Feature Story from 2014
MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Soybeans have been an important commodity in Mississippi for more than 50 years, but recent advances have pushed the crop’s value above $1 billion.
Mississippi soybeans had a value of $267 million in 2006, $1.27 billion in 2012 and $1.17 billion in 2013. Prices have been high for the past several years, but state producers put more effort into management and increased yields to a record average of 45 bushels an acre in 2012 and 2013.
MISSISSIPPI STATE -- The Mississippi State University Extension Service is offering white-tailed deer management workshops to give landowners and managers hands-on education on improving deer herds and hunting opportunities.
By Brittnie Burton
MSU Ag Communications
CLEVELAND -- Horse lovers may think of horses as family, but they should always handle the large animals with caution.
Laura Giaccaglia, Bolivar County coordinator with the Mississippi State University Extension Service, said safety comes first in horse handling.
“Horses are massive animals, and when you are around them, you have to keep your guard up at all times,” Giaccaglia said. “We teach our 4-H members that respect is the foundation for safety for the animal and the people around it.”
MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Most centenarians are slowing down and avoiding modern technology, but the Mississippi State University Extension Service is doing neither as it approaches its 100th birthday.
MISSISSIPPI STATE – Getting and keeping a job often depends on an individual’s ability to use basic computer programs and social media applications.
The Mississippi State University Extension Center for Technology Outreach provides a variety of training workshops on common software programs for word processing, spreadsheets, and graphic design. Staff members also teach classes on using tablets and smartphones, digital cameras and GPS systems.
By Brittnie Burton
MSU Ag Communications
MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Learning opportunities for teens do not end when school lets out for the summer in communities across Mississippi.
The Mississippi State University Extension Service is recruiting students in six counties for the inaugural Mississippi Youth Preparedness Initiative, or MyPI.
YAZOO CITY -- Mississippi Women for Agriculture will kick off a new lunch-and-learn program May 2.
The first meeting of the “Farm Women Friday” series will be hosted by the Mississippi State University Extension Service at the Yazoo County Extension office and broadcast to county Extension offices across the state.
COLLINS – When Jo Lynn Mitchell started an agritourism business to add income to the family farm, she had no idea she would end up proving that people can still farm for a living.
Mitchell fell in love with farming as a way of life after marrying her husband Don, and she wanted to introduce farm life to children and adults. In 2006, she planted pumpkins and invited schools and churches to visit for an educational experience on how crops grow. The children each received a pumpkin to carry home as a reminder of what they learned at the farm.
MISSISSIPPI STATE -- One of local government’s oldest and most essential jobs is being recognized for its services during an upcoming week of local, national and international activities.
The 44th annual Municipal Clerks Week will be observed May 5-11. During this week, municipal clerks in many of Mississippi’s cities, towns and villages will take part in activities to increase the public’s awareness of municipal clerks and the vital services they provide for local government and the community.
MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Dr. Richard M. Hopper, professor with the Mississippi State University College of Veterinary Medicine, has been awarded the El Toro Award for Excellence in Food Animal Medicine at Auburn University’s College of Veterinary Medicine.
Hopper, who teaches in the Department of Pathobiology and Population Medicine and is an MSU Extension Service veterinarian, received the award during Auburn’s 107th veterinary annual conference.
JACKSON – A 4-H’ers lifetime dedication to “making the best better” resulted in a non-profit organization that intends to make Mississippi a better place.
Sanford Johnson, a native of Starkville, spent eight years in 4-H and said the skills he learned in the Mississippi State University Extension Service youth development program improved his life.
Five years ago Johnson and Rachel Hicks Canter, another former 4-H’er, created Mississippi First, a non-profit organization that aims to improve the state’s graduation rates and teen health with public education reforms.
LOUISVILLE – Long before the dark clouds rolled across the state on April 28, the Mississippi State University Extension Service had been prepared to provide a silver lining for children displaced by disaster.
Louise Davis, Extension professor of child and family development, said “safe spaces” are set up at shelters in Tupelo and Louisville. Extension staff with the Mississippi Child Care Resource and Referral Network will oversee these sites.
MISSISSIPPI STATE – Animal lovers can turn to a trusted organization to help pets and livestock that need relief after the recent storms in Mississippi.
The Mississippi Animal Disaster Relief Fund was established after Hurricane Katrina. For the past nine years donations have supported animals devastated by natural disasters in the state. The funds help cover veterinary costs, animal-related supplies, shelter, emergency hay and feed needs. The relief fund also pays for training emergency responders.
MISSISSIPPI STATE – Recent high profits in farming have made it possible for many Mississippi growers to install irrigation systems, and Mississippi State University researchers are urging the producers to install soil moisture sensors at the same time.
MEADVILLE – A Meadville farmer is building her dream job a few animals at a time.
Anita Leonard, a native of Enid, Oklahoma, married her husband Harold and relocated to Mississippi just more than five years ago. Together, they began building the farm Anita had longed for since she was a child.
GOODMAN – Fruit and vegetable producers can learn online marketing techniques and networking strategies during the Alliance for Sustainable Agricultural Production Demonstration Farm field day on May 16.
MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Registration is open for three summer camps for young people interested in wildlife, natural resources and outdoor recreation.
The Mississippi State University Extension Service and the MSU Department of Wildlife, Fisheries and Aquaculture are hosting two residential camps and one day camp.
MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Mississippi families and communities will have a chance to thank the people who care for and educate their children when the state celebrates Provider Appreciation Day on May 9.
MISSISSIPPI STATE – A Starkville eighth-grader won first place at the state level and second place at the national level of a 4-H writing competition with his essay about beekeeping during colonial times.
Garrett Smith, a 4-H member and student at Starkville Academy, said he was inspired to enter the 4-H Honey Bee Essay Contest after he toured Mississippi State University’s entomology lab with his little brother’s Clover Dawgs 4-H club.
LOUISVILLE -- In the wake of the tornado that tore through Louisville on April 28, overwhelmed storm victims had to make tough choices about caring for people, property and pets.
But one pet owner found a way to help his dog, ironically named Twister, when a Mississippi State University Extension Service disaster assessment team visited his property. Twister had survived the tornado but had injuries that needed immediate attention.