Feature Story from 2017
By Jessica Smith
MSU Extension Service
STARKVILLE, Miss. -- A Mississippi State University scientist is using genomic testing to help improve the profitability of commercial dairies in Mississippi.
Amanda Stone, who became the MSU Extension Service dairy specialist and a researcher with the Mississippi Agricultural and Forestry Experiment station in August, is exploring ways to make dairy herds more efficient. She is studying the advantages of genomic testing in the MSU dairy herd.
STARKVILLE, Miss. -- Mississippi's humid climate creates a perfect breeding ground for mold and mildew, especially in cluttered, unventilated homes.
Many people recognize these fungi by their musty smells on clothing and dark spots on walls and ceilings, but growth usually begins in areas that are unseen or difficult to access.
RAYMOND, Miss. -- Half of Mississippians have lower credit scores than the average American, with Jackson area residents having the second lowest average score in the U.S., according to a national credit monitoring agency.
A recent workshop and new organization, both directed by the Mississippi State University Extension Service, aim to help individuals improve their financial health through responsible credit use.
VERONA, Miss. -- Horse owners and riding enthusiasts can learn the basics of riding and equine care at evening classes each Tuesday from April 11 to May 16.
Mississippi State University Extension Service is hosting the six-week course at the Lee County Agri-Center, located at 5395 Highway 145 in Verona. Nutrena is cosponsoring Horse Management 101: Ranch Horse Series.
Extension equine specialist Clay Cavinder said the lessons will be suitable for all ages.
STARKVILLE, Miss. -- Homeowners have until March 31 to file for a homestead exemption, which may help lower their annual tax bills.
Jason Camp, an instructor with the Mississippi State University Extension Service Center for Government and Community Development, said qualified homeowners may fall into one of three exemption categories, based on age, disability or veteran status. They may be eligible for a substantial tax exemption if they met these requirements on Jan. 1.
STARKVILLE, Miss. -- Families willing to host a flock of feathered friends reap the benefits of fresh eggs delivered daily just outside the door.
What started several years ago as an underground "urban chicken" movement has become much more common and widely accepted. Today, raising backyard chickens has gained popularity nationwide, boosted by interest in locally grown foods that avoid the energy use and carbon emissions typically associated with transporting food.
STARKVILLE, Miss. -- Cattle producers in the North Mississippi area are invited to the Mississippi State University campus April 4 for an evening cool-season forage tour.
The event will be held from 5 to 8 p.m. at MSU’s Henry H. Leveck Research Farm, sometimes called South Farm. It is sponsored by the MSU Extension Service and the Mississippi Agricultural and Forestry Experiment Station.
STARKVILLE, Miss. -- National Ag Day celebrates Food for Life on March 21, but a video series by the Mississippi State University Extension Service promotes nutrition, food safety and healthy lifestyles every week of the year.
"The Food Factor" is a series of 90-second videos hosted by Natasha Haynes, a Rankin County Extension agent. These spots air weekly on a variety of television outlets, in addition to being available online.
National Agriculture Week: March 19-25, 2017
WEST POINT, Miss. -- Mississippi's agricultural future is safe in the hands of some of the nation's best farmers. Brad and Molly Judson of Clay County have the award to prove it.
Charlie Stokes, area agronomy agent with the Mississippi State University Extension Service, nominated the winning couple for the National Outstanding Young Farmers award. The National Association of County Agricultural Agents sponsors the recognition program.
STARKVILLE, Miss. -- From the outside, a honey bee hive looks pretty simple: bees fly in and out. They fly around flowers, and once inside the hive, they make honey.
They must be hard workers -- after all, the phrase "busy as a bee" had to come from somewhere.
Like many natural phenomena, a hive of honey bees is incredibly complex. Some scientists even classify a beehive, also called a colony, as a superorganism, an insect society made up of individuals that create a functioning whole.
RAYMOND, Miss. -- Landowners and hunting clubs eager to earn extra income while improving land management for wildlife are invited to attend a Natural Resource Enterprises Business Workshop.
The May 16 event will take place at Pecan Hill Farms in Raymond. Daryl Jones, a Mississippi State University Extension Service instructor, is director of the MSU Natural Resource Enterprises program.
CRYSTAL SPRINGS, Miss. -- Producers interested in season extension for specialty crops and commercial strawberry production can learn about these topics during an upcoming field day.
The Season Extension and Commercial Strawberry Production Field Day will be April 4 at the Mississippi State University Truck Crops Branch Experiment Station, located at 2024 Experiment Station Road in Crystal Springs. It begins at 9 a.m. and ends at 4 p.m.
LOUISVILLE, Miss. -- Thirteen Winston County children were the test pilots of a new 4-H program while their schools were on spring break.
After seeing a demonstration of the 4-H Lego Engineering Club curriculum in February, Sandra Jackson, an agent of the Mississippi State University Extension Service in Winston County, immediately wanted to use it during a camp she was leading in March. The program, designed for Cloverbuds, or 4-H'ers aged 5-7, uses Lego bricks as teaching tools for fundamentals of science, technology, engineering and math -- STEM.
STONEVILLE, Miss. -- Alternating wet and dry production is a radical new way to grow rice, and some Mississippi producers are finding the idea not only seems feasible in theory, but also works well in practice.
Jason Krutz is an irrigation specialist with the Mississippi State University Extension Service and a researcher with the Mississippi Agricultural and Forestry Experiment Station. He said the technique, known as AWD, grows rice without standing water, which reduces water use by about a third while also maintaining yields.
STARKVILLE, Miss. -- Mississippi Homemaker Volunteer Clubs have a new supply of sewing material thanks to a large donation.
La-Z-Boy Inc. gave the Mississippi State University Extension Service about 130 boxes of discarded upholstery fabric -- enough to fill a 24-foot trailer.
STARKVILLE, Miss. -- All Mississippians who raise any species of poultry are being urged to follow strict biosecurity practices and review new requirements regarding sales and exhibitions.
Tom Tabler, poultry specialist with the Mississippi State University Extension Service, said that while avian influenza is not a threat to human health or food safety, an outbreak would endanger backyard flocks and the state’s nearly $3 billion commercial poultry industry.
CLARKSDALE, Miss. -- Almost 200 years after Mississippi became a state, residents may find it difficult to imagine a time when women could not be Extension agricultural agents. That time was right up until the late 1990s when Ann Fulcher Ruscoe became the "county agent" for Coahoma County.
"Most entry level jobs for the Extension Service involved 4-H responsibilities. That's how I started in 1980 in Bolivar County," Ruscoe said. "Eventually, 4-H agents would usually become home economists if they were women or county agents if they were men."
STARKVILLE, Miss. -- Natasha Haynes has never lived or worked on a farm, but her professional career with the Mississippi State University Extension Service circles around agriculture just the same.
Haynes is an Extension agent in Hinds County and host of "The Food Factor," the weekly video feature produced by the MSU Extension Service. She grew up in Jackson and earned a bachelor's degree in family and consumer sciences from Alcorn State University.
WOODVILLE, Miss. -- Farmers market and cottage industry sales are a significant part of the Mississippi food scene, and Mississippi State University Extension Service training is helping entrepreneurs take advantage of these business opportunities.
The MSU Extension Service and Department of Food Science, Nutrition and Health Promotion offers training on acidified canned foods and general food safety at locations across the state. An upcoming workshop will be held April 25 in Woodville, Mississippi, at the J.R. Hamilton Extension Building.
VERONA, Miss. -- "Practice makes perfect" is the adage organizers of the 4-H Winter Classic believe sums up the 10-year-old horse show that helps 4-H horse program participants prepare for the formal summer show season.
The Winter Classic is open to all Mississippi 4-H'ers. It provides young people an opportunity to participate in two shows per month from January to March before the formal Mississippi 4-H Horse Shows begin in June. The Winter Classic and the Mississippi 4-H Horse Shows are part of the Mississippi State University Extension Service 4-H youth development program.