives alone and with help from his son and friends, runs a 100-head cow/calf operation, raises hay, produces honey, and raises and trains border collies.

May 25, 2007 - Filed Under: Soybeans

MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Mississippi soybeans had one of the most uneven starts they have had in years, but one constant is the need for rain.

Dan Poston, northwest district soybean specialist with the Mississippi State University Extension Service, said Delta soybeans looked pretty good in late May, but time was running out for fields to get a rain.

May 31, 2007 - Filed Under: Nutrition, Vegetable Gardens

MISSISSIPPI STATE -- One of the best things about Mississippi summers is the delicious food provided by fresh garden vegetables, a goodness people can enjoy year-round with preserved vegetables.

Brent Fountain, human nutrition specialist with the Mississippi State University Extension Service, said fresh may be best, but it isn't the only option. Freezing or canning fruits and vegetables will extend the time in which garden produce can be eaten.

Joshua Holmes of Walthall County, from left, and Laci Lunn of Pontotoc County, represented the state's top two fund-raising counties at the 2007 4-H Congress. They presented a check to Alabama 4-H members Buddy Skipper and Ben Jones, both sixth graders from Enterprise. Leadership Team member Cord Davis of Bolivar County assisted in the presentation. (Photo by Marco Nicovich/MSU Ag Communications) Larger view.
May 31, 2007 - Filed Under: 4-H, Disaster Response

MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Mississippi's youth have seen their share of tornado and hurricane damage, and they know how much donations from others can help.

Mississippi 4-H members celebrated their organization's 100th anniversary by collecting money during the state 4-H Congress the last week of May to contribute to teachers in Enterprise, Ala., the site of a deadly March tornado that killed eight high school students.

June 1, 2007 - Filed Under: Dairy

MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Mississippi dairy farmers have a reason to celebrate dairy month, but don't expect a big party.

Bill Herndon, dairy economics specialist with the Mississippi State University Extension Service, said farm-level milk prices have reached what he described as a “magical $20-per-hundredweight level.” Unfortunately, feed, fuel, energy and fertilizer costs all have increased at about the same rate as milk prices.

June 7, 2007 - Filed Under: Forestry

MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Mississippi may not be far behind the Georgia and Florida wildfires if people are not careful during hot, dry conditions.

Charles Burkhardt manages Mississippi State University's timberlands located throughout the state.

Fuligo septica
June 7, 2007 - Filed Under: Lawn and Garden

MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Many gardeners across the state are shocked by sprawling, bright orange masses that appear quickly in gardens, but this scary looking fungus is quite harmless.

Clarissa Balbalian, plant diagnostic lab manager with the Mississippi State University Extension Service, said the fungus is a slime mold that feeds on decaying woody material.

“It doesn't hurt plants or people,” Balbalian said. “Slime molds live on fungi, bacteria and other microscopic creatures that decay organic material.”

June 7, 2007 - Filed Under: Nuts

MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Mississippi, Arkansas and Louisiana pecan growers can learn more about production and marketing issues at a June 21-22 convention and trade show in Shreveport, La.

Pecan grower associations from each of the three states are sponsoring the event at the Clarion Hotel. Registration begins at noon on June 21 and costs $35.

Laramy Cummings, right, is presented the Mississippi Eventing and Dressage Association/Sherry Levin Memorial Scholarship. Jenna Schilling, MEDA membership coordinator, presented the award. (Photo by Wes Schilling/MSU)
June 7, 2007 - Filed Under: Equine

MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Laramy Cummings was recently named the first recipient of a new scholarship named in honor of a long-time supporter of equine activities in Oktibbeha County.


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