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Feature Story from 2011

Each fall, scientists from all over the world flock to Mississippi State University to learn the latest in insect-rearing techniques. Blaine Junfin of Kunafin Insectaries and international participants Tara Van Beelen and Neil Naish identify insect pathogens in an MSU lab. (Photo by Kat Lawrence)
January 6, 2011 - Filed Under: Agriculture, Insects

By Cheree Franco
MSU Ag Communications

MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Most Mississippians spend their lives swatting mosquitoes, but each fall scientists from all over the world flock to Mississippi State University to learn to raise hardy mosquitoes, flies and other insects.

In 1999, professor emeritus Frank Davis and a handful of his colleagues in the entomology department recognized a lack of mass insect-rearing facilities at universities. They approached Vance Watson, then Vice President of Agriculture, with a proposal.

Hosea Brown, right, cooks down sugar cane syrup to molasses the old-fashioned way over a wood fire in his family business in Jefferson Davis County. Family friend Joe Norwood helps with the work at My Paw Paw's Ole Fashion Molasses in New Hebron. (Photo by Prentiss Headlight/Shirley Burnham)
January 6, 2011 - Filed Under: Agriculture, Community, Family

MISSISSIPPI STATE – An old-time family tradition of turning sugar cane into molasses earned a Jefferson Davis County man honors as the state’s top syrup producer for 2010.

Hosea Brown owns and operates My Paw Paw’s Ole Fashion Molasses in New Hebron. He grows about 1.5 acres of sugar cane on his Bradley Hills Farm and processes the cane into syrup molasses each year.

“I do this as a hobby because my grandfather has done it for years,” Brown said. “I’m just trying to keep it going as a family heirloom, and I have somewhat taken on the family responsibility.”

January 6, 2011 - Filed Under: 4-H, City and County Government

MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Four qualified 4-H=ers who want to learn more about state government will have the chance to be pages for one week in March during the 2011 Mississippi legislative session.

The Mississippi State University Extension Service 4-H program and the Center for Governmental Training and Technology are sponsoring the opportunity for 4-H youth to serve in the 2011 Legislative Page Internship Program March 14-18. Program coordinators hope to select two male and two female 4-H’ers for the positions.

January 6, 2011 - Filed Under: Family, Family Financial Management

By Justin Ammon
Mississippi Agricultural and Forestry Experiment Station

MISSISSIPPI STATE -- All college students run a high risk for serious financial problems, and a Mississippi Agricultural and Forestry Experiment Station study indicates that older students are actually less financially secure than younger ones.

Rankin County Master Gardeners president Nellie Axley of Brandon admires the refurbished flower bed the group created for the local Extension office landscape.
January 6, 2011 - Filed Under: Lawn and Garden

By Patti Drapala
MSU Ag Communications

BRANDON – Rankin County Master Gardeners enjoy converting plain spaces into landscapes that draw attention, so they jumped at the chance to transform the county Extension office into a focal point for good gardening.

Lorrie Bryan, cake decorator at the Mississippi State University Fountain Bakery, creates Bully's pawprints to cupcakes after whipping up a batch of maroon frosting. (Photo by Scott Corey)
January 13, 2011 - Filed Under: Family

By Patti Drapala
MSU Ag Communications

MISSISSIPPI STATE – In the minds of many brides and grooms, the perfect wedding cake is one that acknowledges tradition yet reflects individuality, and most cake decorators can make the couple’s dreams come true.

Cake decorators use skill, experience and creativity to turn the wishes of the bride and groom into a showpiece that draws the admiration of the wedding guests. The cake must look good, but it also has to taste good to succeed.

January 13, 2011 - Filed Under: Family, Children and Parenting

MISSISSIPPI STATE – The fourth annual Mississippi KIDS COUNT Summit will focus on the educational challenges affecting the future of Mississippi’s children.

This year’s event, “Working Together to Improve Educational Outcomes for Mississippi’s Children: What Will It Take?” will be Feb. 3 at Christ United Methodist Church in Jackson. The event provides a forum to discuss early care and education, literacy, healthy schools and graduation rates.

January 13, 2011 - Filed Under: Family, Family Dynamics, Pets

By Cheree Franco
MSU Ag Communications

MISSISSIPPI STATE – In the chaos of organizing a wedding, brides and grooms sometimes overlook how tough the transition may be for their furry, feathered and hoofed friends.

Blending pet families can be stressful for both humans and animals, but foresight and attention to detail help ensure a successful adjustment.

January 13, 2011 - Filed Under: Family, Family Financial Management

MISSISSIPPI STATE – The real financial challenges of a marriage have much less to do with the wedding itself than with learning to handle money wisely as a couple.

Carla Stanford, Mississippi State University Extension Service child and family development area agent in Pontotoc County, said couples should know each others’ spending habits and financial patterns before they marry.

January 13, 2011 - Filed Under: Family, Family Dynamics

By Karen Templeton
MSU Ag Communications

MISSISSIPPI STATE – Planning a wedding can be stressful for any couple, but when the bride or groom has divorced parents, the process can be even more challenging.

January 13, 2011 - Filed Under: Family, Family Financial Management

MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Couples may think tight wedding budgets mean only friends and family can provide food for receptions, but professional caterers offer options at any price level.

Vicki Leach, chef instructor in the Culinary Arts Institute at Mississippi University for Women, said caterers may even be willing to work with the couple’s family and friends.

“Business is business, and most caterers are looking for opportunities for people to taste their food,” she said. “Caterers can get referrals from even the smallest jobs, and that helps them build their client base.”

January 20, 2011 - Filed Under: Rural Health

MISSISSIPPI STATE – Mississippi high school juniors considering medical careers in their home state have the opportunity to take part in an intense and revealing summer program at Mississippi State University.

The five-week Rural Medical Scholars summer program at MSU aims to identify the state’s future primary care doctors and help them prepare for medical school admission.

January 20, 2011 - Filed Under: Agriculture, Beef

By Justin Ammon
Mississippi Agricultural and Forestry Experiment Station

MISSISSIPPI STATE – Recent research has demonstrated the value of cattle with calm temperaments and the price producers pay for keeping wilder animals in their herds.

A five-year Mississippi Agricultural and Forestry Experiment Station study found that cows with poor temperaments can affect the entire herd and reduce producers’ bottom lines.

January 20, 2011 - Filed Under: 4-H, STEM – Science Technology Engineering and Math

MISSISSIPPI STATE -- A popular statewide 4-H project has kicked off its new year with a capacity crowd at Mississippi State University.

Youth and volunteers involved in 4-H Robotics Clubs, located in more than a third of Mississippi’s counties, came to MSU on Jan. 15 to begin their projects. They will continue activities throughout January and monthly until the robotics contest at 4-H Club Congress and Project Achievement Days in June.

January 20, 2011 - Filed Under: Family, Health

MISSISSIPPI STATE – The Mississippi State University Extension Service is bringing communities together to address obesity in the Mississippi Delta.

Get Healthy, Trim Down Delta is a program supported by the Delta Health Alliance through financial support from the Office of Rural Health Policy, a branch of the Health Resources and Services Administration. Four counties inside the Delta were selected to participate in the program.

Rita W. Green
January 20, 2011 - Filed Under: Agriculture, Family Financial Management, About Extension

MISSISSIPPI STATE – Mississippi State University Extension Service specialist Rita W. Green is participating in a key U.S. Department of Agriculture policymaking board.

U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack appointed Green, MSU family resource management area agent based in Grenada County, to the National Agricultural Research Extension, Education and Economics Advisory Board. This group is the only USDA advisory board that reports directly to Congress. Green will represent consumer interests as well as serve on the specialty crop and the relevancy and adequacy committees.

January 20, 2011 - Filed Under: Animal Health, Pets

By Karen Templeton
MSU Ag Communications

MISSISSIPPI STATE – Stephen and Dava Imes will always remember their cat Mac as being one of a kind, and they are ensuring his legacy lives on through a Mississippi State University College of Veterinary Medicine scholarship.

Mac was a Maine coon cat, a breed known for its large size, long coat and intelligence. Stephen Imes of Columbus first saw Mac nine years ago in South Carolina and knew right away that Mac was something special.

January 25, 2011 - Filed Under: Commercial Horticulture, Fruit

VERONA – Fruit and vegetable producers and people with an interest in this business should mark their calendars for a Feb. 11 Mississippi State University Extension Service conference and trade show.

The Northeast Mississippi Fruit and Vegetable Producers Association Educational Conference and Trade Show will be held at the Lee County Agri-Center in Verona. The conference will begin with an 8 a.m. registration and wrap up at 5 p.m. The registration fee is $10 and includes handouts and lunch.

January 27, 2011 - Filed Under: Family, Children and Parenting, Nutrition

MISSISSIPPI STATE – Food assistance programs are designed to keep children fed who otherwise would be hungry, but a recent Southern Rural Development Center study found they often contribute to obesity in cities with a high cost of living.

The study was conducted by Elizabeth Rigby of The George Washington University and Rachel Tolbert Kimbro of Rice University. It was commissioned by the SRDC, housed at Mississippi State University, and it is part of the Food Assistance and Nutrition Information Series.

Dr. Lora Petrie-Hanson, an associate professor of immunology in MSU's College of Veterinary Medicine, examines a channel catfish raised for aquaculture disease research in the university's fish hatchery. (Photo by Tom Thompson)
January 27, 2011 - Filed Under: Animal Health, Catfish

MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Catfish research at Mississippi State University is no surprise given that Mississippi leads the nation in catfish production, but the potential applications of that research through the College of Veterinary Medicine’s fish hatchery are another story.

As the state’s land-grant university, MSU conducts research that benefits this valuable aquaculture industry and consumers. While some of that research can take place in farm ponds, other studies require fish with known health histories.

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