Feature Story from 2014
LOUISVILLE – Poultry growers are reeling from the April 28 tornadoes that caused tremendous damage on farms and the loss of more than a million birds in four Mississippi counties.
The Mississippi Board of Animal Health reported that 1,044,800 birds died from the tornadoes or subsequent power outages. Winston, Wayne, Newton and Scott counties reported 58 houses with major damage and 17 houses with minor damage.
PICAYUNE -- When Navy Petty Officer First Class Andrew Ribar realized the Mississippi State University Crosby Arboretum could use a little help, he mustered all hands on deck.
Ribar, a military community outreach coordinator for the U.S. Navy’s Fleet Survey Team located at NASA’s John C. Stennis Space Center near Bay St. Louis, brought about 20 Navy chiefs and first class petty officers to work on the arboretum in Picayune on May 8.
MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Two Mississippi State University administrators are helping shape natural resources education and policy in a recently released national report.
Rubin Shmulsky, head of Sustainable Bioproducts, and Bruce Leopold, executive director of the Center for Resolving Human-Wildlife Conflicts were part of a team of 35 scientists who authored “Science, Education, and Outreach Roadmap for Natural Resources.”
MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Virginia Mathews enjoys horses so much that she gladly took on a full-time job to allow her to keep them.
Mathews, known as Gigi to her friends and family, is a Yazoo County woman who owns Mathews Farms in Benton with her husband, Hugh Leigh Mathews III. She now cares for 11 horses and teaches riding lessons, but at one time she had as many as 76 mares.
“One time I added up all the time I spent working with the horses and figured I was making 2 cents an hour,” Mathews said. “I went to work full time with the U.S. Postal Service to support my habit.”
MISSISSIPPI STATE -- An academic advisor with the Mississippi State University College of Veterinary Medicine has received two awards for excellence in student advising.
Julie “Missy” Hadaway, admissions and student affairs coordinator, has been awarded the 2014 Irvin Atly Jefcoat Excellence in Advising award at MSU. She was also selected for an Outstanding Advising Certificate of Merit in the primary advising role category by the National Academic Advising Association.
MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Mississippi State University wildlife and fisheries major Charles Parker hooked the $10,000 first place prize during MSU's Office of Entrepreneurship and Technology Transfer Entrepreneurship Week for his fishing gear business.
Parker acquired Rod Sox, a fishing rod protector company, in May 2013 after deciding he wanted to follow in his father’s footsteps and work in the fishing tackle industry.
MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Belt buckles and saddles are coveted in the barrel-racing world, and Mississippi is home to a prestigious trophy for the first time this year.
The Better Barrel Racing Association has named Bricklee Miller, manager of the Mississippi Horse Park at Mississippi State University, as the National Producer of the Year for 2013. The award recognizes Miller’s efforts to produce the Horse Poor Barrel Racing event in conjunction with the Better Barrel Racing Association Eastern Regional Tour Finale last October.
MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Mississippi State University researchers were part of the team that learned that giant and red pandas have different digestive microbes, a finding with important implications for conservation efforts and captive animal rearing.
Gastrointestinal diseases are the major cause of mortality in wild and captive pandas, but little is known about their digestive process.
Mississippi State, Miss. -- A Mississippi State University College of Veterinary Medicine student has won an award for her communication skills.
Hillary May of West Virginia has been selected as the 2014 Bayer Excellence in Communication Award winner for MSU.
LOUISVILLE -- Disaster assessment teams with the Mississippi State University Extension Service are providing “boots on the ground” as agricultural landowners begin the process of recovering from the April 28 storms.
“These trained teams can assess immediate and long-term needs,” said Elmo Collum, a disaster response coordinator with the MSU Extension Service. “They may discover issues that need to be addressed immediately, such as an injured animal, or they may see things that will take weeks of effort, such as fence repair.”
JACKSON – For Extension agents, education is more than the exchange of information. It’s personal. It is a connection to their students and a sense of responsibility for the outcomes.
It’s been that way since 1914, when the Cooperative Extension Service was established by the Smith-Lever Act. In the past 100 years, the organization, now known in the state as the Mississippi State University Extension Service, has delivered research-based information to Mississippians that helped them raise crops, livestock and families.
BEAUMONT – Gardeners can learn techniques and tips for producing vegetables and fruits during the annual field day at the Mississippi State University Beaumont Horticulture Unit on July 12.
The Vegetable Field Day is open to professional growers and others interested in growing their own food.
Experts with the MSU Extension Service, Mississippi Agricultural and Forestry Experiment Station and Auburn University will discuss a variety of topics, from pest management for small producers to the best grape varieties for the South.
MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Fields that appear lush and green from the highway may be deceiving: Plant roots could be struggling to grow and find resources because of underground soil compaction.
Compacted soil has usually been compressed when equipment travels over it, forming a dense layer somewhere below the surface. The depth of this layer and its thickness depend on a variety of factors, including soil texture, moisture, organic matter and past use.
STONEVILLE -- Mississippi rice producers may need to intensify their treatment of the most important late-season pest in rice based on new recommendations from researchers at the Delta Research and Extension Center.
Jeff Gore is a Mississippi State University Extension Service entomologist at the Stoneville station who conducts research with the Mississippi Agricultural and Forestry Experiment Station. He said past recommendations for rice stink bug treatment were based on a time frame rather than a growth stage.
MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Mississippi State University faculty member Rita W. Green will serve another year on a key policymaking board for the U.S. Department of Agriculture.
KOSCIUSKO -- Because it happens out of sight, soil compaction is a problem that can be hard to recognize and even harder to fix, but it takes a financial toll when ignored.
Compacted soil has a dense layer somewhere below the surface where individual soil particles are pressed together more tightly than normal. In many cases, roots are unable to penetrate the compacted layer of soil, limiting plants’ access to moisture and nutrients.
STONEVILLE – Jennifer Corbin is one of a kind.
A Mississippi State University research associate at the Delta Research and Extension Center, Corbin is the only female rice researcher at the Stoneville center and the most senior on her project.
In fact, she’s the station’s only female research associate in field crops.
Ag research isn’t even a field she ever imagined she would choose for her career.
MISSISSIPPI STATE -- The eyes of the barrel-racing nation will turn to the Mississippi Horse Park in Starkville on Oct. 17.
The Mississippi State University facility will host a qualifying event for The American, a major national rodeo. Parts of the qualifier will be broadcast nationally on RFD-TV and live-streamed over the Internet. This competition is on the first of a three-day event that also will include the Better Barrel Racing Eastern Regional Finals and Horse Poor Barrel Races.
MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Terence Norwood understands that “Making the Best Better” starts with individuals who are determined to make a difference.
That’s why he worked to radically change the voting process at the 4-H State Club Congress, an annual event that brings the state’s top 4-H’ers to the Mississippi State University campus for three days of workshops, competitions, performances and elections.
RIDGELAND -- Two Mississippi State University apparel, textiles, and merchandising students recently took home honors from the 2014 Project Rezway fashion show in Ridgeland.
Laura Richardson, a sophomore from Madison, won best in show and first place in the high fashion category. Jesse Newton, a sophomore from Eupora, won first place in evening couture.
The annual fashion show focuses on the use of recycled materials. Richardson and Newton based their designs on materials donated by their sponsor for the event, Southwire Company.