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News From 2011

August 11, 2011 - Filed Under: Technology

Having the right technology on hand after a natural disaster or emergency can make the difference between being stranded and getting back on the road to recovery quickly.

When putting together an emergency kit, think through technology issues for checking in with loved ones who will be concerned.

The Jackson County 4-H team of chefs from St. Martin High School (from left), Cory Martin, Sarah Soares, Adriana Wilson, and Jarod Harris, were named grand champions of the first-ever Southern Regional 4-H Seafood Cook-Off, held in conjunction with the Great American Seafood Cook-Off in New Orleans. (Submitted photo.)
August 11, 2011 - Filed Under: 4-H, Family

ST. MARTIN – Young chefs put a Mississippi twist on a brunch favorite to create the winning entry in the first-ever Southern Regional 4-H Seafood Cook-Off, held in New Orleans.

Adriana Wilson, Sarah Soares, Cory Martin and Jarod Harris, seniors in the hospitality and tourism management program at St. Martin High School, prepared their Mississippi-Style Crabmeat Benedictine once a week throughout the summer to prepare for the competition, which is part of the Great American Seafood Cook-Off.

Jaquan Johnson carefully hand-waters a seedling he planted in the freshly turned soil of the Corinthian Garden. Alcorn County Master Gardener volunteers share gardening and life skills with young men participating in a leadership development program at the Lighthouse Foundation in Corinth. (Photo submitted.)
August 11, 2011 - Filed Under: Community, Lawn and Garden, Vegetable Gardens

CORINTH – A few small seeds and many willing hands transformed an inner city vacant lot into a thriving, productive garden at the Lighthouse Foundation in Corinth.

Alcorn County Extension director Patrick Poindexter said the idea for a community garden in this challenging space took root in the mind of Master Gardener Herman Gray, who recruited other Alcorn County Master Gardeners and local businesses to the project in 2010.

The tornadoes that tore through the state this past spring damaged about 74,000 acres of forestland in 22 counties, racking up timber losses of more than $30 million. (Photo by MSU Ag Communications/Scott Corey)
August 11, 2011 - Filed Under: Disaster Response, Timber Harvest

MISSISSIPPI STATE – The tornadoes that ripped through Mississippi this April damaged about 74,000 acres of forestland in 22 counties, racking up timber losses of more than $30 million. Most of that timber was uninsured, but the results of a survey conducted by Mississippi State University may help change that trend.

Steve Bullard was one of those uninsured. He owns 100 acres of timber in Webster County — 40 acres of 26-year-old plantation pine and 60 acres of mixed pine and hardwood.

Brazilian Red Hot is a Joseph's Coat with wavy leaves that are variegated with purplish centers and fluorescent fuchsia margins. (Photo by Gary Bachman)
August 9, 2011 - Filed Under: Lawn and Garden, Flower Gardens

When gardeners want to add color to the landscape, they often reach for flowering annuals and perennials. While these colorful flowers always catch the eye, their selection is usually limited at this point of the summer.

Many gardeners never consider buying colorful foliage plants for anything but shady areas, but let me encourage you to reconsider their usefulness. These plants provide color, and you can still find good selections available in the local garden center that you can plant in the heat of summer.

August 5, 2011 - Filed Under: Agriculture, Forest Economics

MISSISSIPPI STATE – It’s not the heat or drought but the economy, specifically poor housing starts, that are causing grief for Mississippi’s forestry industry in 2011.

James Henderson, forestry economist and management specialist with the Mississippi State University Extension Service, said the slow economy is hurting the industry.

“There’s no good news for the pulpwood markets, and pine saw timber prices are the lowest they’ve been since the national housing construction downturn started in 2006,” Henderson said.

A USB (universal serial bus) flash drive is a small device that fits in a palm. It allows for the rapid transfer of data from the computer to the flash drive and from the flash drive to the computer. A 4GB USB flash drive costs less than $10.  (Photo by Scott Corey)
August 4, 2011 - Filed Under: Technology

Many families have emergency plans that involve flashlights, radios and bottled water, but few have a strategy for dealing with the loss of their electronic documents. Though more families now than ever before rely on computers to save important documents, store photos and even pay bills, many families fail to develop an emergency plan for their electronic information.

August 4, 2011 - Filed Under: Beekeeping, Insects

MISSISSIPPI STATE – Summertime brings out the flying and sometimes stinging insects in Mississippi, and some of them look a lot alike.

The mostly harmless carpenter bee resembles the sometimes bothersome bumble bee. Both are important pollinators in the Mississippi landscape.

Blake Layton, entomologist with the Mississippi State University Extension Service, said the look-alike carpenter bees and bumblebees are not even in the same entomological family.

MSU Extension associate Lewis Sanders unloads laptop computers donated to the Monroe County School District for Smithville schools.
August 4, 2011 - Filed Under: Community, Technology, About Extension

MISSISSIPPI STATE – Mississippi State University Extension Service donated 40 refurbished computers to the Monroe County School District for schools in Smithville, a small town recovering from a devastating tornado.

Breanna Lyle of Aberdeen uses a net to collect water insects during an insect and plant camp at Mississippi State University, while her twin sister, Deanna Lyle, waits with a bucket to take them back to campus for identification. Insect collecting is a favorite activity at the annual summer camp. (Photo by Scott Corey)
August 4, 2011 - Filed Under: Wildlife Youth Education, Insects

MISSISSIPPI STATE – Two sisters who like bugs and spiders and getting their hands in dirt found their calling from those activities at summer camps hosted by Mississippi State University.

Breanna and Deanna Lyle, twins from Aberdeen, went to their first “bug camp” in the summer before their 11th grade year. Now, the college sophomores are ahead of many classmates as they pursue careers in entomology and in horticulture.

Proper land and herd management strategies have a positive impact on the quality and health of the white-tailed deer population in Mississippi. (Photo courtesy of Steve Gulledge.)
August 4, 2011 - Filed Under: Wildlife, White-Tailed Deer

MISSISSIPPI STATE – Trophy bucks and high-quality deer herds are not the result of random chance, but of planned management of habitat and harvests.

“The white-tailed deer is likely the most economically and ecologically important animal in Mississippi,” said Bronson Strickland, wildlife management specialist with the Mississippi State University Extension Service.

August 3, 2011 - Filed Under: Fisheries, About Extension

MISSISSIPPI STATE – A Mississippi State University Extension associate will be supporting landowners and fisheries resources throughout Mississippi.

Bill Maily began his new duties as an Extension associate in MSU’s Department of Wildlife, Fisheries and Aquaculture on Aug. 1 and will work from the Central Mississippi Research and Extension Center in Raymond. Before joining the department, Maily was an area Extension agent in the Hinds County Extension Office.

The flowers of Mesa Bright Bicolor will not fade in summer’s heat and sunlight. Their color intensity depends on the local environment.
August 2, 2011 - Filed Under: Lawn and Garden, Flower Gardens

Gaillardia is a native plant with few pests that can liven up the summer landscape anywhere in Mississippi with its bright, warm colors.

Gaillardia makes a fantastic addition to the summer garden. Many gardeners know Gaillardia as blanket flower, a name that came from the early settlers’ comparing the colors of the flowers to those of the blankets of Native Americans. Gaillardia is named in honor of French botanist Gaillard de Charentonneau.

Mississippi State University vice president Greg Bohach, center, gives a listening ear to farming issues important to James Earnest, left, and Doil Moore, owners of Prospect Produce Farm in Chickasaw County. Bohach, MSU vice president for agriculture, forestry and veterinary medicine, visited several farms to hear firsthand reports of how MSU is helping farmers and how the division can help them more in the future. (Photo by Scott Corey)
August 1, 2011 - Filed Under: Agriculture, Farming
Poultry remains Mississippi's largest agricultural commodity, producing 10 percent of the nation's poultry supply. (File Photo)
July 29, 2011 - Filed Under: Agriculture, Poultry

MISSISSIPPI STATE – As summer heat rolls through Mississippi, poultry growers must keep a watchful eye on their cooling equipment yet begin planning for winter.

“The biggest issues growers face are heat in the summer and cold in the winter,” said Danny Thornton, MSU Extension poultry specialist. “Good management practices are the main strategies for dealing with the weather, from maintaining fans and blowers to making sure back-up generators are ready at all times.”

July 28, 2011 - Filed Under: Technology

Many students still use books and encyclopedias to prepare for science fairs, research projects and book reports, but more and more students are turning to the Internet.

With the increased student use of the Internet comes a greater risk of children stumbling on harmful websites containing viruses, malware or explicit images. When allowing children to use the Internet for research or recreation, parents can take some safety steps.

James Callicutt, a former Mississippi State University graduate student, is the first to scientifically compare the acoustic features of wild female mallard calls to the acoustic features of humans using duck calls. (MSU University Relations/File Photo)
July 28, 2011 - Filed Under: Wildlife

MISSISSIPPI STATE - Most duck hunters look forward to the thrill of mimicking duck calls to attract members of the flock.

James Callicutt, a former Mississippi State University graduate student, has spent much of his life as a duck hunter and call maker. Most recently, he has studied the sounds of female mallard ducks and compared them to sounds from man-made duck calls constructed of different types of materials.

Julie Burt (back left), CVM clinical services coordinator, sits next to Bootsy Hooker of Lexington as he consults with CVM small animal surgery resident Dr. Dena Lodato (front left) about his Boston terrier. CVM class of 2012 veterinary student Erika Hanna participates as part of her educational training. (MSU College of Veterinary Medicine/Tom Thompson)
July 28, 2011 - Filed Under: Animal Health, Pets

By Karen Templeton
MSU Ag Communications

MISSISSIPPI STATE - The services at Mississippi State University College of Veterinary Medicine reach far beyond the university and the surrounding community.

George M. Hopper
July 26, 2011 - Filed Under: Agriculture, Community

MISSISSPPI STATE – The dean of Mississippi State University’s College of Forest Resources and director of the Forest and Wildlife Research Center will take on an expanded leadership role.

Effective Aug. 19 and pending formal approval by the Board of Trustees of State Institutions of Higher Learning, George M. Hopper will also serve as the dean of the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences and director of the Mississippi Agricultural and Forestry Experiment Station.

The golden yellow petals and dark red halo of Denver Daisy rudbeckia make a bright statement in the summer landscape. (Photo by Gary Bachman)
July 26, 2011 - Filed Under: Lawn and Garden, Flower Gardens

A favorite flower with almost every Southern gardener is the black-eyed Susan, known botanically as rudbeckia. These plants produce an abundance of bright yellow flowers, each with a dark button-shaped cone in the center.

There are several species for gardeners to choose from. Rudbeckia hirta is a Mississippi native wildflower and is a staple plant in naturalized areas and meadows. Black-eyed Susans are also reliable garden and landscape performers for the butterfly garden.