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Feature Story from 2017

November 10, 2017 - Filed Under: Agriculture, Farming

STARKVILLE, Miss. -- A web-based smartphone app developed by the Mississippi State University Extension Service allows state climate officials to document drought conditions and provide information vital to Mississippi farmers recovering from dry weather.

November 10, 2017 - Filed Under: Food, Health, Nutrition

STARKVILLE, Miss. -- Strategic planning and reliance on whole foods in holiday meals can help keep healthy eating habits from falling by the wayside.

David Buys, health specialist with the Mississippi State University Extension Service, said consumers can combat nutritional nightmares by making measured, realistic changes.

November 15, 2017 - Filed Under: Crops, Corn, Cotton, Rice, Soybeans

STARKVILLE, Miss. -- Cover crop usage is gaining momentum on Midsouth farms and will be a major focus of the 2017 Mississippi State University Row Crop Short Course.

The MSU Extension Service will host the course at the Mill Conference Center in Starkville Dec. 4-6.

November 16, 2017 - Filed Under: Smart Landscapes

STARKVILLE, Miss. -- Home gardeners and landscape professionals are invited to the first Mississippi Smart Landscape Symposium at Mississippi State University to learn how to design and manage low-maintenance landscapes.

This full-day training course will be held from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Jan. 26 in the Bost Extension auditorium at MSU. The event is hosted by the MSU Extension Service.

Five people stand in a row holding their awards.
November 17, 2017 - Filed Under: 4-H

STARKVILLE, Miss. -- The first Mississippi team ever to compete in the North American International Livestock Exposition came home with a first-place win in the evaluation division.

The four-member team was an all-star group of 4-H members made up of winners of the premier exhibitors’ competition at the Dixie National Livestock Show in February. The national event was held in Louisville, Kentucky, with teams from 19 states competing Nov. 13-15.

Six guests pause for a photo during a formal dinner.
November 17, 2017 - Filed Under: Thad Cochran Agricultural Leadership Program TCALP

STARKVILLE, Miss. -- Mississippi’s premier agricultural leadership program has officially launched.

Nine industry professionals from across the state are the first participants in the Thad Cochran Agricultural Leadership Program, or TCALP. Through a series of rigorous seminars over the next 22 months, these professionals will gain skills and knowledge in entrepreneurship, agribusiness, leadership theory, public policy and global markets.

A woman stands in front of several award ribbons.
November 21, 2017 - Filed Under: 4-H, Women for Agriculture

INDIANOLA, Miss. -- Learning how to show pigs in 4-H livestock competitions made a leader out of Sarah Thomas Smith.

Smith, 17, is a junior at Indianola Academy in Sunflower County, Mississippi. She has been an active member of the Sunflower County Livestock 4-H club since 2010.

Four women, each with a foot on her shovel, look at the camera as they prepare to dig a hole for a small tree.
November 21, 2017 - Filed Under: Master Gardener, Mississippi Homemaker Volunteers

STARKVILLE, Miss. -- Several Mississippi Master Gardener groups marked the state's bicentennial with near-perfect tributes -- by donating and planting Magnolia grandifloras in their communities.

"The tributes are perfect in a state known for its generosity, service to others and love for the environment," said Gary Jackson, director of the Mississippi State University Extension Service.

The side view of a bridled and saddled brown horse inside a corral.
November 21, 2017 - Filed Under: Equine

STARKVILLE, Miss. -- Eleven registered American Quarter Horses from the Mississippi State University equine unit in the Department of Animal and Dairy Sciences will be available for online purchase this weekend.

The auction begins at 8 a.m. Nov. 24 and concludes at 8 p.m. Nov. 26. Descriptions, images and registration papers for each horse may be viewed online at https://auction.msucares.com/.

Four stone statues are seen representing ancient Greek goddesses.
November 27, 2017 - Filed Under: Flower Gardens

Celebrating Thanksgiving with family and friends got me thinking about traditions and beliefs, some popular in the distant past but gone by the wayside today.

In agriculture, some of the most popular myths revolve around the changing seasons.

A hunter in camouflage and an orange vest places his rifle into storage on the back of an ATV in the woods.
November 30, 2017 - Filed Under: ATV Safety

STARKVILLE, Miss. -- Hunting and driving all-terrain vehicles are so linked in Mississippi that many people forget safety precautions when using these powerful machines.

Bradley Staton, Mississippi State University Extension Service 4-H ATV associate, offered a few tips to increase the chances that people will have a safe time in the woods on ATVs.

"Always wear protective gear," Staton said. "That means a helmet to protect the head if you lose control and flip the ATV, and appropriate clothing, including long sleeves, a jacket and boots. And, since it's hunting season, always wear an orange vest so others hunters in the same area can see you."

 A closeup of the official Monarch Waystation sign is shown in the revitalized children's educational garden at the MSU Crosby Arboretum
December 4, 2017 - Filed Under: Master Gardener, Plants and Wildlife, Places for Wildlife, Urban and Backyard Wildlife

A project by the Pearl River County Master Gardeners aims to help increase populations of monarch butterflies by providing habitat and educating the public.

This past spring, the group revamped a portion of the children’s educational garden at the Mississippi State University Crosby Arboretum to serve as an official, certified Monarch Waystation. Master Gardener members recently dedicated the garden with the placement of a sign from Monarch Watch, the nonprofit organization that manages the waystation program.

December 6, 2017 - Filed Under: Farming, Agri-business, Specialty Crop Production

PINEY WOODS, Miss. -- The National Center for Appropriate Technology will host the Alliance of Sustainable Farms field day on Dec. 15 in Piney Woods.

Representatives from the center's Gulf States Regional Office in Jackson will provide a hands-on bed preparation demonstration at its farm at The Piney Woods School. The demonstration will feature the use of small farm tools, including a rotary tiller, rotary plow, power harrow and flail mower. Attendees can also see bed preparation in a hoop house using a broadfork, lightweight tiller and seedbed rake.

December 11, 2017 - Filed Under: Agricultural Economics

STARKVILLE, Miss.—J. Christopher “Chris” Giancarlo, chairman of the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission, is visiting Mississippi State University this week to learn more about the land-grant university’s expertise in agricultural fields and interact with MSU students.

Charlie Thornton, legislative affairs director for the Commodity Futures Trading Commission, is joining Giancarlo on the trip. The visitors spent part of the week touring agricultural facilities, including MSU’s Delta Research and Extension Center in the Mississippi Delta, before coming to Starkville Tuesday [Dec. 5] and meeting with MSU President Mark E. Keenum and other university leaders.

Orange vine flowers resembling black-eyed Susans straddle the top of a wooden gray fence.
December 11, 2017 - Filed Under: Flower Gardens

Most folks have poinsettias and entertaining on the agenda during the holidays, but for this week’s column, I want to highlight a plant that has been an outstanding performer for me all year.

It took this past weekend’s hard freeze to finally shut down my black-eyed Susan vine (I’m going to use the abbreviation BES for this flower), known botanically as Thunbergia alata. For many gardeners, in their experience this is traditionally a basket plant that deserves to be grown more often.

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