Feature Story from 2004
R. Rodney Foil of Starkville is among the first inductees into a newly created U.S. Department of Agriculture hall of fame.
The Cooperative State Research, Education and Extension Service at USDA recognized 10 individuals from across the nation for their support for research, education and extension in advancing knowledge for agriculture, the environment, human health and well-being, and communities. The CSREES Hall of Fame was created this year to recognize the agency's 10th anniversary.
MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Most people don't go looking for wasps, except with a spray can of insecticide, but when David Held looks for them, it's to encourage, not annihilate, a particular type of wasp.
Held is an entomologist at Mississippi State University's Coastal Research and Extension Center in Biloxi. In early October, he found a tiny wasp on the Great Southern Golf Course in Gulfport that could be good news for golf courses and homeowners on the Coast.
MISSISSIPPI STATE -- A current Mississippi State University research project has the potential to eliminate a devastating disease in channel catfish, one of the state's most economically significant agricultural products.
MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Top quality beef animals will move through the auction ring Nov. 18 as Mississippi State University releases almost 90 surplus cattle to the highest bidders.
MSU and the Mississippi Agricultural and Forestry Experiment Station will host the 22nd annual Animal Production Sale at the Mississippi Horse Park, AgriCenter and Fairgrounds, which is located on Poorhouse Road south of Starkville. Lunch will be served at noon, and the cattle sale will begin around 1 p.m.
MISSISSIPPI STATE -- The beauty of Mississippi's fall leaf color display helps ease the bad feelings many have about raking the acres of dead leaves that follow.
Andy Londo, forester with the Mississippi State University Extension Service, said decreased daylight and falling temperatures make deciduous tree leaves change color and shed.
"In our region, tree shed is preceded by color change," Londo said. "Leaves change color because of a change in the pigment, which is affected by the change in weather."
STONEVILLE -- The latest addition to facilities at Mississippi State University's Delta Research and Extension Center in Stoneville was dedicated Oct. 28 in honor of a strong proponent of the Delta's economic advancement.
More than 150 leaders in business, agriculture, education and state government were on hand for ceremonies marking the official opening of the Charles W. Capps, Jr. Entrepreneurial Center.
MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Mississippi should produce its highest average soybean yield ever on a crop that was planted earlier than had ever been done before.
"This is the best crop per acre average on record," said Alan Blaine, soybean specialist with the Mississippi State University Extension Service. "Early planting got the crop off to a good start, we had a near-perfect growing season and we avoided late-season dry weather."
While there were areas of extremes with as few as 20 bushels harvested per acre, other producers "made yields they've only dreamed of," Blaine said.
MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Just as parents child-proof holiday homes, pet owners should do some pet-proofing to ensure a happy, safe holiday season.
Dr. Mark Russak, a veterinarian in the Mississippi State University College of Veterinary Medicine's Primary Care clinic, said the main mistake pet owners make during the holiday season is feeding their pets leftovers and other unhealthy treats.
MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Entrepreneurs interested in starting a small food processing business can receive helpful information in an upcoming seminar in Mobile, Ala.
Held in conjunction with the Deep South Fruit and Vegetable Growers Conference and Trade Show Dec. 8-10, the one-day seminar begins at 10:30 a.m. on Dec. 9. The conference will take place at the Riverview Plaza Hotel. Participants may pre-register for $50 by Nov. 25 or for $60 after that date, including walk-in registration.
MISSISSIPPI STATE -- With families often spread out over several states, holiday time means travel time.
Susan Cosgrove, a family resource management area agent with the Mississippi State University Extension Service, said families can save money when traveling by making a travel budget -- and sticking to it.
MISSISSIPPI STATE -- The winter holidays may tempt families to eat large meals and then cuddle up inside, but for the children's sake, parents need to promote physical activities and fewer calories.
While the holidays are often a time when pounds are added, planning extra activities and the right gifts can help reverse Mississippi's trend as a national leader in overweight issues.
MISSISSIPPI STATE -- As the calendar winds down, many people start looking at their bank statements and assets to see what contributions they want to make before the year expires.
The holiday season is a time of thankfulness and generosity for most Mississippians, and numerous charities and organizations benefit from the flurry of giving this season inspires. Other donations are generated as tax payers look ahead to tax season and want to alter their tax burden.
MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Hunting and fishing are among the most popular pastimes in Mississippi, so a hunter or fisherman is on most everyone's holiday shopping list.
If that is the case, Ben West, wildlife specialist with the Mississippi State University Extension Service, had a few ideas for their stockings. Safety topped his list.
MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Weather conditions made 2004 a challenging year for the state's Christmas tree growers, but Mississippians should have no problem finding top quality, affordable trees to decorate their homes this holiday season.
Steve Dicke, forestry specialist with the Mississippi State University Extension Service, said choose-and-cut tree sales reached 100,000 last year in Mississippi. Similar sales are expected this year.
MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Cotton growers and consultants can get the latest in production recommendations from top agricultural specialists, economists and researchers Dec. 8-9 at the Mississippi State University Extension Service's 21st annual Cotton Short Course.
Cotton is one of the mid-South's most important industries and keeps hundreds of millions of dollars turning over in the region's economy. Even after record-producing years, growers need the most current recommendations for planting and managing next year's crop.
MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Mississippi State University's newly established Department of Food Science, Nutrition and Health Promotion will afford faculty and students more opportunities to address growing health concerns in the state, nation and world.
Peter Rabideau, MSU vice president for academic affairs, said he believes the new department has potential to aid the state and improve the quality of life for its citizens.
MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Speakers usually don't like captive audiences, but two Extension agents in South Mississippi are happy with theirs.
Marcia McLeod and Liz Sadler teach life skills, parenting, health and nutrition classes on a regular schedule to inmates at the Mississippi Department of Corrections facility in Greene County. McLeod is the Greene County 4-H agent with the Mississippi State University Extension Service, and Sadler is an Extension area health agent working out of Lamar County.
MISSISSIPPI STATE -- A chill in the air often makes its way into homes and offices, prompting the use of a potentially dangerous heat source.
Herb Willcutt, a safety specialist with Mississippi State University's Extension Service, said portable space heaters are safe when used properly. Incorrect use can cause damage to homes and offices, or even deadly fires.
MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Soybean rust, a devastating fungal disease, was discovered Nov. 7 in the United States, but officials have not yet detected it in Mississippi.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture's Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service announced Wednesday that it had confirmed Asian soybean rust in two Louisiana State University research plots near Baton Rouge. The disease was spotted Sunday and officially confirmed three days later. This is the first appearance of rust in the United States, which previously had not been found closer than Central America.
MISSISSIPPI STATE -- East and east central Mississippi soybean and corn growers will gather on Dec. 16 at Mississippi State University to take part in the first production meeting since the recent discovery of soybean rust in the state.