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News From 2013

March 5, 2013 - Filed Under: Agriculture, Commercial Horticulture, Fruit, Flower Gardens

GOODMAN -- A series of monthly field days highlighting sustainable agriculture practices continues March 15 in Goodman.

Fruit, vegetable and flower growers are invited to the Alliance for Sustainable Agricultural Production Demonstration Farm for information on mulching, irrigation and high tunnels.

Kyle Briscoe
March 5, 2013 - Filed Under: Agriculture, Leadership

MISSISSIPPI STATE – A Mississippi State University doctoral student recently received the inaugural Future Leaders in Science Award.

Kyle Briscoe of Liberty, Mo., is one of 12 graduate students in the nation to receive the award from the American Society of Agronomy, Crop Science Society of America and Soil Science Society of America. He is studying agronomy at MSU.

March 4, 2013 - Filed Under: Pets

MISSISSIPPI STATE – When Dutch, a miniature dachshund, arrived at Mississippi State University’s Animal Health Center at the College of Veterinary Medicine, he was lucky to be alive.

“Most people would have put him to sleep, but I thought he had a chance,” said Dr. Robert Shamblin, Dutch’s owner and a veterinarian for over 40 years. “He wanted to live.”

Dutch was attacked by a coyote on his morning outing with Shamblin’s wife at their home outside of Tuscaloosa.

Thirty-eight varieties of Cajun hibiscus give plant lovers plenty of color choices, including bright yellows, pinks, reds, whites and color blends, such as this variety, called High Definition. (Photo by MSU Ag Communications/Gary Bachman)
March 4, 2013 - Filed Under: Lawn and Garden, Flower Gardens

Several years ago, a new group of tropical hibiscus exploded onto the market with vibrant and exciting colors -- a Technicolor dream.

Thirty-eight fantastic selections of Cajun hibiscus, bred and released by the Dupont Nursery in Louisiana, feature colors ranging from bright yellows to pinks, reds and whites. Some of the more spectacular blossoms are those with color blends and those with bright red eyes.

March 1, 2013 - Filed Under: Timber Harvest

MISSISSIPPI STATE – Mississippi State University is offering a free webinar to help those in the timber business understand the changes being made this summer to lumber measurements and standards.

Southern Pine Design Values will be offered free online March 18 from 9 a.m. to noon. Registration is free, and only those registered will receive a link to the webinar. Register at

Steve Demarais
March 1, 2013 - Filed Under: Wildlife

MISSISSIPPI STATE – A Mississippi State University professor has been named Wildlife Conservationist of the Year by the Mississippi Wildlife Federation.

Steve Demarais, professor of wildlife ecology and management in MSU’s Forestry and Wildlife Research Center, received the honor at the federation’s Feb. 16 meeting.

Speaking at a Producer Advisory Council meeting in Verona on Feb. 21, 2013, Mississippi State University administrator George Hopper challenges agricultural producers to tell the state's land-grant university representatives what they need to succeed with their commodities. (Photo by MSU Ag Communications/Scott Corey)
February 28, 2013 - Filed Under: Agriculture, Crops, Livestock, Forestry, Catfish

VERONA – When agricultural producers speak, Mississippi State University listens.

About 300 commodity producers, crop consultants and MSU representatives met on Feb. 21 at the North Mississippi Research and Extension Center in Verona for the annual Producer Advisory Council meeting. The meeting has been held for more than half a century to give farmers the opportunity to express agricultural needs to their land-grant institution.

Despite color differences between this Africanized honeybee (left) and a European honeybee, it requires scientific analysis to distinguish between the two. (Photo by USDA-Agricultural Research Service/Scott Bauer)
February 28, 2013 - Filed Under: Agriculture, Beekeeping, Insects

MISSISSIPPI STATE – Beekeepers and those who work with bees are taking steps to prepare for the arrival of Africanized honeybees in the state.

Jeff Harris, apiculture specialist with the Mississippi State University Extension Service, said that although Africanized bees are more defensive than European bees, it is wrong to think of them as aggressive.

Stephen Meyers
February 28, 2013 - Filed Under: Agriculture, Crops, Sweet Potatoes

PONTOTOC – A new sweet potato specialist has joined forces with Mississippi growers as they produce and promote one of the state’s favorite vegetable crops.

Stephen Meyers, a native of northern Indiana, is working with growers whose fields are largely centered in or around Calhoun and Chickasaw counties. He earned his bachelor’s degree in horticultural production and marketing, with a minor in weed science, from Purdue University. He received master’s and doctoral degrees in weed management from North Carolina State University.

February 28, 2013 - Filed Under: Family, Children and Parenting

By Kaitlyn Byrne
MSU Office of Ag Communications

MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Teen dating violence occurs more often than most people realize, but there are usually warning signs.

Cassandra Kirkland, family life specialist with Mississippi State University’s Extension Service, said one out of every three teenagers has experienced some form of abuse in a dating relationship.

Ryan Akers
February 28, 2013 - Filed Under: Leadership

MISSISSIPPI STATE – Some people never stop looking for opportunities to advance their goals, especially those recruited for leadership classes.

Ryan Akers and Chance McDavid are two representatives of the Mississippi State University Extension Service who are taking part in the Leadership Mississippi program. Lynn Darling, director of the MSU Early Childhood Institute, is also in the 2013 class. After one meeting, they have set their sights on expanding their professional agendas across the state.

From left, Brenda Wright, owner of Heavenly Hearts Learning Center in Nesbit, joins Schmaya Miller, Kingston Jenkins and Ken'Narius Johnson to listen as LaLetrice Fletcher, field technical assistant with the Nurturing Homes Initiative, reads them a book. (Photo by MSU Extension Service/Alicia Barnes)
February 28, 2013 - Filed Under: Family, Children and Parenting

By Alicia Barnes
MSU School of Human Sciences

MISSISSIPPI STATE – To prepare children for kindergarten and beyond, child care providers rely on professional development programs to ensure best practices.

February 28, 2013 - Filed Under: Technology

Backing up computer data is not only a smart move; it can save the files, time and money in the long run.

I cannot count the number of times computer users have said to me, “I know I saved it, but I can’t find it anywhere on my computer. It just vanished.” While there is a small chance that your computer is evil and out to get you, the more likely scenario is that you saved the file incorrectly.

February 27, 2013 - Filed Under: Family, Family Financial Management

GRENADA – As part of America Saves Week, which ends March 2, Mississippi State University Extension Service is spreading the saving message to promote automatic savings to help people reach their savings goals.

“America Saves Week is a great opportunity to help people in our community to set a goal, make a plan and save automatically,” said Rita Green, a financial management Extension agent based in Grenada County.

February 26, 2013 - Filed Under: Family, Children and Parenting

OXFORD – Northwest Mississippi parents, early-care and education providers and community members will be closer to educational materials when the Mississippi Child Care Resource and Referral Network opens new offices on March 5.

Butterfly weed is a common sight beside Mississippi roadways and a surefire butterfly magnet. This low-maintenance plant was a Mississippi Medallion Native Plant winner in 2012. (Photo by MSU Extension Service/Gary Bachman)
February 25, 2013 - Filed Under: Lawn and Garden

I think all gardeners love to see butterflies visit their gardens in the summer months. If you want more butterflies this year, start planning now what to plant this spring to attract them.

I want to tell you about two of my favorite plants that are guaranteed to attract these garden visitors.

Ron McLaughlin
February 25, 2013 - Filed Under: Animal Health

MISSISSIPPI STATE – A department head with the Mississippi State University College of Veterinary Medicine was selected to fill a national role with the American Association of Veterinary Clinicians.

The AAVC has elected Dr. Ron McLaughlin, head of the college’s Department of Clinical Sciences, to serve as president. In this role, McLaughlin works with the organization to enhance the quality of veterinary instruction in the United States.

February 21, 2013 - Filed Under: About Extension

MISSISSIPPI STATE – An experienced communications professional and administrator recently joined the Mississippi State University Extension Service.

Elizabeth Gregory North became the department head for MSU’s Office of Agricultural Communications February 1.

Mississippi State University graduate students gave presentations on their agricultural research during Feb. 7 competition on campus. Those placing in the doctoral level or one of two master's level competitions included, front row, from left, Aly Shinkle, second place in master's competition; and Amber Eytcheson, second place in the Ph.D. section; and back row, from left, Ben Von Kanel, first place in the Ph.D. section; Andrew Adams, first place in a master's section; Garret Montgomery, second place in a m
February 20, 2013 - Filed Under: Agriculture, Community

MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Mississippi State University showcased top graduate students in a competition described by organizers as “American Idol for agriculture.”

Jason Bond, associate Extension and research professor at MSU’s Delta Research and Extension Center in Stoneville, said the recent “Future of Agriculture Graduate Student Competition” was a win-win-win for students, industry representatives and farmers.