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Feature Story

A form submission box with the Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries and Parks logo.
January 6, 2022 - Filed Under: Wildlife, Chronic Wasting Disease, White-Tailed Deer

HOLLY SPRINGS, Miss. -- Hunters and landowners in Mississippi are invited to an upcoming group discussion on chronic wasting disease.

“White-Tailed Deer and Chronic Wasting Disease: Hunter and Landowner Group Discussion” will be hosted by the Mississippi State University Extension Service Jan. 13 at the Extension office in Marshall County.

MSU Extension faculty and specialists will gather input on how the deer disease affects hunting leases and land values through structured question-and-answer sessions with participants on their perceptions and experiences.

A group of five adults stand in front of some plants.
January 4, 2022 - Filed Under: Master Gardener, Flower Gardens

The new year offers a new opportunity for garden enthusiasts who want to hone their craft and give back to their communities. The Mississippi State University Extension Service is offering the Master Gardener training and certification online again this year.

Panels display timber, chickens and soybeans.
December 21, 2021 - Filed Under: Agriculture, Agricultural Economics

High commodity prices in 2021 pushed Mississippi agriculture to a sharp increase in total value -- a record estimated $8.33 billion -- despite a huge decline in government assistance aimed at coronavirus relief. Agriculture’s estimated value is up 19% from 2020.

A chart lists the value of the top 11 agricultural commodities in Mississippi.
December 21, 2021 - Filed Under: Agriculture, Agricultural Economics

Excellent commodity prices propelled Mississippi agriculture to its highest level: an estimated $8.33 billion value in 2021. This figure is a 19% increase over 2020. Poultry, soybeans and forestry continue to rank first, second and third, respectively, in the state’s agricultural economy.

A chicken.
December 21, 2021 - Filed Under: Agriculture, Livestock, Poultry

Strong consumer demand for chicken is one part of the equation that added up to a nearly 40% increase in production value for Mississippi’s poultry industry in 2021. The commodity held on to the No. 1 spot among all the state’s agricultural commodities, totaling an estimated value of $2.65 billion. 2021 marks the 27th consecutive year poultry has topped Mississippi’s value of production list. Final figures will be released by the U.S. Department of Agriculture in April. Higher prices also influenced this year’s value of production.

Soybeans in a field.
December 21, 2021 - Filed Under: Agriculture, Agricultural Economics, Soybeans

STARKVILLE, Miss. -- An improved price environment for soybeans pushed the crop’s value of production to near record highs in Mississippi in 2021.

Soybean production grew about 25% from $1.2 billion in 2020 to $1.49 billion this year. It is Mississippi’s second largest agricultural commodity for the second straight year and by far the state’s most valuable row crop.

Will Maples, a row crops economist with the Mississippi State University Extension Service, estimated soybean prices to be up around 20% from 2020.

A front end loader.
December 21, 2021 - Filed Under: Forestry, Forestry Impacts, Timber Prices, Timber Harvest

STARKVILLE, Miss. -- Forestry is the third largest agricultural commodity in Mississippi for the second straight year with a production value of nearly $1.29 billion in 2021, up 5.7% over last year.

December 20, 2021 - Filed Under: Agriculture, Crops, Farming, Forages, Livestock, Soils

A new online platform can help farmers learn about and implement management practices to improve profitability, soil health and land stewardship. Created by a multistate team of university Extension professionals and farmers, One Good Idea provides farmers across the U.S. an online classroom to learn through videos and podcasts. Topics include cover crops, conservation tillage, rotational grazing and nutrient management.

December 1, 2021 - Filed Under: Family, Children and Parenting, MSU Extension Head Start

The Mississippi State University Extension Service Head Start program is hiring for various positions in Harrison County. Head Start needs qualified candidates to fill positions including lead teachers, assistant teachers, a project coordinator, an educational leader, a floater, an administrative assistant, an office associate, an assistant cook and a custodian.

A flower garden with raised beds.
December 1, 2021 - Filed Under: Flower Gardens, Insects-Ornamental Plants

A grant from Coast Electric will allow for a renovation of the Mississippi State University Crosby Arboretum’s pollinator garden. Pat Drackett, director of the arboretum, said the pollinator garden was established in 2001 as the Explorers’ Garden. It is a 3,000-square-foot space with a variety of native and other plants that helps teach visitors how to create havens for pollinators.

Small corn plants grow in a row among dead grasses.
November 30, 2021 - Filed Under: Corn

Researchers at Mississippi State University looking at how to successfully use cover crops in corn production systems must develop strategies to overcome challenges unique to this row crop. Cover crops are plants grown outside of the normal cropping season mainly for conservation purposes.

A woman and a man pose in front of shopping bags and blue crates.
November 24, 2021 - Filed Under: Rural Development, AIM for CHangE

DREW, Miss. -- The small Delta town of Drew in the heart of Sunflower County has created a private, public and academic partnership to fight food insecurity.

For its efforts, the town recently received a big new honor, along with funding to advance ongoing health equity improvements. The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) last month awarded Drew and nine other communities the 2020–2021 Culture of Health Prize, along with $25,000.

November 22, 2021 - Filed Under: Community, Rural Development

STARKVILLE, Miss. -- A team led by a Mississippi State University unit has been recognized on the national level for its contributions to race relations.

The Coming Together for Racial Understanding (CTRU) project received the 2021 National Diversity in Extension Award from the Association of Public and Land-Grant Universities, Cooperative Extension and the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s National Institute of Food and Agriculture.

Trays of food are on a table.
November 22, 2021 - Filed Under: Health and Wellness, Food and Health, Food

Good times and good food lead to unwanted holiday weight gain for many people, but the year can end on a positive note when a few guidelines are followed.

November 18, 2021 - Filed Under: About Extension, County Extension Offices, Extension Administration

STARKVILLE, Miss. -- The Mississippi State University Extension Service is modifying its administrative structure to commit more resources for county level staffing.

Upon Steve Martin’s return to his primary role as MSU Extension associate director Nov. 16, his title changed to Associate Director for County Operations.

A view down a covered downtown sidewalk.
November 15, 2021 - Filed Under: Rural Development, Rural Health

While National Rural Health Day is celebrated Nov. 18, the Mississippi State University Extension Service works daily to build and maintain this personal and community-level commodity.

November 11, 2021 - Filed Under: MSU Extension Head Start

Mississippi State University will hold a Nov. 16 job fair to look for qualified people who love working with children and want to make a difference for them and their families. Positions are available for Head Start and Early Head Start teachers, assistant teachers, floaters, an education leader, an administrative assistant and an office associate.

November 10, 2021 - Filed Under: Master Gardener, Vegetable Gardens

STARKVILLE, Miss. -- Mississippi home gardeners have an opportunity to participate in vegetable research next year.

The Mississippi State University Extension Service is looking for 80 participants statewide to enter its 2022 Home Vegetable Variety Trial. Mississippi Master Gardeners, home gardeners and garden club members are encouraged to apply. Trial plants will include different varieties of cucumbers, peppers, squash, tomatoes and other vegetables.

November 5, 2021 - Filed Under: Extension Administration, Crops

STONEVILLE, Miss. -- Jeff Gore, a long-time Mississippi State University entomologist and researcher, has been named interim head of the MSU Delta Research and Extension Center in Stoneville.

Gore, an entomologist with the Mississippi Agricultural and Forestry Experiment Station and the MSU Extension Service, will begin this position Nov. 16, 2021, serving up to one year in a management and supervisory capacity at the center. He has been stationed at the Delta center since 2007.

A man holds items in an open shed.
November 3, 2021 - Filed Under: Chronic Wasting Disease, White-Tailed Deer

A prion disease spreading through Mississippi whitetail deer populations has changed how herds are managed and may reduce the economic benefit of hunting in the state. Chronic wasting disease, or CWD, has been found in whitetail deer populations in 26 states as of August 2021.

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