Feature Story from 2017
CEDAR BLUFF, Miss. -- Ali Fratesi Pinion may be part of the millennial generation, but she farms more like her great-grandparents.
Pinion and her husband, Dustin, operate Beaverdam Farms in Clay County on the principle that healthy soils create better foods and communities. The Pinions have modeled their farm after a successful project in Virginia that emphasizes building up the soil, capturing carbons and feeding local communities.
BILOXI, Miss. -- Farmers market vendors and cottage food industry owners are invited to expand their knowledge at a Feb. 24 workshop covering food safety basics and regulations for processing acidified foods in Mississippi.
STARKVILLE, Miss. -- Most bill payers are keenly aware of the importance of energy efficiency, but a new initiative is placing similar emphasis on environmental concerns.
David Buys, health specialist with the Mississippi State University Extension Service, said weatherization focuses on reducing energy bills and increasing comfort, but families need a more comprehensive approach to home improvements.
JACKSON, Miss. -- Before Carson Keene sold his grand champion Duroc hog at the Dixie National Sale of Junior Champions, he had a conversation with his family about where the proceeds should go.
The 12-year-old 4-H'er and sixth-grader at Presbyterian Christian School in Petal had known for several months that his 6-year-old schoolmate Noelle Carter was awaiting treatment at Batson Children's Hospital for liver cancer. He decided to donate the auction proceeds to Carter's family.
“Our school was raising money, and I wanted to try to do something, too,” Keene said.
STARKVILLE, Miss. -- Mississippi fruit growers need look no further than their smartphones or laptops when searching for a second opinion on chill hour accumulation.
The Mississippi State University Extension Service has launched Chill Hours, an app that helps growers assess growing conditions that affect plant physiology and prepare for the upcoming growing season.
BILOXI, Miss. -- Floral enthusiasts and other interested individuals can learn techniques for designing floral arrangements for casual entertaining during a March 8 class.
In observation of International Women's Day, Jim DelPrince, floral specialist with the Mississippi State University Extension Service, will demonstrate fresh flower design using materials from the yard and garden.
RAYMOND, Miss. -- Mississippi agronomic crop producers now have an important insect control reference guide available on their mobile devices.
"Insect Control Guide for Agronomic Crops," a publication of the Mississippi State University Extension Service, helps farmers estimate the performance of various insecticides on cotton, soybeans, corn, grain sorghum, small grains, rice and peanuts.
STARKVILLE, Miss. -- Housecleaning and decluttering efforts can go a long way in preventing home-invading bed bugs from setting up residence where they can feed at night on human hosts.
Bed bugs are nuisance pests that often live, as their name suggests, in beds. Once the bugs are introduced into a home, their extermination requires professional services. The Mississippi State University Extension Service, through the Healthy Homes Initiative, is equipping residents with the knowledge to keep this problem out of their houses.
STARKVILLE, Miss. -- The Mississippi State University Extension Service will host four clinics for 4-H'ers interested in competing in two new performance classes at the 2017 Mississippi 4-H Horse Show.
Extension equine specialist Clay Cavinder will be the primary instructor at the workshops, which will teach 4-H members the rules and scope of the two classes: Ranch Handling and Cow Horse Boxing.
VERONA, Miss. -- Mississippi State University specialists and researchers met with northeast Mississippi agricultural producers in Verona on Feb. 16 to provide updates and hear requests for future programs.
Jane Parish, newly appointed head of the North Mississippi Research and Extension Center, said the annual Producer Advisory Council meeting reflects the close relationship between area producers and the MSU Division of Agriculture, Forestry and Veterinary Medicine.
RAYMOND, Miss. -- Mississippians can apply to participate in an upcoming workforce development program to help them get work-from-home jobs.
The program recruits, trains, places and mentors participants for full-time or part-time customer service jobs. The Mississippi State University Extension Service is implementing the program in partnership with community colleges, WIN Job Centers and public libraries.
The pilot program initially will be offered in Verona, Mathiston, Scooba/DeKalb and Biloxi.
STONEVILLE, Miss. -- A Mississippi State University agricultural economist, who has spent his career helping farmers develop management plans, recently earned a lifetime achievement award from his professional organization.
Lawrence Falconer received the Southern Agricultural Economics Association Lifetime Achievement Award, the organization's highest award for significant and enduring contributions to the agricultural economics profession, at its annual meeting in Mobile on Feb. 7.
STARKVILLE, Miss. -- Growing rice on fields that are alternating wet and dry is gaining popularity across Mississippi as producers learn they can effectively control weeds under this nontraditional system.
Alternating wet and dry rice management is a way to grow rice that saves water and money, while producing the same yields.
RAYMOND, Miss. -- Agricultural producers and industry professionals in central Mississippi met with agents and research scientists of the Mississippi State University Extension Service and Mississippi Agricultural and Forestry Experiment Station Feb. 22 to share input and give feedback.
The Central Mississippi Producer Advisory Council meeting was held in conjunction with Hinds Community College and the Alcorn State University Extension.
STARKVILLE, Miss. -- When poultry science began receiving academic attention, women were the first poultry husbandry faculty. They were housed in the home economics departments of land-grant universities, a carryover from the days when women kept chickens at home for eggs and meat.
Eventually, universities created poultry science departments, populated mostly by men.
Today, Mary Beck, head of the Department of Poultry Science at Mississippi State University since 2012, makes her mark in a field dominated by men.
STARKVILLE, Miss. -- Having performed colonoscopies regularly throughout his career, retired gastroenterologist Dr. Sam Pace is experienced in identifying precursors of colorectal cancer.
Although he did not feel any of those symptoms himself in 2011, Pace learned after a routine screening that he had the disease.
"My story is effective when I talk to patients who say they feel fine and nothing is going to happen to them," Pace said. "I felt fine before I found out I had colon cancer. Fortunately, I was screened early enough to treat and survive it."
STARKVILLE, Miss. -- Experienced and aspiring beekeepers in Mississippi will have two opportunities to hone their skills in March
The Mississippi State University Extension Service is hosting a Beginning Beekeepers Short Course March 4 and an Intermediate Beekeeping Workshop and Queen Rearing Seminar March 25.
The beginners' course will be at the Mississippi Agriculture and Forestry Museum in Jackson. Topics include diseases, honeybee biology, hive inspection, basic equipment, seasonal management, honey extraction and small hive beetle management.
BILOXI, Miss. -- Mississippi State University researchers and Extension Service agents heard suggestions from Coastal area agricultural producers and industry leaders about the research and education they need from the university in 2017.
The MSU Coastal Research and Extension Center Producer Advisory Council meeting was held on Feb. 28 in Biloxi. The annual meeting helps the university allocate time and resources to the most important issues facing Mississippi's agricultural producers and related industries.
CARRIERE, Miss. -- Farmers interested in organic production methods can tour a Mississippi farm dedicated to teaching students and using pioneering production and marketing strategies during an upcoming field day.
The Small Farm Training Center in Hancock County will host the March 17 Alliance for Sustainable Agricultural Production field day. Attendees will learn about the 6-acre mini farm's production and marketing strategies, methods, materials and mindset.
RAYMOND, Miss. -- Students, teachers, and community members can participate in two separate interactive events to learn about their local ecosystems.
The Mississippi State University Extension Service will partner with the Mississippi Museum of Natural Science, the National Park Service and the Mississippi Geographic Alliance to host the hands-on BioBlitz workshops.
The first event will be held at the museum in Jackson on April 1. It begins at 10 a.m. and ends at 5 p.m.