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News From 2013

Dr. Caroline Betbeze performs an eye exam on a horse at Palmer Home in Columbus while fourth-year veterinary student Steven Davison looks on. The free exam was one of many offered for service animals as part of a national program. (Photo by MSU College of Veterinary Medicine/Karen Templeton)
May 10, 2013 - Filed Under: Livestock, Animal Health, Equine

By Karen Templeton
MSU College of Veterinary Medicine

COLUMBUS – Regular eye exams are an integral part of animal health maintenance, so the Mississippi State University College of Veterinary Medicine is providing free eye screening to service animals throughout the month of May.

These 2012 catfish fry at the Mississippi State University College of Veterinary Medicine are similar to young fish that have been delayed by this spring's cool temperatures, which have slowed growth of Mississippi's farm-raised catfish and delayed the start of hatchery season. (Photo by MSU Ag Communications/Kat Lawrence)
May 10, 2013 - Filed Under: Catfish

MISSISSIPPI STATE – Mississippi’s catfish farmers continue to address production challenges as the industry works to reclaim markets lost to imported fish.

Jeremy Robbins, vice president of The Catfish Institute based in Jackson, said farmers have struggled in recent years with high feed prices, their No. 1 expense, while dealing with increased competition from imports.

Correctly placed trees can provide beauty and shade to houses, add value and reduce the amount of money spent each year on air conditioning. (Photo by MSU Landscape Architecture/Bob Brzuszek)
May 9, 2013 - Filed Under: Landscape Architecture

MISSISSIPPI STATE – Planting the right trees in the best locations is a good investment that can also pay dividends in energy savings for home and business owners.

Bob Brzuszek, associate professor in Mississippi State University’s Department of Landscape Architecture, said planting trees that block the summer sun on the south and west sides of buildings and roofs can substantially reduce air-conditioning costs.

May 9, 2013 - Filed Under: Technology

One of the best things about life today is the way technology allows people to stay connected across long distances.

Recently, a friend was unable to travel to a grandfather’s funeral. Along with other friends and family, we huddled around an iPhone and watched the funeral live using an app called FaceTime. We did it up right with flowers, food and stories galore. It was a unique way to bring family together to celebrate the life of a loved one.

Ruth Hambleton (left), who founded Annie's Project in 2003, talks with graduates of the program May 7 at the program's 10th anniversary celebration. Annie's Project teaches females in agriculture-related fields problem-solving, record keeping and decision-making skills. (Photo by MSU Ag Communications/Susan Collins-Smith)
May 8, 2013 - Filed Under: Women for Agriculture

JACKSON -- As the number of female leaders in agriculture increases, a program dedicated to their success prepares to expand.

Annie’s Project teaches women in agriculture-related fields problem solving, record keeping and decision-making skills. Facilitated by Mississippi State University’s Extension Service, organizers plan to train educators across the state to deliver the program. Extension educators in the 25 Mississippi counties with the highest number of female landowners and principal operators will learn to teach the workshops.

Leslie Burger, an environmental educator with the Mississippi State University Extension Service, teaches fourth graders at Starkville's Henderson Ward Stewart Intermediate School how to determine a tree's age based on its growth rings. (Photo by MSU Ag Communications/Scott Corey)
May 7, 2013 - Filed Under: Environment, Wildlife

MISSISSIPPI STATE – When kids react to the natural world, Leslie Burger wants them to say “Oh, wow!” instead of “Oh, gross!”

“I want people to understand what is happening around them and to appreciate it,” said Burger, an Extension instructor at Mississippi State University’s Forest and Wildlife Research Center. “When they hear a bird singing in a tree, do they stop and listen? Do they try to find it? Do they run over a snake in the road because they think all snakes are evil, or do they swerve to give it life?

May 6, 2013 - Filed Under: Disaster Preparedness, Pets

JACKSON – Getting routine health care for family pets is just as important as having a fully-stocked emergency kit and a home evacuation plan when preparing for disasters.

Calibrachoa Superbells is a series of hybrids with many beautiful and colorful flowers, such as these Lemon Slice Superbells with a Cherry Star. (Photo by MSU Extension Service/Gary Bachman)
May 6, 2013 - Filed Under: Lawn and Garden, Flower Gardens

If we ever move into the warmer – even hotter – summer season, I’m looking forward to the prolific flowering of calibrachoa. These plants are commonly known as “million bells,” which is a good description because it seems these plants have a million flowers.

Many selections of million bells are sold under different series names, and they seem to come in every color of the rainbow. One of the best qualities of these plants is that they are self-cleaning, so deadheading in not required.

More than 85 percent of Mississippi's hay and forage growers are livestock producers trying to supply their herds' needs. Persistent rains are delaying the cool-season forage harvest and reducing yields. (Photo courtesy of Rocky Lemus)
May 3, 2013 - Filed Under: Forages

MISSISSIPPI STATE -- As pastures transition from cool-season to warm-season grasses, the state’s hay and forage producers hope for sunny days that are better suited to growing and harvesting quality crops.

May 2, 2013 - Filed Under: Lawn and Garden, Landscape Architecture

MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Mississippi State University architecture students designed a sustainable home that can provide its own electricity, water supply and food for a family of four.

In the final project of a sustainable design class, the students turned theoretical principles into a practical home and landscape. They designed all aspects of a self-supporting, modern homestead, including features like solar energy use, rainwater harvesting, wastewater management, and gardens, trees and shrubs to provide a year-round food supply.

Penny Lee, a teacher at Global Connection Learning Center in Jackson, helps 2-year-old Jacob Sargent with an art project. Early care and education providers like Lee will be honored on Provider Appreciation Day May 10. (Photo by MSU School of Human Sciences/Alicia Barnes)
May 2, 2013 - Filed Under: Family, Children and Parenting

By Alicia Barnes
MSU School of Human Sciences

MISSISSIPPI STATE - Families who use child care may want to pick up an extra bouquet while shopping for Mother’s Day.

While the second Sunday in May is a day to honor mothers, the Mississippi Child Care Resource and Referral Network encourages families to also celebrate Provider Appreciation Day on Friday, May 10. This annual event recognizes early care and education providers for their contributions.

Crossgates Methodist Children's Center after-school students from left Jalen Ballard, Hardy Lewis and Layton Levingston play a compound word matching game with Tara Dickerson, a technical assistant with Mississippi State University's Out-of-School Project. (Photo by MSU School of Human Sciences/Alicia Barnes)
May 2, 2013 - Filed Under: Family, Children and Parenting

By Sarah Shields
MSU School of Human Sciences

MISSISSIPPI STATE – Recognizing that learning is not confined to the classroom, the Mississippi State University Extension Service is promoting quality learning environments in programs for school-age children.

“A child’s learning doesn’t stop at the end of the school day,” said Brittney Rye, project manager of the Out-of-School Project.

Hart Bailey
May 2, 2013 - Filed Under: Community, Food

MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Two Mississippi State University scientists have set the standard for the state’s future food scientists by completing an international certification program.

Sam Chang in the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences and Hart Bailey in the College of Veterinary Medicine recently received the Institute of Food Technologists’ Certified Food Scientist credential.

May 2, 2013 - Filed Under: Environment, Natural Resources, Wildlife, Children and Parenting

MISSISSIPPI STATE – Mississippi State University is offering four different conservation camps in June and July for young people interested in science, outdoors and the environment.

The camps are offered through MSU’s Department of Wildlife, Fisheries and Aquaculture and the Extension Service.

May 1, 2013 - Filed Under: Insects-Crop Pests, Weed Control for Crops, Insects

GOODMAN -- Both traditional and organic farmers can learn how to recognize and control pests, weeds and diseases during a May 17 field day.

Experts from the Mississippi State University Extension Service; the Mississippi Agricultural, Forestry and Experiment Station; and several partner organizations will be on hand at the Alliance for Sustainable Agricultural Production Demonstration Farm in Goodman to help producers learn to scout their crops and chose the best integrated pest, weed and disease management program.

April 29, 2013 - Filed Under: Environment

PURVIS -- Teachers interested in learning more about conservation education can register for the 50th annual Teachers Conservation Workshop, to be held twice this summer.

Instructors at the six-day event include foresters from the Mississippi State University Extension Service, Mississippi Forestry Commission, private industry and consulting firms, as well as biologists, historians and landowners. The workshop will be in Booneville at Northeast Mississippi Community College June 2-7 and in Ellisville at Jones County Junior College June 16-21.

April 29, 2013 - Filed Under: Community

PICAYUNE – Travelers may be adding Mississippi State University’s Crosby Arboretum to their summer travel destination lists now that a regional travel magazine recognized it.

The native plant conservatory is featured as the “Southern Travel Treasure” in the May/June 2013 issue of AAA’s magazine, AAA Southern Traveler.

Flattened metal spoons can be customized with letter punches and placed in the garden to identify herbs. (Photo by MSU Extension Service/Gary Bachman)
April 29, 2013 - Filed Under: Lawn and Garden, Flower Gardens, Herb Gardens

Like many home gardeners, I used to put plants in my landscape without worrying about labels because I was sure I’d remember what was planted where. And like most of you, I would end up scratching my head wondering what I had planted where.

One of the best gardening tips I can share, especially in the spring when you’re putting so many new things out, is to label your landscape plants.

Recycle wooden kitchen utensils into plant tags using paint, markers and clear polyurethane. (Photo by MSU Extension Service/Gary Bachman)
April 26, 2013 - Filed Under: Agriculture, Crops

MISSISSIPPI STATE – Farmers should be nearly finished planting corn and going strong with soybeans, rice and cotton, but instead Mississippi fields are quiet as rain keeps tractors in the barn.

As of late April, the state had gone more than five weeks with only an occasional day or two suitable for planting.

Mississippi corn is in the best shape, at least in terms of the number of planted acres. According to the April 22 U.S. Department of Agriculture Crop Progress and Condition Report, corn is 73 percent planted. Historically, it should be 91 percent complete.

Recycle wooden kitchen utensils into plant tags using paint, markers and clear polyurethane. (Photo by MSU Extension Service/Gary Bachman)
April 25, 2013 - Filed Under: 4-H, Family

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MISSISSIPPI STATE – The program teaches science, teamwork and observation skills, but to the participating students, Code SSDD is just fun.

Officially known as Science Sleuths and Digital Detectives, Code SSDD is offered by the Mississippi State University 4-H program through a grant from the National 4-H Council. Linda Mitchell, Extension professor, created and presents the program.