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News From 2009

February 11, 2009 - Filed Under: Trees

By Karen Templeton
MSU Ag Communications

MISSISSIPPI STATE – Mississippians will celebrate a 137-year-old holiday honoring the beauty and benefits of trees Feb. 13-20.

National Arbor Day, founded in 1872, is observed nationwide and encourages tree planting and care. States observe Arbor Day during their region's tree-planting season. Arbor Day in Mississippi is honored on the second Friday in Feb., and the celebration continues for one week.

Wes Herrington of Laurel, Miss., 16, prepares to take his steer into the Dixie National Sale of Junior Champions Thursday morning. (Photos by Jim Lytle)
February 6, 2009 - Filed Under: Youth Livestock

JACKSON -- Economic woes cannot change what many Mississippians are deep down in their hearts -- generous.

The Feb. 5 Dixie National Sale of Junior Champions marked 40 years charitable buyers have stepped forward to bid on market animals raised by 4-H and FFA members from across the state. The event rewards youth for jobs well done and provides money for educational funds, future livestock projects or other needs.

Silvana Rausa, a Greenwood Master Gardener, is a native Italian who moved with her husband, an American physician, to the United States and eventually settled in the Delta. She lived in the Italian countryside as a child and a high-rise apartment as a young married woman, and now she enjoys all the beauties her own garden offers. (Photo by Marco Nicovich)
February 5, 2009 - Filed Under: Master Gardener

MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Volunteers who have earned the title of Master Gardener share a love for gardening and a desire to serve others, but the projects they take on are as varied and unique as the individuals themselves.

Mississippi has more than 750 active Master Gardeners, a group of people who have completed 40 hours of college-level training in horticulture and volunteered a required number of hours.

Dr. Jerome Goddard, a medical and veterinary entomologist with the Mississippi State University Extension Service, examines an insect specimen in his laboratory on campus. Goddard hopes to use his experience as a public health entomologist for teaching, research and outreach. (Photo by Marco Nicovich)
February 5, 2009 - Filed Under: Insects

By Patti Drapala
MSU Ag Communications

MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Jerome Goddard left his mark on Mississippi State University in 1984 when he graduated with a doctorate in medical entomology, and now he is back to reclaim it.

February 5, 2009 - Filed Under: Farmers Markets

MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Mississippians looking to buy or sell fresh produce have an online resource to help them find the best places to do this.

The Mississippi State University Extension Service compiles a list of farmers’ markets operating in the state. The list includes 49 farmers’ markets as of its most recent update on Jan. 21. Farmers’ markets that opened in 2008 are noted on the list, as are those certified by the Mississippi Department of Agriculture and commerce as part of the Mississippi Farmers’ Market Certification Program.

January 29, 2009 - Filed Under: Master Gardener

MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Mississippi State University specialists have put together the schedule to train the next wave of Master Gardeners who will serve the landscape and horticulture needs of the state through their volunteer efforts.

January 29, 2009 - Filed Under: Lawn and Garden

MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Mississippi gardeners will have an opportunity to attend a new exposition honoring plants and all things related to them at an event the first weekend in March.

The Everything Garden Expo will take place March 7 and 8 at the Mississippi Horse Park, located on Mississippi State University’s South Farm. Doors will be open from 8 a.m. until 6 p.m. on Saturday and from noon until 5 p.m. on Sunday. Admission is $5, and children 7 and younger are admitted free.

January 29, 2009 - Filed Under: Family Dynamics

MISSISSIPPI STATE – Marriage education providers will gather Feb. 12 in Jackson as part of a statewide initiative to raise awareness about the benefits of a healthy marriage and resources for troubled relationships.

January 29, 2009 - Filed Under: Wildlife Youth Education

MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Several wildlife groups will assist in an event for future hunters on Feb. 14 in an effort to lay the foundation for safe and responsible hunting.

Mississippi State University’s Department of Wildlife and Fisheries in the College of Forest Resources is offering a squirrel hunt for young people. The hunt will take place at the Noxubee National Wildlife Refuge, located southeast of Starkville.

January 29, 2009 - Filed Under: About Extension

MISSISSIPPI STATE -- The life of staff members of the Mississippi State University Extension Service are often far from routine, a fact finally documented in 198 pages of humorous and insightful stories.

True Tales from the Mississippi State University Extension Service was compiled in 2008 and is available for purchase. The hardback book collects some of the most interesting and unusual encounters MSU Extension Service personnel have had with individuals who are sure their questions can be answered by someone from “State College.”

Dr. Shane Burgess, a researcher at Mississippi State University's College of Veterinary Medicine, is working on a massive, online project to catalogue the chicken genome. (Photo illustration by Tom Thompson)
January 29, 2009 - Filed Under: Animal Health, Poultry

MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Chickens are often used in place of humans in jokes and cartoons, and science has found they are helpful models for genetic research as well.

Alex Corzo, assistant poultry science research professor at Mississippi State University, carefully monitors chicks that eat feed containing an ethanol byproduct. (Photo by Marco Nicovich)
January 29, 2009 - Filed Under: Biofuels

By Karen Templeton
MSU Ag Communications

MISSISSIPPI STATE – Ethanol serves as an alternative to conventional fossil fuels, and researchers are finding ways the poultry industry can benefit from its production.

Demand for biofuels is due in large part to volatile fossil fuel prices. American businesses are embracing the shift toward renewable energy, and government mandates are making it more profitable for corn producers to sell the crop for ethanol production than for animal feed.

January 29, 2009 - Filed Under: Family Financial Management

By Patti Drapala
MSU Ag Communications

MISSISSIPPI STATE – When fights about money break out in a family, it is time to schedule a financial checkup to treat the problem.

Financial problems can put a terrible strain on family life, said family resource management area agent Susan Cosgrove of the Mississippi State University Extension Service.

“Many people don't track their spending,” she said. “They place importance on convenience, such as eating out and entertainment, rather than basic necessities.”

The Mississippi 4-H Learning Center and Pete Frierson 4-H Museum lights up the night during the holiday season. (Photo by Jim Lytle)
January 22, 2009 - Filed Under: 4-H

By Patti Drapala
MSU Ag Communications

MISSISSIPPI STATE – Young people learn Mississippi history through textbooks, but visiting the 4-H Learning Center and Pete Frierson Museum in Jackson can give them a unique opportunity to experience the past through the eyes of their ancestors.

More than 30,000 youth have toured the learning center since it opened in December 2007 at the Mississippi Agriculture and Forestry Museum complex on Lakeland Drive. Some visitors were veteran while others were only vaguely aware of 4-H and the opportunities it affords youth.

This outdoor fireplace with Adirondack-style chairs, matching coffee table, end table and loveseat creates a room that is soothing and inviting on our cooler days. (Photo by Norman Winter)
January 22, 2009 - Filed Under: Lawn and Garden

By Norman Winter
MSU Horticulturist
Central Mississippi Research & Extension Center

A trendy new word used throughout the landscape design industry is “nesting,” and the outdoor fireplace certainly has become a focal point in new nests. While the phrase “feather your nest” may be for the birds, each of us has that opportunity as well.

January 22, 2009 - Filed Under: Insects-Crop Pests, Insects-Forage Pests, Insects-Pests

MISSISSIPPI STATE – Agriculture specialists will address management of pests in peanuts, grains, pine trees, cattle, blueberries and landscapes during a day-long workshop on Feb. 10 in Raymond.

The annual pest management workshop will take place at Mississippi State University’s Central Mississippi Research and Extension Center auditorium. Registration is $10 and begins at 8 a.m., and the program begins at 8:30 a.m. Sessions will conclude by 4:30 p.m.

January 22, 2009 - Filed Under: 4-H

MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Four qualified 4-H'ers will have the chance to participate in state government for one week in March serving in either the Mississippi Senate or House of Representatives.

The Mississippi State University Extension Service 4-H program and the Center for Governmental Training and Technology are sponsoring the opportunity for 4-H youth to serve in the Legislative Page Internship Program March 16-20. Program coordinators hope to select two male and two female 4-H’ers for the positions.

Women for Agriculture logo
January 22, 2009 - Filed Under: Women for Agriculture

MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Women, who are often the sole decision makers in their agricultural businesses, are the target audience for an upcoming seminar in the Mississippi Delta.

The three-day program will help participants learn how to make the best choices for their businesses and lay the groundwork for future educational opportunities.

January 15, 2009 - Filed Under: Family, Pets

By Karen Templeton
MSU Ag Communications

MISSISSIPPI STATE – The wedding march begins, the doors open, the guests rise and here comes . . . Fido, Bowser and Snowball wagging down the aisle.

For better or worse, dogs are becoming the new nontraditional members of wedding parties. Many couples wouldn't dream of leaving their favorite dog out of that special day. Although not as common, some couples have their cats and birds take part in wedding celebrations.

January 15, 2009 - Filed Under: Family

MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Children can make a wedding memorable in a lot of ways, but the happiest memories are made when guests and the wedding party work together to plan their involvement.

When guests remember that the focus of the wedding day is the bride and groom, decisions like whether or not to bring children to the event become a lot easier to make.