Feature Story from 2008
CLARKSDALE -- Covered only with a coat of rust and adorned with a string of lights from a Christmas past, the vintage machine sitting on the edge of Highway 49 near Clarksdale is a reminder of a revolution that took place in southern agriculture more than 60 years ago.
The M12H International Harvester cotton picker was produced in the late 1940s and was among the second generation of commercially successful cotton pickers to hit the market. It is located on the Hopson Plantation, the site of field tests for mechanical pickers from the 1920s through the 1940s.
MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Alan Blaine of Starkville has been named the winner of Farm Bureau’s Distinguished Service Award for 2007 at the organization’s annual meeting on Nov. 29.
Blaine serves as the head of the North Mississippi Research and Extension Center in Verona. He is recognized as one of the top soybean specialists in the United States.
MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Catfish sales soared years ago when producers began to consistently deliver delicious fillets to consumers, but they continue to fight the off-flavor problem.
With today's tight markets and strong international competition, it is especially important for farmers to deliver a high-quality product to the marketplace as efficiently as possible.
Terry Hanson, an agricultural economist with the Mississippi State University Extension Service, said off-flavor is a very serious problem for the farm-raised catfish industry.
MISSISSIPPI STATE – Mississippi State University’s Animal Health Center continued its tradition of exceeding its previous accreditation score when the American Animal Hospital Association conducted its review in 2007.
MISSISSIPPI STATE -- The Mississippi State University Extension Service’s 4-H therapeutic riding program is taking applications for riders and volunteers.
The spring session will run each Tuesday from March 25 through April 29, and classes are conducted at the Mississippi Horse Park. Rider applications and volunteer information forms can be found at the MSUcares.com Web site. Volunteer training is March 18.
MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Four qualified 4-Hers will have a unique opportunity to see state government in action as they briefly work at the state capitol in March.
The Mississippi State University Extension Service 4-H program and the Center for Governmental Training and Technology are recruiting youth to serve in the Legislative Page Internship Program March 17-21. The youth will serve as pages in either the Mississippi Senate or House of Representatives for one week during the 2008 legislative session.
By Robert H. Wells
Delta Research and Extension Center
STONEVILLE -- A Mississippi State University researcher is working to reduce a growing expense for Mississippi cotton farmers -- managing tarnished plant bugs.
“Some Delta cotton producers made as many as 15 insecticide applications for plant bugs in 2007,” said Jeff Gore, Mississippi Agricultural and Forestry Experiment Station research entomologist at MSU's Delta Research and Extension Center.
MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Volunteers make the many opportunities of 4-H available to the youth of Mississippi, and an upcoming conference is helping keep them ready for the job.
4-H volunteer adult leaders from across the state will gather Feb. 29 through March 2 at the Bost Extension Center at Mississippi State University for the state’s annual 4-H Volunteer Leaders’ Conference. This year’s theme is “4-H Volunteer POW WOW.” The deadline for registration is Feb. 1.
MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Mississippi catfish producers want consumers to eat lots of their product, but when those consumers are predatory birds, it's time to get out and patrol the ponds.
Double-crested cormorants are large, black migratory seabirds that somewhat resemble ducks. They can be up to a yard long with a wingspan of more than 4 feet. They seem to have an endless appetite for fish, especially young pond-raised catfish.
By Patti Drapala
MSU Ag Communications
MISSISSIPPI STATE -- He bleeds the “maroon and white” of Mississippi State University while she proudly wears the “red and blue” of the University of Mississippi. He loves walking the Drill Field while she prefers tailgating in the Grove.
He whistles “Hail State,” and she drowns him out with “Forward, Rebels.” He bellows, “We got some dogs up in here,” and she responds with a firm, “Here we go Rebels, here we go.”
By Patti Drapala
MSU Ag Communications
MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Eating at a wedding is a daunting step for people with dietary restrictions, but a little pre-planning by the guests and the bride can get everyone through the reception with health intact.
MISSISSIPPI STATE -- A few tips can make dining in an exotic honeymoon location as enjoyable as the scenery and the company.
Eating different foods can be a challenge for people who usually stick with the same foods and the same restaurants to avoid stomach troubles. But when visiting someplace new and exciting, part of the fun is in trying the local cuisine.
Brent Fountain, nutrition specialist with the Mississippi State University Extension Service, said it is possible to enjoy the local cooking and still be kind to the digestive system.
MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Few events are more beautiful or memorable than an outdoor wedding in an idyllic setting, but actually making one happen takes a lot of planning and some fortunate timing.
Bob Brzuszek, an assistant professor of landscape architecture with the Mississippi State University Extension Service, suggested those hosting an outdoor wedding or reception start planning a year in advance.
MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Financial problems and infidelity often get blamed for divorces, but lack of preparation before and minimal commitment after the wedding may be at the heart of most failed marriages.
Karen Benson is an area child and family development agent with Mississippi State University's Extension Service in Neshoba County. She said it is common for couples to live together without marrying, and young couples marrying today are at a high risk for divorce.
MISSISSIPPI STATE -- A concerted effort is under way to improve the health of marriages across Mississippi.
Organizers of Healthy Marriage Week, Feb. 7-14, are planning activities in Jackson and towns across the state to draw attention to the benefits of two-parent homes and strong marriages.
Tabitha Staier, family education and policy specialist with Mississippi State University’s Extension Service, said taking care of the marriage relationship is a key to better communities.
HATTIESBURG -- More than 80 growers from all areas of the state gathered in Hattiesburg Jan. 22 for the second annual Mississippi Peanut Growers Association meeting and short course.
The number of producers attending the 2008 meeting doubled from 2007, said association president Clayton Lawrence of George County.
“The newness of this industry in Mississippi means there is a lot we still have to learn,” he said. “This meeting is an opportunity for our growers to learn from some of the best peanut researchers in the industry.”
MISSISSIPPI STATE -- People who find themselves victims of identity fraud can clear their names and credit if they act quickly to stop the fraud.
Bobbie Shaffett, family resource management specialist with the Mississippi State University Extension Service, said identity theft is when one person steals the personal information of another and uses it for financial gain.
MISSISSIPPI STATE -- A dangerous kind of criminal is taking advantage of people's money and good names without those people even knowing they are victims.
The Federal Trade Commission online says identity theft occurs “when someone uses your personally identifying information, like your name, Social Security number or credit card number, without your permission, to commit fraud or other crimes.”
MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Expert and beginner rose growers can benefit from an upcoming workshop at Mississippi State University.
The Oktibbeha County Rose Society in cooperation with MSU’s Division of Agriculture, Forestry and Veterinary Medicine will host the Gulf District Winter Workshop and Consulting Rosarian School on Feb. 9 at the Bost Extension Center on campus.
By Patti Drapala
MSU Ag Communications
MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Sixteen projects were completed across three counties in less than 72 hours when Mississippi Master Gardeners set Operation Swarm in motion last October.
Most of the public landscapes in Hancock, Harrison and Jackson counties were damaged or destroyed after the onslaught of the waves and winds of hurricanes Katrina and Rita. This time, however, the weather cooperated for positive change on the Gulf Coast.