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News From 2013

Wingfield High School football team members learn about gardening on Sept. 22, 2013, at Foot Print Farms in Jackson. Eric Hunter Jr., a strong safety, assists Mississippi State University research professor and 4-H volunteer Bill Evans as they string tomato plants. Hinds County 4-H agent Rocheryl Ware discusses the club project with Dwight Henry, a defensive tackle, while Antonio Wilks Jr., defensive end, observes. (Photo by Clarion-Ledger/Joe Ellis)
December 11, 2013 - Filed Under: 4-H, Lawn and Garden

JACKSON -- Tomatoes, watermelons and young men have been growing in an urban garden that is much more than an agricultural project.

Hinds County 4-H agent Rocheryl Ware has known football coach Jeff Gibson as a 4-H volunteer leader since 2004. So when he made an unannounced visit to her office last year, she was not surprised he was ready to start a club at his new school, Wingfield High School.

December 11, 2013 - Filed Under: Family, Family Financial Management

MISSISSIPPI STATE – With a new year approaching, many people are adopting an “out with the old” attitude and throwing away dated documents, and it is important to dispose of these papers properly.

Teresa Lyle, a financial management agent with the Mississippi State University Extension Service in Leake County, said identity theft is a growing crime and affects millions of Americans every year. To decrease chances of identity theft, Lyle recommends shredding important household documents in a cross-cut shredder instead of throwing them in the trash.

A high-tech, multi-sensory play space designed to encourage reading is scheduled to open in 2014 at the Mississippi Children's Museum in Jackson. The literacy garden will include native plants and reflect the various habitats found in Mississippi. (Photo courtesy of Mississippi Children's Museum)
December 11, 2013 - Filed Under: Community, Children and Parenting, Landscape Architecture

JACKSON – Mississippi State University professor Bob Brzuszek is helping the Mississippi Children’s Museum design an innovative garden aimed at cultivating a crop of young readers.

Dr. Andy Shores and Dr. Jennifer Gambino, both with the Mississippi State University College of Veterinary Medicine, examine a patient's MRI. (MSU College of Veterinary Medicine/Tom Thompson)
December 11, 2013 - Filed Under: Community, Pets, Health

By Karen Templeton
MSU College of Veterinary Medicine

A special partnership focused on using imaging technology to treat brain tumors in cats and dogs shows promise for treating human patients.

December 10, 2013 - Filed Under: Family, Food

MISSISSIPPI STATE – ’Tis the season for creating tasty and clever homemade gifts for friends and family, but not everyone needs another tray of cookies or pound of fudge.

Cut the sweet stuff this year with some flavorful jerky made at home using venison or beef.

Wes Schilling, associate professor in the Department of Food Science, Nutrition and Health Promotion at Mississippi State University, said with the right tools and ingredients, home chefs are just a few steps away from creating a popular, high-protein holiday treat.

Mississippi Christmas tree growers offer high-quality, beautiful trees for holiday decorating. These Leyland cypress trees are growing at Thomley's Tree Farm in Hattiesburg. (Photo by MSU Extension Service/Gary Bachman)
December 9, 2013 - Filed Under: Christmas Trees, Lawn and Garden

I hope everyone has Christmas traditions that their family looks forward to each year. One of the traditions I enjoyed growing up in the Great White North was going to get the Christmas tree.

Sometimes we went to one of tree lots that sprang up on corners like cold-weather weeds. Other times we drove out to the country and picked a tree to cut. It was like going hunting and bringing back the bounty. I grew up bringing home Fraser fir, balsam fir or Colorado blue spruce.

Jason Sarver
December 6, 2013 - Filed Under: Crops, Farming

MISSISSIPPI STATE – Starting in January, Mississippi peanut farmers will have a dedicated source to turn to for information.

Jason Sarver was recently hired as peanut specialist by the Mississippi State University Extension Service and Mississippi Agricultural and Forestry Experiment Station. His official start date is Jan. 3.

Helen Coleman, president of the Bolivar County Mississippi Homemaker Volunteers, gathers dresses created by her club to send to children in need for the MHV International Project. (Photo by MSU Ag Communications/Keri Collins Lewis)
December 6, 2013 - Filed Under: Family, Mississippi Homemaker Volunteers

CLEVELAND -- Little dresses sewn with love in Mississippi make their way to children in need around the world throughout the year as part of the Mississippi Homemaker Volunteers’ international project.

At the Bolivar County Extension office, local MHV president Helen Coleman gathered dresses created by her group of about a dozen members and said she expected additional fabric donations.

December 5, 2013 - Filed Under: Crops, Farming, Lawn and Garden

GOODMAN – Commercial growers, farmers and home gardeners can get advice on the best crops to grow and the best equipment to use during the final field day of a year-long series at the Alliance for Sustainable Agricultural Production Demonstration Farm in Goodman.

On Dec. 13, experts from the Mississippi State University Extension Service will discuss crop selection, seed acquisition, and equipment selection, acquisition and maintenance.

Cattle producers have access to a free app.
December 4, 2013 - Filed Under: Livestock, Beef

MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Cattle producers have access to a free app that calculates a variety of factors impacting their livestock management decisions.

The Mississippi State University Extension Service released the MSUES Cattle Calculator on Dec. 2 for Apple devices.

Brandi Karisch, an assistant professor of animal and dairy sciences at MSU, is the Extension beef specialist who provided technical information to develop the app at the request of Mississippi beef cattle producers.

Hamp Beatty
December 2, 2013 - Filed Under: Economic Development

MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Starting a small business can be challenging, but a workshop for new business owners can help them know what to expect once they open the doors.

A seminar for anyone interested in starting a small business will be provided by the Mississippi State University Extension Center for Government and Community Development beginning January 9th. MSU experts will repeat the workshop the second Thursday of each month at 2:00 p.m. at the Golden Triangle WIN Job Center near Columbus.

Poinsettias such as this Ice Punch selection are part of the expected scenery and decorations of Christmas. They come in a wide variety of colors and styles, and with a little care, they can last past the holiday season. (Photo by MSU Extension Service/Gary Bachman)
December 2, 2013 - Filed Under: Lawn and Garden, Flower Gardens

In their native Mexico, the bright red flowers of poinsettia are known as Flores de la Noche Buena – or Flowers of the Holy Night – as they bloom each year during the Christmas season.

If you’re a fan of poinsettias but like variety, you’ll find the range of poinsettia colors available is truly remarkable. Poinsettia is no longer simply “that red Christmas plant.” Colors range from red and white to even maroon for Bulldog fans, making it hard to choose. In addition to solid colors, there are bicolor, speckled and marbled poinsettias. There are even rose-flowered selections.

Mississippi State University postdoctoral researcher Aparna Krishnavajhala has worked for years to send needed supplies to the school in her home village in India. Here, her mother, sister, brother-in-law and brother are seated at the table during the annual award ceremony for that school. (Submitted photo)
November 27, 2013 - Filed Under: Community

MISSISSIPPI STATE – Aparna Krishnavajhala is a postdoctoral researcher at Mississippi State University who practices giving back year-round as she works from Starkville to aid the education of girls in India.

Mississippi State University secondary-education teacher candidate Ann Claire Blakely, right, teaches Studio School student LaGlotrice Jordan in the Body Walk brain room in June 2013. The Studio School hosts Body Walk with help from the MSU Extension Service and the MSU Center for the Advancement of Service-Learning. (Submitted photo)
November 26, 2013 - Filed Under: Community, Family

MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Building a habit of learning by doing is beginning early for some Oktibbeha County students.

Middle- and high-school students enrolled in the Studio School project founded by Mississippi State University professor Kay Brocato are serving as volunteer instructors with Body Walk, a hands-on exhibit that tours the state. Sponsored by the MSU Extension Service, Body Walk teaches elementary students about healthy habits, hygienic practices and the science behind the human body.

November 25, 2013 - Filed Under: Community

Mississippi State University students in the Apparel, Textiles and Merchandising Program will host a futuristic fashion show, sponsored by the Cotton Incorporated Support Program.

The show will begin at 7 p.m. on Dec. 3 in the Foster Ballroom in the Colvard Student Union on campus. It will feature MSU students’ merchandising projects made of at least 60 percent cotton. General admission is free.

The merchandising and promotion strategies class is putting on the fashion show called “The New Age Traveler.”

November 25, 2013 - Filed Under: Commercial Horticulture, Fruit, Food Safety

JACKSON – Fruit and vegetable growers can learn techniques to make their produce safer for the consumer during one of four upcoming Mississippi State University workshops.

Specialists with the MSU Extension Service and the Mississippi Agricultural and Forestry Experiment Station will conduct four separate workshops across the state on developing and implementing good agricultural practices and good handling practices.

The pyracantha shrub is popular because of its abundance of red berries that seem to drip off the branches in heavy clusters. (Photo by MSU Extension Service/Gary Bachman)
November 22, 2013 - Filed Under: Lawn and Garden

Fall weather is always a treat because some of the plants that provide summer backgrounds step up and show off their stuff.

I’m not talking about flowers, although there are several plants that bloom in late fall and early winter. I’m talking about the landscape shrubs and small trees that put on dazzling displays of red berries. What can be more appropriate heading into the holiday season?

November 22, 2013 - Filed Under: Nuts, Food

MISSISSIPPI STATE – Pecans are a staple of the holiday season, but with so many options, some consumers find it hard to decide what to buy.

In addition to buying Mississippi pecans in the shell or already shelled, cooks find a dizzying array of nut sizes, colors, varieties and prices.

“When consumers are buying pecans, they should ask if the pecans are from the current year’s crop to ensure freshness,” said Max Draughn, owner of Pecan Hill Farms in Raymond. “The oil in pecans oxidizes, and the flavor and quality of the pecan deteriorates over time.”

Kyle Kopfinger, a freshman from Huntsville, Ala., helps 4-H member Luke Schilling, 8, build a parachute to learn about gravity and air resistance while Rebekah Schilling, 5, watches. Amrat Gandhi (back), a freshman from India, helped develop the activity as a project for a mechanical engineering class service learning project. The Mississippi State University Center for the Advancement of Service-Learning Excellence facilitated this project with 4-H and the Extension Service Center for Technology Outreach.
November 21, 2013 - Filed Under: 4-H