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Feature Story from 2014

Butterflies, such as this buckeye butterfly, and other plants, animals and insects will be counted during the Mississippi BioBlitz on Sept. 13, 2014, at the Mississippi Museum of Natural Science in Jackson. BioBlitz is a 13-hour event that teams scientists, students, teachers and community members to track down and identify as many local species as possible. (MSU Ag Communications/File Photo)
August 13, 2014 - Filed Under: Environment, Natural Resources

JACKSON – A hands-on event designed to promote an interest in the natural world will be held on Saturday, Sept. 13 at the Mississippi Museum of Natural Science in Jackson.

The Mississippi State University Extension Service is partnering with the museum and the Mississippi Museum of Natural Science Foundation to host the Mississippi BioBlitz, a 13-hour event that teams scientists, students, teachers and community members to track down and identify as many local species as possible.

Linda McGrath, a board-certified lactation consultant and La Leche League leader, adds National Breastfeeding Month campaign materials to the nursing mothers' room on the first floor of the Bost Extension Center at Mississippi State University on Aug. 12, 2014. (Photo by MSU Ag Communications/Kevin Hudson)
August 13, 2014 - Filed Under: Family, Children and Parenting, Health

MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Parents can help their children establish healthy food habits long before their toddlers spit out vegetables and beg for cookies instead.

David Buys, health specialist with the Mississippi State University Extension Service, said improving the health of Mississippians begins with healthy choices from infancy, through childhood and into adulthood.

August 15, 2014 - Filed Under: Crops

STONEVILLE -- Mississippi producers and consultants recently received late-season updates and recommendations from Mississippi State University scientists as the 2014 growing season nears its end.

About 40 people toured fields at the Delta Research and Extension Center in Stoneville Wednesday, examining row crops and gaining information on late-season management.

August 18, 2014 - Filed Under: Fruit

CARRIERE -- The Muscadine Field Day scheduled for August in Pearl River County has been moved to Sept. 13.

The field day will be held from 9 to 11 a.m. at the Mississippi State University McNeill Research Unit near Carriere. The event will allow growers to learn from MSU researchers and examine the grape vines growing at the research unit.

Mississippi State University scientist Gaea Hock evaluated student satisfaction with a class that required them to summarize as social media tweets news articles written about grain crops. She presented her findings at the 60th Annual North American Colleges and Teachers of Agriculture Conference in June. (Submitted Photo)
August 20, 2014 - Filed Under: Grains, Technology

MISSISSIPPI STATE -- A professor at Mississippi State University wanted his students to gain a real-world perspective about grain crops, so he challenged them to head straight to the news.

Brien Henry, an associate professor in the MSU Department of Plant and Soil Sciences, used the weekly Delta Farm Press to educate students about the current climate of the grain crops industry. He also incorporated the principles of the social media tool Twitter to help students sharpen their critical thinking and communication skills.

August 20, 2014 - Filed Under: Community

MISSISSIPPI STATE -- The horticulture club at Mississippi State University took home top honors at the American Society for Horticultural Science annual conference held in late July in Orlando, Florida.

Mississippi State University horticulture experts will lead educational seminars, answer gardening questions, and offer walking and wagon tours of the gardens at the annual fall flower and vegetable tour at the North Mississippi Research and Extension Center in Verona on Sept. 20, 2014. (File Photo)
August 20, 2014 - Filed Under: Lawn and Garden, Flower Gardens, Vegetable Gardens

VERONA -- The North Mississippi Research and Extension Center will host a fall event for vegetable and flower gardeners.

Mississippi State University Extension Service and Mississippi Agricultural and Forestry Experiment Station will host this yearly event on Saturday, Sept. 20, from 9 a.m. until 2 p.m. in Verona.

MSU horticulture experts will lead educational seminars, answer gardening questions, and offer walking and wagon tours of the vegetable and flower gardens at the facility located at 5421 Highway 145 South.

Staying physically active and eating healthy foods are lifestyle choices that pay big dividends over time, including being well enough to keep up with the grandkids. (Photo by Thinkstock)
August 22, 2014 - Filed Under: Family, Health

Sept. 7: National Grandparents Day

MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Getting older can make chasing after the grandkids tougher, but positive choices now can make it possible to keep up with them for years to come.

David Buys, health specialist with the Mississippi State University Extension Service, said that physical, mental and social wellness each play an important role in aging well.

Physical …

Trapjaw ants can snap their extremely large and powerful mandibles together to catch prey or perform a defensive maneuver that allows them to jump several inches away from danger. (Photo by MSU Ag Communications/Kat Lawrence)
August 22, 2014 - Filed Under: Insects-Pests

MISSISSIPPI STATE -- A large, jumping ant has reached large enough numbers that its slow invasion of the Mississippi Gulf Coast is starting to be noticed.

Odontomachus haematodus -- native to South America and commonly known as the trapjaw ant -- was first identified in the state in August 2000. These large brown ants can reach almost a half-inch long. Trapjaw ants have elongated mandibles for catching prey, and they have a very painful sting.

Corn, browntop millet and sunflowers, such as these on a Prentiss County property owned by the Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries and Parks, will attract doves. (Photo courtesy of Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries and Parks)
August 22, 2014 - Filed Under: Environment, Wildlife

MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Dove hunting season is quickly approaching, and many Mississippians are eager to participate in the traditions of family and fellowship involved in hunting the nation’s No. 1 game bird.

But before dove hunters take to the fields, they should be aware of certain regulations.

The Mississippi Agricultural and Forestry Experiment Station Sales Store on the Mississippi State University campus has added raw, shelled, Bully's Peanuts in 5-pound bags and 5-pound boxes to its line of products. (Photo by MSU Ag Communications/Kat Lawrence)
August 25, 2014 - Filed Under: Peanuts, Community

MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Mississippi State University fans can cheer for a new food product this fall.

The Mississippi Agricultural and Forestry Experiment Station Sales Store on the MSU campus has added Bully’s Peanuts to its line of products. The store will carry 5-pound bags and 5-pound boxes of Mississippi-grown, raw, shelled peanuts.

August 27, 2014 - Filed Under: Agriculture, Animal Health, Community

MISSISSIPPI STATE -- The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals has awarded the Mississippi State University College of Veterinary Medicine a grant to support the college’s Mobile Veterinary Clinics.

The $40,000 grant will cover some of the expenses incurred as the Mobile Veterinary Clinics travel to 20 North Mississippi animal shelters, where students spay and neuter homeless animals. The program is funded solely by grants and donations.

The first step in avoiding disease agents transmitted by mosquitoes or ticks is to wear insect repellents containing DEET. (Photo by MSU Ag Communications/Kevin Hudson)
August 27, 2014 - Filed Under: Family, Health, Insects-Human Pests, Insects

MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Very few insect-related deaths occur in the United States compared with the rest of the world, but that does not mean Americans can ignore the risks.

Jerome Goddard, entomology professor with the Mississippi State University Extension Service, said millions of deaths occur worldwide each year from disease agents transmitted by mosquitoes, ticks and fleas. Several diseases are more common among people living in or traveling to tropical regions, but Americans have their share and should maintain their guard to protect themselves.

Joe Lancaster, a doctoral student at Mississippi State University, prepares to release a female mallard with a backpack radio transmitter. Lancaster, a 2014 recipient of the Thomas A. Plein Endowed Graduate Student Scholarship, studies habitat use and survival of mallard ducks wintering in the Mississippi Delta. (Submitted Photo)
August 29, 2014 - Filed Under: Community, Natural Resources, Wildlife

MISSISSIPPI STATE -- More scholarships are available in 2014 for Mississippi State University students who plan careers in waterfowl management and wetland conservation.

The Thomas A. Plein Endowed Graduate Student Scholarship was established in 2011 and is one of the largest graduate student scholarships in the MSU College of Forest Resources. Over the last three years, the Thomas A. Plein Foundation has increased the funding for this scholarship to more than $75,000.

Rick Snyder, Mississippi State University horticulture expert, talks to Joseph Wilson, center, and Lynn Loecher at the microfarming workshop in Raymond on Aug. 28, 2014. The two-day event helped growers understand the benefits and facts of growing for and selling at farmers markets. (Photo by MSU Ag Communications/Kevin Hudson)
August 29, 2014 - Filed Under: Commercial Horticulture, Farmers Markets

RAYMOND -- As demand increases for locally grown produce, farmers markets have become a way to take fresh fruits and vegetables directly to customers.

“This segment of agriculture is growing, and I think we are only going to see the need for small-scale producers increase in the coming years,” said Rick Snyder, vegetable specialist with the Mississippi State University Extension Service and researcher with the Mississippi Agricultural and Forestry Experiment Station in Crystal Springs.

Blake Layton, entomologist with the Mississippi State University Extension Service (left), and Nick Terkanian of the Natchez Trace Greenhouses in Kosciusko, Mississippi, examine Red Missile peppers for swirski-mites on Aug. 19, 2014. (Photo by MSU Ag Communications/Linda Breazeale)
August 29, 2014 - Filed Under: Insects-Crop Pests

KOSCIUSKO -- They don’t need paychecks, time cards or coffee breaks. They don’t even complain about the August heat in a Mississippi greenhouse.

Parasitic wasps and predatory mites are just a couple of the insect species growers can release to guard against damaging pests in greenhouses.

Butterflies, such as this buckeye butterfly, and other plants, animals and insects will be counted during the Mississippi BioBlitz on Oct. 4, 2014, at the Natchez Trace Parkway Visitor Center near Tupelo. BioBlitz is a 13-hour event that teams scientists, students, teachers and community members to track down and identify as many local species as possible. (MSU Ag Communications/File Photo)
September 4, 2014 - Filed Under: Environment, Natural Resources

TUPELO -- A hands-on event designed to promote an interest in the natural world will be held on Oct. 4 at the Natchez Trace Parkway Visitor Center near Tupelo.

The Mississippi State University Extension Service is partnering with the Natchez Trace Parkway to host Mississippi BioBlitz, a 13-hour event that teams scientists, students, teachers and community members to track down and identify as many local species as possible.

Eddie McReynolds of Starkville helps his 10-year-old son, Reece, develop his throwing skills for a game of disc golf. The McReynoldses practiced together near the Starkville Sportsplex on Sept. 3, 2014. (Photo by MSU Ag Communications/Linda Breazeale)
September 4, 2014 - Filed Under: Health

September: National Childhood Obesity Awareness Month…

MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Mississippi’s childhood obesity rates, like the pounds in an effective weight loss program, are slowly coming down.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recently released statistics reflecting a slight improvement among Mississippi high school students. From 2007 until 2009, 18 percent of the state’s high school students were considered obese. That peak declined to 16 percent in 2011 and 15 percent in 2013.

September 4, 2014 - Filed Under: Children and Parenting

MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Partners of the Early Years Network are taking their services on the road in September to support the state’s child care providers.

The Early Years Network is a system of services provided by the Mississippi State University Extension Service and its partners. The Provider Road Show brings together all the child-care-provider support services funded through the Mississippi Department of Human Services Division of Early Childhood Care and Development.

Across the Delta, many producers are abandoning pivot-irrigation systems for furrow irrigation. This unused system sat rusting near Highway 82 in Leland, Mississippi, on June 18, 2014. (Photo by MSU Ag Communications/Bonnie Coblentz)
September 5, 2014 - Filed Under: Irrigation

STONEVILLE -- Pivot irrigation is no longer a common sight across the Delta, but experts say this system remains a viable and efficient way to water crops.

“I would like to see pivots in the Delta,” said Jason Krutz, irrigation specialist with the Mississippi State University Extension Service. “They deliver water more efficiently, so if we have an aquifer problem, which everything indicates we do, they would go a long way towards helping address it.”

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