Feature Story from 2008
MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Toyota is putting down roots in Mississippi with its new auto manufacturing plant near Tupelo, and the company also intends to influence the environment by funding a 4-H water-quality project.
In June, Toyota gave the $80,000 Mississippi Operation 4-H2O grant to the state's 4-H program. 4-H programs in California, Kentucky, Michigan and West Virginia received similar grants.
MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Mississippi State University has a new expert in environmental topics. Amy Schmidt was hired in June as an Extension Service instructor in agricultural engineering.
Schmidt also is the new Extension water-quality specialist responsible for program areas such as water quality, irrigation, waste management and related environmental topics. She previously was a research associate in MSU’s Department of Agricultural and Biological Engineering.
MISSISSIPPI STATE – Turfgrass care, maintenance and research are topics of an upcoming field day and expo hosted by Mississippi State University.
The Bulldog Turf Field Day and Turf Equipment Expo will be held Sept. 12 from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. at MSU’s North Farm near the Veterans Memorial Rose Garden. MSU’s Department of Plant and Soil Sciences, the Mississippi Agricultural and Forestry Experiment Station, and the MSU Extension Service are sponsoring the event.
The $20 cost to attend covers lunch and the day’s educational presentations and demonstrations.
MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Divorce, unplanned pregnancies, predators, substance abuse and behavior issues are some of the topics that will be discussed at an upcoming North Mississippi conference addressing the needs of families and communities.
The Families and Communities Together, or FACT, conference will take place Sept. 30 at The Summit in Tupelo. Registration begins at 8 a.m., and sessions take place from 8:30 a.m. until 3:30 p.m. Early registration is $40 by Sept. 25 and $60 after that date. The fee covers lunch and program materials.
MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Lessons learned during Hurricane Katrina are helping the College of Veterinary Medicine at Mississippi State University prepare to respond if Gustav strikes the state's Gulf Coast as a hurricane-strength storm.
“Our first mission will be to support the state veterinarian under the provisions of the state's emergency plan,” said Dr. Stanley Robertson, CVM director of outreach and external affairs. “Our personnel will be part of the teams assessing the needs of both livestock and domestic animals in any storm-damaged areas and then helping meet those needs.”
MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Mississippi State University researchers are investigating the connection between soil fertility and antler size as deer hunters prepare for their annual quest for the elusive trophy buck.
As fall approaches, masses of hunters begin to dust off bows, construct tree stands and sight in rifles. Deer season opens Oct. 15 for most of the state, and once again more than 250,000 hunters will be going into Mississippi's forests in search of prized bucks. Finding the trophy can be a challenge because antlers come in all shapes and sizes.
MISSISSIPPI STATE -- The Fall Flower and Garden Fest in Crystal Springs will mark its 30th anniversary in October, making it older than hundreds of visitors who will step on the property at the Truck Crops Experiment Station for the celebration.
Mississippi State University sponsors the annual event for garden and horticulture enthusiasts. The Oct. 17 and 18 event will be open from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Admission and parking are free. Considered the largest home gardening show in the Southeast, past events have averaged about 6,000 participants over the two-day period.
MISSISSIPPI STATE -- New Mississippi State University Extension Service assistant professor Kim Morgan said she hopes to use her experience in consumer behavior, market research and economic analysis to find solutions relevant to agribusiness managers.
Morgan assumed her duties July 1 in the MSU Department of Agricultural Economics. She said she felt the position with the department was an excellent career choice.
MISSISSIPPI STATE -- When the owners of an organic fertilizer company in Lawrence County were trying to determine best uses for their product and develop new markets, they turned for help to a team of specialists with the Mississippi State University Extension Service.
Amanda Walker is the Extension director in Lawrence County. She spearheaded the efforts on behalf of Organic Growing Systems, a relatively new and growing company that produces organic fertilizer from poultry litter.
By Patti Drapala
MSU Ag Communications
MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Disaster response training will make members of Mississippi State University's Division of Agriculture, Forestry and Veterinary Medicine better prepared to respond to major emergency events than they were three years ago when Hurricane Katrina hit.
MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Two approaches to leadership development are helping communities address their unique and evolving needs.
Alan Barefield, economic and community development specialist with Mississippi State University's Extension Service, said needs differ from place to place and from year to year. Likewise, an area's means of addressing needs vary.
MISSISSIPPI STATE – The upcoming Ornamental Horticulture Field Day in Poplarville will allow visitors to tour trial gardens and hear updates from Mississippi State University and U.S. Department of Agriculture researchers.
This Oct. 2 event marks the 35th year the South Mississippi Branch Experiment Station has hosted the field day. The day’s program begins at 9:30 a.m. and continues until 2:30 p.m. Registration begins at 9 a.m. The $10 fee, $6.50 for students, covers the cost of lunch and refreshments.
MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Wildlife watching, fee fishing, fee hunting and horse trail riding as outdoor recreational businesses will be discussed at a Sept. 30 workshop at Richardson’s Tree Farm in Brookhaven.
MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Meat and poultry processors and producers can learn more about emerging issues in their industries at an upcoming workshop in Brandon.
Mississippi State University’s Department of Food Science, Nutrition and Health Promotion is sponsoring the Oct. 1 workshop at the Rankin County Extension Office. A $35 fee will cover course materials, breaks and lunch. The registration deadline is Sept. 26.
MISSISSIPPI STATE -- A yearling quarter horse that was treated less than a year ago at Mississippi State University went on to become a world champion in August.
Veterinarians at MSU's College of Veterinary Medicine treated 20-month-old Touch My Imagination, or Ty, for a severe respiratory problem. He was named the world champion yearling quarter horse stallion Aug. 26 at the Bayer Select World Show in Amarillo, Texas. His owner is Connie Lee of Weatherford, Texas, formerly of Barton, Miss.
By Patti Drapala
MSU Ag Communications
MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Mississippi is a great lure for people who study butterflies and moths because of the unique habitats in the state and the Lepidoptera collection contained within Mississippi State University's renowned entomological museum.
The collecting opportunities and the museum significantly influenced The Lepidopterists' Society, an international association of professional researchers and amateur enthusiasts, to hold its 59th annual meeting in Mississippi for the first time this summer.
MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Quitman native John Michael Riley became an agricultural economist because he wanted to help solve problems producers face.
Through his involvement as a youth with 4-H, the National FFA Organization and the Mississippi Junior Cattlemen’s Association, Riley interacted with individuals dependent upon agriculture, and that interaction led to his desire to pursue his current profession.
MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Pet owners who discover their small animals have cancer have more hope than they would have had just a decade ago.
Mississippi State University's College of Veterinary Medicine has been part of a nationwide explosion in the study of oncology in dogs and cats. Veterinarians, who in years past could provide only a shoulder to cry on, now have many treatment options to offer pet owners.
MISSISSIPPI STATE -- A former landscape architecture professor at Mississippi State University who influenced many professionals in the business today is coming back to campus to participate in a program he began in 1955.
MISSISSIPPI STATE -- The College of Veterinary Medicine's ambulatory service is catching on as a win-win opportunity for Mississippi State University students and owners of large animals in the Starkville area and beyond.
Dr. David Christiansen, assistant professor in the Department of Pathobiology and Population Medicine, is spearheading the mobile service, which got under way in the fall of 2007. A fully equipped truck is available to take veterinarians and students off campus for routine or emergency care of horses, cattle, small ruminants and swine.