October 17, 2017

Sage green, bright orange, and golden Cinderella pumpkins line a hay-covered walkway at a pumpkin patch.

Most of the time I consider myself a person who exercises self-control. But take me to the pumpkin patch and I lose all reason. So many colors, shapes, and textures! Tiny pumpkins! HUGE pumpkins! I don’t want just one of each, I want multiples of everything available.

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

From the Field: Sweet Potatoes Take the Spotlight

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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US Rice Infographic showing 10 reasons to eat rice grown in the USA

Love local food? Buy Mississippi-grown rice!

September 5, 2017

If you love buying locally grown foods, you have multiple options for supporting Mississippi rice growers!

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Rows of corn in a field.

From the Field: This Might Be Corny

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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Set up a proper workstation to help children avoid injury and chronic pain

August 29, 2017

Computers can be a pain in the neck – literally. But parents can help children prevent repetitive strain injury by following a few tips from Dr. David Buys, Extension health specialist.

An appropriately configured desk area encourages proper posture. When seated at a computer, both feet should be on the floor and the arms should be at a 45 degree angle to the keyboard.

There is no need to buy a completely new set-up to help children maintain proper posture during those late-night homework assignments. A few smaller purchases and adjustments can help

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Six Master Gardeners pose in a rose garden after weeding it

From the Field: Two Green Thumbs Up for Master Gardeners

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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5 fun ways to cook catfish without deep frying

August 23, 2017

U.S. farm-raised catfish is the star of August, National Catfish Month. Contrary to popular belief, deep-frying is not the only way to cook it – just the most familiar.

But who wants to deal with the heat and mess when you can get a healthier meal with less effort? Not me!

Here are some tips and recipes for tasty catfish without the hassle and calories of frying!

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

From the Field: Learn something new in two shakes of a lamb’s tail

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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Choose backpacks to help keep children pain free

August 15, 2017

We’ve all seen that child with what has to be a burdensome backpack. But parents may not know that their children can suffer short- and long-term pain from an overloaded backpack or from carrying a backpack the wrong way. 

Dr. Will Evans, a professor and head of the Department of Food Science, Nutrition and Health Promotion at Mississippi State University, practiced chiropractic health care for 17 years before earning a second degree in health promotion and epidemiology.

“The stress of back pack use over a number of years can be cumulative and cause pressure on disks...Read more

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

From the Field: A Closer Look at Catfish Harvest

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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Ellen Graves, Susan Collins-Smith, and Keri Lewis (Photo by MSU Extension Service/Kevin Hudson)

Welcome to Extension for Real Life

August 9, 2017

Welcome to Extension for Real Life, a new blog from the Mississippi State University Extension Service! We want to provide up-to-the-minute news, helpful tips, and fun facts. Stuff that is good to know, nice to know, fun to know, or that you need to know. 

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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 extreallife@msstate.edu