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Choosing the right breed of chickens for a backyard flock is an important decision. From left, Tripp, Luna and Charlie Sanders examine chicks for sale March 8, 2017, in Starkville, Mississippi. (Photo by MSU Extension Service/Kat Lawrence)
March 16, 2017 - Filed Under: Poultry

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.

March 10, 2017 - Filed Under: Family Financial Management, Estate and Financial Planning

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.

Mississippi State University Extension Service equine specialist Clay Cavinder will assist in the Horse Management: 101 classes from April 11 to May 16 at the Lee County Agri-Center in Verona. (File photo by MSU Extension Service/Kat Lawrence)
March 10, 2017 - Filed Under: Equine

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.

March 9, 2017 - Filed Under: Family Financial Management

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.

Mildew and mold growth can take place in damp areas of the home, including showers, sinks, bathrooms and kitchens. Clean damp areas, such as kitchens, bathtubs or under-sink cabinets, frequently to reduce mold-feeding spores and microbes. (Photo by Canstock)
March 9, 2017 - Filed Under: Healthy Homes Initiative

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.

March 8, 2017 - Filed Under: Dairy

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.

March 6, 2017 - Filed Under: Natural Resources

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.

March 3, 2017 - Filed Under: Agriculture, Farming

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.

March 3, 2017 - Filed Under: Crops, Commercial Horticulture, Commercial Fruit and Nuts, Beef, Beekeeping, Forestry, Seafood Economics

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.

March 1, 2017 - Filed Under: Beekeeping

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.

Brian Utley, video producer with MSU Extension’s Agricultural Communications, focuses a camera on former MSU football quarterback Dak Prescott in July 2016. Prescott is the face of the 2017 Public Service Announcement campaign for the 70x2020 Colorectal Cancer Screening Initiative. (Photo by MSU Extension/Kevin Hudson)
February 28, 2017 - Filed Under: Health and Wellness, Health, Colon Cancer Screening

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."

Mary Beck heads the Mississippi State University Department of Poultry Science, a field often dominated by men. (Photo by MSU Extension Service/Kevin Hudson)
February 28, 2017 - Filed Under: Women for Agriculture

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.

Bill Evans, a Mississippi State University researcher with the Mississippi Agricultural and Forestry Experiment Station, discussed research and education priorities with representatives of the fruit and nut commodity group on Feb. 22, 2017. MSU Extension Service specialists and agents also took part in the annual MSU Central Mississippi Producer Advisory Council meeting in Raymond, Mississippi. (Photo by MSU Extension Service/Susan Collins-Smith)
February 24, 2017 - Filed Under: Commercial Horticulture, Commercial Fruit and Nuts, Forages, Beef, Beekeeping, Dairy, Equine, Forestry, Wildlife

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.

Whether grown under a conventional system or the newer alternating wet and dry method, weeds are controlled in rice during the initial 21-day continuous flood the crop needs to get established. (Photo by MSU Extension Service/Lee Atwill)
February 23, 2017 - Filed Under: Rice, Weed Control for Crops

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.

February 22, 2017 - Filed Under: Agricultural Economics

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.

February 21, 2017 - Filed Under: Community, Economic Development, Technology

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.

Dale Weaver of Noxubee County leads the grain crops discussion at the Producer Advisory Council meeting in Verona, Mississippi, on Feb. 16, 2017. Mississippi State University Extension Service and the Mississippi Agricultural and Forestry Experiment Station host the annual meeting. (Photo by MSU Extension Service/Kevin Hudson)
February 17, 2017 - Filed Under: Other Aquaculture Species, Crops, Livestock

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.

February 16, 2017 - Filed Under: 4-H Livestock Program, Equine

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.

Eliminating clutter is one way to prevent bed bugs from becoming a problem. Once these parasites are introduced into a home, extermination requires professionals. (Photo by MSU Extension Service/Blake Layton)
February 15, 2017 - Filed Under: Family, Children and Parenting, Healthy Homes Initiative, Health, Insects-Human Pests

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.

February 14, 2017 - Filed Under: Insects-Crop Pests

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.

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