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Feature Story from 2008

October 31, 2008 - Filed Under: Community

MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Sir Richard Roberts, a co-recipient of the 1993 Nobel Prize in physiology or medicine, will take part in a lecture series Nov. 4 at Mississippi State University.

Roberts, a native of England, will discuss business ventures in the biosciences industry as part of the Jack Hatcher Entrepreneurship Program. The free lecture will take place at 2 p.m. in the auditorium of the Swalm Chemical Engineering Building. Roberts and American Phillip A. Sharp shared the Nobel Prize in 1993 “for their discoveries of split genes,” according to the organization’s Web site.

November 6, 2008 - Filed Under: Wildlife

Bird watching…

By Andrea Cooper and Karen Brasher
College of Forest Resources

MISSISSIPPI STATE -- More than 71 million Americans actively participate in bird watching, and they spend some $45 million each year on the hobby.

Mississippi, however, has so far flown under the bird-watching radar, ranking 45th in income from birding. Researchers at Mississippi State University's Forest and Wildlife Research Center are studying ways to improve the state's revenue from birding activities, especially in areas along the Mississippi River.

Soybean rust appeared in 79 of the state's 82 counties in 2008, but it came late enough that it did not cause yield losses. This soybean leaf is infected with the rust virus. (Photo by Jim Lytle)
November 6, 2008 - Filed Under: Soybeans, Plant Diseases

MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Mississippi soybean growers wrapped up another year's battle with soybean rust without yield losses to the disease, even though it was found in 79 of the state's 82 counties.

Tom Allen, an Extension plant pathologist at Mississippi State University's Delta Research and Extension Center in Stoneville, has been part of the team monitoring the disease since 2007. He announced Nov. 1 that soybean rust had been found in all counties except Hancock, Harrison and Stone counties in south Mississippi.

November 6, 2008 - Filed Under: Landscape Architecture

MISSISSIPPI STATE – A landscape short course Dec. 10-12 at Mississippi State University will give professionals and enthusiasts a chance to learn more about plants and their maintenance.

Sponsored by the MSU Extension Service, the event will be in Dorman Hall. Early registration is $160 per person if paid by Dec. 1. Onsite registration is $200. The fee covers the cost of educational materials, supplies and some meals.

The short course will cover basic principles of landscape establishment and management.

November 13, 2008 - Filed Under: Family Financial Management

By Patti Drapala
MSU Ag Communications

MISSISSIPPI STATE – While Elvis Presley had a “Blue Christmas” in mind when he recorded his 1957 seasonal hit, today's environmentally conscious consumers think of “going green” for the holidays.

Eco-friendly and affordable decorations, gifts, wrapping paper, ribbons and greeting cards are available in stores. Brainstorming, budgeting and goal-setting can produce good ideas and make the process less stressful, said Bobbie Shaffett, family resource management specialist with the Mississippi State University Extension Service.

November 13, 2008 - Filed Under: Family Financial Management

MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Food bills are an often hidden but substantial holiday expense, and families should shop carefully and stick to budgets to keep spending from getting out of hand.

Bobbie Shaffett, family resource management specialist with the Mississippi State University Extension Service, said food costs rose 7 percent in 2008. Families typically spend an average of 12 percent to 15 percent of their budget on food.

November 13, 2008 - Filed Under: Sweet Potatoes, Nutrition

MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Mississippi is a national leader in the production of the sweet potato, a holiday favorite and also one of the most nutritious vegetables available year-round.

Benny Graves, executive secretary of the Mississippi Sweet Potato Council, said the state's sweet potatoes have a reputation for their taste and quality.

November 13, 2008 - Filed Under: Family Dynamics

MISSISSIPPI STATE -- In a holiday season that can seem only about getting, many parents are looking for ways to teach their children about giving instead.

Carla Stanford, Mississippi State University Extension Service child and family development area agent in Pontotoc County, said the best way to encourage a giving spirit at Christmas and all year is through role modeling.

November 13, 2008 - Filed Under: Family Dynamics

By Patti Drapala
MSU Ag Communications

MISSISSIPPI STATE -- The holiday season is supposed to lift people's spirits with joy and wonder, but it sometimes triggers feelings of stress and depression.

And just like hope, there is always help.

People need to put themselves on the right path to alleviate the stress they feel, said Josephine Tate, area health agent with the Mississippi State University Extension Service.

November 20, 2008 - Filed Under: Christmas Trees

By Patti Drapala
MSU Ag Communications

MISSISSIPPI STATE -- A Christmas tree adds joy and life to a home during the holidays, but thoughts of tree cleanup and disposal can dampen enthusiasm for a real one.

Consumers who do a little investigative work into recycling options can avoid these problems. Although Mississippi does not have a statewide recycling program for leftover trees, some communities do.

November 20, 2008 - Filed Under: Community

MISSISSIPPI STATE -- More than 50 varieties of poinsettias will be on display, and some will be for sale at Mississippi State University’s annual horticulture holiday open house Dec. 5.

The open house and sale is from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Friday in the greenhouses behind Dorman Hall on campus at MSU. The event is free and open to the public.

Hundreds of people come each year to see the greenhouse display. Flower colors include pink, white, burgundy, marble and many shades of red. Students in MSU’s Horticulture Club will sell poinsettias they cultivated this year.

Federal Land Bank Association of South Mississippi Senior Vice President Gary Blair; Juan Silva; Professor, Food Science, Nutrition and Health Promotion; Outstanding MAFES Worker Award; John Coccaro; Warren County Extension Director; Outstanding Extension Worker Award; Land Bank North Vice President and Tupelo Branch Manager Joe Mallard; and MSU Interim Vice President for Agriculture; Forestry and Veterinary Medicine Melissa Mixon.
November 20, 2008 - Filed Under: Community

MISSISSIPPI STATE – John Coccaro and Juan Silva’s leadership and outstanding contributions to their fields earned them 2008 Outstanding Worker Awards at Mississippi State University.

Coccaro received the MSU Extension Service’s Outstanding Professional Award, and Silva received the Mississippi Agricultural and Forestry Experiment Station Research Award. The awards were given at the joint annual conference for the Extension Service and MAFES.

Mississippi Christmas tree grower Michael May examines a 4-year-old Leyland Cypress on his farm, Lazy Acres Plantation in Chunky. (Photo by Patti Drapala)
November 20, 2008 - Filed Under: Christmas Trees

By Patti Drapala
MSU Ag Communications

MISSISSIPPI STATE -- The 2008 Christmas tree crop in Mississippi is shaping up to be a good one as growers finish their spraying, shaking and shearing in time for holiday shoppers.

“Christmas tree farming is labor intensive,” said Steve Dicke, forestry specialist with the Mississippi State University Extension Service. “Because the trees are a high-value crop, the standard in producing them also is high.”

November 20, 2008 - Filed Under: Fisheries

MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Fall finds owners of new and renovated ponds filling them with water and preparing to stock sport fish to produce quality fishing opportunities.

Wes Neal, fisheries specialist with the Mississippi State University Extension Service, said the best time to stock fish is in the fall and spring. Many owners build ponds in the summer, allow rains or streams to fill them in the fall and then stock them.

November 25, 2008 - Filed Under: Agricultural Economics

MISSISSIPPI STATE -- With banks in financial trouble and the stock market still dropping, farmers preparing to secure financing for next year's crops should expect an uphill battle.

David Schweikhardt, a professor of domestic policy and international trade issues in the Department of Agricultural, Food and Resource Economics at Michigan State University, said producers are paying off their production loans in the fall and will get new ones in the spring.

November 25, 2008 - Filed Under: Soils

By Patti Drapala
MSU Ag Communications

MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Mississippi farmers have no control over volatile fertilizer costs but they can use good soil fertility management to offset the effect on production expenses.

“We have to be efficient users of fertilizer, and that doesn't mean just this product's application rate,” said Larry Oldham, soil specialist with the Mississippi State University Extension Service. “This concept includes the whole production system of seed, soil, water, climate, pests, labor and capital.”

November 25, 2008 - Filed Under: Animal Health

MISSISSIPPI STATE -- A shortage of research veterinarians has prompted a new degree program that allows a student to earn a veterinary degree and a doctoral degree at the same time.

Mississippi State University's College of Veterinary Medicine is responding to a growing demand for researchers needed to study environmental impacts on human and animal health.

Shardendu Kumar Singh
December 4, 2008 - Filed Under: Community

MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Shardendu Kumar Singh, a former Mississippi State University graduate student, was honored by the Association of Agricultural Scientists of Indian Origin as its 2008 Outstanding Graduate Student Award winner.

The association includes agricultural scientists, faculty, post-doctoral fellows and graduate students of Indian origin. The group provides development opportunities for new scientists and graduate students. Singh received his award at the association’s annual meeting in Houston in October.

December 4, 2008 - Filed Under: Children and Parenting

MISSISSIPPI STATE -- A Mississippi State University program recently was honored for its early childhood training workshops.

The MSU Extension Service Child Care Resource and Referral Network received the 2008 Swimmy Award during the Mississippi Early Childhood Association’s annual conference held in October in Jackson. The Swimmy Award is based on the children’s book “Swimmy” by Leo Lionni, an internationally known author and artist. The award is presented to organizations for their collaboration, teamwork and dedication to Mississippi’s youth. 

December 4, 2008 - Filed Under: Animal Health

MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Titles like “You Want To Put What, Where?” and “We Don't Just Shoot 'Em Anymore” put a light-hearted spin on some complex science in an attempt to recruit students to a new class that offers a look at veterinary medicine.

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