Feature Story from 2014
MISSISSIPPI STATE -- A biochemist with 37 years of experience has been named head of Mississippi State University’s Department of Biochemistry, Molecular Biology, Entomology and Plant Pathology.
MISSISSIPPI STATE -- People like graduate student Alyssa Barrett are turning the Mississippi State University goal of international outreach into reality.
Barrett, a master’s student in agricultural and Extension education from Wiggins, went to the West African nation of Ghana in March to collect data for her thesis, which is examining the effectiveness of an agricultural education program. In 2013, she traveled to Nigeria to teach the same agricultural program.
MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Mississippi producers planted more of the state’s major row crops than they planned in March, and the majority of them are in good condition.
Every winter, Mississippi producers estimate how many acres they will plant of each crop they intend to grow. The U.S. Department of Agriculture tabulates these in March and issues the planting intentions report. On June 30, USDA released actual planted acre figures for the state.
MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Winning first place at a state-level competition earned senior-level Mississippi 4-H’ers a unique, four-day trip across the state.
From July 15–18, 60 young people will tour the state in the 2014 4-H Cooperative Business Leadership Conference.
RAYMOND -- Fruit and vegetable growers can learn how to grow and sell produce for farmers markets during an upcoming short course.
Micro Farming: Growing for Farmers Markets will be held Aug. 27 and 28 in Raymond.
MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Many children get sick when the school year starts up, and germs may be lurking in an unexpected place: the lunch box.
Natasha Haynes, a family and consumer sciences agent for the Mississippi State University Extension Service in Rankin County, said lunch boxes and bags can harbor bacteria.
“Kids don’t always wash their hands before handling their lunch boxes and food,” Haynes said. “Since most lunches include finger foods, it’s easy to see how germs and bacteria can make kids sick.”
CORINTH -- Despite jokingly being called her father’s “second son” because of her willingness to help with chores while growing up on her family’s farm, Sandy Coleman Mitchell has proven that women make valuable contributions to the agricultural industry.
STONEVILLE -- Mississippi State University increased its support of the state’s rice industry in the state with the recent appointment of Ed Redoña as rice breeder at the Delta Research and Extension Center.
STONEVILLE -- Growers and consultants are invited to the Mississippi State University Delta Research and Extension Center Aug. 13 for a look at late-season issues affecting the state’s row crop acreage.
The half-day field day begins with registration and exhibits at 11 a.m., followed by lunch at noon and field tours that start at 1 p.m. Visitors will make several stops in the research station fields to examine current crop conditions and hear reports and information from MSU researchers and Extension Service specialists.
MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Teachers, students and parents need to be on the same page when disasters happen during school hours.
Ryan Akers, assistant Extension professor of community preparation and disaster management at Mississippi State University, said basic plans can make a huge difference for everyone involved when emergencies occur.
“Emergency plans are becoming more important to schools, and not just the traditional fire and tornado drills,” Akers said. “Schools are gathering supplies and working on extensive communication plans to help everyone involved.”
STARKVILLE -- Land owners and property managers can get a firsthand look at the latest land management techniques during a special tour organized by the Mississippi State University Extension Service.
The Golden Triangle Wildlife Management Tour will be Aug. 7 in Clayton Village at a property located on Highway 182 about 200 yards east of the MSU Golf Course. Signs will be posted along the highway. Registration begins at 4:30 p.m. Tours depart at 5:30 p.m. Water will be provided on the tour wagons.
July is National Ice Cream Month…
MISSISSIPPI STATE -- As temperatures increase, so does the production of Mississippi State University’s ice cream, especially in July, which is National Ice Cream Month.
David Hall, MSU’s dairy process production manager, said ice cream sales have been steadily rising in recent years.
“In 2012, we sold 9,000 gallons of ice cream,” Hall said. “That year we sold 67,000 cups compared to 44,500 cups in 2005.”
MISSISSIPPI STATE -- As students head back to the classroom, parents should remain aware of their children’s online behavior -- whether for school assignments or socializing.
Jamie Varner, an instructor with the Mississippi State University Extension Service Center for Technology Outreach, said parents should warn their children about digital dangers and take practical steps to help keep them safe.
MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Mississippi State University has released the results of the winter wheat variety trials to help farmers plan for fall and winter wheat planting.
The university’s Official Variety Trials program evaluates the performance of agricultural crops planted throughout the state.
Researchers planted 82 varieties of wheat this past fall at eight locations in Mississippi. Fourteen companies provided seed for the trials.
JACKSON -- Sneezing, itchy skin and swollen, watery eyes are hallmarks of spring and summer for some humans. But allergies can affect pets, too.
Dr. Juli Gunter, board-certified veterinary dermatology specialist and assistant professor in the Department of Clinical Sciences at the Mississippi State University College of Veterinary Medicine, said sensitivities to fleas and environmental elements, such as grass, tree and weed pollens and house dust mites, are the most common allergies in dogs and cats.
PONTOTOC -- Sweet potato growers, crop consultants and other agricultural professionals can learn about current research and issues at a field day Aug. 20.
Researchers and specialists with Mississippi State University’s Extension Service and the Mississippi Agricultural and Forestry Experiment Station will host the event at the Pontotoc Ridge-Flatwoods Branch Experiment Station, located at 8320 Highway 15 South.
MISSISSIPPI STATE -- As early corn comes to market in July, growers are reminded that timing counts for a lot when it comes to planting corn. That’s why Mississippi State University scientists are researching the effects of planting date, plant population and hybrid selection on field corn yields.
MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Parents aren’t the only ones who struggle with time management anymore; school children are finding it more difficult to squeeze in all the things they want to do each day.
Larry Alexander, 4-H youth development specialist with the Mississippi State University Extension Service, said the beginning of the school year is a great time to make a time management plan.
MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Anyone interested in learning about the latest turfgrass management practices can attend the 2014 Mississippi State University Turfgrass and Ornamental Field Day to get access to industry experts.
The MSU Department of Plant and Soil Sciences will host the event in Starkville on Aug. 26.
In addition to five educational workshops led by the MSU Turfgrass Team, the field day will include a vendor expo with field demonstrations and opportunities for guests to have one-on-one discussions with experts at the MSU Extension Service booth.