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Feature Story from 2013

About 200 former colleagues, friends and family members attended the dedication of the Frank T. (Butch) Withers Jr. Central Mississippi Research and Extension Center held July 10 in Raymond. Withers' family members Jaidyn Laird, Caroline Withers, Shelly Withers and Elizabeth Kilgore, along with Mississippi State University President Mark Keenum (at left) and Vice President of the Division of Agriculture Forestry and Veterinary Medicine Greg Bohach, look on as the new sign is revealed. (Photo by MSU Ag Commu
July 12, 2013 - Filed Under: Agriculture, About Extension

RAYMOND – Former colleagues, friends and family members used the words loyal, genuine and humble to describe Frank T. “Butch” Withers Jr. during a naming ceremony in Raymond for the center he helped create.

Mississippi State University’s central Mississippi hub for research and Extension was renamed on July 10 for Withers, who served as head of the center from 1996 until his retirement in 2006.

Kids can prepare easy, nutritious after-school snacks with little or no cooking when parents plan ahead. (Photo by Lifesize)
July 12, 2013 - Filed Under: Family, Children and Parenting, Food and Health

JACKSON – After school, most kids raid the kitchen before they hit the books. If fruit is not one of their favorites, a few simple recipes and a little planning can help kids make better snacking decisions.

“Kids probably won’t choose to eat an orange if they have to do the work of peeling it before they eat it,” said Dawn Vosbein, registered dietitian and family and consumer science agent with Mississippi State University’s Extension Service in Pearl River County. “If there is cut up fruit already in the fridge, all they have to do is grab it.”

Mississippi State University wildlife biology student Wesley Burger measures a shark caught near Horn Island during a sampling trip for his shark biology class at the Gulf Coast Research Laboratory. Burger became interested in this career through a 4-H wildlife project. (Submitted Photo)
July 16, 2013 - Filed Under: 4-H, Wildlife

MISSISSIPPI STATE – A 4-H program created in the South is training the nation’s next generation of responsible landowners, land managers and wildlife professionals.

The Wildlife Habitat Education Program began in Tennessee in 1978 as a way to teach 4-H’ers the fundamentals of wildlife science and how to manage habitats to benefit different animal species. In addition to general information about wildlife and conservation, participants participate in contests to test their individual knowledge and their ability to work as a team to create a wildlife management plan.

July 17, 2013 - Filed Under: Catfish

STONEVILLE – Mississippi State University scientists looking to help catfish producers keep costs low and quality high have found catfish can thrive for the first six weeks after hatching by feeding on naturally occurring zooplankton.

Several aquaculture researchers at MSU’s Thad Cochran National Warmwater Aquaculture Center compared the growth and survival of two groups of recently hatched catfish, called fry. Both groups were raised in ponds, but for six weeks, one group ate commercial feed daily while the other group did not.

The Mississippi gopher frog is one of the most critically endangered species in North America. Mississippi State University is trying to learn how to get its 34 adult gopher frogs to breed in captivity. (Photo by MSU Ag Communications/Kat Lawrence)
July 18, 2013 - Filed Under: Biotechnology, Environment, Wildlife

MISSISSIPPI STATE – Mississippi State University has joined the ranks of conservationists trying to increase the population of one of the most critically endangered species living in North America.

Mississippi gopher frogs are native to south Mississippi, and for a time, the only known colony living and breeding in the wild was living in one Harrison County pond. They have since been found living near three other ponds in the DeSoto National Forest, bringing the total known wild population to an estimated 100-200 gopher frogs.

Fawns are left alone while their mothers forage for food, a survival strategy that leads people to believe the fawns have been abandoned. Leave wild baby animals alone and call the Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries and Parks to report an orphan. (Photo by MSU Ag Communications/File Photo)
July 19, 2013 - Filed Under: Environment, Wildlife

MISSISSIPPI STATE – Every summer, nature enthusiasts come across baby animals they think are orphans, but most of the time, these young animals have not been abandoned.

Fawn births in Mississippi peak in July and August but many are born from May through October. Wild hogs can have one to three litters per year, depending on circumstances, so it is not unusual for people to encounter young wild animals.

July 19, 2013 - Filed Under: Corn, Soybeans

STONEVILLE – Irrigation and precision agriculture were hot topics for corn and soybean growers and crop consultants who gathered in Stoneville for a July 18 event.

Mississippi State University scientists and Extension specialists shared current research findings and ongoing efforts to determine the best production methods at the annual Corn and Soybean Field Day.

MSU’s Delta Research and Extension Center hosted the event to address numerous agronomic issues.

July 19, 2013 - Filed Under: 4-H, Technology, STEM – Science Technology Engineering and Math

MISSISSIPPI STATE – Some of the nation’s leaders in the field of robotics will be at Mississippi State University August 11-15 for the first 4-H Robotics Academy.

The workshop is open to 4-H agents, volunteers, teachers and senior 4-H’ers, and will train them in the ROBOTC and NXT-G programming languages.

The 4-H Robotics Academy will be at the Bost Extension Center’s Building B. At the end of the week, participants can take an optional exam for certification by the National Robotics Academy.

July 22, 2013 - Filed Under: Fruit

MISSISSIPPI STATE – Muscadine grape growers can hear about the latest research and see fruit on the vine at Mississippi State University’s McNeill Experiment Station in Pearl River County on Aug. 24.

Sam Chang
July 22, 2013 - Filed Under: Community

MISSISSIPPI STATE -- A Mississippi State University administrator has been named a fellow in the American Chemical Society’s Agricultural and Food Chemistry Division.

Sam Chang, head of the Department of Food Science, Nutrition and Health Promotion, will be honored at the 246th annual meeting of the American Chemical Society in Indianapolis in September.

Terri Thompson, Jackson County Extension family and consumer sciences agent (from left); Jennifer Williams, Webster County Extension family and consumer sciences agent and Cassandra Kirkland, Extension family life specialist, cook ground beef during a demonstration at a professional development session held in Jackson on July 16, 2013.  (Photo by MSU Ag Communications/Susan Collins-Smith)
July 22, 2013 - Filed Under: Family, About Extension

JACKSON – Families can find it difficult to eat healthy and watch their wallets while meeting the demands of everyday life.

Mississippi State University’s Extension Service family and consumer sciences educators can help.

July 23, 2013 - Filed Under: 4-H

CANTON – The filmmaking process recently came to life for 13 4-H’ers who attended the Canton Young Filmmakers Workshop.

With instruction from experienced film students and professionals, teens from George, Pontotoc, Greene and Union counties spent six days conceiving, writing, filming and editing a 3- to 5-minute video. A 4-H Tech Wizard grant funded their participation in the camp. The grant enables children of military families from three areas of the state to attend the camp.

Mississippi State University researcher Natalie Calatayud checks on female Boreal toads hibernating in a laboratory refrigerator. Researchers found the toads will lay eggs in captivity after spending time in simulated conditions that mimic their native environment. (Photo by MSU Ag Communications/Kat Lawrence)
July 25, 2013 - Filed Under: Biotechnology, Environment, Wildlife

MISSISSIPPI STATE – Mississippi State University researchers successfully promoted egg laying in threatened Boreal toads when they moved the amphibians out of the refrigerator and into the wine chiller.

Mississippi Agricultural and Forestry Experiment Station researchers at MSU are working with a group of 52 threatened Boreal toads native to the Colorado Rockies. The toads are housed in a special lab in the MSU Department of Biochemistry, Molecular Biology, Entomology and Plant Pathology.

Alexis Parisi of Oxford, left, and Kate Thompson of Picayune are taking part in National Science Foundation research programs for elite undergraduate students. Working in a laboratory in the Mississippi State University Department of Animal and Dairy Science, both are studying reproduction issues. (Photo by MSU College of Veterinary Medicine/Tom Thompson)
July 26, 2013 - Filed Under: Biotechnology

MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Their classmates may be taking the summer off, but two undergraduate students at Mississippi State University are spending long hours in a laboratory conducting studies that would challenge seasoned researchers.

Their supervisor, Erdogan Memili, is not surprised. He nominated Alexis Parisi and Kate Thompson for National Science Foundation research programs for elite undergraduates.

July 26, 2013 - Filed Under: Family

MISSISSIPPI STATE – An experienced leader in the child development field has been named the new director of the Child Development and Family Studies Center at Mississippi State University.

Melissa Tenhet accepted the permanent position in the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences after serving as the center’s interim director for three months. She will also teach part-time as an instructor of human development and family studies in the School of Human Sciences.

Mississippi State University Extension Service agent Jim McAdory and Choctaw Fresh Produce general manager Dick Hoy check plants at the high tunnels near Conehatta Elementary. (Photo by MSU Ag Communications/Kat Lawrence)
July 29, 2013 - Filed Under: Commercial Horticulture, Community

MISSISSIPPI STATE – A partnership between two Mississippi State University alumni and the Mississippi Band of Choctaw Indians is bearing fruit under three hoop houses next to Conehatta Elementary School.

For 10 years, Dick Hoy, Class of 1976, and Jim McAdory, Class of 1998 and an MSU Extension agent for the tribe, have been exchanging tips on agriculture and greenhouse operations. This year, they broke ground on the first of at least three school-based farms designed to teach students about gardening and healthier eating.

Wayne Ebelhar, a researcher with the Mississippi Agricultural and Forestry Experiment Station, compares on July 16, 2013, an energy beet planted at the Mississippi State University Delta Research and Extension Center last September with one planted in March to see the size differences. Researchers are establishing the growth and profit potential for this bioenergy source most commonly grown across the Northern Plains. (Photo by MSU Ag Communications/Linda Breazeale)
July 30, 2013 - Filed Under: Biofuels

STONEVILLE – Energy beets could be the answer to Mississippi farmers’ quest for off-season income and provide an alternative energy source for the nation’s expanding biofuels markets.

Mississippi State University researchers and Extension agents are examining the growth and profit potential for varieties of energy beets, a nonedible relative of sugarbeets used only in biofuel production.

July 31, 2013 - Filed Under: Agri-business, Agri-tourism, Natural Resources, Agricultural Economics

Belzoni -- Landowners who want to branch out and earn extra income can attend a Natural Resource Enterprises Business Workshop Aug. 15.

Hosted by Mississippi State University, the workshop offers attendees the opportunity to learn different ways to make more money from their land. Topics include recreational businesses, managing wildlife such as waterfowl and wild hogs, marketing, cost-share programs and reducing liability.

An adult kudzu bug, left, and an immature kudzu bug rest on a kudzu leaf. These insects entered the state in 2012 and now are a pest in soybeans. (Photo by MSU Extension Service/Blake Layton)
August 1, 2013 - Filed Under: Insects-Crop Pests, Soybeans

MISSISSIPPI STATE -- The kudzu bug is a nonnative insect that is becoming a management headache in soybeans and a pest in houses after just one year in the state.

The insect was first found in Georgia in 2009 and quickly spread to Mississippi and six other Southeastern states. By the end of July, it had been found in 17 Mississippi counties in kudzu, and seven of these counties had the bugs in soybeans.

Gardeners can replant some summer vegetables, such as peppers, when their existing plants stop producing. Tomatoes, squash and cucumbers can also  produce before cold weather arrives. (File Photo/MSU Ag Communications)
August 1, 2013 - Filed Under: Cole Crops, Vegetable Gardens

JACKSON – The vegetable garden’s homegrown goodness can last well into the fall and early winter with proper care.

Summer vegetables, such as tomatoes, squash, cucumbers and peppers can all be replanted this time of year for a second harvest, said Rebecca Bates, Mississippi State University’s Extension Service coordinator in Lincoln County.

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