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A hunter shows off a turkey he harvested.
March 14, 2022 - Filed Under: Natural Resources

As the weather finally begins to change and periods of high pressure set in across the Southeast, Mississippi’s spring turkey season looms in the no-so-distant future.

During this time, many critters are beginning to change their day-to-day behavior, including turkey hunters. Whether its deer and squirrels recovering from the cold breeding season and now preparing to deliver their offspring, or the waterfowl dispersing back North, our state’s most popular game bird is just beginning to wind up for its most exciting time of year.

Yellow flowers cover a hanging basket.
March 14, 2022 - Filed Under: Flower Gardens

I have to admit I wasn’t prepared for last weekend’s cold snap. I physically protected those plants that needed protection from the cold snap, but I wasn’t ready mentally for the cold. We have had some really good gardening weather the past couple of weeks, and I was ready to get on with my spring and summer landscape.

Man in the background holding a cell phone in the foreground
March 9, 2022 - Filed Under: Marketing and Business Planning, Small Business, Marketing

STARKVILLE, Miss. -- Business leaders looking to upgrade their social media marketing strategies can now get started by tuning in to a new podcast series.

Bricks-To-Clicks Marketing, a Mississippi State University Extension program, helps business leaders develop a digital marketing plan to bring in more customers and revenue. The program has launched an eight-episode marketing podcast centered around use of social media platforms to grow personal brands and businesses.

Paper bags are filled with grocery items.
March 8, 2022 - Filed Under: Community, Food and Health, Food

Rural Mississippians face the same challenge as every other community across the country when a local grocery store closes: Where do lower-income residents find food? Many communities have chosen to act rather than let this setback destroy the way of life they hold dear.

Upright green leaves grow among red blooms.
March 7, 2022 - Filed Under: Flower Gardens

When planning my home garden and landscape, I love to combine different plants in containers. My basic practice is to follow the thriller, filler and spiller recipe.

The thriller plants are upright and grow taller than the rest, adding interest and excitement. The spillers are low-growing plants that sprawl out and over the container edges. Filler plants have rounded and mounding growth habits that fill in the gaps between thrillers and spillers.

The beauty of this recipe is that you can leave one of the parts out of the planting.

March 4, 2022 - Filed Under: Agriculture, Commercial Fruit and Nuts, Fruit, Beef, Beekeeping, Equine, Goats and Sheep, Vegetable Gardens, Forestry, Wildlife

Central Mississippi agricultural producers and industry professionals met with Mississippi State University personnel to discuss research and education priorities at the 2022 Producer Advisory Council meeting on Feb. 23 in Raymond. The annual event is aimed at helping clients improve their productivity. Attendees gathered in small commodity groups to share their ideas with agents, researchers and specialists with the MSU Extension Service and the Mississippi Agricultural and Forestry Experiment Station.

A yellow flower blooms on a small plant.
March 4, 2022 - Filed Under: Commercial Horticulture, Green Industry, Lawn and Garden, Flower Gardens

Home lawns and landscapes have possibly never looked better, as consumer data show people changed buying habits and spent more on plant and landscape items during the pandemic. Tricia Knight, director of coastal horticulture research at Mississippi State University’s South Mississippi Branch Experiment Station in Poplarville, said revenue for the green industry grew during the pandemic in part because people were looking for something positive amid all the uncertainty.

Small white, blue and pink flowers bloom from a container.
February 28, 2022 - Filed Under: Flower Gardens

This week marks the official beginning of meteorological spring, and that means it’s time to start getting our gardens and landscapes ready for the coming year. One of the first tasks may be to get your containers ready, as more and more home gardeners are becoming interested in the joys of growing plants in containers.

Three young people sit on ATVs as they listen to their instructor.
February 23, 2022 - Filed Under: 4-H, 4-H Safety Programs, ATV Safety

A recent grant award is helping provide all-terrain vehicle safety training to Mississippi 4-H’ers. The Mississippi State University Extension Service 4-H ATV Safety Program recently received $10,000 from Polaris through the company’s T.R.A.I.L.S. grant program. The funds purchased two youth sized Polaris ATVs and safety equipment. T.R.A.I.L.S. is an acronym for trail development, responsible riding, access, initiatives, lobbying and safety.

A group of people sitting around a table.
February 23, 2022 - Filed Under: Agriculture, Crops, Commercial Horticulture, Swine, Forestry

VERONA, Miss. -- Each February, agricultural producers in Mississippi speak, and personnel with the Mississippi State University Extension Service and Mississippi Agricultural and Forestry Experiment Station listen.

Producer Advisory Council meetings present opportunities for growers to meet with MSU commodity experts and share ideas for research and educational projects.

February 21, 2022 - Filed Under: Environment, Wildlife

For most hunters and bird enthusiasts in the Southeast, the term “game bird” conjures up images of a turkey gobbler in full strut, a covey of quail flushing from the brush and tall grass or an incoming group of mourning doves on the horizon. But the American Woodcock garners little attention despite being one of the most common game bird species.

A shrub has green leaves with white and red markings.
February 21, 2022 - Filed Under: Flower Gardens

My wife, Katie, and I just spent a long weekend in central Florida -- Mount Dora to be exact -- for much needed rest and relaxation. I also did a radio interview for the new Southern Gardening book, but more on that later. I love travelling and visiting places that are in a different growing zone from my own.

February 17, 2022 - Filed Under: Family, Children and Parenting

The Mississippi State University Extension Service has been awarded $5 million to directly impact early-childhood education in the state by developing a new curriculum for children from birth through age 5. The funds will be used to develop “My Mississippi Adventures,” a developmentally appropriate, integrated curriculum to be used in licensed child care facilities.

Two women work in an office setting.
February 15, 2022 - Filed Under: Community, Fisheries

Communities along the Gulf Coast facing the constant challenge of sea-level rise coupled with heavy rains and tropical storms have an ally in the Resilience to Future Flooding project. This project focuses on addressing communication and financial barriers to sea-level rise resilience in the northern Gulf of Mexico.

Calculator, pencil, receipts and monthly budget sheets on a table.
February 15, 2022 - Filed Under: Family, Family Financial Management, Basic Money Management

The first step to achieving financial fitness is creating a budget, but that first step can be hard to take. This step-by-step approach makes the budgeting process less intimidating.

Cows graze in a field.
February 14, 2022 - Filed Under: Forages, Management - Forages

The Mississippi State University Extension Service invites beef cattle and hay producers to attend the Cool-Season Forage Field Day March 4 in Starkville.

Spikes of purple flowers extend from green foliage.
February 14, 2022 - Filed Under: Flower Gardens

On this bright, sunny morning, even though it was 30 when I got out of bed, I know for a fact that spring is almost here. That means it’s time to get serious about what I’m going to plant in my home garden and landscape this year.

Two young women display a lamb in a show ring.
February 11, 2022 - Filed Under: 4-H, 4-H Livestock Program, Youth Livestock

JACKSON, Miss. -- Lily and Emma Grace Putnam raised their Mississippi-bred reserve champion lamb in their Sunflower County pasture, which they recently finished fencing in with the help of loans and grants.

“We have always had the land and have been pasturing it in piece by piece as we’ve been able to, but we needed to complete the fencing this year so we could finish breeding our ewes,” said Lily Putnam, a Sunflower County 4-H’er based in Sunflower County. “The loan was helpful to me because we used it to buy equipment to get ready for lambing and start a breeding business.”

February 7, 2022 - Filed Under: Wildlife, White-Tailed Deer

HOLLY SPRINGS, Miss. -- Hunters and landowners in Mississippi are invited to an upcoming group discussion on chronic wasting disease.

“White-Tailed Deer and Chronic Wasting Disease: Hunter and Landowner Group Discussion” will be hosted by the Mississippi State University Extension Service Feb. 25 at the Extension office in Marshall County. This event was moved from its original scheduled date in January to allow for more participation.

Tiny plants grow in black trays.
February 7, 2022 - Filed Under: Flower Gardens

As I sit at my desk on a cold winter morning, I realize that saying “it’s cold” is completely subjective; I also know that spring isn’t far away. There are 41 days to astronomical spring, but meteorological spring is so much better, being only 22 days away. There’s one gardening activity I enjoy at this time of year that beats the wintry mixes, and that is starting the seeds for my garden and landscape.

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