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Feature Story from 2015

Mississippi beekeepers can post a "Bee Aware" flag, such as this one flying in a bee yard in Monroe County, Mississippi, to raise awareness of pollinators in the area. (Photo by MSU Extension Service/Reid Nevins)
June 17, 2015 - Filed Under: Beekeeping, Insects

STARKVILLE, Miss. -- Pitting farmers against beekeepers does little to solve the problems facing pollinators.

Varroa mites -- such as this one attached to a honeybee -- transmit viruses, weaken bee health and factor prominently in the decline of bee populations. (Photo by USDA-ARS/Steve Ausmus)
June 17, 2015 - Filed Under: Beekeeping, Insects

STARKVILLE, Miss. -- A lifelong beekeeper and Mississippi State University Extension Service apiculture specialist offers an unusual list of reasons for bee colony death.

“My top three reasons for bee colony death are Varroa mites, Varroa mites and Varroa mites,” said bee expert Jeff Harris. “This is my sarcastic response to the heavy emphasis in the press on the effects of insecticides and other pesticides on honey bees.

June 19, 2015 - Filed Under: Agriculture

STARKVILLE, Miss. -- A Mississippi State University College of Veterinary Medicine student has won an award for his communication skills.

June 19, 2015 - Filed Under: About Extension

STARKVILLE, Miss. -- Fifteen communication professionals at Mississippi State University won national awards June 8-11 at the annual conference of the Association for Communication Excellence.

Bob Ratliff, marketing and communications coordinator for the MSU Extension Service Center for Government and Community Development, won an Award of Excellence for writing. Ratliff began his writing career in 1975 and has worked for the MSU Extension Service and the Progressive Farmer Radio Network.

Photo of the book.
June 19, 2015 - Filed Under: Fisheries, Wildlife, Urban and Backyard Wildlife

RAYMOND, Miss. -- Several Mississippi State University scientists and their colleagues recently won top honors in a national competition for providing research-based information on fish and wildlife management to the public.

The Association of Natural Resource Extension Professionals awarded the 2015 Gold Award in the Outstanding Educational Materials Category for long publications to contributors of a new fisheries and wildlife management handbook, “Fish and Wildlife Management: A Handbook for Mississippi Landowners.”

Andrew Kouba, the new head of the Mississippi State University Department of Wildlife, Fisheries and Aquaculture, holds a slender loris. (File photo)
June 22, 2015 - Filed Under: Wildlife

STARKVILLE, Miss. -- Andrew J. Kouba, director of conservation and research at the Memphis Zoo, is the new head of the Mississippi State University Department of Wildlife, Fisheries and Aquaculture.

Kouba will begin serving Aug. 16 as head of the academic, research and extension unit of the university’s College of Forest Resources.

Pets left inside vehicles, especially on hot summer days, can suffer heat exhaustion and heatstroke. (Staged photo by MSU Ag Communications/Kat Lawrence)
June 23, 2015 - Filed Under: Community, Family, Pets

STARKVILLE, Miss. -- Summers are no laughing matter here in Mississippi, especially for those wearing fur coats.

Dr. Brittany Thames, assistant clinical professor in the Department of Clinical Sciences with the Mississippi State University College of Veterinary Medicine, said dogs and cats are vulnerable to heat, but dogs are more prone to overheating, heat exhaustion and heatstroke.

Setting off fireworks over a lake or pond away from houses decreases the risk of fires. (Photo by MSU Ag Communications/Kevin Hudson)
June 25, 2015 - Filed Under: Community, Family

STARKVILLE, Miss. -- The color red is a Fourth of July trademark, but sometimes it represents danger.

There are more fires reported on Independence Day than any other day of the year. Fireworks account for two out of every five of these fires. Injury rates are highest among 15- to 24-year-olds and second highest among 10-year-olds, according to the National Fire Protection Association.

In Mississippi, children as young as 12 can buy fireworks. State law prohibits cherry bombs, tubular salutes, repeating bombs, aerial bombs and torpedoes.

Mississippi State University graduate student Chelsie Darnell of Union City, Tennessee, gently knocks thrips from soybean plants to her collection tray in a Sunflower County, Mississippi, field on June 3, 2015. (Photo by MSU Ag Communications/Linda Breazeale)
June 29, 2015 - Filed Under: Insects-Crop Pests, Insects

INDIANOLA, Miss. -- Seed treatments have minimized thrips damage for the last decade, but farmers and entomologists fear some pesticides may be losing their punch in protecting cotton.

Scientists at Mississippi State University and other universities across the Midsouth have been aggressively exploring options for controlling thrips damage in cotton.

Angus Catchot, an entomologist with the MSU Extension Service, said the use of foliar treatments for thrips in cotton has grown steadily in recent years.

June 29, 2015 - Filed Under: Livestock, Beef

STARKVILLE, Miss. -- A Mississippi State University professor is the new executive director of the Beef Improvement Federation.

June 29, 2015 - Filed Under: Farming, Agricultural Economics

GOODMAN, Miss. -- Farmers and producers can learn about the relationship between risk management and insurance during a July 17 field day at the Alliance for Sustainable Agricultural Production Farm near Goodman.

Participants also will receive training in legal and contractual issues. The National Center for Appropriate Technology Gulf States Office and the University of Mississippi Transactional Law Clinic will team up to deliver these sessions.

June 30, 2015 - Filed Under: Crops, Irrigation, Technology

STONEVILLE, Miss. -- Row crop producers who irrigate their crops can learn the benefits of soil moisture sensors during two separate field days planned for July and August.

Jason Krutz, an irrigation specialist with Mississippi State University, said farmers can learn about the advantages of using soil moisture sensors to determine when to irrigate.

Participants also can see the devices in action. Product demonstrations by manufacturers and distributors will showcase types of sensors, features and costs.

While in the Netherlands, Mississippi State University assistant professor Susan Seal, second from left, participated in a tour of organic farms. She saw a variety of technologies and marketing methods for small organic farms that Mississippi producers could adopt. (Submitted Photo by Marijn Prins)
July 2, 2015 - Filed Under: Agriculture, About Extension

STARKVILLE, Miss. -- When university personnel visit another country, the purpose is often to teach, but a visit to the Netherlands allowed some Mississippi State University faculty to learn.

July 2, 2015 - Filed Under: Children and Parenting

SUMMIT, Miss. -- A team of early childhood specialists with the Early Years Network’s Special Needs program will conduct a free Developmental Screening Day on July 15 in Pike County.

The screenings will take place from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the Southwest Mississippi Community College Simmons Building, located at 100 College Drive in Summit.

Children 6 months to 5 years will be checked for age-specific physical and educational milestones at no cost to parents.

July 2, 2015 - Filed Under: Children and Parenting

INDIANOLA, Miss. -- A team of early childhood specialists with the Early Years Network’s Special Needs program will conduct a free Developmental Screening Day on July 14 in Sunflower County.

The screenings will take place from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the Delta Center, located at 411 Catchings St. in Indianola.

Children 6 months to 5 years will be checked for age-specific physical and educational milestones at no cost to parents.

July 6, 2015 - Filed Under: Crops, Farming

STARKVILLE, Miss. -- A Seed Technology Short Course with the theme “Storing for Quality” is scheduled for Aug. 4-5 at the Bost Extension Center at Mississippi State University.

The MSU Extension Service designed the short course for seed industry professionals. University experts will address seed storage topics such as moisture, drying, aeration, harvest practices, postharvest management and maintaining quality in storage.

July 6, 2015 - Filed Under: Agriculture, Farming, Natural Resources

BILOXI, Miss. -- Mississippians interested in working with the state’s natural resources can get in-depth education and certification through an 8-week course.

The Mississippi State University Extension Service and Mississippi-Alabama Sea Grant Consortium will host the Coastal Mississippi Master Naturalist Program from Sept. 3 to Oct. 21.

Participants will meet once a week from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. to learn basic principles of natural resource ecology and management through classroom instruction, field activities and team exercises.

Tender, a horse owned by Henry Wilson of Columbus, is one of the first patients to benefit from a new operating procedure developed by veterinary professors at the Mississippi State University College of Veterinary Medicine. The method minimizes surgical stress and complications. (Photo by MSU College of Veterinary Medicine/Tom Thompson)
July 6, 2015 - Filed Under: Animal Health, Community

By Karen Templeton
MSU College of Veterinary Medicine

STARKVILLE, Miss. -- When Henry Wilson of Columbus noticed the eye of his beloved horse, Tender, was changing color, he knew something was wrong and did not waste any time getting her to a veterinarian.

“Tender has ridden in a lot of shows and parades and, of course, relies a lot on her good vision,” Wilson said. “In addition to the eye discoloration, she was squinting a lot, and there was discharge around one of her eyes.”

July 7, 2015 - Filed Under: Rural Water Association, Water Quality

HOLLY SPRINGS, Miss. -- Homeowners in small communities and rural areas without public water supplies can learn how to better manage, operate and protect their private wells.

The “Water Quality and Private Wells” workshop will be July 28 from 6 to 9 p.m. The program is available as an online webinar or in person at the Marshall County Extension office in Holly Springs.

July 7, 2015 - Filed Under: Rice

STONEVILLE, Miss. -- Rice growers and consultants will be able to cross two meetings off their lists on one day: July 30.

Mississippi State University and the Mississippi Farm Bureau Federation will sponsor a summer meeting and field day at the MSU Delta Research and Extension Center in Stoneville. The Farm Bureau summer rice grower meeting will begin with lunch at noon in the Capps Center, followed by a program at 1 p.m. The Rice Field Day will begin at 3:30 p.m. with a field tour of research plots.

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