Feature Story from 2023
What started out in 2012 as a small volunteer project to make two accessible gardens for use by residents of a Hattiesburg nursing home grew and multiplied until the group recently completed its 1,000th one. The Pine Belt Master Gardeners offer a service of making what are known as “salad tables” -- small, wooden-framed gardens raised about 3 feet off the ground. They make about 12-14 tables per month.
Plants across the state that suffered from the unusually cold weather just days before Christmas will need some help recovering from damage they suffered in the deep freeze. Mike Brown, state climatologist and Mississippi State University meteorologist, said Mississippi’s average late December temperature is 44 degrees on the coast, 38 degrees in central Mississippi and 34 degrees in north Mississippi.
HATTIESBURG, Miss. -- The Mississippi State University Extension Service will host two free educational workshops for blueberry growers in January -- one in person and another online.
The in-person workshop will be held Jan. 24 at the MSU Extension Forrest County office at 952 Sullivan Drive in Hattiesburg from 1-4 p.m. The virtual workshop will be Jan. 26 from 2-4 p.m.
STARKVILLE, Miss. -- A water sampling program conducted by the Mississippi State University Extension Service has encouraging initial data about lead levels in drinking water collected at child care centers around the state.
Preliminary data gathered as part of the SipSafe program paint a reassuring picture for most of the faucets sampled.
RAYMOND, Miss. -- Producers in Mississippi can provide feedback and input on the agricultural research and educational programs offered by Mississippi State University during the upcoming producer advisory council meetings. Hosted by MSU Extension Service and Mississippi Agricultural and Forestry Experiment Station personnel, the Producer Advisory Council meetings will be held in February. These meetings allow producers to learn about current research and educational opportunities, as well as to communicate their needs in these areas.
STARKVILLE, Miss. -- Delta-based agricultural producers in a four-state region are invited to participate in a survey designed to gauge opinions and identify current practices related to water use.
The online “Delta Region Irrigation Producers’ Survey,” or DRIPS, also includes questions related to how producers prefer to receive educational information, which will help the Mississippi State University Extension Service design future programs. Survey results are confidential, and participants remain anonymous.
POPLARVILLE, Miss. -- Current and prospective market vendors can learn valuable marketing skills in a Feb. 9 workshop in Poplarville. Farmers Market Vendor Workshop: Boosting Your Revenue will teach participants valuable skills to help them increase sales. The workshop is open to vendors who sell at festivals, farmers markets and other similar venues.
STARKVILLE, Miss. -- Members of the second class of the Thad Cochran Agricultural Leadership Program have completed the curriculum and assembled one last time Jan. 23 to receive their graduation certificates.
Known also as TCALP, the program provides 22 months of training for emerging leaders in Mississippi agriculture.
BILOXI, Miss. -- Gardening and floral design enthusiasts and professionals can enjoy a public lecture by Martha Whitney Butler, a Bay St. Louis floral designer. Butler will deliver a floral design demonstration that includes techniques based on sustainable floral design practices, as well as her experience in art history and the use of antique and vintage floral containers.
Horses have been part of Mississippi State University programs for years in teaching, research and the student equestrian team, but breeding has not been a significant aspect until recently. In the eight years he has been with MSU, Clay Cavinder, Extension equine specialist, has made equine breeding and sales a priority. The average price for yearling and 2-year-old horses has increased steadily over the years to $8,600 in 2022.
JACKSON, Miss. -- Since the age of 7, Smith County 4-H’er Chase Boone has been showing mostly Simmental cattle in the Dixie National Junior Round-Up each year.
He is now a high school senior who will soon be moving on to college but not before a final appearance in one of his favorite livestock show events. He ended up exhibiting two supreme champion livestock -- the supreme beef female and the supreme beef bull -- and was named one of six premier exhibitors.
It was a successful send-off, if not a bittersweet one.
RAYMOND, Miss. -- Private timberland owners spend countless hours caring for and maintaining their property, and many are unaware that this investment can help lower their tax bills. One of the most overlooked timber activities that qualifies for a tax reduction is reforestation, said Curtis VanderSchaaf, forestry specialist with the Mississippi State University Extension Service.
Brandi Karisch, Mississippi State University Extension Service beef specialist, has been named to a national board for the American Simmental Association, or ASA. Karisch was elected to this organization’s board of trustees to represent the eastern region.
RAYMOND, Miss. -- A Mississippi State University food safety specialist has been named to the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s National Advisory Committee on Meat and Poultry Inspection. Byron Williams, an associate Extension professor of food science specializing in muscle foods processing, regulations and safety, was recently appointed by USDA Secretary Thomas Vilsack. Williams is also a member of the MSU Department of Food Science, Nutrition and Health Promotion.
When managing insects and diseases in row crops, growers typically act after a problem appears, but there are no reactive treatments for some pests, including soil insects that attack seeds and developing seedlings.
Management such as seed treatments or in-furrow insecticides for these pests has to be applied at the time of planting. Mississippi State University researchers say seed treatments make good sense for many crops.
Shoppers facing sticker shock at the grocery store know that eggs are part of the cost increase, but they may not know why.
Josh Maples, an agricultural economist with the Mississippi State University Extension Service, said egg prices over the Christmas holiday were more than double what they were at the same time in 2021.
NEWTON, Miss. -- Livestock industry professionals looking to learn more about grazing and forage management practices are invited to a beef cattle field day hosted by the Mississippi State University Extension Service.
Beef cattle producers and hay growers will be two target audiences for the field day, which will be at the Coastal Plains Branch Experiment Station March 30 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Attendees will be provided a tour of the 1,172-acre facility. The station is located at 51 Coastal Plains Road in Newton.
Dozens of agricultural producers met Feb. 21 with Mississippi State University professionals to offer direction on priorities MSU research and outreach should pursue in 2023 and beyond.
The event was the annual Central Mississippi Producer Advisory Council meeting, held at the MSU Central Mississippi Research and Extension Center in Raymond. The half-day event was a listening session for MSU and an advising session for producers and those interested in starting ag businesses.
Native plants have garnered a lot of attention, especially because of their relationship to pollinators, but these plants are valuable for many other reasons. In addition to pollen, they provide food and shelter for birds and other wildlife, as well as creating biodiversity in the ecosystem.
VERONA, Miss. -- Producers come across issues each season that need to be addressed, whether they require new research on a problem or a commodity specialist who can help identify timely solutions.
For those people, February is the month to speak up. Specialists and scientists with the Mississippi State University Extension Service and Mississippi Agricultural and Forestry Experiment Station are available specifically for them at three different MSU Research and Extension Center locations throughout the state during annual Producer Advisory Council meetings.
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