News From 2012
By Kaitlyn Byrne
MSU Ag Communications
MISSISSIPPI STATE — Mississippi’s 160,237 ponds offer more than mere recreation — they benefit the state’s economy and environment.
Most people envision ponds as small bodies of water that offer a peaceful view and recreational fishing opportunities, said Glynda Clardy, state wildlife biologist at U.S. Department of Agriculture Natural Resources Conservation Service.
JACKSON – Usually the question of “what’s for dinner?” inspires a last-minute mad dash through the nearest supermarket for a quick and convenient meal or a call to the local pizza delivery restaurant. But planning meals in advance can save time and money, keep diets healthy and reduce food waste -- all while saving the cook’s sanity.
Pamela Redwine, nutrition and food safety area agent with Mississippi State University’s Yalobusha County Extension Service, said taking some time each week to plan a menu will save time later.
Computer technicians and enthusiasts -- the ones who really know what they are talking about and keep the rest of us going -- are few and far between. The challenge to making your life easier is to find those who are genuinely knowledgeable and helpful and keeping them happy after you’ve found them.
MISSISSIPPI STATE – Mississippi 4-H’ers celebrated a summer of hands-on science activities by meeting a former astronaut at the Stennis Space Center on July 30.
About 80 participants in the Mississippi State University Extension Service’s Summer of Innovation program heard Leland Melvin speak about his experiences as a professional football player, scientist and astronaut. Melvin is currently NASA’s associate administrator for education. NASA sponsors the Summer of Innovation program to increase student interest in science, technology, engineering and math, or STEM, topics.
MISSISSIPPI STATE – Mississippi State University is one of 106 land-grant universities honored by the Borlaug Medallion given by the World Food Prize Foundation.
The Association of Public and Land-grant Universities received the award during a ceremony in Washington, D.C., celebrating the 150th anniversary of the Morrill Land-grant Act of 1862. This legislation awarded federal lands to help states establish public universities.
The summer months certainly take a toll on most gardeners. The heat and humidity can make even the most dedicated gardener decide to stay inside for the duration. As I considered going out in the 100-degree-plus heat index the other day, I was reminded of the difference between a gardener and a “yardener.”
Many parents are spending money on computers to help students have a competitive edge in the classroom. One way to cut costs during these difficult economic times is by downloading “freeware,” or software that is made available for free.
JACKSON – After 20 years in Mississippi, the Master Gardener program is stronger than ever and still making its mark on the state.
Lelia Kelly, state Master Gardener coordinator with the Mississippi State University Extension Service since 2002, said she recognized the program had great potential and set out to help county Extension offices better reach the audience she knew was out there.
“In terms of popularity of Extension programs nationwide, the Master Gardener program is second only to 4-H,” Kelly said.
MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Mississippi farmers may have survived one drought challenge only to face another as reduced river levels threaten a key transportation option.
Three exceptionally hot, dry weeks in June were taking a toll on the state’s crops when unseasonal July rains brought relief in time to salvage most fields. While Mississippi growers are not experiencing anything close to the dry conditions found across the nation’s Corn Belt, problems from the lack of water up north have trickled down to produce near-record lows on the Mississippi River.
MISSISSIPPI STATE – A doctoral student in Mississippi State University’s College of Veterinary Medicine has earned a national award for her parasitology research.
Dr. Flavia Girao Ferrari recently received the 2012 American Association of Veterinary Pathologists’ Merck Outstanding Graduate Student Award.
By Dr. Rebekah Ray
MSU Delta Research and Extension Center
STONEVILLE – Mississippi State University will honor a 1950 graduate and longtime professor and administrator when a new building is dedicated at the Delta Research and Extension Center.
The facility will be named the Verner G. Hurt Research and Extension Building in recognition of Hurt’s contributions to agriculture.
MISSISSIPPI STATE – Despite morning rains, about 150 people attended the Agronomic Crops Field Day at the R.R. Foil Plant Science Research Center Thursday at Mississippi State University.
A bus tour took participants to six stops to view the university’s cotton, soybean and corn research and demonstration plots. Participants heard research updates and asked questions of the scientists.
Daylilies are extremely easy-to-grow flowering perennials, and their variety gives gardeners plenty of ways to create unique, colorful landscape designs.
MISSISSIPPI STATE – A laboratory at Mississippi State University’s College of Veterinary Medicine recently became the first-ever recipient of an MSU award recognizing laboratories for outstanding attention to safety.
MSU’s Office of Regulatory Compliance and Safety presented the inaugural Excellence in Laboratory Safety Award to the Center for Environmental Health Sciences.
The award was established to recognize an MSU laboratory group that makes safety a top priority every day.
MISSISSIPPI STATE – Recent rains and irrigation have helped portions of Mississippi’s soybeans recover from June’s dry spell, but more moisture is needed to complete the season.
“We are thankful for the rain that we’ve received this growing season, and we all know it is a blessing,” said Trent Irby, Mississippi State University Extension Service soybean specialist. “But we still have several weeks to go in many areas, and additional moisture certainly will be needed to finish making the crop.”
Irby said the state’s soybean crop looks good.
MISSISSIPPI STATE – Pictures of wilting corn in the Midwest may dominate the evening news, but the 2012 drought is also shrinking livestock’s profit potential nationwide.
John Michael Riley, agricultural economist with Mississippi State University’s Extension Service, said the drought means livestock, dairy and aquaculture producers will continue to see higher feed prices.
MISSISSIPPI STATE – Mississippi has 187 known species of ants calling the state home, and while fire ants are the most feared, others can cause problems ranging from disruptive to serious.
Blake Layton, entomologist with the Mississippi State University Extension Service, said several species of ants invade Mississippi homes.
The ones most commonly found are the Argentine ant, odorous house ant, little black ant, dark rover ant, imported fire ant, black carpenter ant and acrobat ant. A new invasive species, the hairy crazy ant, is found in Jackson and Hancock counties.
By Kaitlyn Byrne
MSU Ag Communications
MISSISSIPPI STATE – Whether gardening, working or enjoying a baseball game, Mississippians should protect themselves from the heat of summer.
Several factors affect the body’s ability to cool itself during extremely hot weather. For example, in high humidity, sweat cannot evaporate rapidly, preventing the body from releasing heat quickly, said Ann Twiner, with the Mississippi State University Extension Service.
MISSISSIPPI STATE – Sumner Davis has been named department head of the Mississippi State University Extension Service center that supports local governments.
For 40 years, the Center for Governmental Training and Technology, or CGT, has led the development and implementation of educational programs for county and municipal officials, provided technical assistance to local units of government, and provided specialized publications for local government officials in Mississippi.