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Feature Story from 2008

Mississippi State University students, from the front, Elisabeth Brooks, Patrisha Pham, Alessandra Pham and Joan DeSutter sort canned food into boxes for food pantries in Oktibbeha, Clay and Lowndes counties. (Photo by Marco Nicovich)
May 1, 2008 - Filed Under: Community

By Patti Drapala
MSU Ag Communications

MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Mississippi State University students collected more than 1,500 pounds of canned goods in their War on Hunger food drive at semester's-end to help stock local pantries in the Mississippi Food Network.

The Committee of 19 campus organization sponsored the food drive, held the last week of April. Although many students had to study for final examinations, they honored their commitment to make a difference, said Chiquita Briley, committee faculty adviser and MSU Extension Service nutrition specialist.

A plant pathologist holds evidence of Asian soybean rust on kudzu leaves found in Wilkinson County. (Photo by Bob Ratliff)
May 1, 2008 - Filed Under: Soybeans, Plant Diseases

MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Ongoing efforts to track Asian soybean rust and minimize its threat to Mississippi soybean acres led researchers to note that some kudzu, a rust host, resists the disease.

Billy Moore, plant pathologist emeritus working part time with the rust program for the Mississippi State University Extension Service, said the team searching for rust in the state examines soybeans and kudzu plots for signs of the fungus. They use global positioning system coordinates to note the location of each plot searched for rust.

May 8, 2008 - Filed Under: Insects

MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Spaces remain available in Mississippi State University’s bug camps this summer, offering a different kind of family vacation.

The 15th annual 4-H Entomology Camps, often referred to as “Bug Camp,” will be June 15-19 at Crow’s Neck Environmental Center in Tishomingo County and July 13-17 at the University of Southern Mississippi in Hattiesburg. These camps offer an intergenerational experience the whole family can enjoy.

Bug camp experiences will include insect collecting, plant and insect interaction hikes,

May 8, 2008 - Filed Under: Insects

MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Teachers have a unique opportunity in June to join a group of experts from around the world to study butterflies and moths.

The Lepidopterist Society is holding its 59th annual meeting at Mississippi State University June 23-27. Members from around the world will attend this meeting, and others are gathering for the annual meeting of the Lepidopterists of the Tropics and the Southeast Lepidopterists Society.

May 8, 2008 - Filed Under: Fisheries

MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Mississippi's “Arc of Slabs” is a prime destination for families or individuals seeking a day of good fishing or a whole vacation on the water.

The Arc of Slabs, a term recently coined by In-Fisherman magazine, refers to the four U.S. Army Corps of Engineers flood-control reservoirs along the Interstate 55 corridor in north Mississippi. These water impoundments are Arkabutla, Sardis, Enid and Grenada lakes. The reservoirs are known for their quality white and black crappie populations and the fishing opportunities they produce. 

Among the garden's features are a central gazebo, raised brick planting beds, paved walkways, an arched bridge, three arbors, and an ornate brick and steel fence. (Photo by Bob Ratliff)
May 8, 2008 - Filed Under: Flower Gardens

MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Roses are among the most popular additions to home landscapes, and the Veterans Memorial Rose Garden at Mississippi State University provides a panorama of traditional and new rose varieties.

The garden is located at the Highway 182 entrance to the R. Rodney Foil Plant Science Research Facility.

Mississippi State University senior Samantha Webb, left, of Forest, compares marketing information for a Starkville clothing store with one of her major professors, Wanda Cheek. (Photo by Jim Lytle)
May 15, 2008 - Filed Under: 4-H

By Patti Drapala
MSU Ag Communications

MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Former 4-H'er Samantha Webb dreams of opening a specialty boutique of women's clothing made from cotton, wool, linen and other natural fibers grown in Mississippi.

Webb, who plans to graduate with an apparel, textiles and merchandising degree from Mississippi State University in December, said she visualizes a business that incorporates her passion for fashion with a desire to promote the importance of agriculture through the fabrics she chooses for her clothes.

The current Farmweek team includes Leighton Spann, left, Amy Taylor and Artis Ford. (Photo by Marco Nicovich)
May 15, 2008 - Filed Under: Agriculture

MISSISSIPPI STATE -- In September 1977, the three commercial television networks -- ABC, CBS and NBC -- launched 22 new shows, most of which did not survive the season. While it was not on one of the big three networks, a show premiering that fall has survived and continues to inform and entertain its target audience.

May 15, 2008 - Filed Under: Forestry

MISSISSIPPI STATE -- The biennial Mid-South Forestry Equipment Show is celebrating its 25th year of showcasing the newest technology and machinery used to advance the South’s timber industry.

With more than 6,000 people from 20 states and two Canadian provinces attending the last show in 2006, this year’s show, scheduled for June 6-7, promises to be just as popular.

May 15, 2008 - Filed Under: Wildlife Economics and Enterprises

MISSISSIPPI STATE – Fee fishing, fee hunting, horse trail riding and sporting clays are outdoor recreational businesses based on Mississippi’s natural resources that will be discussed at a May 29 workshop in Noxubee County.

May 22, 2008 - Filed Under: Agriculture, Soils

MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Nothing about rain has been normal in Mississippi in the last three to four years, and the state went from a serious deficit in 2007 to continually soggy ground this spring.

2007 was a hot, dry year, and row crop farmers had to irrigate extensively in places to keep their crops growing. Catfish producers saw pond water levels drop dangerously, and hay dried up on pastures, which increased feed costs for cattle producers.

Ebra Angle of Pontotoc moves closer to stop and smell the roses at the recent Spring Garden Day at the North Mississippi Extension and Research Center in Verona. (Photos by Patti Drapala)
May 22, 2008 - Filed Under: Lawn and Garden

By Patti Drapala
MSU Ag Communications

VERONA -- Home gardeners want to share their dirty little secrets.

They will forego any inconvenience if they feel they can help even one person. Such enthusiasm for plants and nature is why some people across the state will drive a good distance to exhibit at or attend field days, such as the recent Spring Garden Day at the North Mississippi Extension and Research Center in Verona.

May 29, 2008 - Filed Under: 4-H

By Patti Drapala
MSU Ag Communications

MISSISSIPPI STATE -- The challenge has begun for Mississippi youth to make the next hundred years of 4-H more remarkable than the first.

More than 600 youth, their volunteer leaders and Mississippi State University Extension Service staff worked hard to make the 2008 4-H Congress successful. The event took place May 28-30 at MSU.

May 29, 2008 - Filed Under: Dairy

MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Dairy experts have planned a day of intensive education on issues related to dairy production in Mississippi, and everyone involved in the industry is encouraged to attend.

The Statewide Dairy Field Day is June 25 in Tylertown at the Southwest Events Center Conference Facility. There is no cost to attend this event, hosted by the Mississippi State University Extension Service.

May 29, 2008 - Filed Under: Organic Fruit and Vegetables

MISSISSIPPI STATE -- The trend toward green or organic production has made its way to many home gardeners, but Mississippi's climate makes it a challenging place to grow plants without harsh chemicals to control pests.

Lelia Kelly, consumer horticulture specialist with the Mississippi State University Extension Service, said a big part of growing organic gardens is being conscientious.

June 5, 2008 - Filed Under: Agriculture

MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Just days remain for Mississippi farmers to be counted in the 2007 Census of Agriculture, a tally that actually impacts the agriculture industry in the state.

The ag census attempts to gather information from all farmers in the country. The U.S. Department of Agriculture conducts the survey every five years through the National Agricultural Statistics Service. Farmers have until June 18 to be counted in this census.

June 5, 2008 - Filed Under: Wildlife

MISSISSIPPI STATE -- The 600,000 acres of 16th section land located in 67 Mississippi counties generate more than $45 million each year and supplement a budget of more than $2 billion for K-12 education.

Sixteenth section land is public acreage set aside when the state was first surveyed to help fund education and other programs. The 15 counties in north Mississippi that do not have school trust lands receive annual appropriations to compensate for this lost source of local education funding.

June 12, 2008 - Filed Under: Disaster Preparedness

By Steven Nalley
MSU Ag Communications

MISSISSIPPI STATE -- A “to-go” box usually lets diners save restaurant food, but in disaster's wake, a different kind of to-go box can do the same for insurance, certificates and other documentation.

As hurricane season begins, it is important to keep copies of irreplaceable documents packed and ready for evacuation at a moment's notice.

Mississippi State University weed science associate professor Alfred Rankins, left, and his student, Wes McPherson of Inverness, go outside the classroom to look for pest problems in greenhouse plants. (Photo by Jim Lytle)
June 19, 2008 - Filed Under: Insects, Insects-Pests

By Patti Drapala
MSU Ag Communications

MISSISSIPPI STATE -- James “Wes” McPherson had his mind set on veterinary school three years ago when he began his freshman year at Mississippi State University, but his heart refused to listen.

The junior from Inverness grew up tending soybeans and corn on his stepfather's farm. The more he thought about leaving the Delta behind, the more it beckoned. This soul-searching caused McPherson to face facts and examine options. At stake were scholastic success and personal satisfaction.


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