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Feature Story from 2009

Mississippi State University Collegiate 4-H member Billy Hudson, 19, of Greenwood tries his hand at grilling during one of the club's recent football tailgates. While club members often get together to socialize, they make community service a priority. (Photo by Patti Drapala)
November 12, 2009 - Filed Under: Collegiate 4-H, Family

By Patti Drapala
MSU Ag Communications

MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Mississippi State University students who did not participate in 4-H at the county level have a chance to join the collegiate version of an organization that nurtures leadership and teamwork.

Research conducted by Mississippi State University shows that protecting younger bucks improves the health of the deer population. (Photo by Steve Gulledge)
November 19, 2009 - Filed Under: Wildlife

MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Mississippi State University research has found that protecting young bucks improves herd health and creates a better hunting experience.

The university’s Department of Wildlife, Fisheries and Aquaculture has been conducting deer research for more than 40 years with the goal of improving deer populations throughout the Southeast. A recent study found that protecting young bucks is important because they father nearly a third of all fawns.

November 19, 2009 - Filed Under: Agriculture, Crops

MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Many acres of Mississippi crops remain in the fields, but by mid-November, most of what is left will have no market value and will not be harvested.

Nearly all the state’s corn crop was harvested by Nov. 8, but large percentages of the other row crops were still in the fields. Historically, harvest of the state’s corn, cotton, soybeans, rice, sorghum and sweet potato crops is complete by late October to early November.

MAFES variety testing operations manager Brad Burgess, left, and Jimmy Sneed, a grower from Senatobia, visit a corn plot on Sneed's farm near Hernando shortly before the 2009 harvest. (Photo by Linda Breazeale)
November 19, 2009 - Filed Under: Agriculture, Crops

MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Crop variety trials offer Mississippi growers insight into a new seed’s potential before they “bet the farm” on these options.

Farming has many factors that are beyond growers’ control including the weather, production costs and market prices. But a decades-old research service offered by the Mississippi Agricultural and Forestry Experiment Station aims to remove some of the unknowns as growers select varieties for the next year’s crop.

The MAFES Sales Store on Mississippi State University's campus is decorated for Christmas and offers a number of food products that can add flavor to any holiday or tailgating party. (Photo by Scott Corey)
November 20, 2009 - Filed Under: Community

MISSISSIPPI STATE – The Mississippi Agriculture and Forestry Experiment Station Sales Store located on Mississippi State University’s campus will have extended hours during Thanksgiving week.

During the week of Nov. 22 - 28, the store will be open Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday from 8 a.m. until 5:30 p.m. and, Friday from 11 a.m. until 5 p.m. The store will also be open for Egg Bowl attendees from 9 a.m. until 6 p.m. on Saturday.

Andrew Ezell
November 24, 2009 - Filed Under: Forestry

MISSISSIPPI STATE -- A 24-year-veteran faculty member is the new head of the Mississippi State University's forestry department.

Andrew Ezell will assume his new duties Dec. 1, leading the only 4-year forestry degree program in the state.

"Dr. Ezell has a wealth of experience in research, Extension and teaching," said George Hopper, dean of the College of Forest Resources and research center director. "His experience working with private landowners is extensive, and he will be an asset to the university and the state in his new role.”

November 24, 2009 - Filed Under: Agriculture, Poultry

By Karen Templeton
MSU Ag Communications

MISSISSIPPI STATE – Poultry’s spot as the state’s No. 1 agricultural commodity is due in large part to a strong relationship between the poultry industry and Mississippi State University.

MSU’s poultry science department assists the growing industry through education, research and outreach to help improve production. Sanderson Farms, the fourth-largest U.S. poultry producer and processor, has been located in Laurel since 1955. The company has a longstanding relationship with MSU researchers.

Bagging sweet potatoes as part of a service project at the annual meeting of southeastern Collegiate 4-H chapters at Mississippi State University are, from left, Antoine Jefferson, of the University of Georgia, Melanie Skaggs of Oklahoma State University, Sam Zarovy of Georgia Institute of Technology and Jonathan Jackson of Mississippi State University. (Photo by Scott Corey)
November 24, 2009 - Filed Under: Collegiate 4-H, Community

By Patti Drapala
MSU Ag Communications

MISSISSIPPI STATE – The holidays will be sweeter for food pantry patrons after Collegiate 4-H members from across the Southeast bagged more than 30,000 pounds of sweet potatoes at Mississippi State University’s annual drop for the Mississippi Food Network.

Dan Reynolds
December 3, 2009 - Filed Under: Weed Control for Crops, Community

MISSISSIPPI STATE -- A weed scientist who has spent his career developing strategies to control agricultural crop pests has been named interim head of Mississippi State University’s Department of Plant and Soil Sciences.

Dan Reynolds assumed his new duties Nov. 25. MSU Division of Agriculture, Forestry and Veterinary Medicine vice president Greg Bohach announced the appointment.

Two Mississippi State University agricultural division employees were recently honored for service and career achievement. From left are award sponsor representative Michael Barnes of Southern Ag Credit; Peter Ryan, recipient of the 2009 MAFES Excellence in Research Award; John Anderson, recipient of the 2009 Outstanding Extension Worker Award; and award sponsor representative Bill Cook of the Land Bank of North Mississippi. (Photo by Scott Corey)
December 3, 2009 - Filed Under: Agriculture, Equine

MISSISSIPPI STATE -- A Mississippi State University animal scientist who explores physiological factors affecting the ability of horses to reproduce and an MSU agricultural economist who makes sense of the interaction of market forces have each been honored with a prestigious award. 

Peter Ryan, a faculty member of the MSU Department of Animal and Dairy Sciences, received the 2009 Mississippi Agricultural and Forestry Experiment Station Excellence in Research Award. The award is sponsored by Southern Ag Credit, a part of the Farm Credit System.

December 3, 2009 - Filed Under: Rural Health

MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Mississippi State University will resume its efforts this summer to encourage talented high school juniors to consider medical professions in Mississippi.

From 1998 through 2007, special funding allowed MSU to offer the intense, five-week Rural Medical Scholars summer program. New funding from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services through the University of Mississippi Medical Center will help MSU identify the state’s future primary-care doctors and help them become members of the medical school class of 2019.

A field of "Freedom" giant miscanthus on Mississippi State Univ
December 3, 2009 - Filed Under: Agriculture, Biofuels

By Patti Drapala
MSU Ag Communications

MISSISSIPPI STATE – Collaboration between a Mississippi State University research agronomist and Georgia’s self-proclaimed “sodfather” may offer the Southeast the “Freedom” of a viable grassy feedstock to capitalize on sustainable bioenergy production.

Mississippi State University veterinary medical student Wade Bowers of Memphis and Aberdeen animal shelter manager Astrid Peterson play with several of the dogs at the facility. (Photo by Tom Thompson)
December 3, 2009 - Filed Under: Animal Health, Community

By Patti Drapala
MSU Ag Communications

MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Some people believe that 65 is over the hill, but staff and students at Mississippi State University’s College of Veterinary Medicine know this assumption is false because they have interacted with senior citizens who built and now manage Aberdeen’s animal shelter.

Shelter volunteers, who average 72 years old, have given many homeless animals in their area a second chance at finding loving homes. They established a facility after waging a public campaign to replace the city’s old pound.

December 3, 2009 - Filed Under: Animal Health, Family, Health

By Karen Templeton
MSU Ag Communications

MISSISSIPPI STATE – It is no secret that excessive drinking can take a toll on the body, but new research from Mississippi State University shows that binge drinking can even weaken its ability to fight off infection.

Dr. Stephen Pruett, head of basic sciences at MSU’s College of Veterinary Medicine, and Dr. Ruping Fan of Louisiana State University’s Health Sciences Center conducted a study examining the effects of binge drinking on the immune system. Binge drinking is the consumption of five or more drinks in one sitting.

December 3, 2009 - Filed Under: Animal Health

By Patti Drapala
MSU Ag Communications

MISSISSIPPI STATE – An outreach program that Mississippi State University’s College of Veterinary Medicine developed with a special endowment and supplemental gifts is creating new career opportunities in shelter animal medicine and community service for future graduates.

December 10, 2009 - Filed Under: Agriculture, Women for Agriculture

MISSISSIPPI STATE – People wanting to start a business or generate more profit in an existing one can participate in a seminar series the Mississippi State University Extension Service is providing through an entrepreneurial network.

Extension will present NxLevel for Entrepreneurs, a training module from NxLevel Education that empowers men and women to be better decision-makers and managers. The program is offered through Mississippi Women in Agriculture, a program of the Southern Rural Development Center.

Redbay ambrosia beetle
December 10, 2009 - Filed Under: Environment, Insects, Insects-Pests

MISSISSIPPI STATE – A beetle that made its presence known in Mississippi this summer is threatening the extinction of redbay trees in the state and could harm the future of traditional Cajun cuisine.

The beetle is the redbay ambrosia beetle, a dark brown insect about half the size of an uncooked grain of rice. It spreads the pathogen that causes Laurel wilt disease in many tree species, including Mississippi’s redbay and sassafras trees. Redbay leaves and file’, which is made from sassafras leaves, are used commonly as spices in Cajun dishes such as gumbo.

Decorated Christmas tree with gifts under it.
December 10, 2009 - Filed Under: Christmas Trees, Family

By Patti Drapala
MSU Ag Communications

MISSISSIPPI STATE – Consumers of a decade ago had few disposal options for real Christmas trees, but today they can be recycled into other natural products.

December 10, 2009 - Filed Under: Family, Children and Parenting

MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Selecting quality child care can be a tough decision for parents trying to go back to work or school, but a network offered through Mississippi State University is helping ease the process.

Factors in the child-care decision include cost, location, type of care, programs available and openings. This emotional choice is made even harder when negative news stories discuss the latest health and safety violations or child endangerment cases being investigated at child-care facilities.

December 17, 2009 - Filed Under: Agriculture, Crops, Agricultural Economics

MISSISSIPPI STATE –Agricultural economists are forecasting increases in government payments and in the value of only one of Mississippi’s 2009 crops -- hay.

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