News From 2014
MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Alligator trapping, birding ventures and Louisiana’s laws are just a few of the topics to be addressed at the Coastal Eco/Agritourism Workshop in Lake Charles on February 11.
Coastal residents interested in earning income from nature-based tourism are invited to attend the one-day workshop at the Louisiana State University AgCenter’s Lake Charles Office, located at 7101 Gulf Hwy. The event begins at 8:30 a.m. and concludes at 3:30 p.m. It is sponsored by Louisiana Sea Grant, LSU AgCenter and Mississippi State University.
Bouquets, corsages and floral arrangements are linked firmly with church weddings, but landscape plants can promote a romantic atmosphere at outdoor nuptials, too.
There are several landscape and garden plants with romantic symbolism that last through the year. Consider gomphrena, a great choice for cut flower arrangements because when dried, it keeps its flower color. Not only is it a visual representation of an unfading love, it’s also pretty in the landscape for months.
CLEVELAND – Irrigation, grain storage and agricultural policies are topics set for discussion at the 41st annual Delta Ag Expo.
Bolivar County Extension agent Craig Hankins is chairman for the 2014 event, which will be from 8:30 a.m. until 4 p.m. Jan. 23 and from 8:30 a.m. until noon Jan. 24 in Cleveland.
MISSISSIPPI STATE -- The Mississippi State University School of Human Sciences will host local community leaders at an informational meeting to gauge interest in its Japan Outreach Initiative.
The meeting will be from 10:30 to 11:30 a.m. on Jan. 17 in room 210 of the Lloyd-Ricks-Watson Building on MSU’s Starkville campus.
PITTSBORO – What will be the next innovative sweet potato product found on grocery shelves across the county? Perhaps something invented by students at Mississippi State University.
Gary Jackson, director of the MSU Extension Service, launched the Sweet Potato Innovation Challenge at the Sweet Potato Council’s annual meeting Jan. 10 in Calhoun County.
MISSISSIPPI STATE – Graduate students across the Southeast studying natural resources sciences can share research and meet potential employers at an upcoming workshop.
The fourth annual Southeastern Natural Resources Graduate Student Symposium is set for March 5-7 at the Mississippi State University College of Forest Resources.
MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Learning something new or increasing existing skills may seem difficult to fit into a busy schedule, but online courses available through the Mississippi State University Extension Service make continuing education convenient.
MSU’s Center for Continuing Education offers more than 300 online courses in a variety of subject areas, such as accounting and finance, college readiness, design and composition, personal development, business, computer applications, law and legal, health care and medical, and writing and publishing.
MISSISSIPPI STATE – Planning a wedding can be overwhelming, but some couples are using apps to help reduce stress and improve organization.
Engaged couples can find dozens of free wedding-planning apps, said Mariah Smith, assistant professor in the Extension Center for Technology Outreach. Brides and grooms can use these apps for tasks such as organizing guest lists, wedding registries and to-do lists.
MISSISSIPPI STATE – Websites and social media are providing couples with creative ideas for reception foods and themes reflecting their personalities and love for friends and family.
Sylvia Byrd, professor of food science, nutrition and health promotion at Mississippi State University, said fewer receptions offer only the cake, nuts, mints and punch that were popular in the 1950s and ’60s or the heavy appetizers of the 1970s and ’80s.
JACKSON – An elaborate ceremony punctuated with a white dress and gift registry is no longer reserved for couples marrying for the first time.
“With about 40 percent of couples remarrying, our society has become more accustomed to second marriages,” said Carla Stanford, a Mississippi State University Extension Service agent in Pontotoc County. “In the past, if either member of the couple had been married before, there was not a lot of pomp and circumstance surrounding the marriage. But today, people may go all out.”
MISSISSIPPI STATE – Debt may be the last thing on couples’ minds as they plan their weddings, but bringing it into a marriage can cause some very unromantic stress.
According to the Mississippi Economic Policy Center, the average credit card debt in Mississippi is $6,000 per borrower. Add to that an average student loan debt of $24,000 per college graduate, and it’s easy to see how many couples headed to the altar drag a lot of debt into the new relationships.
MISSISSIPPI STATE – With some time and effort, savvy brides and grooms can save money by planning a backyard wedding or reception with a do-it-yourself landscape.
Several Mississippi State University Extension Service landscape experts offered ideas for simple and cost-effective ways to create a unique wedding setting, no matter how many weeks or months away the special day may be.
STONEVILLE -- Producers interested in the latest research-based irrigation information are invited to attend one of four workshops hosted by the Mississippi State University Extension Service.
Extension irrigation specialist Jason Krutz, who also works with the Mississippi Agricultural and Forestry Experiment Station, will discuss the PHAUCET, or Pipe Hole and Universal Crown Evaluation Tool, program; surge valves; moisture meters and other irrigation tools on these dates:
MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Management of facilities used for rodeos and other equine events will be the focus of a Jan. 22 workshop at the Mississippi Horse Park in Starkville.
The three-hour workshop will begin at 1 p.m. and is for individuals responsible for agricultural centers and other equine venues, as well as anyone who produces or hosts horse shows, barrel races, or other equine events, said Judith Phillips, research associate with the Stennis Institute of Government at Mississippi State University.
GOODMAN – Fruit, vegetable and flower growers can learn ways to improve their skills and productivity during a year-long series of monthly field days beginning Jan. 17.
Experts from the Mississippi State University Extension Service, the Mississippi Agricultural and Forestry Experiment Station and several partner organizations will discuss various topics each month at the Alliance for Sustainable Agricultural Production Farm near Goodman.
MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Challenged to develop alternative uses for culled sweet potatoes, Mississippi State University students really thought outside the box.
Cosmetics, feminine hygiene products and deer attractants were among the student proposals in the first Sweet Potato Innovation Challenge at MSU. Phase one of the challenge took place during the fall semester, and student presentations in December included requests for research and development grants.
By Gary R. Bachman
Coastal Research & Extension Center
Let’s face it; it doesn’t take much effort for our gardening minds to wander down imaginary garden paths. Alfred Austin summed up the enjoyment we receive from gardening -- “The glory of gardening: hands in the dirt, head in the sun, heart with nature. To nurture a garden is to feed not just the body, but the soul.”
MERIDIAN -- Garden enthusiasts with resolutions to learn more about their favorite hobby should mark their calendars for a series of workshops available at the county Extension office.
Wayne Porter, a regional Extension horticulture specialist, will kick off the 2014 “Lunch and Learn” program on Jan. 23 at noon. From February through November, workshops will be held the third Thursday of each month.