Feature Story from 2012
By Kaitlyn Byrne
MSU Ag Communications
MISSISSIPPI STATE – Each year, cold and flu season threatens to steal holiday happiness, but a healthy immune system can prevent sickness from ruining the most wonderful time of the year.
Brent Fountain, registered dietician and associate Extension professor in Mississippi State University’s Department of Food Science, Nutrition and Health Promotion, said a healthy diet can strengthen the immune system.
MISSISSIPPI STATE – Holiday snacks can tempt anyone to let good intentions go, but for those with food allergies or special dietary needs, these treats can cause serious problems.
Brent Fountain, a registered dietitian and nutrition specialist with the Mississippi State University Extension Service, said planning ahead is the best way to handle the challenge of holiday cooking and eating for those with dietary limits.
For diabetics, Fountain said the best course of action is to not stray far from the recommended eating pattern, even in holiday and party situations.
JACKSON -- Christmas gifts have begun to fill the secret hiding places of shoppers everywhere, and unfortunately, thieves know it.
Ted Gordon, safety and risk management director for Mississippi State University’s Extension Service, said shoppers should take precautions to avoid becoming victims of crime this holiday season.
“It is a fact that crime increases during the holiday season,” Gordon said. “So everyone should be even more mindful of personal safety.”
Gordon said shoppers should go with a companion and avoid shopping after dark.
MISSISSIPPI STATE – Many children dream of finding a sweet pony or their first horse on Christmas morning, but parents need to be aware of the ownership commitment and cost before granting that wish.
“Most first-time owners do not know how to take care of a horse or what will be required in the years to come,” said Dr. David Christiansen, assistant clinical professor with Mississippi State University’s College of Veterinary Medicine. “Many people don’t realize that horses can live 30 years or more, so the purchase could become a very long-term investment.”
MISSISSIPPI STATE – The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals has awarded the Mississippi State University College of Veterinary Medicine a grant to support the college’s Mobile Veterinary Clinic.
The $65,000 grant will cover some of the expenses incurred as the Mobile Veterinary Clinic travels to 15 North Mississippi animal shelters, where students spay and neuter homeless animals. The program is funded solely by grants and donations.
MISSISSIPPI STATE – An advanced database training project conducted by the Mississippi State University Extension Service is saving the state millions of dollars, improving skills and making jobs easier.
JACKSON -- Service is a popular way to celebrate the holidays, but volunteerism is a year-round matter for many.
Members of programs such as the Mississippi Homemaker Volunteers, or MHV, and the Mississippi Master Gardeners volunteer in their communities every day.
Mississippi State University’s Extension Service facilitates both programs.
By Dr. Rebekah Ray
MSU Delta Research and Extension Center
STONEVILLE – The rice breeding program at Mississippi State University’s 4,800-acre Delta Research and Extension Center is part of a regional program that tests the viability of experimental rice varieties.
MISSISSIPPI STATE – Many Mississippians own a fireplace for the pleasure and comfort it provides on cold winter nights, but if they’re not careful, the firewood can harbor unwanted guests.
In the winter, the desire to have a handy woodpile can open the door for termite problems. Blake Layton, entomologist with the MSU Extension Service, urged those with fireplaces not to stack wood against the outside wall of the house.
MISSISSIPPI STATE – With Mississippi’s bumper corn crop on target to break records, proper post-harvest handling is essential, especially efforts to prevent deaths by grain entrapment.
As farmers plant more grain crops, on-site storage bins are popping up all over the state.
MISSISSIPPI STATE – Three intensive days of courses in early December will give Mississippi farmers significant information they need as they prepare for the 2013 production season.
The Mississippi State University Extension Service is offering the annual Row Crops Short Course Dec. 3-5 on campus at the Bost Extension Center. Producers can attend free of charge if they complete registration by Nov. 30. Registration is $40 after Nov. 30 and at the door.
MISSISSIPPI STATE – The Mississippi State University Extension Service will focus on food supply safety in free workshops for individuals and businesses in the food industry.
Five separate, day-long food defense workshops around the state will be offered to farm owners and managers, feed suppliers, processing plant managers, ingredient suppliers, and people in other farming, production and processing support industries. Lunch and materials will be provided. Pre-registration one week in advance is required.
The sessions will be from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.:
MISSISSIPPI STATE – A Mississippi State University graduate student earned a national award for his paper on the biology of insect pests.
Nathan Little of Charleston, a graduate student in the Department of Biochemistry, Molecular Biology, Entomology and Plant Pathology, received the annual student award titled “Appreciation for the Natural History of Insect Pests.” His paper on subterranean termites was described as the most interesting and novel peer-reviewed research paper among more than 20 applications that were reviewed this year from students around the world.
MISSISSIPPI STATE – The state’s families have a new ally in the Mississippi State University Extension Service with the appointment of a family life specialist.
Cassandra Kirkland brings research, practical experience and passion to her new position in the School of Human Sciences.
NEWTON – Newton County sixth-graders got a close look at some of Mississippi’s wildlife on Nov. 16.
Mississippi State University’s Coastal Plain Branch Experiment Station held its fourth annual Wildlife Youth Day. Students rotated through four educational stations, including archery technique and safety, Mississippi mammals, Mississippi reptiles and amphibians and a forestry-themed obstacle course. The students viewed live and preserved mammals, reptiles and amphibians. They also watched a bird dog training demonstration.
PICAYUNE -- Artisans and historians of the Piney Woods region took visitors on a trip back to their roots on Nov. 17 and 18.
Participants demonstrated old time skills and crafts, such as blacksmithing, basket-making, quilting, spinning and woodcarving, at the Piney Woods Heritage Festival at Mississippi State University’s Crosby Arboretum.
MISSISSIPPI STATE – Not all stores have consumer-friendly return policies, so be a savvy shopper this holiday season and read the fine print when purchasing gifts.
Mississippi State University Extension Service family life management specialist Bobbie Shaffett said even the most thoughtful shoppers occasionally give gifts that need to be returned, so understanding store policies is important.
BILOXI -- A few dedicated volunteers are keeping their eyes on Mississippi’s coastal birds and amphibians in hopes of preserving the area’s wildlife for years to come.
Master Naturalists are trained by the Mississippi State University Extension Service to help protect the state’s natural resources. They promote environmental stewardship through education and service in their communities.
STARKVILLE -- A veteran administrator will return to his roots as the interim leader of Mississippi State University’s center in the Mississippi Delta.
“Mississippi Agricultural and Forestry Experiment Station director George Hopper and I are pleased to announce that Dr. Joe Street will serve as the interim head of the Delta Research and Extension Center in Stoneville beginning December 1," said Gary Jackson, director of MSU's Extension Service. "This special assignment will be in addition to his duties and responsibilities as associate director for MSU Extension."
STONEVILLE – Research is backing producers’ intense efforts this fall to attack glyphosate-resistant Italian ryegrass using a variety of methods in attempts to limit the damage this troublesome weed can cause.
In 2005, Italian ryegrass resistant to the commonly used herbicide glyphosate was first identified in the state. Since then, it has been found in 31 Mississippi counties and is widespread throughout the Delta. This glyphosate-resistant weed emerges in the fall and grows throughout winter and early spring.