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Feature Story from 2012

David Nagel, a horticulturist with Mississippi State University's Extension Service, shows Col. Bert Gilmore, right, and Col. David Powell how well a winter squash can be maintained more than a year after harvest. MSU agricultural specialists recently trained an elite group of military personnel preparing to help Afghans grow and store crops. (Photo by MSU Ag Communications/Linda Breazeale)
May 17, 2012 - Filed Under: Agriculture, About Extension

HATTIESBURG -- Mississippi’s Extension agents are not being deployed to Afghanistan, but their agricultural and food preservation information is.

Mississippi State University Extension Director Gary Jackson said agricultural specialists recently trained an elite group of military personnel preparing to assist the Afghan Ministry of Agriculture. After they are deployed, these men and women will maintain their contact with MSU specialists for ongoing needs and questions as they assist Afghan agricultural agents with demonstration food plots and similar responsibilities.

May 17, 2012 - Filed Under: 4-H, Technology, STEM – Science Technology Engineering and Math

MISSISSIPPI STATE – Robotics is a gateway to engineering careers and the focus of one track at the 2012 4-H Tech Camp in Starkville.

Mississippi high school students in 4-H can learn how to apply their technical skills to college success in the senior robotics track at Tech Camp. The residential program is offered through the Mississippi State University Extension Service 4-H youth program.

Mississippi State University professor of aquatic sciences Robbie Kroger (left) demonstrates how a riser pipe works to trap sediment and increase water quality to Ben Scaggs (right), director of the Environmental Protection Agency's Gulf of Mexico Program and Phil Bass (center), executive director of the Gulf of Mexico Alliance. The site visit was part of a new conservation initiative called Research and Education to Advance Conservation and Habitat. (Submitted Photo)
May 22, 2012 - Filed Under: Agriculture, Natural Resources

MISSISSIPPI STATE – Some skeptics think agricultural production and natural resource conservation are incompatible, but a Mississippi State University scientist is committed to proving them wrong, one farm at a time.

Robbie Kroger, assistant professor of aquatic sciences in the MSU Department of Wildlife, Fisheries and Aquaculture, is the co-founder and spokesperson for a new initiative called Research and Education to Advance Conservation and Habitat, or REACH.

 Jimmy Avery
May 22, 2012 - Filed Under: Catfish

STONEVILLE -- Two Mississippi State University scientists are taking on new leadership roles at the university’s Delta Research and Extension Center in Stoneville.

Jimmy Avery, who has served as the MSU Extension Service aquaculture specialist since 1999, has been named director of the Southern Regional Aquaculture Center.

The mission of the center is to support aquaculture research and education in the Southeast. Its goal is to enhance aquaculture production to benefit consumers, producers, service industries and the American economy.

Mississippi State University senior Justin Phelps of Madison shows alumna Robin Cox the draping project he completed in the apparel, textiles and merchandising program. Cox returned to her alma mater to share her career experiences as a corporate merchandise planner for national retailer jcpenney during the Senior Showcase. (Photo by MSU Ag Communications/Scott Corey)
May 24, 2012 - Filed Under: Community, Family

MISSISSIPPI STATE -- A passion for fashion led a Mississippi State University alumna back to campus to share her career path with students in the apparel, textiles and merchandising program.

Robin Cox, a 1998 MSU graduate and corporate merchandise planner for national retailer J.C. Penney Co., now known as jcpenney, spent a day talking with students and faculty as part of the Senior Showcase. This event celebrated 2012 graduates and the design work they completed while in MSU’s School of Human Sciences.

May 24, 2012 - Filed Under: Agriculture, Crops, Invasive Plants

STONEVILLE – Farmers can learn more about controlling Palmer amaranth, universally hated and commonly known as pigweed, at an upcoming field day.

Mississippi State University’s Delta Research and Extension Center will host a Pigweed Field Day from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. on June 14.

May 24, 2012 - Filed Under: Insects, Fire Ants, Lawn and Garden

MISSISSIPPI STATE – Fire ants are one of the most frustrating insect pests to deal with in Mississippi lawns, but they can be successfully controlled with the correct approach.

“There is a lot of confusion when it comes to treating fire ants, but it is not that complicated,” said Blake Layton, an entomology specialist with Mississippi State University’s Extension Service. “I recommend using what I call the one-two punch.”

May 31, 2012 - Filed Under: Agriculture, Crops, Cotton

MISSISSIPPI STATE – A Mississippi State University researcher landed another grant to continue work begun in 2007 to support the state’s cotton industry.

Ted Wallace, a researcher with the Mississippi Agricultural and Forestry Experiment Station, received a $25,000 grant for 2012 from Cotton Inc. to continue his work developing nematode-resistant cotton cultivars.

Joanne King sees purpose in items others might think are ready for the trash. She repaired this broken pot using an old piece of clothing and glue to put the tiny fragments back together. (Photo by MSU Ag Communications/Susan Collins-Smith)
May 31, 2012 - Filed Under: Lawn and Garden, Flower Gardens

NATCHEZ – Joanne King is passionate about gardening, and it shows -- all over her Adams County yard.

Colorful blooms and various shades of green abound from any view, anytime of year.

“I always like to have something blooming, and I’ve accomplished that,” King said.

King gives a lot of credit for her gardening success to the Master Gardener training program facilitated by Mississippi State University’s Extension Service. King took the class in 2001 and moved from the city limits of Natchez in 2002.

Drs. Cyprianna Swiderski (left) and Elizabeth Carothers perform lung function testing on Max, who suffers from an asthma-like condition. Swiderski's research is one of the studies at Mississippi State University's College of Veterinary Medicine designed to translate scientific advances from veterinary medicine to human medicine. (Photo by MSU College of Veterinary Medicine/Tom Thompson)
May 31, 2012 - Filed Under: Animal Health, Pets

MISSISSIPPI STATE – New medical breakthroughs offer hope to those who suffer from health problems, and researchers at Mississippi State University are trying to reduce the time it takes for scientific advances to get from the laboratory to the patient.

Eight-year-old Collin McWhorter and other military youth work with Lowndes County Master Gardener intern Alma Greer to plant seeds for a garden at the Columbus Air Force Base youth center as part of the Welcome Home Garden program sponsored by 4-H and the Burpee Seed Co. (Photo by MSU Ag Communications/Scott Corey)
May 31, 2012 - Filed Under: 4-H, Family

MISSISSIPPI STATE – Planting seeds for healthy living is a way of life for Lowndes County 4-H Agent Sharon Patrick, especially in her work at the Columbus Air Force Base.

“Our on-base 4-H club has been learning about choosing healthy foods using the MyPlate guidelines, and when I heard about Burpee’s Welcome Home Garden program, I thought it would be an excellent way to support the concepts we’ve studied -- eating healthy, exercising and being responsible,” Patrick said. “I talked to the director of the CAFB youth center, and before you knew it, we had a garden planned.”

Joe Street
May 31, 2012 - Filed Under: About Extension

MISSISSIPPI STATE – A veteran administrator has been selected to head the operations of the Mississippi Agricultural and Forestry Experiment Station and the Mississippi State University Extension Service in North Mississippi.

Mississippi State University Extension Service forage specialist Rocky Lemus examines a bermudagrass analysis from a portable forage tester on May 21, 2012, at the Henry H. Leveck Animal Research Farm, the forage unit at MSU's South Farm in Starkville. Forage and cattle producers can use test results to make harvest and feed supplement decisions. (Photo by MSU Ag Communications/Linda Breazeale)
June 1, 2012 - Filed Under: Agriculture, Crops, Forages, Technology

MISSISSIPPI STATE – Mississippi State University has the South’s first portable forage tester that can give hay and cattle producers immediate decision-making information and enable them to improve their profit margins.

Rocky Lemus, assistant Extension and research professor in MSU’s Department of Plant and Soil Sciences, said the small machine has big potential.

“We can use this year-round, testing grass in pastures and hay in fields during the growing season or testing hay in the barn during winter,” Lemus said.

June 1, 2012 - Filed Under: Agriculture, Health

MISSISSIPPI STATE – A Mississippi State University plant pathology researcher’s discovery of an agricultural phenomenon could lead to the development of a new antifungal drug.

The potential drug shows significant promise for the treatment of serious fungal infections in people with compromised immune systems, such as those undergoing chemotherapy treatments and those with HIV or AIDS. While MSU holds numerous patents and licenses, this is the first time a potential pharmaceutical drug has emerged from MSU research.

More than 500 youth ages 14-18 came to Mississippi State University in late May for State 4-H Congress to compete and improve their skills. These youth were shooting photographs as part of a 4-H photography workshop. (Photo by MSU Ag Communications/Scott Corey)
June 4, 2012 - Filed Under: 4-H, Family

MISSISSIPPI STATE – This summer’s jam-packed 4-H schedule finishes out another full year of activities for the youth development program of the Mississippi State University Extension Service.

Close to 96,000 Mississippi youth are involved in 4-H this year. They learn, participate and compete in a variety of areas. 4-H’ers can be involved in ATV safety training and shooting sports, grilling and food safety, livestock shows and forestry events, weeds and seeds, robotics, photography, fashion and numerous other program areas.

An early spring is giving many home gardeners early harvests of tomatoes and vegetables. (File Photo)
June 7, 2012 - Filed Under: Lawn and Garden, Vegetable Gardens

MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Some Mississippi gardeners who took advantage of this year’s early spring are already eating the results of their efforts.

Lelia Kelly, consumer horticulture specialist with the Mississippi State University Extension Service, said garden plants are at least two weeks ahead of schedule across the state. Some are even earlier than that.

Creating a water feature, such as this one at the Mississippi Museum of Natural Science in Jackson, is one way to incorporate water into a backyard wildlife habitat for animals to bathe in and drink. (Photo by MSU Ag Communications/ Susan Collins-Smith)
June 7, 2012 - Filed Under: Urban and Backyard Wildlife, Lawn and Garden

JACKSON – City dwellers do not have to move to the country to enjoy colorful birds, butterflies and other wild animals if they build a backyard wildlife habitat.

“The No. 1 reason people consider a backyard wildlife habitat is for the enjoyment they get from watching wildlife,” said Ty Jones, Madison County director with Mississippi State University’s Extension Service. “But in metropolitan areas, wildlife-friendly landscapes also give animals small pockets of refuge.”

Squash bees are solitary, native insects that specialize in pollinating squashes, pumpkins and gourds. Unlike honey bees, squash bees are not social and nest in the ground. (Photo courtesy of Blake Layton)
June 7, 2012 - Filed Under: Beekeeping, Insects, Lawn and Garden

MISSISSIPPI STATE – They help cucumbers grow straight, increase fruit yields and make the colorful fields of flowers possible -- they are pollinators, and a few simple plantings can make a home garden a haven for these important creatures.

Proper veterinary care can help keep pets healthy and free from parasites, some of which can be passed to people. (Photo by MSU College of Veterinary Medicine/Tom Thompson)
June 8, 2012 - Filed Under: Pets

MISSISSIPPI STATE – When the school bell rings for the last time, many children have furry friends eagerly awaiting summertime outdoor adventures. Proper veterinary care and good hygiene can help keep pets and kids parasite-free.

“As we spend time outdoors, we expose ourselves to fleas, ticks, mosquitoes and internal parasites, such as hookworms, roundworms and tapeworms more frequently,” said Dr. Jody Ray, assistant clinical professor in the College of Veterinary Medicine at Mississippi State University.

Scott Rowland, South Central regional vice president of the Forest Landowners Association, presents their Extension Forester of the Year award to Don Bales of Purvis, a forest and wildlife management specialist with Mississippi State University's Extension Service. (Submitted Photo)
June 8, 2012 - Filed Under: Forestry, Wildlife

MISSISSIPPI STATE – A forest and wildlife management specialist at Mississippi State University has been named the national Extension Forester of the Year by the Forest Landowners Association.

Don Bales of Purvis, a senior Extension associate in MSU’s College of Forest Resources and certified wildlife biologist, received the honor at the organization’s recent annual meeting in Ponte Vedra Beach, Fla. His office is located in the MSU Extension Service’s Southeast District Forestry Office in Lamar County.

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