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Feature Story

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

Frozen foods sit in the freezer.
April 7, 2020 - Filed Under: Food and Health, Food, Coronavirus

As families limit trips to the grocery store, they can use their freezers to preserve more than just meat, fruits and vegetables.

Dairy products and eggs also can be frozen.

A young mother grabs her head in frustration while working from home on a laptop computer as her baby looks on.
April 7, 2020 - Filed Under: Family, Family Dynamics, Coronavirus

When it feels like every aspect of life is changing daily because of the COVID-19 pandemic, even the calmest person can be overwhelmed.

Working from home can be a big source of stress, as balancing family and job responsibilities is intensified by social distancing and other protective measures.

April 6, 2020 - Filed Under: Agriculture, Agricultural Economics, Crops, Coronavirus

STARKVILLE, Miss. – Agricultural economists with the Mississippi State University Extension Service will present an online webinar on the economic outlook of row crops in 2020.

Growers seeking insight on the effect of COVID-19 on commodity markets can remotely attend the workshop through the Zoom video conferencing application. 

Faculty with the MSU Department of Agricultural Economics will provide insight on farm management and policy considerations to help producers make informed planting decisions during this time.

A woman uses a hoe to tend a flower bed.
April 3, 2020 - Filed Under: Fruit, Coronavirus, Lawn and Garden, Flower Gardens, Vegetable Gardens

Interest in gardening has nearly kept pace with social distancing and self-isolation rates across the country as the COVID-19 pandemic has circled the globe.

One hand holds a phone while the other hand wipes the screen with a small cloth.
April 1, 2020 - Filed Under: Family, Coronavirus

Unless they are carefully cleaned, phones and handheld devices now carry a greater risk than enabling users to waste time: virus transmission.

Graphic showing 2020 planting intentions
March 31, 2020 - Filed Under: Agriculture, Corn, Cotton, Peanuts, Rice, Soybeans, Forages, Coronavirus

STARKVILLE, Miss. -- Weather always plays a role in the spring planting decisions of Mississippi row-crop producers, but the market impact of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic is another variable they will have to consider in 2020.

Woman points at computer screen.
March 31, 2020 - Filed Under: Marketing and Business Planning, Small Business, Technology, Coronavirus

Thanks to technology, meetings still can be held face-to-face while practicing social distancing, and some tips from the pros can help make the transition easier.

The Mississippi State University Extension Service Center for Technology Outreach has provided technological support for remote learning for more than 20 years. Advances in technology make it faster, easier and possible from home.

Three bags of frozen vegetables sit on a counter.
March 31, 2020 - Filed Under: Food, Health, Coronavirus

RAYMOND, Miss. -- As workplaces implement social distancing measures to help slow the spread of COVID-19, some Mississippians face the frightening reality of lost or reduced income.

Many families will need to stretch their budgets a little more, and cooking at home can help.

A white chicken sits on the ground in a poultry house.
March 30, 2020 - Filed Under: Poultry, Coronavirus

The strict biosecurity measures already practiced in Mississippi’s $2.7 billion poultry industry allow this “essential critical infrastructure workforce” to continue business as usual during the COVID-19 pandemic.

March 27, 2020 - Filed Under: About Extension, County Extension Offices, Poultry, Coronavirus, Forestry

STARKVILLE, Miss. -- Necessary restrictions on travel and gatherings are affecting how the Mississippi State University Extension Service operates, but its ability to respond to the needs of its clients, the public and state agencies during the COVID-19 pandemic continues uninterrupted.

Extension’s roles during crises are many: emergency management, local level assistance, support for the state’s agricultural industry, and dissemination of public information and education.

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