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Feature Story from 2010

Kaitlyn Plance, left, and Jordan Jackson, right, work to build a robot with Amy Walsh, Amite County 4-H Agent. The youth are learning science, technology and engineering through the 4-H robotics program. (Photo by Mariah Smith)
April 1, 2010 - Filed Under: 4-H, Technology

MISSISSIPPI STATE – Nearly 200 Mississippi 4-H youth are learning science, technology and engineering skills as they work with robots and meet monthly via videoconferencing to learn new skills and take on new challenges.

Mariah Smith, an instructor with the Mississippi State University Extension Service, is coordinating the program for Mississippi 4-H. She said the youth learn basic science, technology and engineering concepts behind robots and make simple robotic elements out of non-traditional parts.

April 1, 2010 - Filed Under: Community, Economic Development, Rural Development

MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Research by the Southern Rural Development Center at Mississippi State University has been included in a new book about positive approaches to community development.

“Mobilizing Communities: Asset Building as a Community Development Strategy” includes a chapter by SRDC director Lionel “Bo” Beaulieu and his colleague Mark Harvey, assistant sociology professor at Florida Atlantic University. Harvey completed his post-doctoral work at SRDC and was an assistant research professor at MSU.

April 8, 2010 - Filed Under: Agriculture, Crops, Soybeans

MISSISSIPPI STATE – There is no known soybean rust in Mississippi thanks to the cold winter that killed kudzu, a common rust host, across the state.

“This is the first year since soybean rust was initially detected in the U.S. that we have essentially started at zero in regards to soybean rust,” said Tom Allen, Extension plant pathologist at the Delta Research and Extension Center in Stoneville. “None of us truly knows what to expect of the progression of the disease this season.”

Mississippi State University researchers are gathering inforamtion that will help biologists and managers determine where and when habitats should be made available for migrating and wintering ducks. (Photo by Joe Mac Hudspeth, Jr.)
April 8, 2010 - Filed Under: Environment, Wildlife, Waterfowl

MISSISSIPPI STATE –While the climate change debate is heating up worldwide, researchers at Mississippi State University are examining recent changes in duck migration patterns.

“In the past few years, we have observed that ducks are not migrating to southern latitudes in abundance or are doing so generally only during severe weather,” said Rick Kaminski, waterfowl ecologist and the James C. Kennedy Endowed Chair in Waterfowl and Wetlands Conservation.

Daffodils frame the Chapel of Memories clock tower at Mississippi State University. (Photo by MSU Ag Communications/Kat Lawrence)
April 8, 2010 - Filed Under: Lawn and Garden, Flower Gardens

By Patti Drapala
MSU Ag Communications

MISSISSIPPI STATE –Many plants contribute to the beauty of Mississippi State University’s landscape, but no sight is more universally welcomed on campus than the daffodils bursting into bloom once a year.

“Daffodils are the harbingers of spring,” said Lelia Kelly, consumer horticulturist with MSU’s Extension Service. “After a long winter without much color, people enjoy the bright, yellow flowers that signal the appearance of even more flowers as plants establish and mature.”

Dr. Philip Robinson is a Fulbright Scholar visiting Mississippi State University's College of Veterinary Medicine. His project is to see the decision-making process private practicing veterinarians use to determine if they will submit samples to laboratories and to see if this has an impact on animal disease surveillance. (Photo by MSU University Relations/Kristen Hines Baker)
April 15, 2010 - Filed Under: Animal Health

MISSISSIPPI STATE -- On the surface, Mississippi and Northern Ireland are worlds apart, but Dr. Philip Robinson found that if he digs a little deeper, there are many similarities.

Robinson came to Mississippi State University’s College of Veterinary Medicine as a Fulbright Scholar from Jan. 5 through April 9. He is a government veterinarian specializing in epidemiology in Belfast, Northern Ireland.

“We have many of the same animal diseases, similar economic difficulties in agriculture and a lot of producers who are part-time farmers, just like here,” he said.

Mississippi State University assistant professor of food safety and microbiology Barakat Mahmoud uses the RS 2400 X-ray machine to rid seafood and produce of harmful bacteria. Here, he places fresh produce carefully wrapped in plastic into the machine. In a matter of a few minutes, the food is irradiated and ready to eat. (Photo by MSU Ag Communications/Karen Templeton)
April 15, 2010 - Filed Under: Agriculture, Seafood Harvesting and Processing, Food Safety

By Karen Templeton
MSU Ag Communications

PASCAGOULA – It is not surprising to see an X-ray machine at a physician’s or dentist’s office, but research at Mississippi State University may help make them commonplace at seafood processing facilities and commercial produce operations.

April 15, 2010 - Filed Under: 4-H

MISSISSIPPI STATE – The Mississippi State University Extension Service 4-H program received a $13,500 grant to improve the state’s after-school programming by training 550 of its providers.

The MetLife Foundation and the National 4-H Council provided the grant to Mississippi and 10 other states. The grant is aimed at improving after-school programming offered across the state.

April 15, 2010 - Filed Under: Community

MISSISSIPPI STATE – The College of Agriculture and Life Sciences at Mississippi State University is making several changes as personnel are shifted to take best advantage of their strengths.

Melissa Mixon, associate vice president of MSU’s Division of Agriculture, Forestry and Veterinary Medicine, remains the interim dean of the college, known as CALS. The duties of four people are being changed within the college.

Tom Eubank
April 22, 2010 - Filed Under: Soybeans, About Extension

STONEVILLE -- Mississippi State University has named Tom Eubank as soybean weed scientist and agronomist at the Delta Research and Extension Center effective April 16.

Eubank has 15 years experience as an agronomist working with Delta farmers and for Mississippi State. He shares a dual appointment with MSU’s Extension Service and the Mississippi Agricultural and Forestry Experiment Station.

Mississippi State University research horticulturist Guihong Bi  and Natchez Trace Greenhouses manager Mark Terkanian of Kosciusko discuss hydrangea production techniques that may help commercial growers. (Photo by Scott Corey)
April 22, 2010 - Filed Under: Agriculture, Lawn and Garden, Flower Gardens

By Patti Drapala
MSU Ag Communications

KOSCIUSKO – The hydrangeas that were mainstays in grandma’s yard are making a comeback, and Mississippi State University research may help commercial growers shed production problems.

April 22, 2010 - Filed Under: Family Financial Management, Health

MISSISSIPPI STATE – Those who visit homes to provide inspections, audits or health services are encouraged to participate in training conducted by the National Center for Healthy Housing and hosted by the Mississippi State University Extension Service May 19 and 20.

Professionals from a variety of fields will gather to share their expertise and learn from others by participating in the two-day Essentials for Healthy Homes Practitioners course. The course will be held at selected video-conference sites.

April 22, 2010 - Filed Under: Family, Food and Health, Food, Nutrition

MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Eating well is critical to living well, but many senior citizens find both difficult to do, especially those who live in rural areas.

A study by the Southern Rural Development Center headquartered at Mississippi State University found that getting to a well-stocked, affordable grocery store is frequently a challenge for many seniors in rural communities. In “Rural Seniors Have Fewer Options for Healthy Diets,” researchers show that seniors must have access to quality foods at affordable prices to be able to make wise food choices.

One of several tornadoes that ravaged Mississippi on April 24 knocked down trees along state Highway 389 in Oktibbeha County. Horticulturists with the Mississippi State University Extension Service advise people to use caution in removing trees and debris. (Photo by Scott Corey)
April 26, 2010 - Filed Under: Farm Safety, Disaster Response, Lawn and Garden, Landscape Architecture

MISSISSIPPI STATE -- On April 24, a series of tornadoes ripped through central Mississippi leaving 15 counties with substantial damage from wind, hail and water. As Mississippians begin the long process of rebuilding and cleaning up their tornado-ravaged landscapes, there are ways to make the process safer and easier.

Safety is the first consideration when removing damaged trees or large limbs that have fallen on electric power lines or pose other hazards to homes or people. Hire a professional to do this when the job is not safe.

Strong winds damaged about 200 acres of young corn stalks in a field on Eagle Bend Road in Yazoo County on April 24. Extension agronomists expect these plants to recover for the 2010 season. (Photo by Phillip Vandevere/MSU Extension Service)
April 27, 2010 - Filed Under: Agriculture, Crops

MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Storms that whipped through Mississippi on April 24 dumped rain in many fields needing moisture to continue spring planting, and they caused minimal damage to the young crops.

Ernie Flint, area agronomic agent with Mississippi State University’s Extension Service, said dry conditions had forced farmers to suspend planting.

April 29, 2010 - Filed Under: Urban and Community Forestry

MISSISSIPPI STATE – Citizens interested in learning more about community and urban forestry have the opportunity to do so at a free workshop May 6.

Trees in Our Community: A Northwest Mississippi Community Forestry Workshop also provides training for the Urban Forest Master certificate. Sponsored by the Mississippi Urban Forestry Council, the workshop will be at the Starkville Sportsplex at 405 Lynn Lane in Starkville. The session lasts from 9 a.m. until 4 p.m. with a break for lunch.

April 29, 2010 - Filed Under: Dairy, Community

MISSISSIPPI STATE – Mississippi State University animal and dairy science majors maintained the university’s tradition of excellence in dairy competitions with a gold award at the Ninth Annual North American Intercollegiate Dairy Challenge.

The event was held April 9-10 in Visalia, Calif., hosted by California Polytechnic State University and California State University, Fresno. MSU was one of 28 teams from the United States and Canada that competed.

Perkins holds one of his small patients Wednesday at Iuka Animal Clinic, the practice he started after his 1971 graduation. (Photo by Steve Beavers, Daily Corinthian)
April 29, 2010 - Filed Under: Animal Health, Community

IUKA – When Mississippi State University confers degrees to the class of 2010, a 1971 graduate of Auburn University can look on his wall to see proof that he is a 2009 MSU graduate.

Dr. James F. Perkins started his educational career at what is now Northeast Mississippi Community College in Booneville before transferring to MSU for two years.

“I took what we had to have to go to veterinary school,” Perkins said. “Back when I was going to school, my No. 1 goal was to be a veterinarian.”

Mississippi State University's Landscape Architecture Delegates volunteered to help the family of a young girl with a serious nerve disorder. David Russell, Dustin Randall and Dale Brasher place plants around the family's pool to keep the soil intact. With the erosion problem solved, the girl can continue her regular pool therapy to ease her chronic pain.
April 29, 2010 - Filed Under: Landscape Architecture

By Karen Templeton
MSU Ag Communications

MISSISSIPPI STATE — A group of Mississippi State University landscape architecture and contracting students stays busy outside the design studio by recruiting other students to join the program.

April 30, 2010 - Filed Under: Disaster Response, Environment, Forest Economics, Timber Harvest

MISSISSIPPI STATE – Some Mississippi forest landowners with timber destroyed by the April 24 tornado may be eligible to claim a casualty loss.

Debbie Gaddis, Mississippi State University Extension Service forestry professor, said the tornado destroyed many privately owned forestlands in the state. Those owners who can claim a casualty loss will receive a deduction based on the loss of fair market value or their basis in the asset, whichever is less.


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