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Feature Story from 2023

People look at plants in a garden.
September 12, 2023 - Filed Under: Master Gardener, Lawn and Garden, Flower Gardens

Garden enthusiasts of all ages are welcome Oct. 21 to Fall Garden Day at the North Mississippi Research and Extension Center in Verona. The event will be held from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Mississippi State University facility.

September 13, 2023 - Filed Under: Insects, Insect Identification, Lawn and Garden, Plants and Wildlife, Smart Landscapes, Places for Wildlife, Natural Resources

PICAYUNE, Miss. -- School groups, nature enthusiasts and the public can enjoy two fun-filled days of exciting, hands-on learning about the environment, ecosystems, wildlife and insects at the Mississippi State University Crosby Arboretum in Picayune. BugFest offers insect-related displays, interactive exhibits, games and crafts. Biologists, naturalists, entomologists and other experts from Mississippi, Louisiana and Alabama will host booths and give presentations on butterflies, bats, caterpillars, beetles, crayfish, ladybugs, hissing cockroaches, dancing praying mantises, native and exotic arthropods and more.

September 15, 2023 - Filed Under: Health and Wellness, Mental Health First Aid

STARKVILLE, Miss. – A Mississippi State University Extension instructor has been selected to a national Extension Foundation committee focused on improving mental health.

A close-up of an ear of corn.
September 15, 2023 - Filed Under: Agriculture, Agricultural Economics, Crops, Corn

RAYMOND, Miss. -- The favorable weather that kicked off planting season for Mississippi corn producers stayed in play throughout the growing season and is helping growers wrap up harvest. Mississippi producers planted 790,000 acres of corn, up from the 700,000 acres forecast just before farmers began planting in mid-March. The U.S. Department of Agriculture National Agricultural Statistics Service estimates 770,000 of those acres will be harvested for grain.

A group of people hold a ribbon in front of a building entrance.
September 26, 2023 - Filed Under: Family, Children and Parenting, Mississippi Child Care Resource and Referral

HATTIESBURG, Miss. -- Toy trucks loaded with miniature felt apples idle their imaginary engines in an orchard of building-blocks. A toy kitchen beckons tiny chefs to bake felt apple pies. A row of small lab coats hung neatly along the wall invite little visitors to explore why apples float in a bowl full of water. These are just a few of the apple-themed, hands-on learning opportunities that are engaging children in September at the new Mississippi Child Care Resource and Referral Center in Hattiesburg. The center held its grand opening Sept. 19.

A man wearing a hard hat talking into a microphone in front of a piece of heavy equipment.
September 27, 2023 - Filed Under: Natural Resources, Forestry, Timber Harvest

STARKVILLE, Miss. -- Loggers, foresters, wildlife professionals, trade classes and families were well represented at the biannual Mid-South Forestry Equipment Show on Sept. 22 and 23. Activities, held at Mississippi State University’s John W. Starr Memorial Forest, attracted a range of audiences, all interested in forests, trees and the equipment used to hew them down.

Grasses and small bushes adorn a landscape bed in front of a building.
October 3, 2023 - Filed Under: Landscape Architecture, Landscape and Garden Design

Landscape design and natural landscape enthusiasts will gather at Mississippi State University to perfect their craft and learn from other experts, an annual event happening this year on Oct. 18. The 68th Edward C. Martin Landscape Symposium will be held from 8:30 a.m. to noon at the Bost Auditorium at MSU.

October 3, 2023 - Filed Under: Extension Administration

STARKVILLE, Miss.— A Mississippi State research and extension center welcomes a new department head who brings extensive knowledge, experience and strong university roots to the job. Curt Lacy, extension professor and interim associate director for county operations, steps into his new role at the Central Mississippi Research and Extension Center in Raymond Oct. 16.

Wilting, sunbaked cotton plants in a dry field.
October 5, 2023 - Filed Under: Agriculture, Crops, Corn, Cotton, Soybeans

STARKVILLE, Miss. -- Cool temperatures and rainfall are two things most of Mississippi has not seen lately.

This winter, however, that could change and help farms that have taken a hit from extreme drought if anticipated El Nino conditions play out. But the rains will not arrive quickly enough to save this year’s crop for some growers.

The southwest quadrant of the state is currently in what the U.S. Drought Monitor report classifies as a D-4 (exceptional drought) zone, while other portions near or below Interstate 20 are in D-3 or D-2 zones.

A wide path goes straight through pine timberland.
October 11, 2023 - Filed Under: Forestry, Carbon Credits, Forest Management

Some Mississippi landowners selling carbon offsets through a company geared to smaller tracts of land have lost that source of income this year.
Curtis VanderSchaaf, a forester with the Mississippi State University Extension Service, said the one-year harvest deferral program previously offered by the Natural Capital Exchange, or NCX, has ended.

A man stands in a studio with a completed velvet bow, garland, door swag, and table centerpiece.
October 17, 2023 - Filed Under: Lawn and Garden, Cut Flowers and Houseplants, Floral Design, Flower Gardens

RAYMOND, Miss. -- Floral enthusiasts and business owners can learn to create home holiday decorations with evergreen cuttings and basic floral supplies in an online workshop. The Deck the Halls workshop will include step-by-step instruction for creating impressive velvet bows, a classical garland, a regal door swag and a long-lasting, elegant table centerpiece.

A hand holds a bee hive frame with bees on it
October 18, 2023 - Filed Under: Beekeeping, Apiculture: Honey Bee Health

Despite widespread populations of honeybees and the major implications of their health, there are few direct options for beekeepers to reduce viral disease transmission to queens. Two apiculturists with the Mississippi State University Extension Service are out to improve the health and quality of queen bees while collaborating with their breeders.

October 19, 2023 - Filed Under: About Extension, Extension Administration

STARKVILLE, Miss.—Mississippi State University Extension has a new leader with a long history of connecting Mississippians with information they need through research, education and outreach. Angus L. Catchot Jr. is the new MSU Extension director, effective Nov. 1.

October 19, 2023 - Filed Under: Lawn and Garden, Landscape Architecture, Smart Landscapes, Natural Resources

RAYMOND, Miss. -- The Piney Woods Heritage Festival will be held at the Mississippi State University Crosby Arboretum Nov. 4 to celebrate the region’s heritage. The 21st annual event offers various displays and demonstrations for the public. The event begins at 10 a.m. and ends at 2 p.m.

October 20, 2023 - Filed Under: Extension Administration

STARKVILLE, Miss.—A county and interim regional coordinator for the Mississippi State University Extension Service will soon take the reins as regional coordinator in its northeast region.

October 20, 2023 - Filed Under: Family, Children and Parenting, Nurturing Homes Initiative

STARKVILLE, Miss.-- In-home, unlicensed childcare providers in Mississippi can receive technical assistance, educational resources and professional development through the Nurturing Homes Initiative program. Delivered through the Mississippi State University Extension Service, NHI is dedicated to enhancing the quality of early education experiences in family childcare homes. The program is open to any in-home, unlicensed childcare providers who provide full-time, year-round childcare services to children from birth to 5 years old.

A night view of a downtown street in Ocean Springs, Mississippi, lined with shops and parked cars.
October 23, 2023 - Filed Under: Community, Economic Development

RAYMOND, Miss. -- Ocean Springs. Natchez. Vicksburg. These Mississippi cities are just a few of the state’s gems drawing praise from various publications for their tourist-friendly atmosphere. WorldAtlas highlighted these three cities along with Tupelo, Oxford, Woodville and Bay St. Louis for their “warm and inviting” main streets that offer “endless activities.” Forbes recommended the entire state of Mississippi as a travel destination, noting its “cutting-edge culinary scene to buzzing small towns to incredible natural beauty.” None of this is a surprise to Rachael Carter, tourism specialist with the Mississippi State University Extension Service. She knows how much thought and planning it takes to execute successful tourism programs. Carter and her colleagues in the Extension Center for Government and Community Development spend countless hours working with and providing support services to tourism professionals throughout the state.

October 24, 2023 - Filed Under: Community, City and County Government, Economic Development

RAYMOND, Miss. -- Members of the inaugural Excellence in Tourism Leadership Program graduated from the program and received their certificates on Oct. 5. The two-year program helps tourism professionals learn how to market and increase tourism while gaining insight into leadership, advocacy, public policy and administration.

Different plants decorate the area beside a set of stairs.
October 24, 2023 - Filed Under: Landscape Architecture

One man’s landscape architectural legacy at Mississippi State University has allowed generations of home and professional gardeners to learn from industry-leading professionals about how to beautify their own spaces. This year marked the 68th Edward C. Martin Landscape Symposium hosted by MSU Extension Service, the MSU Department of Landscape Architecture and Garden Clubs of Mississippi Inc. Started in 1957, the event is named for Martin, who helped establish the MSU Department of Landscape Architecture and served 45 years at MSU.

A large room full of people watching a presentation.
November 8, 2023 - Filed Under: Agriculture, Crops, Corn, Cotton, Rice, Soybeans

STARKVILLE, Miss. -- Online preregistration for Mississippi’s premier row crop course is open.

Hosted by the Mississippi State University Extension Service and the Mississippi Agricultural and Forestry Experiment Station, the 2023 Row Crop Short course will be held on Dec. 4-6 at the Mill Conference Center in Starkville.

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