Feature Story from 2013
PICAYUNE -- Louisiana botanist Charles Allen acquired a taste for native plants as a child in his grandmother’s kitchen.
The mountain mint she used in her pork sausage sparked Allen’s interest and led him on a 35-year journey of learning about and preserving native plants that sustain the ecosystem of the Gulf South. Many of those plants are edible and useful around the house.
MISSISSIPPI STATE – Even if their farms were not in the path of the April 11 tornado, hundreds of farmers will feel the loss of the massive communications tower in Noxubee County.
The 300-foot-tall microwave tower located in the middle of a soybean field just northeast of Macon provided about 200 farmers and others with broadband Internet and with GPS signals that guide tractors during fieldwork.
Dennis Reginelli, area agronomics crops agent with the Mississippi State University Extension Service, said alternative sources remain available, but they are less accurate.
MISSISSIPPI STATE – Sano Chemical, the company launched to develop an antifungal drug discovered at Mississippi State University, received the university’s Faculty Start-up Company of the Year award April 5.
MISSISSIPPI STATE – A May 23 workshop in Natchez will teach landowners and property managers ways to deal with Mississippi’s wild hog invasion.
The Wild Pig Management Workshop will be held at the Adams County Extension office. The program is provided by the Mississippi State University Extension Service, the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Wildlife Services and the Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries and Parks.
MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Farmers, landowners and resource managers will find the newest tools to establish and manage a natural resource enterprise at a one-day workshop in Yazoo County.
The May 2 event will begin at 8 a.m. at Field Quest Farms in Benton. The morning presentations include revenue potential, liability and legal concerns, and marketing an outdoor recreational business.
MISSISSIPPI STATE – One of local government’s oldest and most essential jobs is being recognized for its services during an upcoming week of local, national and international activities.
The 44th annual Municipal Clerks Week will be observed May 5 – 11. During this week, municipal clerks in many of Mississippi’s cities, towns and villages will take part in activities to increase the public’s awareness of municipal clerks and the vital services they provide for local government and the community.
MISSISSIPPI STATE – Mississippi is home to a wide variety of creatures, and warmer spring temperatures bring many of them -- including snakes -- out into the sun.
“We have 35 species of nonvenomous snakes and just 6 species of venomous snakes,” said Adam Tullos, who specializes in wildlife management with the Mississippi State University Extension Service. “We also have snakes that are protected and endangered. Snakes benefit people by keeping insect, reptile and small mammal populations under control.”
MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Louisiana is shrinking. According to new information from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, 25-35 square miles of land off the coast of Louisiana disappears into the water every year.
Mississippi State University environmental economist Daniel Petrolia understands how important the disappearing wetlands are to commercial fisheries, storm surge protection and wildlife.
MISSISSIPPI STATE – Some people celebrate Earth Day with a trip on April 22 to the city park, but soil scientists get daily opportunities to see the importance of protecting the environment.
Mississippi State University Extension Service agronomy specialist Keith Crouse said an inexpensive soil test is one of the easiest ways to be a good steward of the earth and enjoy all the land has to offer. As coordinator of the MSU Soil Testing and Plant Analysis Lab, Crouse has seen test results prevent growers from applying unnecessary fertilizers.
CORINTH -- Marcia Ann Glisson believes in the power of youth.
That’s why she has spent more than 50 years as an Alcorn County 4-H volunteer. And she has no plans to give it up anytime soon.
“It’s just something that is in my blood,” said Glisson, who currently serves as a member of the Alcorn County 4-H Advisory Council. “I was in 4-H, and all four of my children were in 4-H.”
By Karen Templeton
MSU College of Veterinary Medicine
MISSISSIPPI STATE – When producer and consultant Dr. Gordon Hazard answers his phone, it is often in the middle of a pasture.
Hazard has been raising cattle for more than 75 years, and his boots-to-the-ground approach is what helps him make a profit each and every year. He knows what Mississippi cattle producers are up against.
MISSISSIPPI STATE – Springtime’s soggy fields are no guarantee that summer’s row crops will have the moisture they need to thrive until harvest in the fall.
Jason Krutz, irrigation specialist with the Mississippi Agricultural and Forestry Experiment Station, said winter and spring rain helps recharge the soil profile, but moisture must be replenished during the growing season.
“In the Delta in the summer, we’re always 10 days from a drought,” Kurtz said. “If you go 10 days without rain, your row crops are in trouble and you will have to irrigate.”
MISSISSIPPI STATE – A Pearl River County family learned that 4-H robotics’ “no experience required” policy opened doors to new skills they never expected.
Jill Bordelon’s three children, Emily, Eric and Alex, became interested in robotics when 4-H first offered the activity in their county in 2009. Led by their mother, the children formed a team with interested 4-H’ers to construct a robot and compete against other robotics teams.
“None of us had done anything like this before,” Jill Bordelon said. “We got a kit and muddled through. We all learned at the same time.”
MISSISSIPPI STATE – Mississippi State University professor Donald Grebner is the lead author on a new forestry and natural resources textbook.
Introduction to Forestry and Natural Resources provides a general overview of the forestry and natural resources profession, as well as the history of forestry, landowner objectives, forest disturbances, ecosystem services and urban forestry.
Grebner, professor in MSU’s College of Forest Resources, spent three years writing the 508-page book, in collaboration with University of Georgia colleagues Pete Bettinger and Jacek Siry.
TYLERTOWN -- Cattle producers in Mississippi and Louisiana can learn about cattle health issues and forage weed control measures during a May 18 event in south Mississippi.
The Mississippi/Louisiana Beef and Forage Field Day will begin with registration at 8:45 a.m. at the Livestock Producers Sale Barn on Highway 98 East in Tylertown, Miss.
Featured speakers are Dr. Jaques Fuselier, of Louisiana State University’s School of Veterinary Medicine and Brandi Karisch, Rhonda Vann and John Byrd, all with Mississippi State University’s Extension Service.
BROOKHAVEN – Horticulture enthusiasts can attend educational presentations, workshops and tours during the Mississippi Master Gardener State Conference May 14-16.
The event is sponsored by the Lincoln County Master Gardeners and the Mississippi State University Extension Service. The conference is open to Master Gardeners and the public.
JACKSON -- Fourth-graders from Jackson area schools recently got a new appreciation for the clothes on their backs and the food on their tables at AgVentures.
The event, held at the Mississippi Agriculture and Forestry Museum, provided hands-on, educational activities designed to teach children the role of agriculture in daily life. Mississippi State University Extension Service and several partner organizations sponsored the program.
By Kaitlyn Byrne
MSU Ag Communications
MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Mississippi State University faculty take their knowledge and expertise around the world as they conduct research and teach through the Fulbright Scholarship program.
Two of the program’s most enthusiastic supporters, Phyllis Miller and Stephen Cottrell, have each received three Fulbright scholarships.
MSU apparel, textiles and merchandising professor Phyllis Miller has traveled to Bulgaria, India, and — most recently — Mauritius, a small island nation in the Indian Ocean, just east of Madagascar.
MISSISSIPPI STATE – The program teaches science, teamwork and observation skills, but to the participating students, Code SSDD is just fun.
Officially known as Science Sleuths and Digital Detectives, Code SSDD is offered by the Mississippi State University 4-H program through a grant from the National 4-H Council. Linda Mitchell, Extension professor, created and presents the program.
PURVIS -- Teachers interested in learning more about conservation education can register for the 50th annual Teachers Conservation Workshop, to be held twice this summer.
Instructors at the six-day event include foresters from the Mississippi State University Extension Service, Mississippi Forestry Commission, private industry and consulting firms, as well as biologists, historians and landowners. The workshop will be in Booneville at Northeast Mississippi Community College June 2-7 and in Ellisville at Jones County Junior College June 16-21.