News From 2010
The 2010 Mississippi Medallion Award Winners are Fireworks Gomphrena, Electric Lime Coleus, Purple Flash pepper and Gulf Coast muhly grass. Mississippi Medallion Award Winners are selected each year based on their ability to thrive in Mississippi’s hot, humid summers and cool winters.
MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Darren Miller was 13 when he experienced the heart-thumping, adrenaline-flowing excitement of his first squirrel hunt.
Miller, manager of Southern Environmental Research for Weyerhaeuser Co., has good memories of the first time his father took him squirrel hunting. Now a father himself, Miller enjoys taking his daughters hunting.
MISSISSIPPI STATE -- An administrator with more than 25 years experience in agricultural education has been named director of the Mississippi State University Extension Service.
Gary Brown Jackson will assume his duties as head of the statewide educational outreach system Jan.1, 2011, pending formal approval of the Board of Trustees, State Institutions of Higher Learning.
MISSISSIPPI STATE – Weighty woods, trained termites and oak bubbling bazookas will be among the many highlights at Mississippi State University’s Wood Magic Science Fair.
The Oct. 18-22 event will introduce students to the benefits of forestry, forest products and wildlife. The Wood Magic Science Fair is sponsored by MSU’s Department of Forest Products, College of Forest Resources and wood product industries. It will be held at MSU’s forest products complex at 100 Blackjack Road in Starkville.
PICAYUNE – The arts, history and music of the past will come to life at the eighth annual Piney Woods Heritage Festival at Mississippi State University’s Crosby Arboretum Nov. 12-13 in Picayune.
Preregistered school groups will visit from 10 a.m. until 2 p.m. Nov. 12. The cost is $2 per child, and the admission is waived for teachers, chaperones and bus drivers. The general public is invited to attend Nov. 13 from 10 a.m. until 4 p.m. The general public admission is $2 for children and $5 for adults.
MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Halloween is surrounded by mystery, and one of the greatest mysteries to Mississippi farmers is why anyone would want to grow pumpkins.
David Nagel, vegetable specialist with Mississippi State University’s Extension Service, said pumpkins are hard to grow in Mississippi because of the late-summer weather, but farmers are eternal optimists.
The changing season and cooler temperatures make now the perfect time to decorate the front porch with a fall harvest display. These displays are ideal for Halloween and add charm through the season.
Remember to use more than just pumpkins in your display. Pumpkins are a member of the cucurbit family, which also includes squashes and gourds. Pumpkins can be orange, red, yellow, white, blue, or striped. They can be miniature, flattened, necked, smooth, winged or warty.
By Kaitlyn Byrne
MSU Ag Communications
JACKSON – More than 500 students paired science and entertainment at the third annual 4-H National Youth Science Day on Oct. 6 at Oak Forest Elementary School in Jackson.
“This event encouraged kids to value their education and realize science is fun,” said Rocheryl Ware, Mississippi State University Extension 4-H agent in Hinds County. “They were learning while enjoying themselves. We wanted it to be hands-on for the kids so they could understand school can actually be interesting. The kids had a blast.”
MISSISSIPPI STATE – The summer’s drought has made lawns, woods and grassy areas into fire starters, creating ideal conditions for wildfires across Mississippi.
On Oct. 6, Mississippi Gov. Haley Barbour issued a statewide ban on all outdoor burning in response to “extremely dry conditions and fire danger.” The ban will remain until the conditions improve and the danger is abated. This action came less than a week after the Mississippi Forestry Commission issued a statewide Wildland Fire Alert.
MISSISSIPPI STATE – Mississippi State University’s College of Veterinary Medicine has planned a celebration in October to examine the special relationship between humans and animals.
The Human-Animal Bond Lecture Series will explore various facets of this relationship with the goal of raising awareness of the bonds between humans and companion animals, production animals and wildlife. Event organizers hope to educate and entertain audiences with information on the bond that exists between humans and animals.
MISSISSIPPI STATE – Intense summer heat did a number on the state’s major row crops, and the crops that did best were those planted early and irrigated.
Cotton and soybeans appear to have come through the year in the best shape, but corn and rice look better than expected.
MISSISSIPPI STATE – Mississippi State University researchers added two rice varieties this year to the university’s growing list of intellectual property holdings that generate revenue and benefit consumers.
As a major research institution, MSU holds a number of commercially valuable patents and other forms of intellectual property protections.
This summer, researchers at MSU’s Delta Research and Extension Center in Stoneville released a new conventional rice variety named Rex. They also submitted a Clearfield variety to a company for potential commercial release.
The Fall Flower and Garden Festival at Mississippi State University’s Truck Crops Experiment Station in Crystal Springs is one of the best horticulture field days in the Southeast. Come Oct.15 and 16 for free fun for the entire family. There will be a lot to see for everyone from garden novices to Master Gardeners.
The 3-acre garden site will showcase a great selection of tough roses, ornamental grasses like the native Gulf Coast muhly grass, tropical plants, and fall vegetables and herbs.
MISSISSIPPI STATE -- A U.S. Department of Agriculture conservation practice designed to increase the population of northern bobwhite and other grassland birds appears to be working in Mississippi and elsewhere.
By Karen Templeton
MSU Ag Communications
MISSISSIPPI STATE – Mississippi State University’s College of Veterinary Medicine’s new veterinary medical technology program is preparing students for a dynamic field full of career options.
By Patti Drapala
MSU Ag Communications
MISSISSIPPI STATE – Demand for Mississippi peanuts could be up because of season-long production problems in Georgia and Alabama.
“Peanut crops in the central areas of Georgia and Alabama are hurting,” said Malcolm Broome, executive director of the Mississippi Peanut Growers Association. “If our farmers can get the crop out, they may see some price improvement because of the anticipated decreases in supply.”
PICAYUNE – Music lovers and plant enthusiasts are invited to enjoy blues and jazz music during Crosby Arboretum’s fall plant sale.
As part of the Crosby Arboretum music series, Jackson native Latongya Garner will perform a blend of traditional blues and jazz at 1 p.m. on Oct. 9.
PRAIRIE -- Mississippi beef producers can fine-tune their forage-fed operations with information offered at an Oct. 22 workshop in Monroe County.
The Forage-Fed Beef Workshop will be held from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. at Mississippi State University’s Prairie Research Unit.
Program topics include forage systems for pasture-finished beef, current forage-fed research, cattle buying decisions, selling and marketing, and the benefits of forage-fed beef. All beef producers are invited to attend the free workshop. Lunch will be provided.
I firmly believe that many of our flowering landscape plants are only a step or two away from being weeds growing in a ditch. But goldenrod is an exception. Can you believe some gardeners are intentionally growing goldenrod?
Most folks recognize goldenrod growing wild when they see the explosion of golden color late in the summer, just before the temperatures start to decrease in the fall.
By Justin Ammon
Mississippi Agricultural and Forestry Experiment Station
MISSISSIPPI STATE – In 1999, a Madison boy lay bed-ridden for more than two weeks, and breathing treatments, inhalers and bronchitis medication all failed to treat his mysterious flu-like symptoms and high fever.
“It was just a total energy drain,” said Joe Short, the once-sick junior high student who graduated from Mississippi State University last spring with a degree in marketing.
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