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January 5, 2021 - Filed Under: Water, SipSafe

The Mississippi State University Extension Service invites child care centers in 14 Mississippi counties to volunteer for a free water-testing program.

The Sip Safe program, funded by a grant from the Environmental Protection Agency, is working to reduce lead exposure in children ages birth to 5 years by screening water in qualifying schools and child care facilities. The initial recruitment phase is focused on child care centers in select counties.

January 5, 2021 - Filed Under: 4-H, About Extension

The Mississippi State University Extension Service is launching a new Extension Center for 4-H Youth Development to grow the next generation of leaders. This name change leverages current funding and restructuring of existing positions to allow for greater support and service to Mississippi’s young people. 4-H provides nonformal youth development education across the state for 8- to 18-year-olds through programs delivered locally by Extension agents and registered 4-H adult volunteers.

Purple flowers bloom in front of a wall of green with yellow flowers.
January 4, 2021 - Filed Under: Flower Gardens

Happy New Year! Boy, oh boy, what a number COVID laid on us in 2020. It was clearly demonstrated how ill-prepared we are for disruptions in many supply chains. Who can forget the short supplies of toilet paper, and who has not put away a couple of extra rolls just in case?

Upright, green leaves rise above mounding red flowers.
December 28, 2020 - Filed Under: Flower Gardens

For at least 10 years, I’ve been actively wondering what direction our landscape and gardening practices are headed. Being a horticulturist with the Mississippi State University Extension Service, I’ve had the opportunity to ask this question of gardeners and nongardeners alike, as well as commercial horticulture growers.

A branch has green leaves and clusters of red berries along its length.
December 21, 2020 - Filed Under: Flower Gardens

Poinsettias are being bought, Christmas trees with ornaments are going up, and lights and inflatable figures are on display around our homes as people get ready for the holidays.
While most of these holiday displays are quite stunning, some of the most beautiful are those designed by Mother Nature.

December 18, 2020 - Filed Under: 4-H, Extension Administration, Extension Administrative Council, Extension Leadership Council

Longtime Mississippi State University Extension Service administrator and MSU Extension professor Paula Threadgill announced her retirement effective Dec. 31, 2020.

Four panels display a chicken, a cotton boll, a timber stand and a dried soybean plant.
December 17, 2020 - Filed Under: Agriculture, Agricultural Economics, Coronavirus

Mississippi farmers generated an estimated agricultural value of $7.35 billion in 2020, a 5% increase from 2019 that saw soybeans top forestry for the No. 2 spot behind poultry.

Four panels display a chicken, a cotton boll, a timber stand and a dried soybean plant.
December 17, 2020 - Filed Under: Agriculture, Agricultural Economics

Mississippi farmers generated an estimated agricultural value of $7.35 billion in 2020, a 5% increase from 2019 saw soybeans top forestry for the No. 2 spot behind poultry.

Several eggs sit in a bowl on a kitchen counter.
December 17, 2020 - Filed Under: Agriculture, Livestock, Poultry

RAYMOND, Miss. -- Despite multiple challenges in 2020, Mississippi’s poultry industry retained its first-place position among the state’s agricultural commodities. It topped the list with an estimated total production value of $2.16 billion.

That figure is down 16.1% from 2019. Final figures will be available in April.

Logging tongs bundle timber.
December 17, 2020 - Filed Under: Forestry, Forest Economics

Mississippi’s timber industry was not excused from market volatility due to COVID-19 this year, but its final value should land just short of where it was at the end of 2019.

Closeup of herbs and spices on a cutting board.
December 14, 2020 - Filed Under: Food and Health, Food, Health, Nutrition

Many of the foods enjoyed during the holiday season include herbs and spices, which have known health benefits. Just like fruits and vegetables, herbs and spices contain antioxidants, or properties that may protect cells from damage.

 A pink and white poinsettia is surrounded by small, decorative Christmas trees.
December 14, 2020 - Filed Under: Flower Gardens

“’Twas the night before Christmas, and all through the yard, not a plant was left standing, and the ground was hard.” So begins Karen Geisler’s gardener adaptation of Clement Clarke Moore’s Christmas classic “The Night Before Christmas.” We’re just days away from the big day, and I know there are still folks trying to decide on that perfect Christmas gift for their favorite gardener.

Four glass containers with plastic lids contain food leftovers.
December 8, 2020 - Filed Under: Food Safety, Coronavirus

While Thanksgiving is an obvious food holiday, Christmas also brings numerous opportunities to celebrate with food, and every one of these should be done with care to keep guests healthy.

Byron Williams, state food processing specialists with the Mississippi State University Extension Service, said safety is always a concern any time food is prepared, but it can become a bigger issue when there are lots of leftovers.

December 8, 2020 - Filed Under: Commercial Horticulture, Green Industry

The long-standing annual update on Mississippi State University research in ornamental horticulture is going virtual this year with a Dec. 17 webinar.

A Christmas tree is hung with red and white ornaments.
December 7, 2020 - Filed Under: Flower Gardens

We are fully into the holiday season, and most people are getting into the holiday spirit. But this year is very different, thanks to COVID-19.

December 4, 2020 - Filed Under: Family, Healthy Homes Initiative, Food and Health, Health, Rural Health

MISSISSIPPI STATE, Miss. -- A Mississippi State University Extension Service specialist has been elected to the National Board of Public Health Examiners board of directors.

Frost covers the ruffled leaves of young lettuce.
November 30, 2020 - Filed Under: Flower Gardens

Well, it happened again this week. It seems every year, home gardeners get surprised by the first cold snap. Whenever weather forecasters utter the words “frost” or “freeze” for the first time each fall, you can bet there will be cases of landscape panic and questions about how to protect our garden plants from the onslaught of Jack Frost.

A serving island and three stools sit in a kitchen.
November 24, 2020 - Filed Under: Wood Products, Wood Utilization

Old wood’s depth of beauty has made it popular in remodeling and new construction, but this type of wood presents some unique challenges that need addressing.

November 23, 2020 - Filed Under: Water, Rural Water Association

A Mississippi State University Extension Service water quality specialist has been named 2020 chair of a regional professional and trade association.

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