Feature Story from 2011
By Kaitlyn Byrne
MSU Ag Communications
MISSISSIPPI STATE – A Hinds County 4-H program was recently recognized for its commitment to helping youth get involved in agriculture and healthy living initiatives.
The Barnyard Crew 4-H club was selected to be one of the 2011 Mississippi KIDS COUNT Showcase of Success exhibitors at this year’s KIDS COUNT Summit. They were chosen because of their sustainable agriculture program, which teaches youth about agriculture and health.
MISSISSIPPI STATE – As local gas prices keep rising, many Mississippians are struggling to find the money to keep both the car and the family budget running smoothly.
According to the tracking service Mississippigasprices.com, fuel cost between $3.32 and $3.55 a gallon as of March 16, with a state average of $3.45 a gallon. Gas prices just three months ago were about $2.81 a gallon.
MISSISSIPPI STATE – The climate of Mississippi and the Gulf South region presents challenges for wood preservation, making water repellents and the environment top considerations.
David Jones, assistant Extension professor in Mississippi State University’s forest products department, said wood treatments can lengthen the performance of timber by decades.
MISSISSIPPI STATE – Mississippi women involved in agriculture are invited to share ideas and develop new ways to make their businesses more profitable at an upcoming conference at Mississippi State University.
The 2011 Mississippi Women for Agriculture conference will be held April 12-14 at the Bost Extension Center on the MSU campus. The conference registration fee is $50, and attendees will have the option to choose either an annual or lifetime membership.
MISSISSIPPI STATE – Students interested in the diverse world of natural resources, science and conservation can take advantage of four camps offered this summer by Mississippi State University.
The Natural Resources Summer Camp will be held June 5-9 at MSU. The $190 fee covers lodging, meals and all activities. Campers will spend time on campus, at Dorman and Choctaw lakes and the Noxubee National Wildlife Refuge. This camp is open to those entering ninth grade or older or who have recently graduated from high school.
MISSISSIPPI STATE – A new Mississippi State University Extension Service program will connect Mississippi families to important educational resources.
MSU Extension Service was recently awarded funding from the Appalachian Regional Commission to launch Project Navigator. The project is designed to provide better access to family resources and decrease the rates of child abuse and infant mortality through parent education programming and community service.
By Kaitlyn Byrne
MSU Ag Communications
MISSISSIPPI STATE – This year’s Bulldog Classic American Quarter Horse Association Show brought in a larger crowd than in previous years while continuing a tradition that has lasted more than 50 years.
The Bulldog Classic AQHA show is sponsored by Mississippi State University and held at the Mississippi Horse Park in Starkville. It is the oldest quarter horse show in Mississippi. Mary Hopkins, a rancher and horseback riding instructor in Vicksburg, played an instrumental role in starting the show in the early 1960s.
MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Everyone agrees on the importance of reading skills, but many people neglect their own financial literacy.
Susan Cosgrove is a family resource management agent with the Mississippi State University Extension Service. She is also president of Mississippi’s Jump$tart Coalition, a national nonprofit organization that promotes financial literacy.
MISSISSIPPI STATE – When JoVonn Hill stepped out of his vehicle in a cedar glade near Nashville, the first insect that crossed his path was a grasshopper never before identified.
Hill, a Mississippi Agricultural and Forestry Experiment Station research associate, was participating in a July 2009 expedition to catalog the insect life in the unique glades of the Cedars of Lebanon State Park in Tennessee.
MISSISSIPPI STATE – The horticulture club at Mississippi State University will offer garden enthusiasts a wide variety of plants and educational seminars at their annual spring plant sale.
This year’s sale will take place Friday, April 15 from 9 a.m. until 6:00 p.m. and Saturday, April 16 from 8 a.m. until 1 p.m. in the campus greenhouses behind Dorman Hall on MSU’s main campus. The event is free and open to the public.
A wide variety of plants will be available such as summer annuals, perennials, herbs, vegetables and ferns.
MISSISSIPPI STATE – Boosting childhood literacy has become a community-wide enterprise in Neshoba County.
Since 2008, Rotary International and community members have visited the Exhibit Hall Head Start Center in Philadelphia each week to participate in the Neshoba County Preschool Literacy Project. The program is designed to encourage school readiness and provide access to books. Volunteers read aloud, sing songs and engage in story-related activities, creating a bond over classic titles such as Eric Carle’s “The Very Hungry Caterpillar.”
By Karen Templeton
MSU Ag Communications
MISSISSIPPI STATE – Tiny soybean cyst nematodes cause big problems for soybean growers, but a Mississippi State University researcher is helping cut them down to size.
MISSISSIPPI STATE – Farmers have to grow two crops just to make one sweet potato harvest, making this delectable vegetable a labor-intensive, high-cost crop to produce.
As of late March, Mississippi sweet potato producers had finished bedding the crop, which means they had planted the seed stock that will produce transplants, or slips. These slips will be planted in May and June to produce the sweet potatoes that end up on tables.
MISSISSIPPI STATE – Eleven young women visited Mississippi State University to learn how to turn their passion for wildlife into rewarding jobs at the first Conservation Careers Discovery Day.
MISSISSIPPI STATE – Recent winners of Mississippi’s top 4-H clubs can credit the work of volunteer leaders for inspiring youth to exceptional community service.
“Volunteers have been the backbone of 4-H clubs since the clubs started more than a century ago,” said Harvey Gordon, 4-H youth development specialist with Mississippi State University’s Extension Service. He oversees the 7,700 volunteers who lead more than 109,000 youth in 1,120 community-based clubs across Mississippi.
MISSISSIPPI STATE – In the ongoing attempt to put the best seed possible in the ground every time they plant, sweet potato growers often turn to virus-tested foundation seed for their next crop.
Many crops today are grown from genetically modified seed engineered to resist certain pests, diseases or weed-control chemicals. For most crops, growers must buy seed every year, not holding seed back from the previous year’s harvest to plant the coming year.
MISSISSIPPI STATE – Lionel “Bo” Beaulieu received the 2011 Excellence in Extension award for his significant accomplishments as the director of the Southern Rural Development Center at Mississippi State University.
The award from the Southern Rural Sociological Association serves to recognize the contributions of members in extending the work of rural sociology in the southern United States.
MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Cattle producers and buyers are finding a win-win method of marketing cattle in the Cattlemen’s Exchange and Homeplace Producer Sales.
Mississippi State University’s Extension Service is partnering with several organizations and sale barns to offer auctions in Winona and Hattiesburg for cattle that may never pass through either of those cities. Cattle remain on their home farms while buyers cast bids based on written descriptions of the cattle and video technology.
MISSISSIPPI STATE – Northeast Mississippi will be noisier than usual later this spring when periodical cicadas make their once-every-13-year appearance.
Blake Layton, entomologist with the Mississippi State University Extension Service, said the periodical cicadas are different from the large, green, annual cicadas that emerge and sound off each summer, usually from mid-June through fall.
“Periodical cicadas are black and orange with red eyes, and they hatch in the thousands,” Layton said. “The singing of the males is loud and long.”
MISSISSIPPI STATE – Mississippi State University will teach kids there can never be too many cooks in the kitchen at the fifth annual Fun with Food camp.
MSU’s Department of Food Science, Nutrition and Health Promotion is offering the Fun with Food camp for students entering third through sixth grade.