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Cool Wave pansies are more vigorous than standard pansy varieties and have a trailing growth habit that makes them ideal for filling landscape beds or spilling from hanging baskets. (Photo by MSU Extension/Gary Bachman)
November 14, 2016 - Filed Under: Flower Gardens
By Dr. Gary R. Bachman
MSU Extension Service

Like many other home gardeners in Mississippi, I'm in the full swing of planting cool-season annual color. And like everyone else, I've been planting my favorites, which are Matrix pansies and Sorbet violas. You really can't go wrong with these easy-to-grow landscape plants.

But the last couple of years, I've been kicking the pansy planting up a notch, to borrow the catch phrase of a famous New Orleans chef. I've been using Cool Wave pansies more and more in some nontraditional settings.

Wearing a life jacket is the single most effective precaution a hunter can take to save his life while on the water. (Photo by MSU Extension Service, File)
November 11, 2016 - Filed Under: Health, Wildlife

RAYMOND, Miss. -- As the days turn colder, many people can't wait to spend time on the water, and safety should be a top priority.

Loan officers and other agricultural business professionals from across the state came together for the fourth annual Agricultural Financial Professionals Workshop. Mississippi State University Extension Service hosted the workshop Nov. 10-11 at the MSU Bost Extension Center. Among the attendees were Chelsi Smith, left, Mississippi Land Bank capital markets representative, Senatobia office; Bryon Parmon, assistant Extension professor and workshop organizer; Jay Slater, Mississippi Land Bank loan officer, St
November 11, 2016 - Filed Under: Agriculture

Loan officers and other agricultural business professionals from across the state came together for the fourth annual Agricultural Financial Professionals Workshop. Mississippi State University Extension Service hosted the workshop Nov. 10-11 at the MSU Bost Extension Center. Among the attendees were Chelsi Smith, left, Mississippi Land Bank capital markets representative, Senatobia office; Bryon Parmon, assistant Extension professor and workshop organizer; Jay Slater, Mississippi Land Bank loan officer, Starkville office; and Josh Fair, First South Farm Credit.

November 11, 2016 - Filed Under: Crops
By Mr. Robert Nathan Gregory
MSU Extension Service

STARKVILLE, Miss. -- Before they prepare for 2017, Mississippi producers will have a chance next month to catch up on recent row crop research being conducted across the Southeast.

The Mississippi State University Extension Service invites producers to its annual Row Crop Short Course Dec. 5-7 at the Cotton Mill Conference Center in Starkville. Registration is free until Nov. 28 and $40 on site.

Recent drought conditions have not kept Swedenburg’s Christmas Tree Farm in Columbus, Mississippi, from having a solid production year. (Photo by MSU Extension Service/Kevin Hudson)
November 11, 2016 - Filed Under: Christmas Trees
By Mr. Robert Nathan Gregory
MSU Extension Service

SAUCIER, Miss. -- Larry Haley has no problem selling his Christmas trees each November.

In fact, he has to set a limit on how many he can spare and stop once he reaches that number to maintain a steady inventory. His target this year is about 300 choose-and-cut trees before Thanksgiving.

"A couple of years ago, I got in trouble because I sold too many in one season and almost depleted the next year's stock," he said. "Last year, we started holding fields back for a season so that doesn’t happen again."

November 10, 2016 - Filed Under: Family, Healthy Homes Initiative, Health
By Ms. Bonnie A. Coblentz
MSU Extension Service

STARKVILLE, Miss. -- All the good smells of the holidays brought into the house by candles, cooking, live greenery and holiday plants can contribute to poor indoor air quality.

David Buys, health specialist with the Mississippi State University Extension Service, said indoor air quality affects human health in several ways.

Diabetics or those at risk for the disease must be more careful and health-conscious, and family chefs should keep their loved ones' needs in mind when thinking about what to cook. (Photo by MSU Extension Service/File)
November 10, 2016 - Filed Under: Food, Health, Nutrition
By Mr. Robert Nathan Gregory
MSU Extension Service

STARKVILLE, Miss. -- The holiday season is a time to celebrate blessings and good health -- something many Americans do by eating more food than normal.

People who have or are at risk for diabetes must be more careful and health-conscious to maintain their health, and family chefs should keep their loved ones’ needs in mind when thinking about what dishes will be on the dinner table.

November 10, 2016 - Filed Under: Farm Safety, Family
By Ms. Susan M. Collins-Smith
MSU Extension Service

RAYMOND, Miss. -- Decorated homes and busy kitchens mark the holiday season for many families, but this time of year also brings an increased number of safety hazards.

Decor and cooking fires increase during the holidays, causing numerous deaths and injuries, as well as millions of dollars in property damage. Between 2009 and 2013, U.S. fire departments responded to about 1,070 home fires a year started by holiday decorations, including Christmas trees, according to the National Fire Protection Association.

November 10, 2016 - Filed Under: Technology, Children and Parenting
By Ms. Linda M. Breazeale
MSU Extension Service

STARKVILLE, Miss. -- Before buying electronic educational gadgets to help children learn, adults need to recognize the difference in active engagement and passive entertainment.

Louise E. Davis, a professor of child and family development for the Mississippi State University Extension Service, said children who are less than 2 years old should not be exposed to interactive digital media. Instead of screen time, she suggested playing with Lego bricks or large building blocks, as well as reading books together, as ways to encourage imagination.

November 10, 2016 - Filed Under: Family, Family Dynamics
By Ms. Linda M. Breazeale
MSU Extension Service

STARKVILLE, Miss. -- On the heels of a heated political season, make family peace a priority during the upcoming holidays.

Alisha Hardman, an assistant professor in the Mississippi State University School of Human Sciences, said holidays offer opportunities for family members to enjoy one another and make memories to last a lifetime.

"Some families have more trouble than others when it comes to controversial or sensitive subjects," Hardman said. "If something cannot be discussed in a constructive manner, it may be best to avoid the topic altogether."

November 8, 2016 - Filed Under: Extension Administration

STARKVILLE, Miss. -- In recognition of outstanding public relations work, Mississippi State University staff members recently garnered high honors in a regional competition.

-More-

Dianthus is a great choice for fall garden color. This bicolor Telstar Pink picottee selection is perfect for mass planting in the landscape. (Photo by MSU Extension/Gary Bachman)
November 7, 2016 - Filed Under: Flower Gardens
By Dr. Gary R. Bachman
MSU Extension Service

Even though outside temperatures are still quite balmy, we are moving into winter. Maybe this year we will actually have a winter. That makes now the perfect time to start planting dianthus.

In fact, the perfect time to plant dianthus is when you plant your pansies. Dianthus and pansies are wonderful fall and winter companion plants.

MSU Merlins Pizazz, otherwise known as “Daisy,” is a beautiful, 2-year-old buckskin mare and one of 17 horses available for purchase through the annual online Mississippi State University horse auction. (Photo by MSU College of Agriculture and Life Sciences/Elizabeth Caldwell)
November 4, 2016 - Filed Under: Equine
By Ms. Keri Collins Lewis
MSU Extension Service

STARKVILLE, Miss. -- Seventeen animals are available for purchase through the annual Mississippi State University horse auction Nov. 14-19.

The online auction is available for preview through Nov. 13. Prospective buyers can view photos, registration papers and descriptions of each horse at https://auction.msucares.com.

November 4, 2016 - Filed Under: Agriculture, Estate and Financial Planning, Food Safety, Natural Resources
By Ms. Susan M. Collins-Smith
MSU Extension Service

JACKSON, Miss. -- The Alliance for Sustainable Agricultural Production will hold its November field day in conjunction with the 2016 Mississippi Food Summit and Agricultural Revival.

The revival is set for Nov. 17 and 18 at the Mississippi Agriculture and Forestry Museum. Participants may also attend Jackson-area farm and garden tours on Nov. 19.

Hammocks offer great resting spots whether the excursion is a day trip or an overnighter. (Photo by MSU Extension Service)
November 4, 2016 - Filed Under: Wildlife, Urban and Backyard Wildlife

STARKVILLE, Miss. -- Cooler weather brings a great time to get outside, set up a hammock and "just hang" between two trees.

When I am outdoors, one of my favorite ways to enjoy the wildlife and wild places in our state -- other than when I am hunting or fishing -- is to spend time in my hammock. Whether I relax in it while hiking or sleep in it while backpacking, lying in a hammock allows me to be comfortable while enjoying in the great outdoors.

Pecan trees at Bass Pecan Co. in Raymond, Mississippi, are loaded on Oct. 11, 2016. Pecan yields are expected to be the best since 2003, when the state produced 4 million pounds of the popular holiday nuts.  (Photo by MSU Extension Service/Susan Collins-Smith)
November 4, 2016 - Filed Under: Nuts
By Ms. Susan M. Collins-Smith
MSU Extension Service

RAYMOND, Miss. -- Despite timely rains throughout the summer, late-season drought is pushing back pecan harvest for most Mississippi producers.

"We thought we were going to be early with our harvest this year when our nuts set early this spring," said Max Draughn, owner of Bass Pecan Co. in Raymond and president of the Mississippi Pecan Growers Association. "We had rains every week up until Labor Day. Then we had no rain. We went into slow motion when it got dry."

Mississippi State University Extension Service agent Dennis Reginelli explains cotton to students visiting FARMtastic in 2015. This year’s agricultural event will take place Nov. 14-18 at the Mississippi Horse Park near Starkville, Mississippi. (Photo by MSU Extension Service/Kat Lawrence)
November 3, 2016 - Filed Under: About Extension, Farming, FARMtastic
By Ms. Linda M. Breazeale
MSU Extension Service

STARKVILLE, Miss. -- Second- through fourth-graders who attend an agricultural event at Mississippi State University Nov. 14-18 will be able to tell their parents about the sources of food, clothing and other common products.

The MSU Extension Service will conduct the fifth annual FARMtastic at the Mississippi Horse Park. Weekday activities begin at 9 a.m. and conclude at 1 p.m.

Xenia Wickline, center, is a Biloxi community advocate who works with Kim Gowdy, left, to deliver educational sessions to women in the Mujeres Unidas (Women United) program. Rosa Bender has participated in the program for more than a year. (Photo by MSU Extension Service/Kat Lawrence)
November 3, 2016 - Filed Under: Community
By Ms. Bonnie A. Coblentz
MSU Extension Service

BILOXI, Miss. -- When Mississippi State University Extension Service agent Kim Gowdy began teaching parenting skills classes to Hispanic immigrants, she had just one challenge: Gowdy does not speak Spanish.

"My audience for these classes is all Spanish-speaking women," said Gowdy, who is based in the Harrison County Extension office. "I have an interpreter who translates for me, and when I have presentations, she will make the slides in Spanish, and then translate what I say."

November 1, 2016 - Filed Under: Community, Economic Development
By Ms. Keri Collins Lewis
MSU Extension Service

STARKVILLE, Miss. – A resource developed by the Mississippi State University Extension Service shows shifts in county populations based on exemptions reported in 2014-2015 federal tax returns.

Developed by MSU Extension specialist Roberto Gallardo, the online map of Mississippi shows counties in green and red. Red represents counties where more people moved out than moved in, or a negative net migration. Counties in green had a positive net migration. Only 25 Mississippi counties had a positive net migration.

Boone Purser enjoys afternoon cuddles with his son, Benji, on Oct. 31, 2016. Benji is a breastfed baby who thrives on attention from both his parents at his home in Starkville, Mississippi. (Photo by MSU Extension Service/Linda Breazeale)
November 1, 2016 - Filed Under: Children and Parenting, Health
By Ms. Linda M. Breazeale
MSU Extension Service

STARKVILLE, Miss. -- The choice to breastfeed babies does not remove fathers from nurturing duties that create strong bonds with their children.

Hannah Lambey, a dietetic intern with the Mississippi State University Extension Service, said a father can significantly impact the mother and baby just by doing a few simple things.

"Breastfeeding centers around the relationship between the mom and baby, sometimes leaving dad feeling left out," Lambey said. "Dads have many other bonding opportunities that are just as important for both the mother and child."

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