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November 18, 2016 - Filed Under: Agriculture

STARKVILLE, Miss.--A new report from the National Science Foundation again finds Mississippi State ranked among the nation's top 100 research institutions and the Magnolia State's leading research university — climbing four spots since the last reporting period.

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Dylan Yost feeds plastic tubing into equipment that buries drain tile in a deep furrow in fields. This Noxubee County field was being tiled Nov. 8, 2016. (Photo by MSU Extension Service/Kevin Hudson)
November 18, 2016 - Filed Under: Agriculture

BROOKSVILLE, Miss. -- Many farmers in east Mississippi are investing heavily in drain tiles that work like French drains in the landscape, and the result is higher productivity on land that previously was too wet.

Dennis Reginelli, a regional agronomic specialist with the Mississippi State University Extension Service in Noxubee County, said farmers are installing the flexible plastic tubing in the ground to drain away excess water.

Jones County 4-H member Rustin Anderson, 17, exhibits his grand champion Brangus heifer on Oct. 22, 2016 at the State Fair in Jackson, Mississippi. (Submitted photo by Brianna Stroud)
November 17, 2016 - Filed Under: 4-H Livestock Program, Family

LAUREL, Miss. -- Win or lose, competing in livestock shows would not be possible without the help of others.

"Everyone helps everyone else," said Rustin Anderson, 17, of Jones County. "We're all like family, even though we are competing against each other."

Anderson, who has been showing Brangus cattle since 2009, is highly involved with the Jones County 4-H program. He serves as president of the junior livestock exhibitors for the county. He said the family atmosphere is what makes the program unique.

November 17, 2016 - Filed Under: Family, Children and Parenting

RAYMOND, Miss. -- Quality child care does not require a large budget. Dewberry Daycare and Hazlehurst United Methodist Church Child Care and Preschool prove it.

Both centers attained a four-star classification in Mississippi's Quality Rating and Improvement System. Commonly referred to as Quality Stars, the voluntary program is designed to help licensed care and education centers meet and maintain high standards in five areas: learning environments, professional development, administrative policy, parent involvement and evaluation.

U.S. Sen. Thad Cochran, center, celebrates the establishment of the Thad Cochran Agricultural Leadership Program, a collaboration between the Mississippi State University Extension Service and Mississippi Farm Bureau. Joining him are, from left: MSU President Mark Keenum, Farm Bureau Young Farmer Committee members Jay and Kim Jayroe, MSU Division of Agriculture, Forestry and Veterinary Medicine Associate Vice President Bill Herndon, Sen. Cochran, MSU assistant Extension professor and program director Laura
November 16, 2016 - Filed Under: About Extension, Agriculture

Washington, D.C. -- Mississippi State University and Mississippi Farm Bureau leaders gathered Monday in the Capitol to announce the new Thad Cochran Agricultural Leadership Program developed by the MSU Extension Service.

A butterfly visits flowers at the Mississippi State University South Mississippi Branch Experiment Station in Poplarville in this photo taken in June. Pollinators still need sources of nectar in late fall as they prepare to reproduce or migrate to their overwintering locations. (Photo by MSU Extension Service/Susan Collins-Smith)
November 16, 2016 - Filed Under: Insects, Lawn and Garden, Natural Resources

RAYMOND, Miss. -- As fall quickly winds down, gardening experts urge Mississippians not to throw in the trowel just yet.

Some pollinators are still active and need nectar for energy to reproduce or migrate to their overwintering locations.

November 11, 2016 - Filed Under: Crops

STARKVILLE, Miss. -- Before they prepare for 2017, Mississippi producers will have a chance next month to catch up on recent row crop research being conducted across the Southeast.

The Mississippi State University Extension Service invites producers to its annual Row Crop Short Course Dec. 5-7 at the Cotton Mill Conference Center in Starkville. Registration is free until Nov. 28 and $40 on site.

November 10, 2016 - Filed Under: Family, Healthy Homes Initiative, Health

STARKVILLE, Miss. -- All the good smells of the holidays brought into the house by candles, cooking, live greenery and holiday plants can contribute to poor indoor air quality.

David Buys, health specialist with the Mississippi State University Extension Service, said indoor air quality affects human health in several ways.

Diabetics or those at risk for the disease must be more careful and health-conscious, and family chefs should keep their loved ones' needs in mind when thinking about what to cook. (Photo by MSU Extension Service/File)
November 10, 2016 - Filed Under: Food, Health, Nutrition

STARKVILLE, Miss. -- The holiday season is a time to celebrate blessings and good health -- something many Americans do by eating more food than normal.

People who have or are at risk for diabetes must be more careful and health-conscious to maintain their health, and family chefs should keep their loved ones’ needs in mind when thinking about what dishes will be on the dinner table.

November 10, 2016 - Filed Under: Farm Safety, Family

RAYMOND, Miss. -- Decorated homes and busy kitchens mark the holiday season for many families, but this time of year also brings an increased number of safety hazards.

Decor and cooking fires increase during the holidays, causing numerous deaths and injuries, as well as millions of dollars in property damage. Between 2009 and 2013, U.S. fire departments responded to about 1,070 home fires a year started by holiday decorations, including Christmas trees, according to the National Fire Protection Association.

November 10, 2016 - Filed Under: Technology, Children and Parenting

STARKVILLE, Miss. -- Before buying electronic educational gadgets to help children learn, adults need to recognize the difference in active engagement and passive entertainment.

Louise E. Davis, a professor of child and family development for the Mississippi State University Extension Service, said children who are less than 2 years old should not be exposed to interactive digital media. Instead of screen time, she suggested playing with Lego bricks or large building blocks, as well as reading books together, as ways to encourage imagination.

November 10, 2016 - Filed Under: Family, Family Dynamics

STARKVILLE, Miss. -- On the heels of a heated political season, make family peace a priority during the upcoming holidays.

Alisha Hardman, an assistant professor in the Mississippi State University School of Human Sciences, said holidays offer opportunities for family members to enjoy one another and make memories to last a lifetime.

"Some families have more trouble than others when it comes to controversial or sensitive subjects," Hardman said. "If something cannot be discussed in a constructive manner, it may be best to avoid the topic altogether."

November 8, 2016 - Filed Under: Extension Administration

STARKVILLE, Miss. -- In recognition of outstanding public relations work, Mississippi State University staff members recently garnered high honors in a regional competition.

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MSU Merlins Pizazz, otherwise known as “Daisy,” is a beautiful, 2-year-old buckskin mare and one of 17 horses available for purchase through the annual online Mississippi State University horse auction. (Photo by MSU College of Agriculture and Life Sciences/Elizabeth Caldwell)
November 4, 2016 - Filed Under: Equine

STARKVILLE, Miss. -- Seventeen animals are available for purchase through the annual Mississippi State University horse auction Nov. 14-19.

The online auction is available for preview through Nov. 13. Prospective buyers can view photos, registration papers and descriptions of each horse at https://auction.msucares.com.

November 4, 2016 - Filed Under: Agriculture, Estate and Financial Planning, Food Safety, Natural Resources

JACKSON, Miss. -- The Alliance for Sustainable Agricultural Production will hold its November field day in conjunction with the 2016 Mississippi Food Summit and Agricultural Revival.

The revival is set for Nov. 17 and 18 at the Mississippi Agriculture and Forestry Museum. Participants may also attend Jackson-area farm and garden tours on Nov. 19.

Pecan trees at Bass Pecan Co. in Raymond, Mississippi, are loaded on Oct. 11, 2016. Pecan yields are expected to be the best since 2003, when the state produced 4 million pounds of the popular holiday nuts.  (Photo by MSU Extension Service/Susan Collins-Smith)
November 4, 2016 - Filed Under: Nuts

RAYMOND, Miss. -- Despite timely rains throughout the summer, late-season drought is pushing back pecan harvest for most Mississippi producers.

"We thought we were going to be early with our harvest this year when our nuts set early this spring," said Max Draughn, owner of Bass Pecan Co. in Raymond and president of the Mississippi Pecan Growers Association. "We had rains every week up until Labor Day. Then we had no rain. We went into slow motion when it got dry."

Mississippi State University Extension Service agent Dennis Reginelli explains cotton to students visiting FARMtastic in 2015. This year’s agricultural event will take place Nov. 14-18 at the Mississippi Horse Park near Starkville, Mississippi. (Photo by MSU Extension Service/Kat Lawrence)
November 3, 2016 - Filed Under: About Extension, Farming, FARMtastic

STARKVILLE, Miss. -- Second- through fourth-graders who attend an agricultural event at Mississippi State University Nov. 14-18 will be able to tell their parents about the sources of food, clothing and other common products.

The MSU Extension Service will conduct the fifth annual FARMtastic at the Mississippi Horse Park. Weekday activities begin at 9 a.m. and conclude at 1 p.m.

Xenia Wickline, center, is a Biloxi community advocate who works with Kim Gowdy, left, to deliver educational sessions to women in the Mujeres Unidas (Women United) program. Rosa Bender has participated in the program for more than a year. (Photo by MSU Extension Service/Kat Lawrence)
November 3, 2016 - Filed Under: Community

BILOXI, Miss. -- When Mississippi State University Extension Service agent Kim Gowdy began teaching parenting skills classes to Hispanic immigrants, she had just one challenge: Gowdy does not speak Spanish.

"My audience for these classes is all Spanish-speaking women," said Gowdy, who is based in the Harrison County Extension office. "I have an interpreter who translates for me, and when I have presentations, she will make the slides in Spanish, and then translate what I say."

November 1, 2016 - Filed Under: Community, Economic Development

STARKVILLE, Miss. – A resource developed by the Mississippi State University Extension Service shows shifts in county populations based on exemptions reported in 2014-2015 federal tax returns.

Developed by MSU Extension specialist Roberto Gallardo, the online map of Mississippi shows counties in green and red. Red represents counties where more people moved out than moved in, or a negative net migration. Counties in green had a positive net migration. Only 25 Mississippi counties had a positive net migration.

Boone Purser enjoys afternoon cuddles with his son, Benji, on Oct. 31, 2016. Benji is a breastfed baby who thrives on attention from both his parents at his home in Starkville, Mississippi. (Photo by MSU Extension Service/Linda Breazeale)
November 1, 2016 - Filed Under: Children and Parenting, Health

STARKVILLE, Miss. -- The choice to breastfeed babies does not remove fathers from nurturing duties that create strong bonds with their children.

Hannah Lambey, a dietetic intern with the Mississippi State University Extension Service, said a father can significantly impact the mother and baby just by doing a few simple things.

"Breastfeeding centers around the relationship between the mom and baby, sometimes leaving dad feeling left out," Lambey said. "Dads have many other bonding opportunities that are just as important for both the mother and child."

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