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Feature Story from 2010

Mississippi State University forest products assistant professor Sheldon Shi demonstrates the effectiveness of magnetic charcoal. Shi and his colleague Dongmao Zhang found a new way to create charcoal and other carbon-based products with a higher absorption capacity.
November 23, 2010 - Filed Under: Agriculture, Wood Products

MISSISSIPPI STATE – Mississippi State University scientists have found a new way to turn wood into highly absorbent charcoal and automobile parts.

While wood has been used to manufacture charcoal since the early 1600s, the new technique can create charcoal and other carbon-based products with a higher absorption capacity. Charcoal has been used widely to treat water and clean up chemicals, but the production of magnetic charcoal creates new possibilities. Magnetic charcoal is more efficient in cleaning environmentally hazardous chemicals.

Joel D. Ray
November 23, 2010 - Filed Under: Pets

By Dr. Joel D. Ray Jr.
MSU College of Veterinary Medicine

MISSISSIPPI STATE -- The holiday season is a fun time for family and friends to celebrate, but it is also a time when pet owners should be aware of holiday dangers for dogs, cats and other beloved pets.

November 23, 2010 - Filed Under: Pets

By Dr. Joel D. Ray Jr.
MSU College of Veterinary Medicine

MISSISSIPPI STATE -- As gifts, travel companions or left-behind loved ones, pets need special attention by responsible owners during the holidays to ensure their long-term health and happiness.

Walter Mullen
December 2, 2010 - Filed Under: Pets

By Dr. Walter Mullen
MSU College of Veterinary Medicine

MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Pet owners need to realize that Christmas decorations attract more than human eyes during the holidays, and many of those items can pose hazards to curious animals.

When new plants are brought into the home, they can interest a mischievous pet. Unfortunately, some festive holiday plants can poison pets.

BankFirst made a donation to the Catch-A-Dream Foundation every time the Mississippi State University Bulldogs scored touchdowns. BankFirst's Jerry Wilson, left, presents a ceremonial check for $10,000 to Marty Brunson at the MSU-Arkansas game Nov. 20. Wilson is accompanied by his grandchildren, Mauri and Miller Wilson. (Photo by MSU Ag Communications/Kat Lawrence)
December 2, 2010 - Filed Under: Community, Family, Children and Parenting

MISSISSIPPI STATE – A local bank turned Bulldog football games into significant events for young people with life-threatening conditions.

Macon-based BankFirst teamed up with the Mississippi State University athletic department to make a $10,000 donation to the Catch-A-Dream Foundation, which is affiliated with the MSU Extension Service. BankFirst made a donation each time the team scored touchdowns at home. The Bulldogs scored 28 home touchdowns this year on their way to an 8-4 football season and a bowl game appearance after Christmas.

December 2, 2010 - Filed Under: Poultry, Family, Children and Parenting

MISSISSIPPI STATE – Where some saw an eyesore, others saw an opportunity: could an old hatchery be transformed into a much-needed child-care center?

With a lot of hard work, patience and some help from the Mississippi State University Extension Service, not only did Sanderson Farms Inc. administrators create a place for their employees’ children to be cared for, they developed it into the most highly rated child-care center in the area.

December 9, 2010 - Filed Under: Agriculture, Community

MISSISSIPPI STATE – Four Mississippi State University entomologists are among a group of Mid-South colleagues being honored for a continuing project to identify effective cotton pest management strategies.

The group received the “Friends of IPM ‘Pulling Together’” award from the Southern Region Integrated Pest Management Center at North Carolina State University. The award recognizes the success of groups working with integrated pest management, which is a combination of techniques and strategies to control agricultural pests.

Recent testing has found that some feral swine in Mississippi have been exposed to diseases that can be transmitted to humans and domestic animals. Landowners are encouraged to trap or hunt feral swine to help reduce their population in the state. (Photo by Andrea Cooper)
December 9, 2010 - Filed Under: Nuisance Wildlife and Damage Management

By Karen Templeton
MSU Ag Communications

MISSISSIPPI STATE – Feral swine, commonly called “wild pigs,” can do more than damage crops and property; they also can transmit diseases to humans and domestic animals.

Feral swine are a non-native, highly adaptable species found throughout the country. They have been seen in Mississippi since the 1980s and have caused significant agricultural and environmental damage.

December 9, 2010 - Filed Under: Community, Family

MISSISSIPPI STATE – The myth that a single type of person uses food stamps was examined in a recent Southern Rural Development Center study that impacts how to best reach those in need of food assistance.

The report, “One-size doesn’t fit all: Different reasons drive food stamp use in areas across the South,” looks at certain characteristics of food stamp users in the Borderland in Texas, the Appalachia region in West Virginia, the Delta in Mississippi and Louisiana, and the Black Belt in Alabama.

December 9, 2010 - Filed Under: Disaster Response, Rural Development, Family

By Alicia Barnes
Southern Rural Development Center

MISSISSIPPI STATE – A national economic development program coordinated by the Southern Rural Development Center has received $1.7 million to expand an initiative to help high poverty and oil spill-affected communities.

Launched in 2010 as a pilot study in eight states, Stronger Economies Together, or SET, encourages communities to look beyond city and state borders to capitalize on shared assets and strengthen regional economies.

December 9, 2010 - Filed Under: Family, Family Financial Management

By Patti Drapala
MSU Ag Communications

MISSISSIPPI STATE – Online tools from the Mississippi State University Extension Service can help those facing reduced income gain regain financial control.

Prompt action is the most important step in achieving control.

“When income is reduced or lost, many families don’t adjust their lifestyles for six months,” said MSU Extension family resource management specialist Bobbie Shaffett. “The best chance to land safely on the other side of a financial emergency is to take control of resources as quickly as possible.”

Mississippi Value of Production Estimates
December 16, 2010 - Filed Under: Agriculture, Crops, Corn, Cotton, Soybeans, Agricultural Economics, Forages, Livestock, Poultry, Forestry, Catfish

MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Mississippi farmers are finding out not only what a difference a year makes, but also what a difference a decade makes.

Agricultural economists with Mississippi State University’s Extension Service predict a record $6.9 billion production value for the state’s farm enterprises. The figure represents a 19 percent increase, or $1.09 billion, from 2009’s disastrous bottom line. After adjusting for inflation of agricultural prices, it is 45 percent, or $1.55 billion, better than in the year 2000. The previous record of $6.4 billion was set in 2005.

December 16, 2010 - Filed Under: Agriculture, Crops, Soybeans, Agricultural Economics

MISSISSIPPI STATE – Soybeans remained the state’s most valuable row crop in 2010, bringing an estimated $821 million to growers, a 16 percent increase over the previous year.

The increase came despite a somewhat late start and a very hot, dry summer. The Mississippi Agricultural Statistics Service estimates 1.95 million acres of soybeans were harvested, yielding a state average of 39 bushels per acre. The average market year price is estimated to be $11.45 a bushel.

December 16, 2010 - Filed Under: Agriculture, Agricultural Economics, Timber Harvest

By Patti Drapala
MSU Ag Communications

MISSISSIPPI STATE – The estimate for this year’s forestry year-end harvest value is better than last year’s dismal showing, and if the forecasted improvement in the overall economy is accurate, this trend could continue for the next few years.

The preliminary estimate for forestry’s overall harvest value is $1.078 billion, which is comparable to 2008’s value of $1.079 billion. The harvest value for 2009 was $864 million, the first time in 16 years the value dipped below the billion-dollar mark.

December 16, 2010 - Filed Under: Community

MISSISSIPPI STATE – Mississippi State University is merging the Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology and the Department of Entomology and Plant Pathology to promote cost savings and further strengthen research efforts.

The faculty-led Select Committee on Efficiencies and Innovations made the department merger recommendation after consulting with departmental faculty from both units.

Formed in fall 2009, the Select Committee on Efficiencies and Innovations was appointed by MSU President Mark Keenum to address financial challenges.

December 16, 2010 - Filed Under: Agriculture, Agricultural Economics, Poultry

By Karen Templeton
MSU Ag Communications

MISSISSIPPI STATE – Mississippi’s poultry industry remains the state’s top agricultural commodity by responding to export market changes and meeting the needs of consumers.

Poultry ended the year with an estimated $2.5 billion production value, an 8 percent increase from 2009. That figure includes a broiler value of $2.3 billion, eggs at $178 million and chickens at $5 million.

December 16, 2010 - Filed Under: Agriculture, Agri-business, Agricultural Economics

By Cheree Franco
MSU Ag Communications

MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Despite a bleak economy, career outlooks are promising for agricultural students.

Ag business is big business in the state of Mississippi and according to experts, it’s only getting bigger. Increased diversity and enrollment numbers at Mississippi State’s Division of Agriculture, Forestry and Veterinary Medicine indicate that young adults recognize this potential and are thinking far beyond the family farm.

December 17, 2010 - Filed Under: Agriculture, Dairy

MISSISSIPPI STATE – Dairy producers in Mississippi and Louisiana are invited to participate in a management conference designed to help them learn to increase their profits.

The Mississippi-Louisiana Dairy Management Conference will be held Jan. 13 at the Southwest Events Center in Tylertown. The 9 a.m.-1 p.m. event is open to all dairy producers, dairy managers and dairy farm employees.

Monsanto Co. representative Derenda Stanley, left, presents Susan Holder a ceremonial check for $5,000 in support of 4-H. Holder, director of the 4-H Youth Program with the Mississippi State University Extension Service, said the funds will support the 4-H Cooperative Business Leadership Conference in 2011. This annual event is the reward given to senior-level 4-H members who placed first in their state competitions at 4-H Congress and state 4-H leadership team members. The primary objective of grants from
December 17, 2010 - Filed Under: 4-H
 

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