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Feature Story from 2012

Alexandra Pittman of Forrest County 4-H set a record with her reserve champion medium weight goat, which brought $100 per pound. (Photo by Kat Lawrence)
February 14, 2012 - Filed Under: 4-H, Youth Livestock

MISSISSIPPI STATE – The 2012 Dixie National Sale of Junior Champions was the most successful sale to date, bringing in almost $300,000.

Dr. Locke Karriker, director of the Swine Medicine Education Center at Iowa State University, left, receives the 2012 College of Veterinary Medicine Alumnus of the Year award at Mississippi State University from Dr. Kent Hoblet, the college's dean. (Photo by MSU University Relations/Russ Houston)
February 15, 2012 - Filed Under: Animal Health

MISSISSIPPI STATE – Dr. Locke Karriker was presented the College of Veterinary Medicine’s 2012 Alumnus of the Year Award at Mississippi State University.

Karriker, who currently serves as the director of the Swine Medicine Education Center at Iowa State University’s College of Veterinary Medicine, grew up in North Carolina’s coastal area and cultivated an interest in agriculture at an early age.

Tim Walker
February 16, 2012 - Filed Under: Agriculture, Crops, Rice

STONEVILLE -- A Mississippi State University associate research professor was recently named the 2012 Rice Researcher of the Year.

Tim Walker, an agronomist at the Delta Research and Extension Center in Stoneville, received the honor at the 15th Annual National Conservation Systems Cotton and Rice Conference in Tunica.

“We are fortunate to have Dr. Walker at the Delta Research and Extension Center,” said Steve Martin, professor and head of the center. “His work supports the many farms that grow rice in the Delta region.”

February 16, 2012 - Filed Under: 4-H

MISSISSIPPI STATE – About 200 4-H youth program volunteers with the Mississippi State University Extension Service will gather in Starkville for two days of leadership training in late February.

The annual 4-H Volunteer Leaders Conference will be held Feb. 24 and 25 at the Bost Extension Center at MSU. This volunteer development event, supported by Monsanto and National 4-H Council, will bring 4-H leaders together to network and learn about innovative programs that can bring fresh perspectives and activities to 4-H programs across Mississippi.

February 16, 2012 - Filed Under: Family

MISSISSIPPI STATE – African-American couples with long and satisfying marriages credit God, love and communication as keys to their enduring relationships, researchers at Mississippi State University have found.

Kelli Jones
February 16, 2012 - Filed Under: Animal Health, Poultry

MISSISSIPPI STATE – Dr. Kelli Jones of Mississippi State University’s College of Veterinary Medicine has won the World Veterinary Poultry Association Young Veterinarian of the Year award.

Jones, who is a Diplomate of the American College of Poultry Veterinarians and an assistant clinical professor in CVM’s Department of Pathobiology and Population Medicine, is an expert in avian medicine and poultry disease diagnostics. She serves Mississippi’s $2.21 billion poultry industry through her work at CVM’s Poultry Research and Diagnostic Laboratory in Pearl.

February 16, 2012 - Filed Under: Agriculture, Fruit

MISSISSIPPI STATE – New plant hardiness maps released by the U.S. Department of Agriculture increased Mississippi’s average low temperatures by 5 degrees.

Eric Stafne, Mississippi State University assistant Extension professor for fruit crops, said the maps provide good average information, but individuals still must make careful planting decisions.

Phillip Talley helped to plant one-third an acre of pine seedlings during the Feb. 11, 2012, workshop held at Hood Boy Scout Camp in Hazlehurst to help members of the Andrew Jackson Council earn their forestry merit badges. (Photo by Susan Collins-Smith)
February 16, 2012 - Filed Under: Community, Forestry

HAZELHURST – More than 200 Boy Scouts in the Andrew Jackson Council met at Hood Boy Scout Camp in Hazlehurst Feb. 11 for a workshop to help them earn their forestry merit badge.

Instructors from the Mississippi State University Extension Service, Mississippi Forestry Commission, Mississippi Forestry Association and Weyerhaeuser Company taught the scouts about forestry resources, stewardship and the forestry profession.

February 17, 2012 - Filed Under: Technology

MISSISSIPPI STATE – Broadband Internet usage in Mississippi is catching up to the national average more quickly than recent national studies report, according to a statewide survey conducted by the Southern Rural Development Center at Mississippi State University.

Information on this Internet and broadband use survey is available at

February 17, 2012 - Filed Under: Agriculture, Women for Agriculture

MISSISSIPPI STATE – Women involved in the operations of agricultural businesses and their business partners are invited to attend an upcoming statewide conference at Mississippi State University.

Mississippi Women for Agriculture will meet March 9 and 10 to receive updates on current issues facing agriculture and reinforce information shared at previous workshops. The workshop is open to all women with an interest in farming, including those who have taken part in previous seminars.

The newly formed fruits and nuts commodity group met for the first time to set priorities for research and education programs at Mississippi State University during the annual North Mississippi Producer Advisory Council meeting. (Photo by Bob Ratliff)
February 21, 2012 - Filed Under: Agriculture, Crops, Commercial Horticulture, Livestock, Catfish

VERONA – Advocates for agriculture met at the North Mississippi Research and Extension Center in Verona on Feb. 16 to identify priorities for research and Extension Service education programs at Mississippi State University.

Scientists from the Mississippi Agricultural and Forestry Experiment Station, specialists with the MSU Extension Service and almost 250 members of the North Mississippi Producer Advisory Council spent the day discussing current research and educational needs, as well as the challenges growers face on their farms.

February 23, 2012 - Filed Under: Family, Family Financial Management

By Kaitlyn Byrne
MSU Ag Communications

MISSISSIPPI STATE – With spring break around the corner, affordable vacation plans are on many people’s minds.

Bobbie Shaffett, family resource management specialist with the Mississippi State University Extension Service, said early planning is the key to budgeting for a vacation. She suggested that would-be vacationers calculate the expected cost of transportation, lodging, meals and entertainment, then compare that figure to the amount the budget will actually allow.

Honey bees forage on flowers, such as henbit, about a month earlier than usual due to warm winter temperatures. (Photo by Kat Lawrence)
February 23, 2012 - Filed Under: Agriculture, Beekeeping, Insects

MISSISSIPPI STATE – Warm weather in January and early February is causing honey bees to be active before they have enough food to eat, and the state’s beekeepers need to monitor colonies for starvation, a Mississippi State University expert said.

February 23, 2012 - Filed Under: Agriculture, Commercial Horticulture, Fruit, Food Safety

MISSISSIPPI STATE – The General Food Safety Training and Acidified Canned Foods Training for farmers’ market vendors will be held March 13 in Pontotoc, March 15 in Gulfport and March 20 in Brookhaven.

Brandi Bourg
February 23, 2012 - Filed Under: Beef, About Extension

MISSISSIPPI STATE – A Louisiana native has joined Mississippi State University’s Extension Service as a beef specialist.

Brandi Bourg grew up in south Louisiana and was involved in the Junior Simmental Association and state livestock program. She earned her bachelor’s degree from Louisiana State University, where she was a member of the Livestock Judging Team, active in the Block and Bridle Club and a student worker at the beef unit. She earned her master’s and doctorate degrees from Texas A&M University and has experience in research and teaching.

February 24, 2012 - Filed Under: Animal Health

MISSISSIPPI STATE – Registration is now open to school groups for the Mississippi State University College of Veterinary Medicine’s annual open house, to be held April 13 and 14.

The open house will take place both days between 8:30 a.m. and 3 p.m. at the Wise Center, located on the south side of campus off Spring Street in Starkville. The April 13th program is for pre-registered school groups, and the April 14th program is open to anyone in the community. School groups can register for this free event by contacting Brandi Van Ormer at (662) 325-0465.

February 24, 2012 - Filed Under: Community

STARKVILLE -- A March 21 summit at Mississippi State University will feature the latest news in furniture manufacturing and government regulations.

Speakers at the conference include Jerry Epperson, managing director of Mann, Armistead, and Epperson Ltd.; Bruce Cochrane, owner of Lincolnton Furniture; and Wyatt Bassett, president of Vaughan-Bassett Furniture.

Topics will include recent changes in China and their effect on domestic furniture production, opportunities for a resurgence of manufacturing in America, and regulations impacting furniture production.

March 1, 2012 - Filed Under: Agriculture, Crops, Livestock, Catfish

BILOXI – Coastal producers and growers shared their concerns and needs at a Mississippi State University listening session Feb. 28 in Biloxi.

The fifth annual Producer Advisory Council meeting was held at MSU’s Coastal Research and Extension Center. Eleven commodity groups attended the meeting. They represented commercial ornamental horticulture, home horticulture, fruits, vegetables, livestock, horses, cotton, corn, soybeans, peanuts, forestry, seafood and aquaculture, and bee keepers.

Warm winter temperatures may improve the survival of stink bugs, such as this as this Southern green stink bug. Stink bugs afflict vegetable crops and row crops, especially soybeans. (Photo courtesy of Angus Catchot)
March 1, 2012 - Filed Under: Agriculture

MISSISSIPPI STATE – Many Mississippians wonder whether the mild winter will increase the insect pest populations in their gardens and fields this year. However, spring weather could be the more significant factor, said Mississippi State University experts.

MSU Extension Service entomologist Angus Catchot said he is asked about the impact of the winter weather on insect populations everywhere he goes.

March 1, 2012 - Filed Under: Agriculture, Commercial Horticulture, Fruit, Food

By Kaitlyn Byrne
MSU Ag. Communications

MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Mississippi State University is part of an effort to connect restaurants with Mississippi producers to get fresh local produce to consumers.

MSU’s Extension Service is promoting Eat Healthy Mississippi, a campaign sponsored by the Mississippi Hospitality and Restaurant Association. The program unites restaurant chefs seeking local foods for their menus and growers who can supply fresh fruits and vegetables. In turn, restaurant patrons will have access to healthier foods.


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