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News From 2011

Black-eyed Susan vines are an annual favorite. The sunny look of the flowers, such as these yellow and orange specimens, is sure to please.
March 22, 2011 - Filed Under: Lawn and Garden, Flower Gardens

Don’t forget flowering annual vines this spring when you look for bedding plants at your favorite local garden center. These plants add interest and color as they spread across fences and arbors.

Annual vines are fascinating, as they complete their entire life cycle right before your eyes. In just one season, the seeds germinate, the plants grow and flower, and they set seed for the next generation before they die. This is a lot of living packed into one short season.

March 18, 2011 - Filed Under: Agriculture, Women for Agriculture

MISSISSIPPI STATE – Mississippi women involved in agriculture are invited to share ideas and develop new ways to make their businesses more profitable at an upcoming conference at Mississippi State University.

The 2011 Mississippi Women for Agriculture conference will be held April 12-14 at the Bost Extension Center on the MSU campus. The conference registration fee is $50, and attendees will have the option to choose either an annual or lifetime membership.

March 17, 2011 - Filed Under: Agriculture, Forages, Livestock

MISSISSIPPI STATE – Livestock producers with an interest in cool-season forages can learn about ongoing Mississippi State University research on this topic at an evening tour April 5.

The Cool-Season Forage Tour will begin at 5 p.m. at the Henry H. Leveck Animal Research Farm, the forage unit at MSU’s South Farm in Starkville. The event is free, but early registration is encouraged as a meal will be served.

Two-year-old Anquarius Outlaw explores a variety of toys during free-choice center time at the Love & Learn Day Care in Crawford. (Photo by MSU Extension Service/Keri Lewis)
March 17, 2011 - Filed Under: Children and Parenting

MISSISSIPPI STATE – Hard work and a commitment to quality resulted in a Crawford child-care center becoming one of the most highly-rated programs in the area.

March 17, 2011 - Filed Under: Family Financial Management

MISSISSIPPI STATE – Educators and community volunteers interested in helping young adults learn to manage their finances are invited to attend a free financial training workshop offered by the Mississippi State University Extension Service.

The first Financial Education for High School Classrooms workshop will be held April 8 from 8:30 a.m. until 3 p.m. in Extension offices in Cleveland, Corinth, Grenada, Hattiesburg, Magnolia, Raymond and Starkville. Additional workshops will be held June 16, July 14 and Oct. 7 at various Extension offices throughout the state.

March 17, 2011 - Filed Under: Livestock, Equine

HOUSTON – A comprehensive April 23 seminar will give horse owners the opportunity to learn about issues related to their animals’ health.

The Mississippi State University Extension Service and the Chickasaw County Agricenter are sponsoring “Hooves, Manes and Tails: Equine Seminars and Exhibits” at the county agricenter near Houston. The event will begin at 8:30 a.m. and conclude around 3 p.m.

The chlorine in salt can degrade wood, causing a condition referred to as salt kill, especially in marine areas such as this site at Myrtle Beach, S.C. The resulting fuzzy or stringy wood surface is considered unsightly by some, but the structure of the wood often remains sufficient for its purpose. Water-borne preservatives that contain water repellents, such as wax, can help minimize the risk of salt kill. (MSU Ag Communications file photo)
March 17, 2011 - Filed Under: Environment, Wood Products

MISSISSIPPI STATE – The climate of Mississippi and the Gulf South region presents challenges for wood preservation, making water repellents and the environment top considerations.

David Jones, assistant Extension professor in Mississippi State University’s forest products department, said wood treatments can lengthen the performance of timber by decades.

March 17, 2011 - Filed Under: 4-H, Family

By Kaitlyn Byrne
MSU Ag Communications

MISSISSIPPI STATE – A Hinds County 4-H program was recently recognized for its commitment to helping youth get involved in agriculture and healthy living initiatives.

The Barnyard Crew 4-H club was selected to be one of the 2011 Mississippi KIDS COUNT Showcase of Success exhibitors at this year’s KIDS COUNT Summit. They were chosen because of their sustainable agriculture program, which teaches youth about agriculture and health.

Fuel prices surged 13 percent in Mississippi in the last month, putting the squeeze on already-stretched budgets. (Photo by Scott Corey/MSU Ag Communications)
March 17, 2011 - Filed Under: Family, Family Financial Management

MISSISSIPPI STATE – As local gas prices keep rising, many Mississippians are struggling to find the money to keep both the car and the family budget running smoothly.

According to the tracking service, fuel cost between $3.32 and $3.55 a gallon as of March 16, with a state average of $3.45 a gallon. Gas prices just three months ago were about $2.81 a gallon.

March 16, 2011 - Filed Under: Family Financial Management

MISSISSIPPI STATE – Those interested in learning to help people in their community cope with tough financial situations and become wise consumers should plan on attending a Mississippi State University videoconference on April 15.

The MSU Extension Service is offering Money Mentor Volunteers training from 9 a.m. until 4 p.m. at Extension offices in Cleveland, Grenada, Magnolia, Raymond, Starkville and Verona. The training is free, and no prior experience is needed to participate.

The flowers may be dainty, but the yellow blossoms shine brightly with the dark purple/black foliage background of this Zinfandel shamrock.
March 15, 2011 - Filed Under: Lawn and Garden, Flower Gardens

St. Patrick’s Day triggers increased interest in bringing home from the garden center a three-leafed shamrock. In addition to the traditional green, more and more varieties are showing up with gorgeous purple to almost black foliage.

Union County 4-H youth agent Gina Wills and 4-H member Bobby May of Marshall County review the show schedule for the Winter Classic Horse Show held at the Mississippi Horse Park near Starkville. May and his horse, Jack, took part in the series of off-season shows from January through March. (Photo by Scott Corey)
March 10, 2011 - Filed Under: 4-H, Youth Livestock, Equine, Family

MISSISSIPPI STATE – Mississippi’s 4-H program has seen many changes in more than a century of activities, but youth maintain their interest in a tried-and-true project: horses.

“Enrollment in horse projects comes in cycles, especially in the last 20 years or so with the explosion of activities available for youth, including other 4-H programs,” said Gina Wills, Union County 4-H youth agent. “We have a lot of former 4-H members returning with their children now. Horse and livestock projects always have been popular family activities.”

March 10, 2011 - Filed Under: Agriculture, Crops, Cotton, Grains, Rice

MISSISSIPPI STATE – Mississippi’s 3.7 million acres of cropland were in good shape by late winter despite high snow geese numbers in the Delta and heavy March rains.

Darrin Dodds, cotton specialist with the Mississippi State University Extension Service, said cotton fields were generally in good condition.

“A favorable harvest season in 2010 allowed many growers to complete fall operations in a timely manner and prepare the land for the 2011 growing season,” Dodds said. “Although some weed species are proving tough to control, fields are generally in good shape.”

March 9, 2011 - Filed Under: Animal Health, Community

MISSISSIPPI STATE – Youth with an interest in animals and veterinary medicine can take advantage of a camp offered by Mississippi State University’s College of Veterinary Medicine.

MSU Veterinary Camp will provide a hands-on experience to youth ages 13 to 15. Campers will participate in interactive labs and learn about veterinary medicine from CVM instructors.

March 8, 2011 - Filed Under: Mississippi Homemaker Volunteers

MISSISSIPPI STATE – This year’s Mississippi Homemaker Volunteers State Council conference will provide attendees with four days of hands-on workshops and educational events.

The May 15-19 “MHV Celebrates MSU” conference will be held at Mississippi State University’s main campus. Registration is $20 for the four-day event. Housing in Griffis Residence Hall is available for an additional fee. The conference is not only open to MHV volunteers but also to the general public.

March 8, 2011 - Filed Under: Community

PICAYUNE – Music lovers are invited to welcome spring with bluegrass, country, blues, and gospel performances in the Crosby Arboretum’s scenic outdoor setting.

Mississippi State University’s Crosby Arboretum in Picayune will host a three-part spring 2011 music series. The lineup is as follows:

The African daisy Serenity White Bliss (top) has unique, spoon-shaped petals that show the color contrast between the upper and lower surfaces of the petals.
March 8, 2011 - Filed Under: Lawn and Garden, Flower Gardens

Some of the prettiest flowers you can grow in the garden or in containers are African daisies, and these beauties are starting to arrive at garden centers.

Known botanically as Osteospermum, African daisies are outstanding flowering plants. These plants are from South Africa and are relatively new to many home gardeners. African daisies have the familiar center disk of the daisy family, but theirs are dark metallic. The brightly colored petals come in various shades of white, pink, yellow, blue and purple.

March 3, 2011 - Filed Under: Animal Health

MISSISSIPPI STATE – When Mississippi State University’s Pre-Veterinary Club hosts the 2011 American Pre-Veterinary Medical Association’s Symposium, they will be showcasing the college and Southern hospitality to students from around the world.

The theme for the March 11-13 event at MSU’s College of Veterinary Medicine is “Open Minds, Open Hearts, Open Hands.” More than 500 students and advisors are expected to attend from across the United States and as far away as Canada, Australia, England and the Caribbean islands.

Dr. Michaela Beasley, a neurology resident at Mississippi State University's College of Veterinary Medicine, left, assists Dr. Erin Akin, a neurology clinical instructor, as she performs a neurology exam on a patient. (Photo by Tom Thompson)
March 3, 2011 - Filed Under: Family, Pets

MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Pet owners in Mississippi and surrounding states can turn to Mississippi State University’s College of Veterinary Medicine when their four-legged loved ones develop neurological problems.

Medical and surgical conditions that involve the brain or nervous system can be a challenge to diagnose and treat, especially when they affect patients who cannot talk. Veterinarians needing consultations on particularly difficult cases frequently turn to MSU’s veterinary college, which now has access to the best diagnostic equipment available in human medicine.

March 3, 2011 - Filed Under: Agriculture, Community, Insects

MISSISSIPPI STATE – When Mississippians spot a bug they can’t identify, a laboratory at Mississippi State University can help, as long as the insect is in reasonably good condition.

Blake Layton, MSU Extension Service entomologist, said insect identification is a free service offered at MSU’s Extension Insect Identification Laboratory since 2004. Samples can be mailed in, hand-delivered or in some cases, photographed and e-mailed in for identification. Along with the identification, the lab provides information on how to control the insect.