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Feature Story from 2009

Dr. Shane Burgess, a researcher at Mississippi State University's College of Veterinary Medicine, is working on a massive, online project to catalogue the chicken genome. (Photo illustration by Tom Thompson)
January 29, 2009 - Filed Under: Animal Health, Poultry

MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Chickens are often used in place of humans in jokes and cartoons, and science has found they are helpful models for genetic research as well.

January 29, 2009 - Filed Under: Lawn and Garden

MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Mississippi gardeners will have an opportunity to attend a new exposition honoring plants and all things related to them at an event the first weekend in March.

The Everything Garden Expo will take place March 7 and 8 at the Mississippi Horse Park, located on Mississippi State University’s South Farm. Doors will be open from 8 a.m. until 6 p.m. on Saturday and from noon until 5 p.m. on Sunday. Admission is $5, and children 7 and younger are admitted free.

Alex Corzo, assistant poultry science research professor at Mississippi State University, carefully monitors chicks that eat feed containing an ethanol byproduct. (Photo by Marco Nicovich)
January 29, 2009 - Filed Under: Biofuels

By Karen Templeton
MSU Ag Communications

MISSISSIPPI STATE – Ethanol serves as an alternative to conventional fossil fuels, and researchers are finding ways the poultry industry can benefit from its production.

Demand for biofuels is due in large part to volatile fossil fuel prices. American businesses are embracing the shift toward renewable energy, and government mandates are making it more profitable for corn producers to sell the crop for ethanol production than for animal feed.

January 29, 2009 - Filed Under: Master Gardener

MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Mississippi State University specialists have put together the schedule to train the next wave of Master Gardeners who will serve the landscape and horticulture needs of the state through their volunteer efforts.

Silvana Rausa, a Greenwood Master Gardener, is a native Italian who moved with her husband, an American physician, to the United States and eventually settled in the Delta. She lived in the Italian countryside as a child and a high-rise apartment as a young married woman, and now she enjoys all the beauties her own garden offers. (Photo by Marco Nicovich)
February 5, 2009 - Filed Under: Master Gardener

MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Volunteers who have earned the title of Master Gardener share a love for gardening and a desire to serve others, but the projects they take on are as varied and unique as the individuals themselves.

Mississippi has more than 750 active Master Gardeners, a group of people who have completed 40 hours of college-level training in horticulture and volunteered a required number of hours.

Dr. Jerome Goddard, a medical and veterinary entomologist with the Mississippi State University Extension Service, examines an insect specimen in his laboratory on campus. Goddard hopes to use his experience as a public health entomologist for teaching, research and outreach. (Photo by Marco Nicovich)
February 5, 2009 - Filed Under: Insects

By Patti Drapala
MSU Ag Communications

MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Jerome Goddard left his mark on Mississippi State University in 1984 when he graduated with a doctorate in medical entomology, and now he is back to reclaim it.

February 5, 2009 - Filed Under: Farmers Markets

MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Mississippians looking to buy or sell fresh produce have an online resource to help them find the best places to do this.

The Mississippi State University Extension Service compiles a list of farmers’ markets operating in the state. The list includes 49 farmers’ markets as of its most recent update on Jan. 21. Farmers’ markets that opened in 2008 are noted on the list, as are those certified by the Mississippi Department of Agriculture and commerce as part of the Mississippi Farmers’ Market Certification Program.

Wes Herrington of Laurel, Miss., 16, prepares to take his steer into the Dixie National Sale of Junior Champions Thursday morning. (Photos by Jim Lytle)
February 6, 2009 - Filed Under: Youth Livestock

JACKSON -- Economic woes cannot change what many Mississippians are deep down in their hearts -- generous.

The Feb. 5 Dixie National Sale of Junior Champions marked 40 years charitable buyers have stepped forward to bid on market animals raised by 4-H and FFA members from across the state. The event rewards youth for jobs well done and provides money for educational funds, future livestock projects or other needs.

February 11, 2009 - Filed Under: Trees

By Karen Templeton
MSU Ag Communications

MISSISSIPPI STATE – Mississippians will celebrate a 137-year-old holiday honoring the beauty and benefits of trees Feb. 13-20.

National Arbor Day, founded in 1872, is observed nationwide and encourages tree planting and care. States observe Arbor Day during their region's tree-planting season. Arbor Day in Mississippi is honored on the second Friday in Feb., and the celebration continues for one week.

February 12, 2009 - Filed Under: Lawn and Garden

MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Although most lawns and gardens look brown and dead through the winter, a lot of activity is taking place underground as plants prepare for the growing seasons.

Lelia Kelly, consumer horticulture specialist with the Mississippi State University Extension Service, said roots are continuing to grow and develop underground when the plants are dormant aboveground.

“That is why experts recommend fall planting for trees and bushes,” Kelly said. “Roots have time to establish before spring when active top growth begins.”

This radiograph shows the approximately 26 pellets in her head and neck.
February 12, 2009 - Filed Under: Animal Health, Pets

MISSISSIPPI STATE -- A bullet to the brain usually means game over, but one young Labrador retriever beat the odds with the expert emergency help of a local veterinarian and Mississippi State University's College of Veterinary Medicine.

Tess is an 18-month-old female black lab who was accidentally shot in the head with a shotgun while duck hunting early one Sunday morning in December. She was in a near comatose state by the time her owner Steve Horn of Madison got her to the CVM emergency room four to five hours later.

February 13, 2009 - Filed Under: Children and Parenting

MISSISSIPPI STATE – The second annual Mississippi KIDS COUNT Summit will focus on the positive future of Mississippi’s children.

The summit, “Moving Mississippi’s Children Forward: What Will It Take?” will be held Feb. 25 at Mississippi State University’s Riley Center in Meridian. The event will provide a forum to discuss ways to meet the economic, educational, health and safety needs of children in the state. Child advocates, educators, policymakers, parents and concerned citizens are invited to participate.

Mary Riley, coordinator for Mississippi State University's 4-H therapeutic riding program, and volunteer Shanna Holder, talk to 9-year-old Elizabeth Howard of Columbus as she sits atop her favorite horse, Bob. Howard's parents, Tommy and Brenda, are donating funds to construct a new therapeutic activity center in West Point. (Photo by Marco Nicovich)
February 19, 2009 - Filed Under: 4-H

MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Tommy and Brenda Howard of Columbus could see how much the spring and fall sessions of Mississippi State University’s 4-H therapeutic riding program helped their daughter, so they made a donation to help make the program a year-round option.

MSU biochemistry major Erika Knott prepares a slide for examination under the microscope. Knott spent her summer studying products that occur in the environment as TNT breaks down. (Photo by Marco Nicovich)
February 19, 2009 - Filed Under: Biotechnology

By Patti Drapala
MSU Ag Communications

MISSISSIPPI STATE – While scientists are unsure about TNT's long-term effect on the environment as it breaks down, Mississippi State University student Erika Knott discovered a dynamic way to practice the art of forensics through a research project on its degradation.

February 19, 2009 - Filed Under: Family Financial Management

MISSISSIPPI STATE -- A group of state experts on consumer protection issues will be in Starkville March 5 to discuss a wide range of topics, and via interactive video, people across the state can ask questions directly.

William Oliver, producer chair for the grain crops group, presented research and education needs to MSU personnel. A primary interest of the group is to learn more about controlling fire ants.
February 26, 2009 - Filed Under: Agriculture

VERONA – On Feb. 19, the nation’s oldest group of its type met for the 56th time at the North Mississippi Research and Extension Center in Verona.

The North Mississippi Producer Advisory Council, made up of producers in the northern part of the state, have met annually since 1953 to prioritize their research and educational needs for the coming year. The Council meeting provides a venue in which producers can communicate these needs to Mississippi State University Extension Service and Mississippi Agricultural and Forestry Experiment Station personnel.

February 26, 2009 - Filed Under: Family Financial Management

By Karen Templeton
MSU Ag Communications

MISSISSIPPI STATE – An increase in mortgage foreclosures is spreading fear among homeowners who have suffered a loss of income, but falling behind on payments does not necessarily mean they must give up their homes.

There are many circumstances that can lead to homeowners not being able to make their mortgage payments, such as job layoffs, divorce or death of a spouse. In an uncertain economy, any of these circumstances can be an even more serious blow to families who are struggling to make house payments.

February 26, 2009 - Filed Under: Animal Health

MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Students at Mississippi State University’s College of Veterinary Medicine will welcome thousands of school children to campus on the first weekend in April.

MSU’s College of Veterinary Medicine will open its doors from 8:30 a.m. until 3:30 p.m. on April 3 and from 8 a.m. until 2 p.m. on April 4 for the 25th annual open house at the Wise Center, located on the south side of campus off Spring Street. “Treating the Sick, Teaching to Save” is the theme for this year’s event.

February 26, 2009 - Filed Under: Family Financial Management

MISSISSIPPI STATE – Checks and debit cards are handy ways to pay bills without actually carrying money around, but consumers still must be wise using them.

A check used to be a straightforward document authorizing one person to draw a certain amount of money from a consumer's account. The process took a day or more and required a signature and the transfer of actual pieces of paper. Debit cards simplified that process for consumers, and the digital processing of check information simplified it for businesses.

February 26, 2009 - Filed Under: Family Financial Management

MISSISSIPPI STATE – A financial literacy program is leaving lasting impressions on high school students as they get a taste of the real world.

“Welcome to the Real World” introduces students to realistic scenarios and the budgeting challenges life can bring.

Teresa Lyle, family resource management area agent with Mississippi State University's Extension Service, brings the program to school groups ranging from 10 students to 300 or more.

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