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Professional florists can learn to make arrangements for bouquets like this one during a two-day wedding floral workshop on Jan. 30 and 31offered by Jim DelPrince, floral design specialist with the Mississippi State University Extension Service. (Photo by MSU Extension Service/Jim DelPrince)
January 6, 2017 - Filed Under: Community

BILOXI, Miss. -- Professional florists and others who want to begin or expand businesses can learn about wedding floral design during an upcoming two-day workshop.

Jim DelPrince, floral specialist with the Mississippi State University Extension Service, will conduct the Wedding Floral Design Workshop Jan. 30 and 31 in Biloxi.

December 19, 2016 - Filed Under: Food and Health, Nutrition

STARKVILLE, Miss. -- Local gyms are popular places in January, but good nutrition is just as critical as exercise in achieving New Year's fitness resolutions.

Food consumed after workouts -- known in sport dietetics as recovery nutrition -- has as much of an impact on improving well-being as the workouts themselves.

December 15, 2016 - Filed Under: Agriculture, Corn, Peanuts, Rice, Soybeans, Sweet Potatoes, Poultry

STARKVILLE, Miss. -- The estimated $7.6 billion value of Mississippi agriculture increased by 1.8 percent in 2016, helping the industry retain its prominence in the state's overall economy.

December 15, 2016 - Filed Under: Commercial Fruit and Nuts, Corn, Cotton, Grains, Soybeans, Sweet Potatoes

STARKVILLE, Miss. -- Good seasons for cotton and corn should increase Mississippi's agronomic crops production value by 12.5 percent increase in 2016.

Brian Williams, agricultural economist with the Mississippi State University Extension Service, said most crops had a good year despite the extended drought.

"Fortunately, the drought came late in the season when most crops were past the critical stages," Williams said. "Total production was up, and the value on crops was also up, thanks to cotton and corn."

Chicks and Forest
December 15, 2016 - Filed Under: Agricultural Economics, Poultry, Forestry

STARKVILLE, Miss. -- Poultry remains Mississippi's top agricultural commodity with an estimated value of $2.9 billion, and it shows no signs of slowing down in 2017.

Forestry comes in a distant second with total farm-gate value of $1.4 billion, according to 2016 estimates.

Mississippi State University Extension Service economists just released their estimates for the state's agricultural commodity values in 2016. The top commodities remain poultry and forestry. Soybeans remain in the third spot, dropping 1.7 percent to just over $1 billion.

December 15, 2016 - Filed Under: Farming, Agricultural Economics

STARKVILLE, Miss. -- A farm crisis may have silently begun in the United States, an agricultural economist with the Mississippi State University Extension Service concluded after careful consideration of commodity prices and farm costs.

"2013 was the last year of relatively high commodity prices. At that same time, during the run-up of commodity prices from the mid-2000s to 2013, input costs went up," said Bryon Parman, Extension agricultural economist. "Now, commodity prices have come down, but input costs have not come down nearly as fast."

Jessica Smith of Picayune is a Mississippi State University senior who majored in agricultural communications because of her interest in connecting consumers and farmers. (Photo by MSU Extension/Kevin Hudson)
December 14, 2016 - Filed Under: 4-H, Women for Agriculture

STARKVILLE, Miss. -- Many people in the agricultural world complain that consumers do not understand what farmers do, but few of them are willing to dedicate their careers to a solution.

Jessica Smith, a senior at Mississippi State University, grew up on a farm in south Mississippi and is majoring in agricultural communications because she sees education as a key element in changing how her peers perceive something as basic as where their food comes from.

December 14, 2016 - Filed Under: Family, Healthy Homes Initiative, Health

RAYMOND, Miss. -- When the new year rolls around, people often resolve to focus on personal fitness goals, but it is a great time to make sure homes are healthy as well.

"There are a lot of hazards our homes can pose that could be harmful to our health," said David Buys, health specialist with the Mississippi State University Extension Service. "Some of these hazards give no warning signs."

Carbon monoxide, lead and radon are odorless, invisible contaminants that can cause serious health problems and even death if left unchecked.

Rachel Stout Evans, a soil scientist with the Natural Resources Conservation Service, speaks to Mississippi State University Extension agents at a row crop farm in Shaw, Mississippi.
December 9, 2016 - Filed Under: Agriculture, Farming

SHAW, Miss. -- Efforts are underway to inform producers about incentives to encourage sustainable agricultural practices on farms across Mississippi.

Gary Jackson, director of the Mississippi State University Extension Service, discusses the 2016 MSU Row Crop Short Course with Mississippi Commissioner of Agriculture and Commerce Cindy Hyde-Smith on Dec. 6, 2016. (Photo by MSU Extension Service/Kevin Hudson)
December 8, 2016 - Filed Under: County Extension Offices, Extension Administration, Crops

STARKVILLE, Miss. -- More Mississippi producers are getting the word about how much they can learn in three days at the state’s premier row crop conference.

The Mississippi State University 2016 Row Crop Short Course had more than 600 attendees. Attendance at the Row Crop Short Course has steadily increased since 2009. Approximately 60 people attended the event in 2008.

December 6, 2016 - Filed Under: Rice

STARKVILLE, Miss. -- Mississippi State University researchers have a plan to drastically change the way rice farmers grow their crop while cutting water use by one-third and maintaining yields.

The MSU Extension Service is encouraging Mississippi rice growers to consider using alternate wetting and drying -- or AWD -- management in their rice fields.

About 20 percent of Mississippi farmers use some form of AWD today, but Jason Krutz, Extension irrigation specialist and Mississippi Agricultural and Forestry Experiment Station researcher, wants that number to increase.

A radish cover crop planted in early fall as part of a research demonstration project is thriving at Michael Graves’ farm near Ripley, Mississippi. (File Photo by MSU College of Forest Resources)
December 2, 2016 - Filed Under: Agriculture, Farming, Natural Resources, Environment

RIPLEY, Miss. -- This winter, a Mississippi farm will serve as a research facility for a multiyear project involving local, state and federal partners.

December 1, 2016 - Filed Under: Agriculture

WINONA, Miss. -- The Alliance for Sustainable Agricultural Production will hold its 50th field day Dec. 9 at Roberts Farm in Winona.

David Nagel, Mississippi State University Extension Service horticulture specialist, and Jeff Wilson, Extension regional horticulture specialist, will discuss crop selection, seed acquisition and winter fruit crop activities. Vickie Roberts will share her journey from pharmaceutical sales representative to fourth-generation owner of her family's farm.

Dawn Morgan manages more than 20 hives at FloBaby Farms and sells raw honey, comb honey and beeswax from her home in Starkville, Mississippi on Nov. 22, 2016. (Photo by MSU Extension Service/Kevin Hudson)
November 22, 2016 - Filed Under: Women for Agriculture, Beekeeping

STARKVILLE, Miss. -- Dawn Morgan's father was an organic gardener before organic was cool, but for years she preferred a more manicured yard and the practices that entailed.

Then she began reading about the decline of bee colonies and remembered her dad's orchard and garden buzzing with pollinators.

"Dad kept bees but in a very primitive way," she said. "No bee suit, no smoker, never used herbicides or pesticides. He did everything naturally."

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.

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