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Feature Story from 2010

Emmie Rowlen, 8, of Webster County, affectionately pats her dairy calf during a break at Mississippi State University's 4-H dairy cow camp. (Photo by MSU Ag Communications/Kat Lawrence)
July 1, 2010 - Filed Under: Agriculture, Dairy

By Patti Drapala
MSU Ag Communications

MISSISSIPPI STATE – Mississippi dairy farmers have been good mentors to youth who participate in the 4-H Dairy Cattle Project, but the continuing decline in dairy farms across the state has reduced the number of people who serve as sources of information.

Ainsley Grey Trimm, of Starkville, enjoys pureed yellow squash and carrots that her mother prepared for her. Ainsley Grey's parents and many others find baby food easy and inexpensive to make. (Courtesy photo provided by Sara Stone)
July 1, 2010 - Filed Under: Family, Children and Parenting, Food

By Karen Templeton
MSU Ag Communications

MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Homemade baby food gives parents the advantage of controlling what goes into their babies’ sensitive stomachs and provides health benefits for the entire family.

July 1, 2010 - Filed Under: Community, Disaster Response, Family

BILOXI – Recreational boating in the Gulf and along coastal waterways is becoming more of a challenge, especially during high-traffic weekends, as the oil spill expands to impact more than just fishing opportunities.

Dave Burrage, Extension professor at Mississippi State University’s Coastal Research and Extension Center, said there are no restrictions to prevent pleasure craft on the Gulf, but boaters need to use common sense.

July 1, 2010 - Filed Under: Lawn and Garden, Vegetable Gardens

MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Gardeners can literally reap the fruits of their labor by planting fruits or vegetables in a small space in their landscapes.

Many gardeners tend to their landscapes as a hobby, which requires hours of manual labor and a big financial investment. But this does not have to be the case. Many existing home landscapes are well suited for growing fruits and vegetables.

Bob Brzuszek, associate professor of landscape architecture at Mississippi State University, said people do not need to build a farm to get fresh food from their yards.

July 1, 2010 - Filed Under: Agriculture, Soybeans

MISSISSIPPI STATE – Mississippi remains completely free of soybean rust, and conditions as of June 30 were not favorable for the development of the disease.

Tom Allen, plant pathologist with the Mississippi State University Extension Service, said soybean rust recently has been detected in the United States in southern Texas, outside Mobile, Ala., and in the Florida Panhandle.

“Over the past few weeks, conditions throughout most of Mississippi have not been conducive for the development of the disease,” Allen said.

July 8, 2010 - Filed Under: Family, Health

MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Mississippi schools should benefit from all they learned during last year’s H1N1 pandemic flu.

Jane Clary, health specialist with Mississippi State University’s Extension Service, said even though the worst of the pandemic appears to be behind us, schools should keep flu prevention efforts in place for the upcoming season.

July 8, 2010 - Filed Under: 4-H, Family, Children and Parenting

By Patti Drapala
MSU Ag Communications

MISSISSIPPI STATE – More Mississippi youth will have access to after-school programs because of an effort by Mississippi State University’s 4-H program to train providers who can reach these children.

July 8, 2010 - Filed Under: Family

MISSISSIPPI STATE – Students struggling with ideas for school projects or future careers may only need to look at their newspaper to find topics that interest them.

Many Mississippi State University faculty members can trace their research careers back to science fair projects on topics that were new at the time but have continued to hold their interest for many years. One such topic this year could be the Deep Horizon oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico.

July 8, 2010 - Filed Under: 4-H, Technology

MISSISSIPPI STATE – Youth with a passion for photography, drama, writing, technology or robotics should register for Mississippi State University’s annual 4-H Technology and Expressive Arts Camp scheduled for July 27-28.

Registration is $65 for day campers, which includes supplies and meals. Those who choose to stay overnight will pay a $175 registration fee. Spaces are limited.

July 8, 2010 - Filed Under: Agriculture, Crops

VERONA – The North Mississippi Research and Extension Center’s biannual Agronomic Row Crops Field Day will present the latest research to the area’s row-crop farmers and consultants.

The field day will be held from 8 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. on Aug. 5 at the Lee County Agri-Center on Highway 145 South in Verona.

The program will include educational and industry exhibits and field research plot tours. This year’s featured speaker will be Mississippi Commissioner of Agriculture and Commerce Lester Spell.

July 8, 2010 - Filed Under: Family, Family Financial Management

MISSISSIPPI STATE – The apartments of many college students may not look like they contain wealth, but students who have had to replace everything after a loss face a significant financial burden.

Bobbie Shaffett, family resource management specialist with the Mississippi State University Extension Service, said a large majority of renters, a group that includes many college students, do not carry renter’s insurance.

Rain barrels collect water for homeowners to use in their landscapes. The collected water is free and does not have any of the residual chemicals found in tap water. (Photo by Kat Lawrence)
July 15, 2010 - Filed Under: Agricultural Engineering, Lawn and Garden, Landscape Architecture

MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Rain barrels are gaining popularity, as they can save both pocket change and the environment.

“There are a lot of good reasons to use rain barrels,” said Tom Cathcart, professor of environmental engineering in Mississippi State University’s Department of Agriculture and Biological Engineering. “Generally, for a residential property, it is the house that creates the large majority of displaced stormwater during a rain event. Managing this displaced water at the source is the best management practice we have.”

Through the years, Julian Watson has helped other Mississippi tree farmers through his participation in Mississippi State University Extension forestry programs. (Photo courtesy of Mississippi Farm County magazine/Glynda Phillips)
July 15, 2010 - Filed Under: Forestry

MISSISSIPPI STATE – When Julian Watson decided to turn his erodible farmland into a tree farm, he had no idea that 24 years later he would be so widely recognized for his efforts.

Watson’s grandparents purchased the land in 1872. When Watson inherited it, he focused on trying to prevent erosion. The 1,100-acre parcel was washing away at a rate of 30 to 50 tons of topsoil per year.

July 15, 2010 - Filed Under: Biofuels

MISSISSIPPI STATE – Individuals interested in learning about the latest research and development of plant materials into biofuel should attend Mississippi State University’s 2010 Biofuels Conference Aug. 12-13 in Jackson.

The annual conference will be at the Hilton Jackson Hotel, located at the intersection of I-55 and County Line Road. Participants can register online at

Daniel Barnes, a doctoral student at Mississippi State University, is trying to genetically modify castor seed so it can be grown				safely for commercial oil production in Mississippi. Here he checks the status of	 castor embryonic tissue involved in his experiments.
July 15, 2010 - Filed Under: Agriculture, Biofuels

MISSISSIPPI STATE – The castor plant thrives in Mississippi and produces great quantities of valuable oil in its seeds, but it has a reputation that a team of researchers at Mississippi State University are trying to address.

Castor oil is the highly desirable, plentiful product of castor beans. The oil is used to produce everything from cosmetics and paints to jet aircraft lubricants and certain plastics. Generations ago, it was given by the spoonful as a laxative and used as a home remedy to treat a range of maladies.

July 22, 2010 - Filed Under: Animal Health

MISSISSIPPI STATE – A veterinary student at Mississippi State University doing grant-funded research on the immune system of dogs received the highest award given for her presentation in an international competition.

Claire Fellman, a fourth-year MSU College of Veterinary Medicine student from Ocean Springs, received a Morris Animal Foundation Veterinary Student Scholars grant last year to study immunosuppression in dogs.

A dual-treatment system developed at Mississippi State University helps save railroad companies money by significantly extending the service life of railroad crossties. (Photo by Kat Lawrence)
July 22, 2010 - Filed Under: Wood Products

MISSISSIPPI STATE -- In 1985, a young and energetic Mississippi State University forest products professor began testing a new treatment on railroad crossties. At the time, Terry Amburgey had little notion that his experiment would change railroad infrastructure almost 25 years later.

Luke South of Tishomingo County receives instruction from Coach William Baldwin at the Mississippi 4-H National Shooting Sports team practice held at the Starkville Gun Club. (Photo by Scott Corey)
July 22, 2010 - Filed Under: 4-H, 4-H Shooting Sports

By Karen Templeton
MSU Office of Ag Communications

MISSISSIPPI STATE – Focusing on safety, developing life skills and teaching good sportsmanship have made Mississippi’s 4-H Shooting Sports program popular with youth.

Weirs, also known as check dams, are small dams used to collect water runoff from agricultural fields. They are concrete can be moved to various locations in a drainage ditch. (Photo by MSU Wildlife, Fisheries and Aquaculture /Robbie Kröger)
July 29, 2010 - Filed Under: Environment, Water, Water Quality

MISSISSIPPI STATE – A Mississippi State University study has confirmed the success of a new technique to reduce nutrients in runoff water and protect downstream waters, including the Gulf of Mexico.

Weirs, also known as check dams, are small dams used to collect water runoff from agricultural fields. Weirs are often the size of a drainage ditch, with a 2-foot channel in the center for water drainage. The weirs are concrete can be moved to various locations in a drainage ditch.

Many consumers are willing to pay premium prices for beef from cattle producers who share information about their cattle management practices. (Photo by Kat Lawrence)
July 29, 2010 - Filed Under: Beef, Food

By Alicia Barnes
For MSU’s Ag Communications

MISSISSIPPI STATE – Until a few weeks ago, Jason Edmonds had not eaten beef in nearly three years.

Citing concerns over animal welfare, his personal impact on the planet, and added hormones and antibiotics, Edmonds adopted a vegetarian lifestyle for years, until finding access to local farmers who share his concerns.


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