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Feature Story from 2015

March 19, 2015 - Filed Under: Disaster Preparedness

STARKVILLE, Miss. -- A Mississippi State University youth initiative is joining an elite group of programs that focuses on emergency and disaster preparedness in communities across the nation.

Jesse and Anne McDonald regularly shop at the Starkville Community Market, enjoying the social aspects of the visit, as well as the fresh fruit and vegetables. On March 17, 2015, Anne washed tomatoes, while Jesse chopped a cucumber at their home in Starkville, Mississippi. (Photo by MSU Ag Communications/Kevin Hudson)
March 20, 2015 - Filed Under: Farmers Markets

STARKVILLE, Miss. -- Farmers markets offer at least two features that keep customers happy and coming back for more: fresh, local products and real-life social interaction.

Jesse McDonald and his wife, Anne, can be seen almost every Saturday morning during the summer at the Starkville Community Market in downtown Starkville. He said the produce just tastes better than what he can get in traditional grocery stores.

March 20, 2015 - Filed Under: Agriculture, Crops, Commercial Horticulture, Fruit, Livestock, Beekeeping, Forestry

BILOXI, Miss. -- Mississippi State University experts met with agricultural producers and industry professionals recently to exchange ideas about educational programming and research for 2015.

About 100 participants attended the annual Coastal Research and Extension Center Commodity Advisory Council meeting to discuss priorities with MSU Extension Service and Mississippi Agricultural and Forestry Experiment Station specialists, researchers and agents.

March 26, 2015 - Filed Under: Food, Catfish

STARKVILLE, Miss. -- Frozen catfish fillets have joined Edam cheese, ice cream, muscadine juice, peanuts, beef and more in the lineup of local products for sale in the Mississippi State University Cheese Store.

Starting March 30, shoppers can buy 4-pound boxes of frozen, U.S. farm-raised catfish in the cheese outlet, also known as the MAFES Sales Store, operated by the Mississippi Agricultural and Forestry Experiment Station. Catfish will be sold in the popular 2- to 3-ounce fillets at a price in line with the current market.

More than 50 junior high and high school students across the state participated in the Mississippi FFA/4-H State Land Judging Contest March 24, 2015. The competition was held at the Mississippi State University Coastal Plain Experiment Station in Newton, Miss. (Photo by MSU Ag Communications/Kevin Hudson)
March 27, 2015 - Filed Under: Soils, Soil Health

NEWTON, Miss. -- More than 50 junior high and high school students gathered inside a freshly dug pit at the Mississippi State University Coastal Plain Branch Experiment Station as part of an educational competition to teach them the roles that soil plays in farming and construction.

Crape myrtles that are pruned each year at the same spot develop unsightly, knobby branch ends. This practice is known as "crape murder." (Photo by MSU Ag Communications/Kat Lawrence)
March 27, 2015 - Filed Under: Lawn and Garden

STARKVILLE, Miss. -- Efforts to prevent people from committing “crape murder” are reducing the number of unsightly, knobby-knuckled branch ends but may leave people wondering how to correctly shape crape myrtles.

Gary Bachman, a horticulturist with the Mississippi State University Extension Service and Mississippi Agricultural and Forestry Experiment Station, said many crape myrtles are pruned back to the same spot every year. This causes the cut ends to swell into a fist-like shape. Bachman works from the MSU Coastal Research and Extension Center in Biloxi.

March 27, 2015 - Filed Under: Livestock, Beef

MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Beef cattle producers should make plans to spend the day on campus for the Mississippi State University Beef Unit Field Day.

The field day will be from 9 a.m. until noon on May 2. Lunch will be served at the conclusion of the field day. The Beef Unit is located at the H.H. Leveck Animal Research Center, often called South Farm.

March 27, 2015 - Filed Under: Lawn and Garden

STARKVILLE, MISS. -- The Mississippi State University Horticulture Club invites garden enthusiasts to join them at their spring plant sale.

The event will be from 8 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. April 10 and from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. April 11 at the MSU Veterans Memorial Rose Garden. The garden is located at the Highway 182 entrance to the R. Rodney Foil Plant Science Research Facility.

Herbs, vegetables, bedding, plants, perennials, succulents, blueberries and landscape plants are among the items that will be sold by the horticulture club members.

March 31, 2015 - Filed Under: About Extension, Health

STARKVILLE, Miss. -- A Mississippi State University Extension Service health specialist’s expertise in the battle against chronic disease has put him in the national spotlight.

Horticulturist Rick Darke signs copies of his latest book for audience members after his presentation on balancing beauty and function in the home landscape March 28, 2015, in Picayune, Mississippi. Darke was the 2015 Mississippi State University Crosby Arboretum Lecture Series speaker. (Photo by MSU Ag Communications/Susan Collins-Smith)
April 1, 2015 - Filed Under: Lawn and Garden, Landscape Architecture

PICAYUNE, Miss. -- Beauty and biodiversity can coexist in the landscape, and it is not that hard to accomplish.

Rick Darke, a horticulturist, published author, lecturer and photographer, discussed balancing beauty and function in the home landscape with an emphasis on conservation during the Mississippi State University Crosby Arboretum’s Lecture Series March 28.

Darke offered ideas for transforming the home garden into a sanctuary for wildlife while also offering privacy and enjoyable spaces for the family.

Starkville resident Kathy Elmore, left, cuts a hole into a rootstock during a fruit-grafting workshop on March 26, 2015, at the Northeast Mississippi Research and Extension Center in Verona as Donna Miller of Starkville looks on. (Photo by MSU Ag Communications/Nathan Gregory)
April 1, 2015 - Filed Under: Fruit, Trees

VERONA, Miss. -- Six recent fruit tree grafting workshops across the state were in such high demand that the Mississippi State University Extension Service is already planning another series of training sessions for fruit growers.

Leon Eaton removes suckers from his heirloom Cherokee Purple tomato plants on March 28, 2015. Eaton grows tomatoes and other vegetables he grows hydroponically on his Mount Olive, Mississippi, farm and sells them at farmers markets. (Photo by MSU Ag Communications/Susan Collins-Smith)
April 2, 2015 - Filed Under: Farmers Markets

RAYMOND, Miss. -- A profitable sales outlet and a ready-made customer base make farmers markets the ideal channels for small-scale producers to sell their crops.

“Price and demand both drive the success of farmers markets,” said Rick Snyder, vegetable specialist with the Mississippi State University Extension Service and researcher with the Mississippi Agricultural and Forestry Experiment Station in Crystal Springs. “Growers are able to cut out the wholesale middleman and sell their fresh produce to the consumer at retail prices.

Children who attend the annual Mississippi State University College of Veterinary Medicine Open House get many opportunities to participate in hands-on activities and demonstrations. (Photo by MSU College of Veterinary Medicine/Tom Thompson)
April 2, 2015 - Filed Under: Agriculture, Animal Health, Community

STARKVILLE, Miss. -- The Mississippi State University College of Veterinary Medicine invites visitors of all ages to attend its 30th annual Open House on April 10 and 11.

The college will open its doors from 9 a.m. until 2 p.m. for the event at the Wise Center, located on the south side of campus off Spring Street. The April 10 program is for preregistered school groups, while the entire community is welcome to attend on April 11. To register a school group, please call Katie Timmerman at 662-325-0465.

Crape myrtle bark scale were found in Mississippi in March. This invasive insect, photographed in Ocean Springs, Mississippi, on March 15, 2015, attacks beautiful and normally low-maintenance crape myrtles. (Photo by MSU Extension Service/Gary Bachman)
April 2, 2015 - Filed Under: Lawn and Garden, Insects-Ornamental Plants, Insects-Pests, Landscape Architecture, Trees

OCEAN SPRINGS, Miss. -- A new insect pest found in Mississippi on March 15 could take away the crape myrtle’s status as a beautiful and low-maintenance landscape tree.

Crape myrtle bark scale, or CMBS, is an invasive insect that came to the United States from China. It was first found in Texas in 2004 and has since spread east to Shreveport and Houma, Louisiana; Little Rock, Arkansas; and Germantown, Tennessee. Ocean Springs joined this list when the insect was found on the coast in Jackson County.

April 6, 2015 - Filed Under: Farming, Food

GOODMAN, Miss. -- Small-scale producers and school food service representatives can learn how to get locally grown fruits and vegetables into lunchrooms during an April 17 field day at the Alliance for Sustainable Agricultural Production Farm near Goodman.

The Mississippi Department of Agriculture and Commerce will provide an overview of the Farm to School program and options for selling and buying through the program. Other topics will include school purchasing procedures, farm food safety requirements and school food service needs and requirements.

Dr. Robin Fontenot, assistant clinical professor at the Mississippi State University College of Veterinary Medicine, administers shock-wave therapy to an equine patient to help resolve back pain issues. (Photo by MSU College of Veterinary Medicine/Tom Thompson)
April 7, 2015 - Filed Under: Animal Health, Equine

By Jenny Burns
MSU College of Veterinary Medicine

STARKVILLE, Miss. -- Horse owners across the Southeast can benefit from a new service offered by the Mississippi State University College of Veterinary Medicine.

The technology known as “extracorporeal,” or outside of the body, shock-wave therapy has been available at the college since December 2014. This noninvasive treatment can stimulate healing in both new and old injuries to horses.

These two preschoolers play their first musical instruments in the Child Development and Family Studies Center at Mississippi State University. (School of Human Sciences file photo/Alicia Barnes)
April 7, 2015 - Filed Under: Family, Children and Parenting

April 12-18:

STARKVILLE, Miss. -- Music Monday will kick off the Week of the Young Child, April 12-18.

Families and child care centers across the nation will celebrate this special week through music, food, art and sharing. The National Association for the Education of Young Children established the annual celebration of early learning.

Louise Davis, director of the Early Years Network at Mississippi State University, identified the social-emotional connections made through music.

The Starkville Community Market is an example of many farmers markets in the state that are located in downtown areas. These markets help increase foot traffic in surrounding stores and restaurants while supporting local producers and merchants. (File photo by MSU Ag Communications/Kevin Hudson)
April 8, 2015 - Filed Under: Farmers Markets

STARKVILLE, Miss. -- Farmers markets present obvious benefits for both customers and growers, but the operations also provide an avenue for rural and urban community development.

In April 2010, there were 52 known farmers markets in Mississippi. Four years later, there were 84 -- an indication that more local governments and organizers are realizing the opportunities markets provide for growth.

Dr. Lanny Pace (left), a laboratory system director for the Mississippi State University College of Medicine, receives the Advocate for Animal Agriculture Award along with Dr. Tony M. Forshey, Ohio state veterinarian. The award was presented by the National Institute for Animal Agriculture's chief operating officer, Katie Ambrose. (Submitted photo)
April 8, 2015 - Filed Under: Agriculture

STARKVILLE, Miss. -- A Mississippi State University College of Veterinary Medicine laboratory system director recently received the National Institute for Animal Agriculture’s Advocate for Animal Agriculture Award.

April 13, 2015 - Filed Under: Farming, Food

STARKVILLE, Miss. -- Individuals interested in applying for grant funds to organize farmers markets and other direct-to-consumer outlets for local foods are invited to attend a May 11 workshop in Starkville.

The Mississippi State University Extension Service and the Southern Rural Development Center will host the Local Foods Grant Writing Workshop to help potential grant applicants understand, develop and submit federal grant requests through the Farmers Market and Local Food Promotion Program.

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