Feature Story from 2022
RAYMOND, Miss. -- The rollout of the 988 Suicide and Crisis Lifeline offers more hope to individuals dealing with mental-health-related distress. That population includes farmers and farm workers, who are among those most at risk for suicide and mental health distress.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, male agricultural workers have the fourth highest suicide rate among men in all industries.
STONEVILLE, Miss. -- Delta Agricultural Weather Center stations typically record historical weather data and help growers make production decisions, but now they are also key components of a new honeybee study at Mississippi State University.
Esmaeil Amiri, an assistant professor of apiculture with the MSU Extension Service and researcher with the Mississippi Agricultural and Forestry Experiment Station, is using the facilities and datasets provided by the weather center for his research team’s study on the effect of weather on honeybee health.
STARKVILLE, Miss. -- Late summer and early fall are when many growers begin thinking about when to make their last cut of hay each year, but safety should always be the top priority of anyone operating a baler, whether it is May or October.
Regular equipment maintenance and inspections are the best ways to prevent hay baler fires, but disaster can sometimes happen regardless of good upkeep and storage practices.
STARKVILLE, Miss. -- Portions of central Mississippi and the lower Mississippi Delta saw more than 1 foot of rain between Aug. 21 and 25, and flash flooding will affect some agricultural commodities in these areas.
Torrential downpours dropped 8-13 inches of rain in much of Leake, Neshoba, Scott, Kemper, Hinds and Newton counties, as well as parts of surrounding counties, prompting road closures and evacuations.
A few sassafras trees across Mississippi have started to show signs of dieback, and Mississippi State University is asking for help in identifying affected trees. The trees are suspected of having laurel wilt, a disease caused by a fungus that has already proven deadly to the state’s redbay trees. The fungus is carried by the redbay ambrosia beetle, an invasive species native to Asia.
Gary Jackson, who has served as director of the MSU Extension Service since 2011, has been selected to fill a new leadership position focused on university outreach and engagement activities.
Jackson will fill the newly created position of associate vice president for outreach and engagement, effective Sept. 1. Steve Martin, currently associate director for county operations, will serve as interim Extension director.
Angus Catchot assumed the role of interim head of the Mississippi State University Central Mississippi Research and Extension Center Sept. 1. Catchot, who is currently the associate director of operations for the Mississippi Agricultural and Forestry Experiment Station, will provide temporary leadership for the center’s faculty and staff, as well as the region’s branch experiment stations.
Deer hunters are urgently needed to participate in the battle to limit the spread of chronic wasting disease among the state’s prized white-tailed deer population. Chronic wasting disease, or CWD, is a 100% fatal, transmissible, neurogenerative disease. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommend that deer infected with this disease should not be eaten. One challenge of detecting the disease is that until deer enter the last stages of CWD, they often appear completely healthy.
COMO, Miss. -- The Mississippi State University Extension Service will cohost a collaborative field day in Panola County Sept. 29 to share information about cover crops and reduced-till farming, soil and water health, and pasture soil and water management.
The Mississippi Land Stewardship field day runs from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. and begins at Buckeye Farms at 3251 Tom Floyd Road in Como. Attendees will then travel to two different fields, one row crop and one pasture. The field day will conclude at Home Place Pastures. A complimentary lunch is included for participants.
A Mississippi State University Extension Service specialist was recently reelected to the National Board of Public Health Examiners board of directors. Initially elected in 2020, David Buys, Extension health specialist and associate professor in the MSU Department of Food Science, Nutrition and Health Promotion, will now serve a second two-year term.
STARKVILLE, Miss. -- A Mississippi 4-H health and wellness program is expanding after receiving a $100,000 grant from a large health care and insurance company.
UnitedHealthCare awarded the grant to the Mississippi State University Extension Service to expand the Junior Master Wellness Volunteer program -- or JrMWV. This program equips young people with health messages that help improve health literacy and lead to choices and lifestyle changes for a healthier Mississippi.
The word “termite” strikes fear in the hearts of homeowners because this insect is the most economically damaging pest in Mississippi, is very common and requires constant vigilance. Blake Layton, entomologist with the Mississippi State University Extension Service, said the cost of termites is so large that it is hard to pin down.
Floral enthusiasts can learn about the basics of floral design and create home holiday decorations in one of six upcoming Deck the Halls workshops.Jim DelPrince, horticulture specialist with the Mississippi State University Extension Service, will lead the class, introducing participants to basic floral design. Class members will also learn about the Extension Master Floral Designer Program, a certificate program that teaches the foundations of floral design in return for volunteer service in the community.
Mississippi gardeners who work to nurture nature in their landscape can learn from some of the top leaders in this field in an Oct. 19 event at Mississippi State University. The 67th Edward C. Martin Landscape Symposium will be hosted by the MSU Extension Service on campus at the Bost Center Auditorium. Registration for the half-day event is $25 in advance or $30 at the door.
RAYMOND, Miss. -- Mississippi peanut producers should see an average year in terms of crop quality and yield. Mississippi producers planted about 14,500 acres of peanuts. That number is down about 20% from 2021 acreage because of higher commodity prices for other crops at planting time. Yield is expected to be between 4,000 and 4,200 pounds per acre.
A man who spent his whole life helping others become their best selves is being honored this fall by induction into the National 4-H Hall of Fame in Washington, D.C. Harvey Lee Gordon, Sr., originally of Leland, Mississippi in Washington County, served as a 4-H state specialist with the Mississippi State University Extension Service from 1997 until he retired in 2014.
STARKVILLE, Miss. -- A Mississippi State University Extension Service mental health campaign continues to receive national recognition, this time from the U.S. Department of Agriculture.
Mississippi State University is the lead partner on a $10 million grant from the U.S. Department of Agriculture to conduct climate-smart projects. Beth Baker, an Extension specialist in natural resource conservation in agroecosystems, is the lead investigator on the grant project announced Sept. 14
STARKVILLE, Miss. -- Class is officially in session for the newest members of Mississippi’s principal agricultural leadership program.
The third class of the Thad Cochran Agricultural Leadership Program -- or TCALP -- features 10 participants in a range of careers, from farming to sales and law, linked to food and fiber production.
STARKVILLE, Miss. -- Lorin Harvey has heard from several Mississippi sweet potato growers that the quality of this year’s crop is the best they have seen in 20 years.
“The high quality of the crop is what stands out to me this year,” said Harvey, sweet potato specialist with the Mississippi State University Extension Service. “We have to see how things hold up in storage, but I have high hopes.”
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