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Feature Story from 2020

Two blue dumbbells are stacked on a bedroom floor.
April 8, 2020 - Filed Under: Health and Wellness, Health, Coronavirus

Mississippians are finding ways to stay fit while sheltering in place to avoid looking like the humans in the animated movie “Wall-E” after generations of inert life on spaceships.

Closeup of a woman budgeting personal finances.
April 8, 2020 - Filed Under: Basic Money Management, Credit, Coronavirus

Increased social distancing measures and shelter-in-place orders are leaving millions of people with reduced income or without a paycheck.

April 9, 2020 - Filed Under: Community, Disaster Preparedness

STARKVILLE, Miss. -- The state’s current shelter-in-place order and state of emergency related to COVID-19 adds an extra variable in planning for severe weather.

The National Weather Service has forecasted an enhanced risk of severe thunderstorms, hail and tornadoes across the southern half of Mississippi for the afternoon and evening of April 13.

Metal roofs of poultry houses lie on the ground in rows amid twisted metal and debris.
April 13, 2020 - Filed Under: Poultry, Disaster Response

Tornadoes and damaging storms that swept through the state Easter Sunday afternoon and evening, killing 11 Mississippians also caused devastating losses to growers in the poultry industry.

Green tractor flipped on its side in a field.
April 13, 2020 - Filed Under: Disaster Relief, Coronavirus, Disaster Recovery

STARKVILLE, Miss. -- Social distancing guidelines already urged by federal and state health agencies should be followed closely to prevent exposure to COVID-19 during post-storm cleanup.

A severe weather outbreak April 12 caused widespread damage across the Southeast, but south Mississippi was hit particularly hard after a series of tornadoes left 11 deaths, several injuries and property destruction in its wake.

April 14, 2020 - Filed Under: About Extension, Cotton

The Mississippi State University Extension Service has a new cotton specialist.

Brian Pieralisi was appointed to that role on April 1. He replaced Darrin Dodds, who took the helm of the university’s Department of Plant and Soil Sciences.

Frozen foods sit in the freezer.
April 15, 2020 - Filed Under: Food, Coronavirus

Home freezers provide a great way to keep more perishable items on hand as Mississippians shelter in place to reduce the spread of the new coronavirus.

Signs with instructions for ordering curbside greet customers at a local coffee shop
April 15, 2020 - Filed Under: Economic Development, Small Business

Many small business owners temporarily closed their doors and sent their employees home amid efforts to slow the spread of the new coronavirus. But that does not mean they are closed for business.

April 16, 2020 - Filed Under: Agriculture, Agricultural Economics, Local Food System Economies, Food Safety, Coronavirus

An April 24 webinar with experts from the Mississippi State University Extension Service will address pressing questions about the effects of the novel coronavirus pandemic on food production in the U.S.

An overhead view of trees damaged by tornadoes.
April 16, 2020 - Filed Under: Disaster Response, Coronavirus, Forestry, Forestry Impacts

STARKVILLE, Miss. -- One of Kim Hancock’s routine jobs is assisting 4-H’ers in Jones County with their livestock projects. On Easter Sunday, she was helping some of those same young people and their families sort through the rubble of what was once their homes.

Thirty-two counties in Mississippi reported damage from a tornado outbreak April 12 that resulted in 12 fatalities, many injuries and catastrophic destruction to residential, commercial and agricultural property.

Silhouette of a paper cut-out style family of four facing a three-dimensional model of the novel coronavirus.
April 17, 2020 - Filed Under: Health and Wellness, Coronavirus, Mental Health First Aid

When confronted with the need to change or adapt to life’s circumstances, people cope with the resulting stress in many ways. David Buys, health specialist with the Mississippi State University Extension Service, said the domino effect of multiple changes caused by the novel coronavirus pandemic may result in trauma.

“Usually trauma is a major life event that leads to intense stress reactions,” Buys said. “But we are seeing so many changes in such a short time it’s a struggle to manage our feelings and thoughts without falling into anxiety and depression.”

Beef cows in a field
April 20, 2020 - Filed Under: Beef, Food and Health, Food Safety, Coronavirus

STARKVILLE, Miss. -- Food supplies in the U.S. are abundant and safe, despite some challenges in packaging and distribution related to COVID-19.

Robert Johannson, chief economist for the U.S. Department of Agriculture, acknowledged “widespread worries that the disease could threaten the nation’s food production and supply systems and stoke inflation” in a statement issued April 16.

A gray caterpillar covered in tiny brown spines hangs upside down on a green leaf.
April 21, 2020 - Filed Under: Insects-Human Pests, Insects

Mississippi does not have to deal with plagues of locusts like those ravaging other parts of the world, but it does have to contend with a stinging caterpillar that is on the increase this spring.

A twisted piece of metal lies mangled among broken and downed trees.
April 23, 2020 - Filed Under: Forestry, Disaster Recovery

Easter Sunday’s severe weather and tornadoes left landowners in eight south Mississippi counties with battered timber stands. According to estimates by the Mississippi Forestry Commission, around 13,000 total acres of timber in Covington, Jasper, Jefferson Davis, Jones, Lawrence, Marion, Smith and Walthall counties suffered about $14.9 million in damages.

A smiling couple holds a smart phone showing a woman on a video call.
April 24, 2020 - Filed Under: Family, Family Dynamics, Coronavirus

Starkville High School senior Christian Leach has photographic proof of the day he sat in his front yard and signed to run track for Mississippi College this fall.

MSU Extension logo
April 24, 2020 - Filed Under: County Extension Offices, Extension Administration, Research and Extension Centers

STARKVILLE, Miss. -- The Mississippi State University Extension Service will continue operations as it has through the statewide shelter-in-place order, but has canceled all face-to-face events, meetings and trainings through August 1 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The cancellation includes all scheduled Extension in-person conferences as well as 4-H youth programs on and off campus.

Closeup of a floral arrangement.
April 27, 2020 - Filed Under: Floral Design

Floral enthusiasts and professional floral designers can broaden their design skills in a three-phase horticulture course that has online, in-person, and volunteer components.

April 29, 2020 - Filed Under: Agricultural Economics, Crops, Agri-business

Agricultural economists with the Mississippi State University Extension Service will address row-crop markets and budgets for 2020 during a May 12 webinar.

April 29, 2020 - Filed Under: 4-H, About Extension, Extension Administration

STARKVILLE, Miss. -- The Mississippi State University Extension Service’s cancellation of in-person educational meetings and events through August 1 does not affect events hosted by other organizations, which Extension personnel and clients may participate in.

All scheduled Extension face-to-face educational events and meetings through that date have been canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

A man in a hat stands next to a bush covered in tomatoes growing inside a wire frame.
May 1, 2020 - Filed Under: Coronavirus, Lawn and Garden, Insects-Vegetable Gardens, Vegetable Gardens

More would-be gardeners than ever before are planting with hopes of a summer crop of vegetables, but getting to that harvest means handling the inevitable insect pests, weeds, disease and fertilizer needs.

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