From the Field Blog Posts

March 2, 2018

If you want to get rid of weeds in your home lawn, now is the time to apply herbicides to control them.

Late February and early March is the ideal window to apply pre-emergent herbicides that control various weeds in home lawns. But you want to make sure you buy the right ones and apply them correctly.

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Snow covers a split-rail fence and trees near Mount Locust on the Natchez Trace in Jefferson County, Mississippi on Dec. 8, 2017.

December 15, 2017

The wintery weather last week caught us off guard! Several of our Ag Communications team members were on the road . . . including our photographer Kevin Hudson. On his way home he captured this beautiful scene.

We wish all of you a wonderful holiday season. Our offices will be closed from Dec. 21 to January 2, 2018.

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The FARMtastic logo depicts a red barn with a brown wooden fence and features a tan horse, a white and brown cow, a pink pig with gray spots, a corn plant on the left of the fence and a wheat plant on the right.

December 8, 2017

Looking in from the outside, FARMtastic appears to function like a well-oiled machine. Delighted children move in a choreographed dance from station to station to learn where their food, fiber and fuel comes from.


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Dunes with grass appear in the foreground with the sun shining on the blue waters of the Mississippi Sound at Graveline Bayou in Jackson County.

December 1, 2017

Take a deep breath. It’s December 1.

The year is almost over, which feels impossible.

Your “To Do” list may cover several pages. Your calendar may be full.

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Several varieties of lettuces grow in a raised bed.

November 15, 2017

I have a confession to make: I have garden envy.

This week I took a walk and stumbled upon this delicious looking plant.

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Close-up photos showing a side-by-side comparison of a red ladybug with black spots on a green leaf and an orange Asian lady beetle on a green leaf. (Photos by Canstock and MSU Extension Service)

November 9, 2017

If you live in a wooded area, it’s likely you’ve already noticed: THEY’RE BAAA-AACK!

Every autumn Asian lady beetles start seeking shelter, and, given the lack of convenient caves around, wind up trying to overwinter in Mississippi homes.

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A group of people stand beside a magnolia tree outside preparing to plant it as a way to honor Mississippi's bicentennial.

November 2, 2017

Did you know 2017 is the year Mississippi celebrates its bicentennial? That’s right—The state is 200 years old! You only turn 200 once, so MSU Extension wanted to do something to celebrate!
Since the state tree is a magnolia, we thought it would be great to encourage our Master Gardener clubs to plant one in their communities as a way to honor the bicentennial.

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Two women stand while holding award plaques at the Mississippi Forestry Association annual meeting.

October 26, 2017

We are excited to shine a spotlight on the Mississippi Forestry Association! They just concluded their annual meeting in Biloxi. Hurricane Nate almost interrupted, but the event was pulled off without a hitch!

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A cotton baler drops a yellow-wrapped, round cotton bale in a cotton field.

October 20, 2017

On one of my first visits to Mississippi, I bought a postcard featuring the iconic “Ski Mississippi” image of someone decked out in winter wear in the middle of a field of white that was obviously not snow.

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A young girl stands beside a cow at the Mississippi State Fair.

October 12, 2017

You see the Ferris wheel lit up, you smell the funnel cakes and you hear barn animal sounds….That’s right! It’s the Mississippi State Fair! Many 4-H’ers from across the state travel to Jackson for a chance to compete in the show ring. We wanted to share some of our favorite pictures from this past weekend!

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Two women who attended the Breast Cancer Awareness Luncheon pictured with speaker Molly May.

October 5, 2017

When October comes around, you not only see the usual fall decorations but also the color pink! From athletes to electrical power linemen, people don the color pink to raise awareness of breast cancer—a disease that is diagnosed in one out of eight women.

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Two men hold a hammerhead shark while conducting research aboard a boat.

September 28, 2017

Our Extension photographer Kevin Hudson went out to sea to snag some great photos of the Master Naturalist training last weekend. We wanted to share a couple with you! On hand was our new Extension marine fisheries specialist Marcus Drymon. 

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Seven women smile as they hold beaded windchimes.

September 22, 2017

We like to think of local Extension offices as community hubs! These are places where you know you can learn from respected experts in a comfortable atmosphere. County Extension offices are also places where you can flex your creative muscle and get crafty! Extension agents across the state offer chances for you to make something fun with your own two hands. Most likely, you will leave with a new handmade project and new friends!

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Host Natasha Haynes stands in front of a green screen filming a scene for The Food Factor.

September 14, 2017

Every month “The Food Factor” crew assembles to film the next month’s episodes. This week we were in Clinton to talk about rice, a Mediterranean twist on macaroni and cheese, and our plans to add new, fun flavors to our family favorites.

Our host, Extension agent Natasha Haynes, makes it look easy, but she memorizes all of her lines – no teleprompter here! She’s also a good sport, because you never know what kind of crazy ideas the videographers will generate.

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A bin of sweet potatoes sitting in a field harvested from Edmonson Farm in Vardaman, MS

September 8, 2017

Sweet potatoes have been gaining in popularity over the last several decades. No longer are they reserved just for the holiday table, but you can enjoy them year-round as side dishes, desserts, soups and more. Even fast food restaurants have started including sweet potatoes in their menus!

And for good reason. Not only are sweet potatoes tasty, but they are good for you!

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Rows of corn in a field.

September 1, 2017

All sorts of crops are being harvested this time of year! This past week on social media, we saw a lot of pictures and video of the corn harvest in particular. Why is corn so important to Mississippi? One word: Ka-ching! In 2016, the state’s corn had a $436 million value of production. 

In fact, corn is one of the most versatile crops. It can be used in food products, animal feed, industrial products and more! 

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Six Master Gardeners pose in a rose garden after weeding it

August 25, 2017

We've all been there. All of a sudden one of the plants in your landscape starts to die for no apparent reason. Or maybe a worm appears out of nowhere on a quest to eat all foliage in sight. Maybe you want to try your hand growing a garden but don't know where to start. Wouldn't it be great if there was a superhero gardening team that could swoop in and answer all of your questions? Well, there is! Extension's Master Gardener program is full of volunteers who are equipped with horticultural information based on university research and recommendations. 

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goat playfully stands on little boys back as other members of the herd surround them

August 18, 2017

Many people dream of having a hobby farm or homestead with a few animals, and goats, lambs and sheep are some of the most popular to start with because they are smaller and easier to handle than cattle. Plus, you need less space! But all animals need proper care, no matter their size.

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man standing in a motorboat using a large fishing net to catch catfish against an orange sunrise

August 10, 2017

We hear all the time that people don’t know where their food comes from. In our work, we often get a front-row seat for the entire scope of food production, from planting to harvest.

Our photographer, Kevin Hudson, travels the state capturing images of people involved in agriculture, natural resources, and more. He shared a few recent photos from a shoot in Noxubee County where he documented the catfish harvesting process.

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About Extension for Real Life

Extension for Real Life is a product of the MSU Extension Service’s Office of Agricultural Communications.

That’s a long way of saying we are professional communicators who get to talk about food, families, 4-H, flowers, and farming for a living. Pretty good gig, right?

The three main writers for the blog are Ellen Graves (Seamstress of Social Media Strategy), Susan Collins-Smith (Content Connector) and Keri Lewis (Captain Cat Herder). But we get by with a lot of help from our friends in Ag Comm and Extension!

You can reach us at 662-325-2262 or

Recent Posts

A medical doctor holds a vile of medication and talks to a young man in the Rural Medical and Science Scholars program.

Tyler Wilson, right, shadowed Dr. Steven Brandon during the 2016 Rural Medical and Science Scholars program. Participants in the program also receive college credit for two pre-med courses, visit various medical facilities, participate in lab-based hands-on learning activities and take part in a communications and study skills workshop. (Photo by Kevin Hudson)

Explore Healthcare and Science Careers with Extension Program
A green smoothie fills a tall clear drinking glass and has a red and white striped straw in it.

A green smoothie made with spinach, fruit juices, frozen banana, and yogurt is a healthy way to start the day. (Photo by Kevin Hudson)

Go Green: How to Make a Green Smoothie
Side by side photos showing the right and wrong ways to mulch around a tree trunk. (Photos by Kevin Hudson and Gary Bachman)

Properly mulching a tree results in a ring of mulch 2-3 inches deep pulled away from the tree trunk. A pile of mulch around the tree’s trunk in the shape of a volcano (right) can cause damage. (Photos by Kevin Hudson and Gary Bachman)

Go Green: Mulch