News From 2014
MISSISSIPPI STATE -- A new grant will enable Mississippi State University Extension Service leaders to refine the organization’s efforts to help communities prepare for and recover from disasters.
With offices in all 82 Mississippi counties, Extension agents and specialists provide “boots on the ground” assistance in communities following disasters. They receive training in advance to complete tasks such as agricultural damage assessment, shelter assistance and distribution of educational recovery materials.
VERONA -- Forage and livestock producers can learn about the latest research and production methods at the annual Mississippi Forage and Grassland Conference.
The Mississippi State University Extension Service will co-sponsor the event on Nov. 14 at the North Mississippi Research and Extension Center, located at 5421 Highway 145 South in Verona.
GRENADA -- Two sisters in Grenada County’s 4-H program placed in the top three in a national video contest.
Isabella Kinder, 15, won second place in her age division and $300 in the “Do the Ride Thing” video contest for all-terrain vehicles and dirt bike safety. Katrina Kinder, 18, won third place in her age division and $200. Contest sponsors included the ATV Safety Institute, the Right Rider Access Fund and the Motorcycle Safety Foundation Dirt Bike School.
RAYMOND -- Members of the produce industry have two opportunities to evaluate and comment on revisions to proposed changes to a U.S. Food and Drug Administration food safety law.
Experts with Mississippi State University’s Extension Service and the Mississippi Agricultural and Forestry Experiment Station will help participants understand the revisions to the Food Safety Modernization Act during two separate workshops.
The act introduces new rules to help prevent contamination of fresh fruits and vegetables during growing, harvesting, packing and holding.
MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Mississippi State University’s foundation seed program, a unit of the Mississippi Agricultural and Forestry Experiment Station, has provided seed to Mississippi seed distributors and growers for 55 years.
Brad Burgess, MSU director of research support for variety testing and foundation seed, oversees the program. Major crops include sweet sorghum, soybean and rice. MSU also produces foundation sweet potato slips and some minor crops as well.
MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Dr. Andy Shores hopes to help veterinarians make better patient recommendations with a smartphone application.
Shores, chief of neurosurgery and neurology at the Mississippi State University College of Veterinary Medicine, developed the Small Animal Coma Scale app to give veterinarians an easier way to assess the severity of a traumatic brain injury in dogs and cats while capturing statistical data.
Probably every gardener enjoys the fall season with cooler weather and extra butterfly activity. If you’re one who can’t get enough of the butterflies, you should consider including one of my favorites, the butterfly bush, in your landscape.
Butterflies and even hummingbirds love the flowers of this plant, which is known botanically as Buddleia.
“The only good snake is a dead snake” is an attitude probably triggered by common myths about snakes.
Snake myths are found in cultures around the globe, giving evidence of the troubled relationship between people and these reptiles. People are often afraid when they do not need to be. There are more snake myths than one article can cover, but let’s expose a few of the more common ones to the truth.
Myth: Rattlesnakes always give a warning rattle before they strike.
TUNICA -- The nation’s farmers and agricultural landowners have some important decisions to make in the next six months.
Krysta Harden, deputy secretary for the U.S. Department of Agriculture, met with farmers and others at the Tunica Museum on Sept. 29 to answer questions about programs available in the new farm bill.
While the delay in passage of the farm bill created some deadline challenges, Harden said USDA is working with the Extension Service in each state to help farmers and landowners understand the process, which is managed through the Farm Service Agency.
If you have ever searched the Internet to find the perfect restaurant or hotel, you are not alone.
Nearly 90 percent of Americans search online to find out what others are saying before they decide to fork out their hard-earned cash, but only 6 percent of us actually take the time to write an online review. Writing a review can be tedious, but well-written reviews can make a huge difference in your local community and its economy. Often, out-of-town visitors look to those online reviews to determine where to dine and shop while they are in the area.
VARDAMAN -- A dry September put a damper on Mississippi sweet potato production, but the rain in early October may help the crop remaining in the field.
Stephen Meyers, sweet potato specialist with the Mississippi State University Extension Service, said sweet potato fields received about an inch of rain Oct. 3.
“We’re optimistic that this rain will help size up the storage roots, but because of muddy conditions, producers will probably be out of the field for two days, and then resume harvest,” Meyers said.
MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Mississippi’s oldest agricultural television news show begins its 38th season Oct. 3 on Mississippi Public Broadcasting.
Farmweek, produced by the Mississippi State University Extension Service and the MSU Office of Agricultural Communications, airs weekly on Mississippi Public Broadcasting and RFD-TV.
Artis Ford, Farmweek’s managing editor and reporter for almost 30 years, said Friday’s show will mark the 1,880th airing. Viewers also will notice a few changes this season as a result of a viewership survey conducted in 2014.
More than 30 years ago, an idea was sown that the gardening public in Mississippi needed a fall field day. What started then as a small demonstration garden has blossomed into the annual Fall Flower and Garden Fest at Mississippi State University’s Truck Crops Branch Experiment Station.
PRAIRIE -- Beef and forage producers will receive current recommendations on a variety of topics influencing production success at a field day on Oct. 25.
The 2014 Fall Beef Cattle and Forage Field Day will begin at 9 a.m on that Saturday at the Mississippi Agricultural and Forestry Experiment Station’s Prairie Research Unit in Monroe County. A sponsored lunch will conclude the event.
MAFES researchers and Mississippi State University Extension Service agents and specialists will provide information on nutrition, marketing and other issues related to beef production.
MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Wood is a major part of Americans’ daily lives. In fact, wood consumption in the U.S. is five and a half pounds per person per day. This is just one of the fascinating facts fourth graders will discover about wood when they visit Mississippi State University’s Wood Magic Science Fair.
MSU will host about 4,000 children, teachers and visitors Oct. 6 through 10. They will learn about forestry, sustainable bioproducts and wildlife.
Ray Iglay, Certified Wildlife Biologist
MSU Department of Wildlife Fisheries and Aquaculture
MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Driving along Mississippi highways is always best when the surrounding landscapes capture the driver’s imagination. Our road systems serve as scenic byways showcasing nature’s beauty.
RAYMOND -- Mississippi’s horticulture industry is seeing an increase in business for the first time since Hurricane Katrina swept away a large chunk of the state’s infrastructure, inventory and markets.
“The nursery, greenhouse and landscape segments are looking up right now,” said Geoff Denny, horticulture specialist with the Mississippi State University Extension Service. “People are buying more of these horticulture products. We’re seeing an increased demand for trees, and we’ve actually got a deficit of trees right now.”
MISSISSIPPI STATE -- One week each October packs a double thrill for Mississippi 4-H’ers.
National 4-H Week, held Oct. 5-11, overlaps with the Mississippi State Fair, which runs from Oct. 1-12.
This year, 4-H’ers will promote both the state and national events through social media. The theme for the 2014 National 4-H Week is #iam4H.
MISSISSIPPI STATE -- This week marks National Farm Safety and Health Week and it is the perfect time to recognize the dangers of harvest equipment on the highways.
According to the U.S. Department of Transportation, 70 percent of traffic fatalities in Mississippi occur on rural roads. In addition to being more common, crashes on rural roads tend to be more severe and are more likely to result in death. Farm equipment can be a hazard rural roads any time of year, but harvest time means increased traffic.