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News From 2013

April 25, 2013 - Filed Under: Technology

Recent national tragedies have reminded us once again how important it is to stay in touch with loved ones and emergency response officials for breaking news. Being technology-ready before disaster strikes is critical to saving lives, connecting friends and family, and assisting first responders.

Mississippi State University professor Phyllis Miller studied cultural influences on personal space in markets and religious festivals such as this one during a Fulbright scholarship experience in Mauritius. (Submitted Photo)
April 24, 2013 - Filed Under: Community

By Kaitlyn Byrne
MSU Ag Communications

MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Mississippi State University faculty take their knowledge and expertise around the world as they conduct research and teach through the Fulbright Scholarship program.

Two of the program’s most enthusiastic supporters, Phyllis Miller and Stephen Cottrell, have each received three Fulbright scholarships.

MSU apparel, textiles and merchandising professor Phyllis Miller has traveled to Bulgaria, India, and — most recently — Mauritius, a small island nation in the Indian Ocean, just east of Madagascar.

Ty Jones, county coordinator with Mississippi State University's Extension Service in Madison County, looks on as Bates Elementary fourth-graders feel the pelts of wild animals native to Mississippi, such as the skunk and raccoon. The display was part of the Extension-sponsored AgVentures at the Mississippi Agricultural and Forestry Museum in Jackson April 16 and 17. (Photo by MSU Ag Communications/Susan Collins-Smith)
April 24, 2013 - Filed Under: Agriculture, Children and Parenting

JACKSON -- Fourth-graders from Jackson area schools recently got a new appreciation for the clothes on their backs and the food on their tables at AgVentures.

The event, held at the Mississippi Agriculture and Forestry Museum, provided hands-on, educational activities designed to teach children the role of agriculture in daily life. Mississippi State University Extension Service and several partner organizations sponsored the program.

April 24, 2013 - Filed Under: Master Gardener

BROOKHAVEN – Horticulture enthusiasts can attend educational presentations, workshops and tours during the Mississippi Master Gardener State Conference May 14-16.

The event is sponsored by the Lincoln County Master Gardeners and the Mississippi State University Extension Service. The conference is open to Master Gardeners and the public.

April 23, 2013 - Filed Under: Forages, Weed Control for Forages, Beef

TYLERTOWN -- Cattle producers in Mississippi and Louisiana can learn about cattle health issues and forage weed control measures during a May 18 event in south Mississippi.

The Mississippi/Louisiana Beef and Forage Field Day will begin with registration at 8:45 a.m. at the Livestock Producers Sale Barn on Highway 98 East in Tylertown, Miss.

Featured speakers are Dr. Jaques Fuselier, of Louisiana State University’s School of Veterinary Medicine and Brandi Karisch, Rhonda Vann and John Byrd, all with Mississippi State University’s Extension Service.

Donald Grebner
April 22, 2013 - Filed Under: Forestry, Natural Resources

MISSISSIPPI STATE – Mississippi State University professor Donald Grebner is the lead author on a new forestry and natural resources textbook.

Introduction to Forestry and Natural Resources provides a general overview of the forestry and natural resources profession, as well as the history of forestry, landowner objectives, forest disturbances, ecosystem services and urban forestry.

Grebner, professor in MSU’s College of Forest Resources, spent three years writing the 508-page book, in collaboration with University of Georgia colleagues Pete Bettinger and Jacek Siry.

The Pearl River County senior 4-H Robotics team, from left Elsa Schmitz, Emily Bordelon, Bradley Guillot and Eric Bordelon, plans robot construction to prepare for an annual robotics contest. (Submitted Photo)
April 22, 2013 - Filed Under: 4-H, Technology, Family, STEM – Science Technology Engineering and Math

MISSISSIPPI STATE – A Pearl River County family learned that 4-H robotics’ “no experience required” policy opened doors to new skills they never expected.

Jill Bordelon’s three children, Emily, Eric and Alex, became interested in robotics when 4-H first offered the activity in their county in 2009. Led by their mother, the children formed a team with interested 4-H’ers to construct a robot and compete against other robotics teams.

“None of us had done anything like this before,” Jill Bordelon said. “We got a kit and muddled through. We all learned at the same time.”

Delphinium is a garden classic with iridescent blue flowers on long spikes, but it must be planted from November to early February. (Photo by MSU Extension Service/Gary Bachman)
April 22, 2013 - Filed Under: Lawn and Garden, Flower Gardens

Has the search for blue flowers left you feeling blue?

Mississippi has a long tradition of being famous for blues music. In fact, the Mississippi Blues Trail has markers all across the state telling the story of the blues.

Mississippi gardeners also have a long tradition of wanting blue flowers for their gardens and landscapes. Blue is a coveted color in the landscape, and plant and seed catalogs try every year to meet the need for the color blue.

Dr. David Smith talks with Class of 2014 students, from left, Seth Jenkins, Lauren Comstock, and Lauren Bright. Smith says he believes his students learn to think on their feet while working with producers. (Photo by MSU College of Veterinary Medicine/Tom Thompson)
April 19, 2013 - Filed Under: Agriculture, Livestock, Animal Health, Beef

By Karen Templeton
MSU College of Veterinary Medicine

MISSISSIPPI STATE – When producer and consultant Dr. Gordon Hazard answers his phone, it is often in the middle of a pasture.

Hazard has been raising cattle for more than 75 years, and his boots-to-the-ground approach is what helps him make a profit each and every year. He knows what Mississippi cattle producers are up against.

This 5-week-old broiler is approaching market weight in a commercial research house at the H.H. Leveck Animal Research Center, commonly called South Farm, at Mississippi State University on March 20, 2013. Mississippi has grown more than 205 million birds in the first 14 weeks of the year. (Photo by MSU Ag Communications/Kat Lawrence)
April 19, 2013 - Filed Under: Agriculture, Poultry

MISSISSIPPI STATE – The impact of last year’s drought on feed costs is not the only challenge poultry growers face in 2013.

Production costs, expansion issues, waste regulations, competition from other meat sources and the next grain crop are major factors impacting the poultry industry this year.

“Some of the corn produced last year had to go to ethanol, so supplies are even tighter and have driven up feed costs,” said Tom Tabler, poultry specialist with the Mississippi State University Extension Service.

April 19, 2013 - Filed Under: 4-H, Family

CORINTH -- Marcia Ann Glisson believes in the power of youth.

That’s why she has spent more than 50 years as an Alcorn County 4-H volunteer. And she has no plans to give it up anytime soon.

“It’s just something that is in my blood,” said Glisson, who currently serves as a member of the Alcorn County 4-H Advisory Council. “I was in 4-H, and all four of my children were in 4-H.”

Standing water between rows of corn at Mississippi State University's R.R. Foil Research Center in Starkville means the soil has no oxygen available to root systems. As soils dry out, the crop will need rain or irrigation to sustain growth. (Photo by MSU Ag Communications/Scott Corey)
April 19, 2013 - Filed Under: Crops, Soils, Irrigation

MISSISSIPPI STATE – Springtime’s soggy fields are no guarantee that summer’s row crops will have the moisture they need to thrive until harvest in the fall.

Jason Krutz, irrigation specialist with the Mississippi Agricultural and Forestry Experiment Station, said winter and spring rain helps recharge the soil profile, but moisture must be replenished during the growing season.

“In the Delta in the summer, we’re always 10 days from a drought,” Kurtz said. “If you go 10 days without rain, your row crops are in trouble and you will have to irrigate.”

Mississippi State University Extension Service agronomy specialist Keith Crouse sorts through routine samples on April 10, 2013, in the MSU Soil Testing and Plant Analysis Lab, where every day is Earth Day, not just April 22. (Photo by MSU Ag Communications/Scott Corey)
April 18, 2013 - Filed Under: Soils, Soil Testing

MISSISSIPPI STATE – Some people celebrate Earth Day with a trip on April 22 to the city park, but soil scientists get daily opportunities to see the importance of protecting the environment.

Mississippi State University Extension Service agronomy specialist Keith Crouse said an inexpensive soil test is one of the easiest ways to be a good steward of the earth and enjoy all the land has to offer. As coordinator of the MSU Soil Testing and Plant Analysis Lab, Crouse has seen test results prevent growers from applying unnecessary fertilizers.

April 18, 2013 - Filed Under: Environment

MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Louisiana is shrinking. According to new information from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, 25-35 square miles of land off the coast of Louisiana disappears into the water every year.

Mississippi State University environmental economist Daniel Petrolia understands how important the disappearing wetlands are to commercial fisheries, storm surge protection and wildlife.

Mississippi is home to 35 species of non-venomous snakes, such as this black racer, which benefit the home landscape by keeping rodent populations in check. (Photo courtesy of Robert Lewis)
April 17, 2013 - Filed Under: Environment, Wildlife, Nuisance Wildlife and Damage Management, Snakes

MISSISSIPPI STATE – Mississippi is home to a wide variety of creatures, and warmer spring temperatures bring many of them -- including snakes -- out into the sun.

“We have 35 species of nonvenomous snakes and just 6 species of venomous snakes,” said Adam Tullos, who specializes in wildlife management with the Mississippi State University Extension Service. “We also have snakes that are protected and endangered. Snakes benefit people by keeping insect, reptile and small mammal populations under control.”

April 16, 2013 - Filed Under: Agri-business, Agri-tourism, Natural Resources, Agricultural Economics

MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Farmers, landowners and resource managers will find the newest tools to establish and manage a natural resource enterprise at a one-day workshop in Yazoo County.

The May 2 event will begin at 8 a.m. at Field Quest Farms in Benton. The morning presentations include revenue potential, liability and legal concerns, and marketing an outdoor recreational business.

Pontotoc city clerk Dexter Warren and deputy clerk Jamie Sappington assist city residents with utility payments and other city business. The week of May 5 - 11 has been designated Municipal Clerks Week to recognize the service of clerks and their deputies to communities. (Photo by MSU Extension Service Center for Government and Community Development/Bob Ratliff)
April 16, 2013 - Filed Under: City and County Government

MISSISSIPPI STATE – One of local government’s oldest and most essential jobs is being recognized for its services during an upcoming week of local, national and international activities.

The 44th annual Municipal Clerks Week will be observed May 5 – 11. During this week, municipal clerks in many of Mississippi’s cities, towns and villages will take part in activities to increase the public’s awareness of municipal clerks and the vital services they provide for local government and the community.

Daylilies such as these mixed varieties are ideal candidates to divide and share with neighbors or move to new areas of the landscape. (Photo by MSU Extension Service/Gary Bachman)
April 15, 2013 - Filed Under: Lawn and Garden, Flower Gardens

With spring in the air and our landscapes waking up from their long winter’s nap, Mississippi gardeners jump into the many chores needed to get gardens off to the right start.

One of the first decisions to be made is what to plant. We flock to garden centers looking for inspiration and new plants to enjoy in the coming year. Sometimes we forget to look in our own gardens for the options we already have.

Jody Reyer began harvesting his first crop of strawberries April 9, 2013. Like much of the state's strawberry crop, Reyer's Leake County operation has struggled with cool and wet spring weather. (Photo courtesy of Brittany Reyer)
April 12, 2013 - Filed Under: Agriculture, Crops, Fruit

MISSISSIPPI STATE – Mississippi’s strawberry producers may be few in number, but they deliver one of the state’s sweetest and most popular crops.

Growing strawberries in the South is especially challenging because of its variable weather, like that seen this spring.

Wayne Porter, Mississippi State University Extension horticulture specialist in Lauderdale County, said the strawberries struggled because of excessive rain.

Louisiana botanist Charles Allen describes the four types of carnivorous plants found in the Crosby Arboretum's Hillside Bog during a field walk April 6. The field walk followed Allen's lecture on edible and useful plants of the Gulf South and was co-sponsored by Mississippi State University's Crosby Arboretum and Longue Vue House and Gardens in New Orleans. (Photo by MSU Ag Communications/Susan Collins-Smith)
April 12, 2013 - Filed Under: Community, Wildlife, Lawn and Garden

PICAYUNE -- Louisiana botanist Charles Allen acquired a taste for native plants as a child in his grandmother’s kitchen.

The mountain mint she used in her pork sausage sparked Allen’s interest and led him on a 35-year journey of learning about and preserving native plants that sustain the ecosystem of the Gulf South. Many of those plants are edible and useful around the house.