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Feature Story

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.

February 14, 2017 - Filed Under: Lawn and Garden

BILOXI, Miss. -- Floral enthusiasts and other interested individuals can learn techniques for designing floral arrangements for casual entertaining during a March 8 class.

In observation of International Women's Day, Jim DelPrince, floral specialist with the Mississippi State University Extension Service, will demonstrate fresh flower design using materials from the yard and garden.

February 14, 2017 - Filed Under: Commercial Fruit and Nuts, Organic Fruit and Vegetables, Fruit

STARKVILLE, Miss. -- Mississippi fruit growers need look no further than their smartphones or laptops when searching for a second opinion on chill hour accumulation.

The Mississippi State University Extension Service has launched Chill Hours, an app that helps growers assess growing conditions that affect plant physiology and prepare for the upcoming growing season.

Twelve-year-old Carson Keene shows off his champion Duroc hog for bidders at the 2017 Dixie National Sale of Junior Champions Feb. 9, 2017, as his stepsister, Alexandra Pittman, looks on. (Photo courtesy of Jeff L. Homan)
February 10, 2017 - Filed Under: Youth Livestock

JACKSON, Miss. -- Before Carson Keene sold his grand champion Duroc hog at the Dixie National Sale of Junior Champions, he had a conversation with his family about where the proceeds should go.

The 12-year-old 4-H'er and sixth-grader at Presbyterian Christian School in Petal had known for several months that his 6-year-old schoolmate Noelle Carter was awaiting treatment at Batson Children's Hospital for liver cancer. He decided to donate the auction proceeds to Carter's family.

“Our school was raising money, and I wanted to try to do something, too,” Keene said.

Residents of homes at risk of carbon monoxide poisoning should invest in alarms that can detect the odorless, toxic gas. Chimneys, gas appliances and other sources can produce carbon monoxide. (Photo by MSU Extension Service/Linda Breazeale)
February 7, 2017 - Filed Under: Family, Healthy Homes Initiative, Health

STARKVILLE, Miss. -- Most bill payers are keenly aware of the importance of energy efficiency, but a new initiative is placing similar emphasis on environmental concerns.

David Buys, health specialist with the Mississippi State University Extension Service, said weatherization focuses on reducing energy bills and increasing comfort, but families need a more comprehensive approach to home improvements.

February 3, 2017 - Filed Under: Farmers Markets, Food Safety

BILOXI, Miss. -- Farmers market vendors and cottage food industry owners are invited to expand their knowledge at a Feb. 24 workshop covering food safety basics and regulations for processing acidified foods in Mississippi.

Ali Fratesi Pinion raises pigs as a healthy source of local meat and manages them to benefit the soil on her Clay County farm. (MSU Extension Service file photo/Kevin Hudson)
February 2, 2017 - Filed Under: Women for Agriculture, Food and Health, Environment

CEDAR BLUFF, Miss. -- Ali Fratesi Pinion may be part of the millennial generation, but she farms more like her great-grandparents.

Pinion and her husband, Dustin, operate Beaverdam Farms in Clay County on the principle that healthy soils create better foods and communities. The Pinions have modeled their farm after a successful project in Virginia that emphasizes building up the soil, capturing carbons and feeding local communities.

February 1, 2017 - Filed Under: Agriculture

JACKSON, Miss. -- Mississippi farmers can learn how to improve their financial skills during a two-day workshop in Jackson.

The Holistic Management and Risk Assessment Workshop for Dairy Farmers is set for Feb. 21 and 22. The workshop will be at the Mississippi Farm Bureau Federation Building.

Topics will be geared toward dairy producers, but all Mississippi agricultural producers are welcome. The workshop begins at 9 a.m. and ends at 3:30 p.m. each day.

January 31, 2017 - Filed Under: Agriculture

CARTHAGE, Miss. -- Farmers can learn about spring planting, high tunnels and field production methods during the Feb. 17 Alliance for Sustainable Agricultural Production field day.

The Mississippi Band of Choctaw Indians will host the field day at Farm I in Carthage.

One of five farms operated by the tribe, Farm I is a certified organic farm that produces tomatoes, tomatoberries, cucumbers, eggplant, kale and collards in seven high tunnels, one greenhouse and one open field acre.

January 31, 2017 - Filed Under: Crops, Weed Control for Crops

STARKVILLE, Miss. -- Agricultural producers interested in purchasing auxin-containing herbicides intended for in-crop use on 2,4-D- or dicamba-tolerant crops must first complete mandatory online training.

The free, online educational training, offered by the Mississippi State University Extension Service and approved by the Mississippi Department of Agriculture and Commerce, will be available to producers starting Feb. 13. This training will help growers safely maximize the benefits of these recently approved auxin technologies.

January 27, 2017 - Filed Under: Agriculture, Farming, Agricultural Economics, Livestock

STARKVILLE, Miss. -- Mississippi livestock producers have a new resource for research-based information to help them manage their businesses.

Josh Maples has joined the faculty of the Mississippi State University Department of Agricultural Economics as an assistant professor with Extension responsibilities in livestock marketing and agribusiness. Maples, a native of Alabama, received his bachelor's and master's degrees in agricultural economics from MSU and a doctorate from Oklahoma State University.

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