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News From 2011

September 15, 2011 - Filed Under: Family, Health

By Kaitlyn Byrne
MSU Office of Ag Communications

PONTOTOC – A partnership between a nonprofit medical treatment group and the Mississippi State University Extension Service has opened up health care options for uninsured children in Pontotoc County.

Catch Kids is a nonprofit organization that makes quality healthcare possible for children without health insurance. There are 15 Catch Kids clinics. They are in Chickasaw County, Lee County and now Pontotoc County.

Margie Moore, left, with the Mississippi Child Care Resource & Referral Network's Project Navigator, reviews educational materials with Sherris and Curtis Grace of DeKalb.
September 15, 2011 - Filed Under: Family, Children and Parenting

By Debbie Montgomery
MSU School of Human Sciences

MISSISSIPPI STATE – A Mississippi State University program is connecting families to education and community resources that help children thrive.

Project Navigator, administered by MSU’s School of Human Sciences, teaches families positive parenting skills and connects them with resources. During the first year, the program targeted families with children ages birth to five in Choctaw, Clay, Kemper, Noxubee and Winston counties.

In his training as the Mississippi State University mascot, Bully XX earns hypoallergenic treats that are part of his overall nutrition and conditioning plan. (Photo by Tom Thompson)
September 15, 2011 - Filed Under: Pets

MISSISSIPPI STATE – Proper nutrition and conditioning keep Bully XX in top shape as Mississippi State University’s mascot, and pet owners can take a peek at his play book for tips on caring for their animals.

The health regimen for Bully XX, whose name is Champ, includes a proper diet, special conditioning and quality care.

Pam Collins (left), assistant research/Extension professor and director of gardens in Mississippi State University's Department of Plant and Soil Sciences, leads a group of prairie wildflower enthusiasts on a tour of research plots at MSU's North Farm to promote the restoration and preservation of Mississippi's vanishing prairie ecosystems. (Submitted photo.)
September 15, 2011 - Filed Under: Lawn and Garden, Flower Gardens

MISSISSIPPI STATE – Preserving Mississippi’s vanishing prairies through conservation, restoration and establishment of new prairie gardens will save unique plants and maintain native landscapes.

“Many ecosystem processes regulate conditions for life,” said Bob Brzuszek, associate Extension professor in Mississippi State University’s Department of Landscape Architecture and Contracting. “Protecting wild species, such as those found in prairies, protects managed ecosystems, which in turn impact human interests.”

Amending the soil in the fall is key to maintaining a beautiful landscape. (Photo by Gary Bachman)
September 13, 2011 - Filed Under: Soils, Lawn and Garden, Flower Gardens

Fall is the perfect time to start on your garden and landscape for next year. Amending the soil with quality, organic material is one of the best gifts you can give your garden soil.

There are quite a few options for gardeners when it comes to soil amendments. In Mississippi, many gardeners use cottonseed meal as an organic source of nutrients. It has a nitrogen-phosphorus-potassium analysis of 6-2-1 and is a good source of trace nutrients.

The YES! program engages fourth and fifth grade students at Henderson Ward Stewart Elementary in science, technology, engineering and math topics through hands-on activities, educational games and experiments. (Photo by Scott Corey)
September 9, 2011 - Filed Under: Wildlife Youth Education, Family

MISSISSIPPI STATE – An innovative partnership between Starkville School District and Mississippi State University teaches key science concepts in a week-long intensive immersion program for fourth and fifth graders.

"Our goal is to give students a fun, safe and educational forum in which to generate enthusiasm and interest in science and the environment,” said Jessica Tegt, MSU Extension Service assistant professor with the Department of Wildlife, Fisheries and Aquaculture.

September 9, 2011 - Filed Under: Agriculture, Crops

MISSISSIPPI STATE – Tropical Storm Lee brought much-needed rains to Mississippi’s parched fields and pastures but minimal flood and wind damage.

Late-season tropical storms can be costly, even devastating, when winds and pounding rains may whip plants and complicate harvests. When Lee swept through the state over Labor Day weekend, most of Mississippi’s crops either had been harvested or needed one last rain before harvest.

Rainfall amounts…

September 8, 2011 - Filed Under: Landscape Architecture

MISSISSIPPI STATE – Mississippi State University’s 56th annual Edward C. Martin Design Symposium on Oct. 19 will focus on how landscapes can best fit their environment.

September 8, 2011 - Filed Under: Agriculture, Soils, Forages

MISSISSIPPI STATE – A fertilizer commonly used in Mississippi is the target of thefts and criminal abuse, prompting federal regulators to consider more carefully controlling this chemical’s distribution and producers to look for alternatives to avoid the hassle.

Ammonium nitrate is sold in granular form as an efficient source of nitrogen fertilizer. It is often used for pasture systems and hay production but also has other crop uses. It is desirable because the nitrogen comes in a form readily taken up by plants but not readily lost to the atmosphere.

Wei Zhai, assistant Mississippi State University Extension poultry science professor, uses a multi-egg injector machine to inject eggs with carbohydrates. (Photo by Kat Lawrence)
September 8, 2011 - Filed Under: Agriculture, Poultry

By Karen Templeton
MSU Ag Communications

MISSISSIPPI STATE – Mississippi State University researchers are investigating ways to improve the nutrition and growth of the state’s most profitable bird.

September 8, 2011 - Filed Under: Technology

Using advanced search techniques can reduce the amount of time spent “surfing the web” for the perfect resource.

In addition to word or phrase searches, most search engines, such as Yahoo, Google and Bing, have search bars that will limit searches to images, video or shopping.

Courtesy of the U.S. Department of Agriculture
September 8, 2011 - Filed Under: Food and Health, Nutrition

MISSISSIPPI STATE – The U.S. Department of Agriculture introduced a new, user-friendly icon designed to make healthy eating easier.

MyPlate, the new graphic, depicts a round plate divided into four colored sections, labeled fruits, vegetables, grains and protein. A circle, labeled dairy, represents a glass of milk. The icon is part of the education campaign for the latest Dietary Guidelines for Americans.

A sharp shovel can be used to divide some perennials, such as this daylily clump being split in half. (Photo by Gary Bachman)
September 7, 2011 - Filed Under: Lawn and Garden, Flower Gardens

You don’t have to be a gardener for long before you come across a situation that calls for some garden “surgery” called division. Division is cutting the plant into smaller pieces and replanting.

You see the need for division when you notice a perennial plant no longer looking good. Maybe it hasn't been flowering prolifically, the leaves are getting smaller or the center is opening up. You decide to divide the plant to remedy the situation. Dividing perennial plants is a great way to rejuvenate some of our ornamental garden treasures.

September 2, 2011 - Filed Under: Agriculture, Crops, Cotton

MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Mississippi’s cotton has overcome one hurdle after another all season, and fall weather is all that stands between respectable yields and the finish line.

Darrin Dodds, cotton specialist with Mississippi State University’s Extension Service, said “challenging” is the one word that sums up the 2011 cotton crop.

Jacquelyn Deeds
September 1, 2011 - Filed Under: Agriculture, Community

MISSISSIPPI STATE – Jacquelyn Deeds, agricultural information and education professor at Mississippi State University, was elected senior fellow of the American Association of Agricultural Education at the organization’s recent annual meeting.

Johnie Jenkins, a U.S. Department of Agriculture researcher, discussed ongoing Mississippi State University and USDA research with cotton researchers and breeders touring facilities in the mid-South. (Photo by Scott Corey)
September 1, 2011 - Filed Under: Agriculture, Crops, Cotton

MISSISSIPPI STATE – More than 120 cotton breeders from around the world spent Tuesday examining cotton research being conducted at two Mississippi State University facilities.

The group was part of the four-day Cotton Breeders’ Tour. The scientists visited university and industry locations in Arkansas, Mississippi and Louisiana on this year’s trip. Tours are sponsored by Cotton Inc., and are held every other year, rotating through each of the nation’s five cotton-growing regions.

September 1, 2011 - Filed Under: Technology

The Internet can be a useful tool for finding information, but it takes a true cyber-sleuth to distinguish between fact and fiction.

Internet Explorer and Mozilla Firefox are just two of the Internet browsers that can act as gateways to search engines, such as Google, Yahoo, Bing and Ask, which are used to find information on the Internet.

September 1, 2011 - Filed Under: Family, Food and Health

MISSISSIPPI STATE – Increased childhood peanut allergies in America have turned many school cafeterias into no-peanut zones, but kids do not have to give up tasty and healthy foods while keeping their allergic classmates safe.

Katie Dwarf ruellia, a Mexican petunia perfect for containers, is paired with Henna sun coleus. (Photo by Gary Bachman)
August 30, 2011 - Filed Under: Lawn and Garden, Flower Gardens

A couple of years ago, I received a call in late summer from a new gardener asking about a plant he had seen at a local golf course. I was interested because he described it as a blue azalea. I visited the golf course and toured until I found the plant. It wasn’t a blue azalea after all, but the familiar Mexican petunia.