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July 7, 2016 - Filed Under: Agri-tourism

OXFORD, Miss. -- The Mississippi State University Extension Service invites producers to an agritourism marketing workshop scheduled for July 21 and 22 at the Graduate Hotel in Oxford.

Growing Your Brand: Marketing Tools for Mississippi Agritourism and Local Foods will feature workshops on the importance of agritourism in educating the public about state agriculture and offer emerging strategies professionals can use to increase visitor traffic and grow their businesses.

Shrimp boats at rest in the Biloxi Small Craft Harbor in Biloxi, Mississippi, Jan. 25, 2016. (Photo by MSU Extension Service/Kevin Hudson)
July 7, 2016 - Filed Under: Seafood Economics

BILOXI, Miss. -- Wild-caught shrimp contribute millions of dollars to Mississippi’s economy each year, and experts say better flavor gives them a competitive advantage over imported and pond-raised shrimp.

Dave Burrage, Mississippi State University Extension Service fisheries specialist, said consumers who participate in blind taste tests tend to prefer the taste of wild-caught Gulf shrimp over that of pond-raised, imported products.

The titan arum’s spathe opens for one day every seven to 10 years. The leafy, petal-like structure, which contains both male and female flowers, emits a strong odor similar to decaying meat to attract the plant’s native pollinators. (Photo by MSU Extension Service/Susan Collins-Smith)
July 5, 2016 - Filed Under: Lawn and Garden

POPLARVILLE, Miss. – A rare tropical plant drew a steady stream of fascinated onlookers to a Mississippi State University research station as it bloomed for the first time on June 30.

The 9-year-old titan arum was nicknamed “Spike” by the Mississippi Agricultural and Forestry Experiment Station researchers who care for it. Known scientifically as Amorphophallus titanum, Spike likely will not bloom again for several years.

Gleaners harvest leftover crops and distribute them to the hungry. Volunteers are needed at all steps of the process, from harvesting to distribution. These sweet potatoes were bagged for delivery at Mississippi State University. (File Photo by MSU Extension Service/Kevin Hudson)
June 28, 2016 - Filed Under: Agriculture, Community

JACKSON, Miss. -- An organization ready to harvest and distribute quality food to the hungry always looks for new farms to glean and more hands to help with the work.

The Mississippi Gleaning Network exists to link agricultural endeavors with organizations that distribute food to the needy. It is operated under the Society of St. Andrew, a Christian nonprofit, nationwide organization that supplies the volunteer labor.

Gleaning is an ancient practice in which workers are allowed into a harvested field to gather for themselves the food that is left over.

Mississippi State University plant and soil sciences associate professor Guihong Bi, right, shows tomatoes being grown at a Shandong Shouguang Vegetable Industry Group greenhouse to MSU Extension agents, from left, Emily Carter, Lanette Crocker and Lisa Stewart on June 20, 2016. (Photo by MSU Extension Service/Nathan Gregory)
June 28, 2016 - Filed Under: Agriculture, Farming, Agricultural Economics

BEIJING, China -- Expanding Mississippi agriculture requires getting to know potential markets, and a group of Mississippi State University Extension agents is seeing one of the largest in the world firsthand.

June 28, 2016 - Filed Under: Agriculture

BATESVILLE, Miss. -- Farmers can learn about financial management and a new produce safety program during the upcoming Alliance for Sustainable Agricultural Production field day July 15.

The on-farm field day will be at the Cotton Warehouse Farmers Market, located at 550 Highway 6 West in Batesville. Start 2 Finish Community Farms’ Happy Foods Project is co-hosting the event.

To avoid sunburn, young children should wear sunscreen and stay in the shade as much as possible when playing outside. (Photo by MSU Extension/Alexandra Woolbright)
June 27, 2016 - Filed Under: Family, Children and Parenting

STARKVILLE, Miss. – During the summer months, few activities are more appealing than a dip in the pool to escape the heat, but safety must be the top priority.

According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, toddlers have been known to drown in as little as a bucket of water. Swimming pools can pose the greatest drowning riks to toddlers.

Despite the dangers associated with swimming, the good news is that drowning is preventable.

June 25, 2016 - Filed Under: Lawn and Garden

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POPLARVILLE, Miss. – Horticulture researchers at the Mississippi State University South Mississippi Branch Experiment Station anticipate the first bloom of the rare titan arum (Amorphophallus titanum) will happen soon.

The plant will not likely bloom again for several years.

The first bloom of the rare titan arum (Amorphophallus titanum) at the MSU South Mississippi Branch Experiment Station, nicknamed “Spike”  will happen soon, possibly between June 25-30!
June 24, 2016 - Filed Under: Lawn and Garden

POPLARVILLE, Miss. – Horticulture researchers at the Mississippi State University South Mississippi Branch Experiment Station anticipate the first bloom of the rare titan arum (Amorphophallus titanum) will happen soon.

The plant will not likely bloom again for several years.

Zinnias provide a good source of energy for adult monarch butterflies and other pollinators, such as native bees and other butterfly species. (Photo by MSU Extension Service/Susan Collins-Smith)
June 24, 2016 - Filed Under: 4-H, Lawn and Garden

JACKSON, Miss. -- Mississippians are stepping in to support dwindling Eastern monarch butterfly populations with a nationwide program aimed at reestablishing their diminishing North American habitat.

Jason Krutz (left), irrigation specialist for the Mississippi State University Extension Service, and Normie Buehring, research professor at the Northeast Mississippi Experiment Station, discuss soybean irrigation at the 2014 North Mississippi Research and Extension Center Agronomic Row Crops Field Day. The biennial event will be Aug. 11, 2016 in Lee County. (File Photo/ MSU Extension Service)
June 23, 2016 - Filed Under: Crops

VERONA, Miss. -- North Mississippi farmers and consultants can learn about the latest row crop research and the potential for using unmanned aircraft systems in crop production during a free field day program in Lee County.

Experts with the Mississippi State University Extension Service and Mississippi Agricultural and Forestry Experiment Station will host the biennial North Mississippi Research and Extension Center Agronomic Row Crops Field Day on Aug. 11 from 8 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. 

Customers still can find unusual items such as this fuchsia plant (left photo), at The Flower Center in Vicksburg. Bobbie Beard (right), former owner, began the successful horticulture business in her backyard 30 years ago. Her son and daughter-in-law now own the nursery. (Photos by MSU Extension Service/Kevin Hudson)
June 22, 2016 - Filed Under: Women for Agriculture, Commercial Horticulture, Lawn and Garden

VICKSBURG, Miss. -- After raising five children, Bobbie Beard began to concentrate on her second passion -- gardening.

“I’ve been digging in the dirt since I was 7 years old,” said Beard, who lives in Vicksburg. “I’ve always loved plants -- flowers, shrubs, trees. When my kids were grown, I decided it was my turn to do something for myself.”

Instead of keeping the beauty of her garden to herself, Beard decided to share it with others. At age 52, she began what is now The Flower Center Nursery in her own backyard.

June 21, 2016 - Filed Under: Agriculture, Farming, Agricultural Engineering

STARKVILLE, Miss. -- The Mississippi State University Extension Service invites state row crop producers to a seed technology short course to be held Aug. 2-3 at MSU.

Seed Tech 2016: From Bin to Bag will cover techniques in seed cleaning, separating and sorting. There will also be equipment demonstrations and workshops focusing on testing, labeling, intellectual property, legal issues and litigation.

The workshop will offer professional development credit. Commercial applicator recertification courses will be available for seed treatment or demonstration research.

The updated U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s Nutrition Facts label highlights added sugars, as well as serving sizes and calories. The new label will be seen on packaged foods starting in 2018. (Illustration courtesy of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration)
June 21, 2016 - Filed Under: Food and Health, Nutrition

By Michaela Parker
MSU Extension Service

STARKVILLE. Miss. -- The iconic design of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s Nutrition Facts label will stay the same, but the content of the label will soon be updated to reflect new scientific information.

The FDA announced on May 20 the final changes to the Nutrition Facts label for packaged foods. The label will keep many of the same nutritional facts it has displayed for more than 20 years, but several new features will give it more up-to-date, research-based data.

A Thad rice paddy is pictured at the Delta Research and Extension Center in Stoneville, Mississippi, on September 17, 2014. (Photo by MSU Delta Research and Extension Center/Ed Redoña)
June 15, 2016 - Filed Under: Rice

By Vanessa Beeson
Mississippi Agricultural and Forestry Experiment Station

STARKVILLE, Miss. -- Nearly half of all rice produced in the U.S. is exported, so Mississippi farmers need rice variety options to ensure strong foreign demand for their harvests.

In 2015, Mississippi growers harvested nearly 150,000 acres of rice across more than 250 farms. The crop had a production value of $132 million.

June 7, 2016 - Filed Under: Food and Health

BILOXI, Miss. -- Food safety professionals who work for facilities that manufacture, process or store food for human consumption can earn certification mandated by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s Food Safety Modernization Act during an upcoming workshop.

Experts with the Mississippi State University Extension Service and Mississippi Agricultural and Forestry Experiment Station will offer Preventive Controls for Human Food on July 12-14. The course was developed by the Food Safety Preventive Controls Alliance.

June 6, 2016 - Filed Under: Agriculture

GREENWOOD, Miss. -- Farmers can learn about free-range poultry farming, high-tunnel vegetable and flower crops, and integrated disease and pest control during the Alliance for Sustainable Agricultural Production field day June 17.

The on-farm field day will be at Levee Run Farms, located at 802 Grenada Blvd. Extended in Greenwood.

Experts with the Mississippi State University Extension Service and Mississippi Agricultural and Forestry Experiment Station will help farmers understand how to prevent, identify, monitor and manage insects, diseases and weeds.

Mississippi State University College of Veterinary Medicine graduates Brittany Storey and David Eldridge are both pursuing careers as veterinary medical technicians in Memphis, Tennessee. (Photo by MSU Extension/Kevin Hudson)
June 6, 2016 - Filed Under: Animal Health

STARKVILLE, Miss. -- When Brittany Storey of Terry, Mississippi, was searching for a major, she felt a little like Goldilocks -- she couldn’t find the career path that felt “just right.”

Although she loved animals and wanted a career in biology, she did not see herself as a veterinarian. She spoke with different department heads, but she could not picture herself in a career in agriculture or human medicine, either.

Christy King, Clarke County Extension agent, and Roberto Gallardo, an associate Extension professor in the Center for Technology Outreach, display items made with a new 3-D printer at the Quitman Public Library. (Photo by MSU Extension Service/Kevin Hudson)
June 3, 2016 - Filed Under: Technology

QUITMAN -- Bringing rural Mississippi communities into the digital age is the objective of a newly established Mississippi State University Extension Service program.

The MSU Extension Intelligent Community Institute, or MSUE-ICI, is a joint project between the Extension Center for Technology Outreach, Extension Center for Government and Community Development, and its parent worldwide organization, the Intelligent Community Forum.

Jim McAdory, Mississippi State University Extension Service agent to the Mississippi Band of Choctaw Indians, shows Natasha Willis how to use the sunscreen dispenser provided by MSU Extension. The demonstration was part of a May 28 boating event in Neshoba County, Mississippi. (Photo by MSU Extension Service/Kevin Hudson)
June 3, 2016 - Filed Under: Health

STARKVILLE, Miss. -- Boating in the summertime can seem like the perfect way to escape the heat, but it is important for everyone enjoying outdoor activities to be aware of sun safety.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimated half of young adult Americans get sunburned every year. The CDC estimates that extreme heat kills an average of 658 Americans annually, which is more than the total number killed by tornadoes, lightning, hurricanes and floods combined.

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