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News From 2010

September 3, 2010 - Filed Under: Catfish

MISSISSIPPI STATE --  Catfish farmers have until Sept. 23 to enroll in a recently approved governmental program to earn educational benefits and cash incentives.

Catfish farmers have struggled as the cost of production, the national economy and competition from foreign products have each taken a toll, pushing Mississippi acreage to its lowest levels in 30 years. In an effort to help farmers continue producing quality fish and remain competitive in the world market, the U.S. Department of Agriculture certified a Trade Adjustment Assistance for Farmers program on June 25.

September 2, 2010 - Filed Under: Family

TUPELO – Those committed to the well-being of today’s families can expand their knowledge and share their expertise Oct. 12 at the 13th annual Families and Communities Together Conference in Tupelo.

The FACT conference is sponsored by the Mississippi State University Extension Service, Mississippi Department of Human Services, Mississippi School Attendance, Family Resource Center of Lee County and other family-assistance agencies. It is open to the public and will be held at the North Mississippi Medical Center on North Gloster Street.

September 2, 2010 - Filed Under: Community, Insects

PICAYUNE – Mississippi State University’s Crosby Arboretum in Picayune will be crawling with activities at the annual Bugfest Sept. 17 and 18.

The family-friendly event will include collecting, identifying and mounting insects for display; bug-themed crafts and games; and educational seminars on various insects and collecting techniques. The Bugmobile from the New Orleans Audubon Zoo will be featured Saturday afternoon, with presentations at 1 and 2 p.m.

September 2, 2010 - Filed Under: Food

MISSISSIPPI STATE – As the economy continues to present challenges, an upcoming workshop will help new food business owners learn how to increase their chances at success.

“Food as a Business” is a day-long video conference Sept. 28 with satellite locations at Mississippi State University, Hattiesburg, Raymond, Verona and Cleveland. The $40 registration fee covers snacks during breaks, lunch and conference materials. The registration deadline is Sept. 20.

September 2, 2010 - Filed Under: Forestry

MISSISSIPPI STATE – The Sept. 17-18 Mid-South Forestry Equipment Show will showcase the newest technology and machinery being used to advance the South’s timber industry.

The event will run from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. on both days on the John W. Starr Memorial Forest off of Highway 25 near Starkville. It is sponsored by Mississippi State University’s College of Forest Resources, Hatton-Brown Publishers Inc., Mississippi Logger’s Association and the Mississippi Forestry Association.

September 2, 2010 - Filed Under: Children and Parenting

MISSISSIPPI STATE – Free learning kits are available to directors of preschools who attend one 3-hour training session.

The Mississippi Department of Human Services’ Office of Children and Youth is providing educational materials to licensed child care centers with preschool-age children. The giveaway supports the Mississippi Child Care Quality Step system and Early Learning Guidelines.

A classic thriller, filler, spiller combination can make any garden container of perennials stand out, like this mix of Heuchera Dolce Key Lime Pie and Crème Brûlée, Hylotelephium Carl and Autumn Fire, Lysimachia Goldilocks, and Oenothera Lemon Drop. (Photo by Gary Bachman)
September 2, 2010 - Filed Under: Lawn and Garden

We all know annuals such as petunia or million bells are great container garden plants, but have you ever tried including perennials in container gardens? This important group of plants can and should be an ingredient in every container recipe.

Many gardeners have a strict mindset about using annuals and perennials in container gardens: annuals are annuals and perennials are perennials, and never the twain shall meet. But if you base all your buying decisions on whether a plant will come back the next year, you will miss out on some beautiful flowers and foliage.

Participants in a recent Harvest from Open Waters training in Biloxi line up to sniff samples of shrimp and grouper spiked with oil in concentrations as low as 5 parts per million and less. (Photo by Karen Templeton)
September 2, 2010 - Filed Under: Disaster Response, Seafood Harvesting and Processing, Food Safety

By Karen Templeton
MSU Ag Communications

BILOXI – The Deepwater Horizon oil spill has presented Gulf seafood workers with their biggest challenge yet, but they are prepared to keep their industry afloat with all the resources they have, including their noses.

Paul Battle (left), owner of Battle Sod Farm in Tunica, came to Mississippi State University's turf field day at the R.R. Foil Plant Science Research Center on Aug. 24. He spoke to Mike Towles of Atkins Landscaping, Inc. in Germantown, Tenn., while the two men were in the plots of the university's tall fescue cultivar evaluation trial. (Photo by Bonnie Coblentz)
August 27, 2010 - Filed Under: Agriculture, Turfgrass and Lawn Management

MISSISSIPPI STATE – The lingering recession continues to impact Mississippi’s turfgrass industry with total sod acreage down as a portion has been switched to row crop production until the economy improves.

Wayne Wells, Mississippi State University Extension Service turf specialist, said the state has about 4,500 acres of turf and about 50 sod producers. The largest producers each have about 300 to 500 acres of turf production.

August 26, 2010 - Filed Under: Wood Products

MISSISSIPPI STATE -- A one-day workshop offered by Mississippi State University’s Franklin Furniture Institute will provide training on the properties of wood.

The Wood Properties and Frame Design workshop will take place from 8:30 a.m. until 3:45 p.m. Sept. 14 in the university’s Franklin Furniture Center.

The workshop costs $40 and is open to anyone interested in learning how to maximize the strength, durability and quality of wood products.

August 26, 2010 - Filed Under: Community

PICAYUNE – Music lovers are invited to relax and enjoy several bluegrass, country, blues and jazz performers in the Crosby Arboretum’s scenic outdoor setting.

The Crosby Arboretum in Picayune will host a six-part music series in fall 2010 and spring 2011. The fall lineup is as follows:

Liriope thrives in full sun or shade, providing a versatile groundcover under trees or a soft border for paved areas and foundations. Flowers may be purple, lavender or white, and they bloom from July to the end of August. (Photo by Gary Bachman)
August 26, 2010 - Filed Under: Lawn and Garden, Flower Gardens

Liriope is an old standard when the Mississippi landscape calls for a groundcover. It is reliable in both full sun or shade, and as long as the soil is well drained, liriope will thrive in heat and drought.

Liriope is commonly known as monkeygrass or lilyturf. It is a versatile groundcover, effective under large trees where sunlight is limited or mass planted on slopes. It also creates soft borders for paved areas and foundations.

August 26, 2010 - Filed Under: Agricultural Economics, Community, Environment, Forest Economics, Natural Resources

MISSISSIPPI STATE – A passion for the environment is drawing students to a recently redesigned economics-based degree program at Mississippi State University.

The Environmental Economics and Management degree combines courses in environmental economics, natural resource economics, environmental policy, ecology and environmental law. The EEM major was formerly an environmental and resource economics concentration under the umbrella degree Agricultural, Food and Resource Economics.

August 26, 2010 - Filed Under: Community, Rural Development

By Rachel Jenkins
Southern Rural Development Center

MISSISSIPPI STATE – In its first year alone, Turning the Tide on Poverty launched 30 study circles with more than 250 participants across five southern states and now has additional funding to expand.

Turning the Tide on Poverty, a project of the Southern Rural Development Center hosted at Mississippi State University, works to find solutions to poverty through community study circles, gatherings where people create action plans for local change.

Phat Le, captain of the Mississippi III, discusses cleanup of the Deepwater Horizon oil spill with Extension Fisheries Technician Peter Nguyen. Many fishermen and shrimpers are working as oil spill cleanup contractors for BP. (Photo by Scott Corey)
August 20, 2010 - Filed Under: Catfish, Seafood Harvesting and Processing

By Karen Templeton
MSU Ag Communications

BILOXI – Shrimp landings may be way below average this season, but the quality of Gulf shrimp is still good.

Shrimping began on time when state waters opened on June 3. Because of the Deepwater Horizon oil spill, partial closures were implemented beginning on June 8. By July 1, state waters had completely closed.

August 19, 2010 - Filed Under: Seafood Harvesting and Processing, Seafood Economics

BILOXI – The Mississippi State University Extension Service will host a workshop through the Sea Grants Program on Aug. 26 to help seafood dealers and processors instill consumer confidence in seafood harvested from Gulf waters.

The workshop will be from 9 a.m. until 1 p.m. at the MSU Coastal Research & Extension Center in Biloxi. Personnel from seafood processing firms, regulatory agencies and marketing programs are encouraged to attend.

August 19, 2010 - Filed Under: Family, Wildlife

MISSISSIPPI STATE – Families are invited to take a walk on the “wild side” at the Second Annual Wildlife Festival at Mississippi State University’s Coastal Plain Branch Experiment Station in Newton on Sept. 18.

The event will be held from 9 a.m. until 4:30 p.m. and will include falconry demonstrations by David Hall of the Wildlife Outreach Foundation and presentations on Mississippi wildlife by naturalist Joe McGee of the Mississippi Museum of Natural Sciences. Live snakes, alligators and turtles are some of the Mississippi wildlife that will be featured at the outdoor event.

Stephen Pruett
August 19, 2010 - Filed Under: Animal Health

MISSISSIPPI STATE – A department head in Mississippi State University’s College of Veterinary Medicine has been selected to review research grants for the National Institutes of Health.

Dr. Stephen Pruett, head of CVM’s Department of Basic Sciences, is one of a select group of scientists serving as members of NIH’s Innate Immunity and Inflammation Study Section. Members are selected for their achievements in their discipline, research accomplishments and publications in scientific journals.

Chickasaw County Extension director Scott Cagle examines the last of some pond weeds in the lake at Camp Tik-A-Witha, operated by the Girl Scouts Heart of the South organization. Cagle helped the camp locate donors to pay for stocking grass carp to restore the lake to swimming quality. (Photo by Linda Breazeale)
August 19, 2010 - Filed Under: Fisheries

OKOLONA -- Mississippi’s rivers and Gulf waters are popular fishing destinations, but most of the state’s anglers depend on ponds and lakes for their prized catches and quality time in the outdoors.

Unlike the larger bodies of water, ponds and lakes need a human touch to stock them and monitor environmental conditions for the best results.

Chickasaw County Extension director Scott Cagle said his office gets calls almost year-round from residents with farm-pond concerns.

Daisy May is a small Shasta daisy that is a great candidate for the front of perennial borders. Their size also makes them fantastic thriller plants in containers. (Photo by Gary Bachman)
August 19, 2010 - Filed Under: Lawn and Garden, Flower Gardens

When we hear the word “daisy,” most of us think of the flower with white petals and a yellow center that we used as children to play the “loves me, loves me not” game.

Growing the Shasta daisy in your garden can bring back some of those old memories. Known botanically as Leucanthemum x superbum, Shasta daisy is a classic garden plant that is as at home in the modern landscape as it is in the cottage garden. It really shines in the garden.