Feature Story from 2012
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.
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 – 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.
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 -- 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.
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.
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.”
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.”
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 – 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.”
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.
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.
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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