Feature Story from 2014
MISSISSIPPI STATE – The more than 2,000 chicken growers in Mississippi can now save money on an annual test required to meet federal and state regulations and keep their samples in the state.
The Mississippi State Chemical Laboratory has lowered its fee for testing chicken litter to $35 to be more in line with fees charged by labs in neighboring states. Many of the state’s growers have been sending their samples to Louisiana and Arkansas.
MISSISSIPPI STATE – Since consumers expect the fresh produce they buy from Mississippi growers to be healthy, learning how to handle fruits and vegetables from seed to sale properly is vital.
MISSISSIPPI STATE – Mississippi producers who rely on Mississippi State University for information have some valuable new information to help them better time their insecticide applications in 2014.
Mississippi Agricultural and Forestry Experiment Station researchers spend a lot of time counting insect pests and calculating the damage they cause. They compile the data to determine at what point a producer should use insecticides to maintain a crop’s profitability.
MISSISSIPPI STATE – With all the stress and excitement of an Olympic sport, a team of north Mississippi 4-H youths pulled off an amazing, come-from-behind victory to qualify for a regional robotic competition this spring.
Mariah Smith Morgan, an assistant professor in the Mississippi State University Extension Service Center for Technology Outreach, said the eight-member team and their coach attended the 4-H Robotics Academy last August.
RAYMOND – More than 150 central Mississippi agricultural producers gathered Feb. 18 to discuss priorities and ideas with Mississippi State University experts.
Producers and industry professionals met with MSU Extension Service and Mississippi Agricultural and Forestry Experiment Station agents, specialists and researchers to provide input and direction for educational programs and research.
MISSISSIPPI STATE – Mississippi State University food scientist Sam Chang has been elected a fellow of the International Academy of Food Science and Technology and will represent MSU in this field’s largest academy in the world.
A certified food scientist, Chang is professor and head of the MSU Department of Food Science, Nutrition and Health Promotion. He was elected as a fellow based on his outstanding contributions to the field of science and technology.
MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Making a living in agriculture is a tough job and something that builds bonds among those who work in the industry, a fact that brought 45 women together for a late February conference at Mississippi State University.
The 75-member Mississippi Women for Agriculture organization meets to discuss important agricultural developments and to draw encouragement from shared experiences. Mary Jane Coign, who owns a cow and calf operation in Oktibbeha County, is the organization’s 2014 president.
MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Mississippi Saves launched its first America Saves Week campaign Monday to promote financial responsibility throughout the nation.
As part of the national America Saves effort, Mississippians can save money for a rainy day by taking the pledge to become a Mississippi Saver.
Bobbie Shaffett, a family resource management specialist with the Mississippi State University Extension Service, said an American Saves study found 63 percent of Americans were making only “fair” or “no” progress in meeting personal savings needs.
JACKSON – A segment of Ask This Old House that was filmed in Biloxi premiers this weekend. The show demonstrates how to install a high tunnel to extend the growing season of backyard gardens.
Two Mississippi State University horticulture scientists served as consultants for the traveling home improvement show. They helped the crew with region-specific information and coordination of the site and materials.
JACKSON – Families can find a few extra dollars for summer vacation or for the piggy bank by clipping coupons and planning shopping lists.
“By spending just a few hours a week clipping coupons, you can save up to 40 to 50 percent on your grocery bill,” said LaTrell Stokes, Oktibbeha County agent with the Mississippi State University Extension Service. “You don’t have to be an extreme couponer to save a significant amount.”
Stokes, who clips coupons herself, said shoppers do need a strategy, though.
VERONA -- More than 300 north Mississippi agricultural producers met with Mississippi State University representatives to hear research results and recommendations and to express what they need from the university in the coming year.
Steve Martin, head of MSU’s North Mississippi Research and Extension Center in Verona, said the annual meeting helps keep producers, researchers and Extension specialists on the same page.
MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Becky Smith, director of the Mississippi State University Extension Center for Economic Education and Financial Literacy, has been an advocate for education since childhood.
“My grandfather told me, ‘Nobody can take education away from you,’ so I was determined to go as far as I could with my education,” Smith said.
BILOXI – A group of about 120 coastal-area agriculture producers met Feb. 25 in Biloxi for the Coastal Research and Extension Center’s Producer Advisory Council to help Mississippi State University experts understand growers’ needs.
The annual meeting helps MSU Extension Service and Mississippi Agricultural and Forestry Experiment Station agents, specialists and researchers allocate time and funding to education and research efforts.
MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Starkville will host one of three major spring gardening events in the state this March.
The sixth annual Everything Garden Expo will take place March 21 and 22 at the Mississippi Horse Park, located south of town at 869 East Poorhouse Road.
Gary Bachman, horticulturist with the Mississippi State University Extension Service, said March is a good month for Mississippians to plan their 2014 gardens.
MISSISSIPPI STATE – Warm weather in early spring practically dares gardeners to plant something, but starting too early can lead to failure.
Mississippi State University Extension Service horticulturists Gary Bachman and Rick Snyder offered some tips on how to get a head start on summer vegetables without the risk of losing them to a late frost.
MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Garden centers and plant outlets are now stocking up on a variety of trees, and it pays to do a little research before selecting what to plant.
Consumers often ask for fast-growing trees, such as willow and river birch, but these quick growers tend to have weak wood and often suffer damage in wind or ice storms.
MISSISSIPPI STATE – In a series of workshops across the state, Mississippi State University Extension Service agricultural economists will share information about the recently signed 2014 Farm Bill.
“Introduction to the New Farm Bill” will address two topics: Title 1, Farm Programs and Title 11, Crop Insurance. The seminar is designed for crop producers, lenders, and those impacted by farm programs and crop insurance.
PICAYUNE – Homeowners, gardeners and nature lovers can learn how native plants help humans thrive during the Mississippi State University Crosby Arboretum Lecture Series on March 15.
Doug Tallamy, a professor in the Department of Entomology and Wildlife Ecology at the University of Delaware, will discuss the results of his 32 years of research on the relationship between native plants and the health of local ecosystems.
MISSISSIPPI STATE – People coming to the aid of large animals involved in accidents and disasters need to proceed with caution for themselves and the distressed animals.
Mississippi State University is hosting a two-day training program in late March to make emergency responders aware of issues involved in large animal rescues.
MISSISSIPPI STATE – Volunteer leaders displayed their level of commitment to the state’s youth when they spent two days at Mississippi State University training in how to do their jobs even better.
The annual 4-H Volunteer Leaders Conference was held at the MSU Bost Extension Center in Starkville Feb. 28 to March 1. Mississippi 4-H is the youth development program of the MSU Extension Service. About 200 volunteer leaders attended the event.