You are here

News From 2009

March 5, 2009 - Filed Under: Children and Parenting

By Karen Templeton
MSU Ag Communications

MISSISSIPPI STATE – Mississippi may surpass the national average of children living in poverty and the teenage birth rate, but its child advocates plan to refocus their efforts after sharing success stories and ideas at the recent Mississippi KIDS COUNT Summit.

More than 150 attended the second annual Summit at the Mississippi State University Riley Center in Meridian. The purpose was to focus on the progress that Mississippi must make to improve the well-being of its children.

March 5, 2009 - Filed Under: Community

MISSISSIPPI STATE – A Mississippi State University student group conducting food drives for area pantries, soup kitchens and shelters unveiled a new spring campaign to show people they can make a difference in the national War on Hunger initiative.

Members of the MSU Committee of 19 will conduct their second annual campuswide food drive April 20-24. The goal is to motivate university students, faculty and staff to donate nonperishable food that is still good but normally discarded or left at semester’s end. The group collected more than 1,500 pounds of food in 2008.

The fiery orange and yellow flowers of Scooter Flame scutellaria will prove to be a delight to visiting hummingbirds. (Photos by Norman Winter)
March 5, 2009 - Filed Under: Flower Gardens

By Norman Winter
MSU Horticulturist
Central Mississippi Research & Extension Center

It's always interesting to see the crowd favorites at garden shows, and the winners at the recent Gulf Coast Garden and Patio Show appear to be Kangaroo Paws and skullcaps. These are the plants the throngs of gardeners were elbowing each other to purchase last weekend in Biloxi.

March 5, 2009 - Filed Under: Catfish

MISSISSIPPI STATE – Two scientists at Mississippi State University’s Thad Cochran Warmwater Aquaculture Center recently received a national technology transfer award for their work with young channel catfish.

Jim Steeby, an aquaculture specialist with the MSU Extension Service, and Les Torrans, a fish biologist with the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Agricultural Research Service, received the 2008 Technology Transfer Award for Superior Efforts. The award was announced Feb. 10 in Washington, D.C.

Melissa Mixon, left, and Xiaoxi Lu recently signed a five-year general agreement for academic cooperation between Mississippi State University and China's Jiangsu Academy of Agricultural Sciences. (Photo by Marco Nicovich)
March 5, 2009 - Filed Under: Agriculture

MISSISSIPPI STATE – Two agricultural schools are planning to unite in their common goals despite being a world apart geographically.

A delegation from China's Jiangsu Academy of Agricultural Sciences recently visited Mississippi State University, and representatives from both universities discovered interests in many of the same fields of study. Administrators from the universities signed a five-year agreement “to foster international cooperation in education and research.”

William Oliver, producer chair for the grain crops group, presented research and education needs to MSU personnel. A primary interest of the group is to learn more about controlling fire ants.
February 26, 2009 - Filed Under: Agriculture

VERONA – On Feb. 19, the nation’s oldest group of its type met for the 56th time at the North Mississippi Research and Extension Center in Verona.

The North Mississippi Producer Advisory Council, made up of producers in the northern part of the state, have met annually since 1953 to prioritize their research and educational needs for the coming year. The Council meeting provides a venue in which producers can communicate these needs to Mississippi State University Extension Service and Mississippi Agricultural and Forestry Experiment Station personnel.

February 26, 2009 - Filed Under: Family Financial Management

By Karen Templeton
MSU Ag Communications

MISSISSIPPI STATE – An increase in mortgage foreclosures is spreading fear among homeowners who have suffered a loss of income, but falling behind on payments does not necessarily mean they must give up their homes.

There are many circumstances that can lead to homeowners not being able to make their mortgage payments, such as job layoffs, divorce or death of a spouse. In an uncertain economy, any of these circumstances can be an even more serious blow to families who are struggling to make house payments.

February 26, 2009 - Filed Under: Family Financial Management

MISSISSIPPI STATE – Checks and debit cards are handy ways to pay bills without actually carrying money around, but consumers still must be wise using them.

A check used to be a straightforward document authorizing one person to draw a certain amount of money from a consumer's account. The process took a day or more and required a signature and the transfer of actual pieces of paper. Debit cards simplified that process for consumers, and the digital processing of check information simplified it for businesses.

February 26, 2009 - Filed Under: Family Financial Management

MISSISSIPPI STATE – A financial literacy program is leaving lasting impressions on high school students as they get a taste of the real world.

“Welcome to the Real World” introduces students to realistic scenarios and the budgeting challenges life can bring.

Teresa Lyle, family resource management area agent with Mississippi State University's Extension Service, brings the program to school groups ranging from 10 students to 300 or more.

February 26, 2009 - Filed Under: Family Financial Management

By Patti Drapala
MSU Ag Communications

MISSISSIPPI STATE – Creditors have a right to seek payment on bills, but they do not have a blank check to use any means necessary to collect.

Congress passed the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act in 1977 to stop creditors and debt collectors from using threats, abusive language, misleading information and illegal tactics to obtain payments. The act was written to promote fair debt collection practices and to make sure people received accurate information about their debts.

February 26, 2009 - Filed Under: Animal Health

MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Students at Mississippi State University’s College of Veterinary Medicine will welcome thousands of school children to campus on the first weekend in April.

MSU’s College of Veterinary Medicine will open its doors from 8:30 a.m. until 3:30 p.m. on April 3 and from 8 a.m. until 2 p.m. on April 4 for the 25th annual open house at the Wise Center, located on the south side of campus off Spring Street. “Treating the Sick, Teaching to Save” is the theme for this year’s event.

Kong Salmon Pink coleus partners well with Dark Chocolate coleus. Despite the deep, dark chocolate color, these plants grab your attention in shady locations.
February 26, 2009 - Filed Under: Flower Gardens

By Norman Winter
MSU Horticulturist
Central Mississippi Research & Extension Center

A lot of gardeners ask me what they can grow in shadier parts of the garden to add color and pizzazz. If you find yourself asking that same question, it's probably time to let Kong loose.

The Kong series of coleus was selected as a Mississippi Medallion winner a few years ago, and it has continued to be one of the largest-leafed selections and tops in color.

February 19, 2009 - Filed Under: Family Financial Management

MISSISSIPPI STATE -- A group of state experts on consumer protection issues will be in Starkville March 5 to discuss a wide range of topics, and via interactive video, people across the state can ask questions directly.

The warm, cheerful yellows of a large, naturally growing forsythia and a patch of daffodils complement the cool, deep purple flowers of a fine saucer magnolia. A concrete bench encouraging visitors to pause and take in the beauty of spring is the perfect finishing touch. (Photo by Norman Winter)
February 19, 2009 - Filed Under: Lawn and Garden

By Norman Winter
MSU Horticulturist
Central Mississippi Research & Extension Center

Mention complementary color schemes in the garden and your first thought is probably of flowers. The idea can be carried further to include shrubs and small trees, and spring is a great time to put it on display.

MSU biochemistry major Erika Knott prepares a slide for examination under the microscope. Knott spent her summer studying products that occur in the environment as TNT breaks down. (Photo by Marco Nicovich)
February 19, 2009 - Filed Under: Biotechnology

By Patti Drapala
MSU Ag Communications

MISSISSIPPI STATE – While scientists are unsure about TNT's long-term effect on the environment as it breaks down, Mississippi State University student Erika Knott discovered a dynamic way to practice the art of forensics through a research project on its degradation.

Mary Riley, coordinator for Mississippi State University's 4-H therapeutic riding program, and volunteer Shanna Holder, talk to 9-year-old Elizabeth Howard of Columbus as she sits atop her favorite horse, Bob. Howard's parents, Tommy and Brenda, are donating funds to construct a new therapeutic activity center in West Point. (Photo by Marco Nicovich)
February 19, 2009 - Filed Under: 4-H

MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Tommy and Brenda Howard of Columbus could see how much the spring and fall sessions of Mississippi State University’s 4-H therapeutic riding program helped their daughter, so they made a donation to help make the program a year-round option.

February 13, 2009 - Filed Under: Children and Parenting

MISSISSIPPI STATE – The second annual Mississippi KIDS COUNT Summit will focus on the positive future of Mississippi’s children.

The summit, “Moving Mississippi’s Children Forward: What Will It Take?” will be held Feb. 25 at Mississippi State University’s Riley Center in Meridian. The event will provide a forum to discuss ways to meet the economic, educational, health and safety needs of children in the state. Child advocates, educators, policymakers, parents and concerned citizens are invited to participate.

February 12, 2009 - Filed Under: Lawn and Garden

MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Although most lawns and gardens look brown and dead through the winter, a lot of activity is taking place underground as plants prepare for the growing seasons.

Lelia Kelly, consumer horticulture specialist with the Mississippi State University Extension Service, said roots are continuing to grow and develop underground when the plants are dormant aboveground.

“That is why experts recommend fall planting for trees and bushes,” Kelly said. “Roots have time to establish before spring when active top growth begins.”

This radiograph shows the approximately 26 pellets in her head and neck.
February 12, 2009 - Filed Under: Animal Health, Pets

MISSISSIPPI STATE -- A bullet to the brain usually means game over, but one young Labrador retriever beat the odds with the expert emergency help of a local veterinarian and Mississippi State University's College of Veterinary Medicine.

Tess is an 18-month-old female black lab who was accidentally shot in the head with a shotgun while duck hunting early one Sunday morning in December. She was in a near comatose state by the time her owner Steve Horn of Madison got her to the CVM emergency room four to five hours later.

Groundcover conifers offer a staggering difference in texture because their leaves are needle-like. This Parson's juniper contrasts with the smooth, glossy leaves of the fatsia, a large tropical-looking shrub.
February 12, 2009 - Filed Under: Lawn and Garden

By Norman Winter
MSU Horticulturist
Central Mississippi Research & Extension Center

Your first thought of shrubs for your home is probably the staples like hollies or ligustrums and showy bloomers like azaleas or camellias. Those are great choices, but I want you to consider using some conifers.

While many conifers are tall trees like pines or bald cypresses, shorter conifers like the shrub-type junipers offer a lot for the landscape.