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Feature Story from 2015

April 13, 2015 - Filed Under: Vegetable Gardens

STARKVILLE, Miss. -- Residents of eight northeast Mississippi counties can test their gardening skills while learning about new, disease-resistant tomato varieties this spring.

The Mississippi State University Extension Service is holding “Tomato Battles” in Chickasaw, Itawamba, Lowndes, Marshall, Oktibbeha, Prentiss, Union and Webster counties. Scott Cagle, Chickasaw County coordinator for the MSU Extension Service, said the competitions are designed to encourage experimentation with new tomato varieties.

April 14, 2015 - Filed Under: Youth Livestock, About Extension, Beef

STARKVILLE, Miss. -- Cobie Rutherford, the new beef cattle associate with the Mississippi State University Extension Service, plans to deliver educational programs to producers and students across the state.

Cassie Brunson, coordinator of the Mississippi State University Extension Service Therapeutic Riding and Activity Center, runs beside Little Sam, led by Paige Davis Linley, 10, a participant in the first Therapeutic Riding Expo, held Tuesday night (April 14) at the Mississippi Horse Park near Starkville, Miss. (Photo by MSU Public Affairs/Megan Bean)
April 15, 2015 - Filed Under: Youth Projects, Equine, Family

STARKVILLE, Miss. -- When all else fails, try using horses.

Participants in Mississippi State University’s first Therapeutic Riding Expo on April 14 had this advice for anyone who would listen: Horses can help with physical, mental, emotional and communication skills, even when progress from other therapies has slowed or ended. The benefits are not limited to riders with special needs.

H.E. Bakhtiyar Gulyamov, left, speaks during a meeting with Bill Herndon, associate vice president of the Mississippi State University Division of Agriculture, Forestry and Veterinary Medicine April 15, 2015. Gulyamov is Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the Republic of Uzbekistan to the United States. (Photo by MSU Extension Service/Kat Lawrence)
April 16, 2015 - Filed Under: Agriculture

MISSISSIPPI STATE, Miss. -- The Mississippi State University campus was one of several stops in the Magnolia State for the ambassador of Uzbekistan to the United States Wednesday as leaders from each nation seek to strengthen their partnership.

Randy Rousseau, a Mississippi State University Extension forestry professor in the Forest and Wildlife Research Center, examines pine seedlings in an MSU greenhouse Feb. 18, 2015, in Starkville, Mississippi. He administers a program designed to encourage landowners to invest in better seedlings so they can see for themselves that the results are worth the much higher initial cost. (Photo by MSU Ag Communications/Kat Lawrence)
April 16, 2015 - Filed Under: Environment, Forestry, Timber Harvest

By Bonnie Coblentz
MSU Ag Communications

STARKVILLE, Miss. -- A forest geneticist at Mississippi State University is encouraging landowners to invest in better seedlings, and he’s giving them free trees so they can see for themselves that the results are worth the much higher initial cost.

Horses, riders and volunteers involved in the Mississippi State University therapeutic riding program, such as these pictured in 2014, will take part in performances at 6 p.m. April 14 at the Mississippi Horse Park. (MSU Ag Communication file photo)
April 18, 2015 - Filed Under: Youth Projects, Equine, Equine Assisted Therapy Programs

STARKVILLE, Miss. -- About 40 riders involved in Mississippi State University’s therapeutic riding program will exhibit their skills in a special event at 6 p.m. April 14.

Cassie Brunson, coordinator of the MSU Extension Service Therapeutic Riding and Activity Center, is planning this first-ever exhibition to showcase riders and volunteers. The program will take place south of Starkville at the Mississippi Horse Park, located at 869 East Poorhouse Road.

April 20, 2015 - Filed Under: Youth Livestock

MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Young people and adult coaches interested in honing their livestock judging skills have several opportunities at upcoming Mississippi State University camps.

The MSU Department of Animal and Dairy Sciences will hold two residential camps and two half-day camps in May and June.

Participants will judge sheep, meat goats, hogs and beef cattle, and they will learn to develop oral reasoning skills.

Keenan Watkins (left) and J.D. Rodgers check tree seedlings they planted in the forestry course offered by the Mississippi State University Extension Service at the Chickasaw County Regional Correctional Facility near Houston, Mississippi. This photo was taken on April 20, 2015. (Photo by MSU Ag Communications/Linda Breazeale)
April 22, 2015 - Filed Under: Community

HOUSTON, Miss. -- Warden Brand Huffman wants his inmates to learn a lesson or two while they are spending time in the Chickasaw County Regional Correctional Facility.

Beyond learning not to commit more crimes when released, Huffman wants them to discover ways to make positive contributions to their future communities. This goal drew him to programs offered by the Mississippi State University Extension Service.

“The people who are locked up are eventually going back into communities,” Huffman said. “We want to give them something they can use when they get out.”

April 22, 2015 - Filed Under: About Extension

STARKVILLE, Miss. -- The Mississippi State University Extension Service has appointed Steve Martin as its interim associate director for agriculture and natural resources.

April 22, 2015 - Filed Under: About Extension

STARKVILLE, Miss. -- After decades of service to Mississippi State University, a long-time scientist and administrator is retiring.

Joe Street, associate director for agriculture and natural resources with the MSU Extension Service, will retire April 30.

Kay Whittington, director of the Mississippi Department of Environmental Quality Office of Land and Water Resources, speaks to Mississippi State University faculty and administrators during MDEQ's visit to MSU Monday, April 20, 2015. (Photo by MSU Ag Communications/Kat Lawrence)
April 23, 2015 - Filed Under: Agriculture, Environment

MISSISSIPPI STATE, Miss. -- Mississippi State University project updates and future programs to address environmental issues were the focus of a campus visit by officials from the Mississippi Department of Environmental Quality (MDEQ).

Most fire ants found in Mississippi are a hybrid between the red imported fire ant, pictured here, and the black imported fire ant. (Photo by Mississippi Entomological Museum/Joe A. MacGown)
April 24, 2015 - Filed Under: Fire Ants

STARKVILLE, Miss. -- Tell Mississippians that fire ants have completely invaded the state, and they’ll probably shrug and say they already know that. Tell them the pain actually comes from a sting rather than a bite, and they’ll say it still hurts. But tell them how to get rid of the nasty critters, and they’re all ears.

The Mississippi State University Extension Service is organizing efforts to help residents Bite Back against fire ants. The solution is a simple two-part attack, but success comes in the long-term follow-through.

April 24, 2015 - Filed Under: STEM – Science Technology Engineering and Math

MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Children with an interest in robots, snow and problem-solving are invited to a robotics camp at Mississippi State University.

The Cloverbud Robotics camp, a program of the MSU Extension Service and 4-H Robotics, is for students from age 5 to 8. The camp will be July 6-8 from 8 a.m. to noon each day at the Bost Conference Center.

Andy Berry
April 28, 2015 - Filed Under: Beef

STARKVILLE, Miss. -- Andy Berry of Magee has been selected to lead the Mississippi Cattlemen’s Association as the organization’s new executive vice president.

A 1998 graduate of Mississippi State University, Berry has been active in cattle programs since he began showing polled Herefords in the Lawrence County 4-H program. He was a charter member of the Mississippi Junior Cattlemen’s Association.

Alli George, a junior from Memphis, Tennessee, and Eventing Team vice president, competes with her horse, Belle of the Ball, in the show jumping phase of an eventing competition in Fairburn, Georgia, held April 4-5, 2015. (Submitted Photo)
April 28, 2015 - Filed Under: Equine

STARKVILLE, Miss. -- Working with horses is not uncommon for Mississippi State University students, but competing with them is.

The Eventing Team, or “Equestrian Triathlon,” is MSU’s newest equestrian club sport, founded in the fall of 2014. The introduction of the Eventing Team to MSU follows that of the introduction of the Equestrian Team in 2001.

Milder forms of depression in older Americans responds to creative activities such as knitting or gardening as well as by getting more involved in the community through volunteering. (Photo by iStock)
May 4, 2015 - Filed Under: Family, Health

May is Older Americans Month …

STARKVILLE, Miss. -- Older Americans may become depressed as they face the many challenges aging brings, but spotting the signs and being proactive can limit the illness’s influence.

This responsibility starts with the ability of family members or caretakers to recognize early signs of depression in the seniors they know.

May 4, 2015 - Filed Under: Natural Resources, Wildlife

GREENVILLE, Miss. -- Landowners and hunting clubs eager to earn extra income while improving land management for wildlife are invited to attend a Natural Resource Enterprises Business Workshop on June 4 in Greenville.

May 4, 2015 - Filed Under: Agriculture, Farming

GOODMAN, Miss. -- Small-scale producers can learn online marketing skills and techniques for profitable one-acre production during a series of field days at the Alliance for Sustainable Agricultural Production Farm near Goodman.

Many dogs spend time outside and often share their play areas with fire ants. When disturbed, the ants sting and deliver venom that can cause severe allergic reactions for some pets and children. (Photo by MSU Ag Communications/Susan Collins-Smith)
May 5, 2015 - Filed Under: Fire Ants

RAYMOND, Miss. -- Fire ants can be more than unwelcome guests in the home lawn; their stings can be dangerous for children and pets who share play areas with the pests.

Fire ant stings are characterized by sharp localized pain, swelling and intense itchiness that is just a short-lived nuisance for most. A raised red bump appears soon after the sting and soon turns into a sterile pustule that resembles a pimple. However, the ants’ venom can cause severe allergic reactions in some people and pets.

Take proper precautions, such as wearing a wide-brimmed hat and applying sunscreen, to protect skin from sun damage and help prevent skin cancer. (Photo by MSU Ag Communications/Kevin Hudson)
May 5, 2015 - Filed Under: Family, Health

May is Skin Cancer Awareness Month …

STARKVILLE, Miss. -- She thought the blemish that refused to heal was simply a persistent pimple.

Shelaine Pennington, a Mississippi State University Extension Service agent in Prentiss County, said the dermatologist looked at the spot on her chin and was relatively certain of the diagnosis, but performed a biopsy to be sure.

The doctor confirmed her diagnosis: basal cell carcinoma, the most common form of skin cancer.

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