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News From 2015

A 3-D printer allows veterinarians to look at spinal and skull injuries in animals and find new ways to correct them. Students and residents benefit from being able to observe and inspect models of different types of spinal and skull injuries. (Photo by MSU College of Veterinary Medicine/Tom Tompson)
June 16, 2015 - Filed Under: Biotechnology, Technology

Veterinarians at the Mississippi State University Veterinary Specialty Center (VSC) are using 3-D printer technology to make models of spinal and skull injuries that help them develop better treatments for their animal patients.

The VSC purchased a Lutzbot Taz 4 3-D printer last year, and it is now one of the center’s most valuable pieces of equipment. Three-dimensional models from the printer allow specialists and practicing veterinarians to view internal trauma without the use of invasive procedures.

Mississippi State University professor David Nagel, left, oversees vegetable production students Bailey Martin and Anna Laurin Harrison as they harvest a fall crop in planters that grow edible landscapes outside a campus building. (File photo by MSU College of Forest Resources/Karen Brasher)
June 16, 2015 - Filed Under: Food, Vegetable Gardens

STARKVILLE, Miss. -- Six planters at the entrance of a Mississippi State University building are among Sylvia Byrd’s efforts to take students who have never grown anything before and turn them into savvy consumers who have a better appreciation of where their food comes from.

Beekeepers often choose to place bee colonies near row crops, such as this cotton field in Lowndes County, Mississippi, because the plant blooms provide much-needed nectar during the hot summer months. (File Photo by MSU Ag Communications
June 16, 2015 - Filed Under: Beekeeping, Insects

STARKVILLE, Miss. -- “Just mentioning bees and pesticides in the same sentence is sure to get a buzz,” said Angus Catchot, an entomologist with the Mississippi State University Extension Service.

Media skirmishes about bee health, agriculture practices and the role of pollinators in food production are a mixture of fact, propaganda and general misunderstanding, Catchot said.

Dr. Matthew Ross, an associate professor of molecular toxicology in the MSU College of Veterinary Medicine, is investigating whether the endocannabinoid system can help the body's immune system become more efficient at breaking down cholesterol and fighting microbial infections. (Photo by MSU College of Veterinary Medicine/Tom Thompson)
June 15, 2015 - Filed Under: Health

MISSISSIPPI STATE -- A Mississippi State University researcher is directing two international studies that could help scientists better understand the role of the body’s natural immune system in preventing heart disease and the rise in drug-resistant bacteria.

Colorful vincas, such as these Cora lavender plants, thrive in Mississippi's hot summer gardens, especially when planted in well-drained raised beds. (Photo by MSU Extension Service/Gary Bachman)
June 15, 2015 - Filed Under: Lawn and Garden, Flower Gardens

Our gardens and landscapes are heating up, and for hot summer color, you just can’t beat the annual vinca.

In my opinion, vinca is one of those perfect landscape plants. It produces loads of color and handles the high heat and dry conditions of our Mississippi summers.

Some of the very best vinca plantings I have seen were growing in raised beds. But in some years, entire planting beds of vincas seemed to fail almost overnight. A common characteristic of these failures is wet soil. Vinca plants do not like to grow with their feet wet.

June 15, 2015 - Filed Under: Crops, Weed Control for Crops, Technology

STARKVILLE, Miss. -- Three row crop field days scheduled for July will highlight new and developing weed and insect control technologies.

Mississippi State University row crop specialists will discuss these and other agricultural issues, beginning at the first filed day on July 7 at Douglas and Chris Hood Farms in Dundee.

The second field day is scheduled for July 15 at the MSU Black Belt Branch Experiment Station in Brooksville. The station is located 2 miles northeast of Brooksville and 20 miles south of Columbus on Highway 45.

Silver carps jump above the water's surface on the Mississippi River. The presence of silver carp, a type of Asian carp, in rivers and streams reduces the number of quality-sized native fish because they compete against each other for food. (Photo courtesy of Asian Carp Regional Coordinating Committee)
June 12, 2015 - Filed Under: Environment

STARKVILLE, Miss. -- Stories about Asian carp abound, but what exactly is an Asian carp and why should we be concerned?

Asian carp is a vague title assigned to a category of fishes native to Southeast Asia that have been introduced into the U.S. for their beneficial uses in aquaculture. This group of iconic fishes includes the common carp, grass carp, black carp, largescale silver carp, and silver and bighead carp. The species of most concern are the silver carp and the bighead carp, which I will refer to as “bigheaded carps.”

June 12, 2015 - Filed Under: Irrigation, Water

WASHINGTON COUNTY, Miss. -- Delta Farmers Advocating Resource Management will host the Monsanto Water Conservation Field Day July 7 from 10 a.m. until 2:30 p.m.

Attendees will meet at Simmons Planting Company on state Highway 438, 3.7 miles east of the U.S. 61 intersection near Arcola. They will then go to Murrell Farms to see the latest rice irrigation practices and surface water irrigation systems.

Holstein cows graze at the Joe Bearden Dairy Research Center in Sessums, Mississippi, on June 11, 2015. Increased production and international competition are bringing down milk prices for dairy producers across the state. (Photo by MSU Ag Communications/Kat Lawrence)
June 12, 2015 - Filed Under: Dairy

DECATUR, Miss. -- Max Anderson has set an auction date. Soon, he will sell all of his 150-cow dairy herd.

Anderson will then mark the end of 38 years in the dairy business after taking over his family’s Newton County farm. After a widespread dairy economic crisis in 2009 that put him and many of his peers in debt, he finally bounced back after a profitable 2014.

“It would be foolish to dig that hole again,” Anderson said. “No one in the next generation wants to take over the dairy, and it seems like the time is right. There are more reasons to get out than stay in.”

June 12, 2015 - Filed Under: Youth Projects, Children and Parenting

JACKSON, Miss. -- The Early Years Network is hosting a grand opening for the new Hinds County Resource and Referral Center on June 25.

The event will begin at 350 West Woodrow Wilson Ave. in Jackson Medical Mall Suite 480 at 2 p.m. with a brief ceremony to introduce staff and Early Years Network personnel. At that time, the network will accept a donation from United Health Care that will help extend network support to Mississippi’s children. The center will be open to the public to meet the staff and review available resources.

Stakes outline a future bike and walking path on Lynn Lane in Starkville, Mississippi. The Mississippi State University Extension Service has launched a new web page dedicated to breaking down the principles of Smart Growth, one of which is to provide a variety of transportation options to residents and visitors of a community. (Photo by MSU Ag Communications/Kevin Hudson)
June 11, 2015 - Filed Under: Community, Economic Development

Small, rural towns often face the challenge of providing a quality-of-life standard needed to attract new residents, while some communities on the fringe of large cities may struggle to meet the infrastructure demands that come with population spillover.

Six-year-old Jordan Ross and 8-year-old Nyema Johnson of Columbus enjoy choosing fun summer treats -- frozen banana pops dipped in either vanilla yogurt or almond bark. (Photo by MSU Ag Communications/Kat Lawrence)
June 11, 2015 - Filed Under: Family, Food

STARKVILLE, Miss. -- Keeping kids healthy during the summer can be a chore, but it does not have to be a bore.

Cool summer snacks for kids can be made easily and provide children with healthy benefits. It can be hard to get children to eat certain types of food, but if the snacks look delicious the task becomes easier.

June 11, 2015 - Filed Under: Agriculture, Crops, Water

BROOKSVILLE, Miss. – Farmers, scientists and crop consultants are encouraged to attend the Agronomy Field Day and Tour on June 24 at the Black Belt Branch Experiment Station.

Sessions last from 9:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. The Black Belt Branch in Noxubee County is 2 miles northeast of Brooksville on Highway 45.

Siba, a 2-year-old lab mix, suffered cuts and abrasions when he was hit by a car in his own driveway. He was photographed in recovery May 6, 2015, in Starkville, Mississippi. (Photo by MSU Ag Communications/Kevin Hudson)
June 9, 2015 - Filed Under: Community, Family, Pets

STARKVILLE, Miss. -- Many drivers have experienced the flash of fur and squeal of brakes that ends with an injured dog, but for Starkville pet owner Cindy Callahan, there was just a squeak when Siba was hit in the driveway.

“It happened when we were backing out of the driveway,” Callahan said. “Siba loves tennis balls, and we think he must have dropped his ball and it rolled under the car. He must have tried to get it as we were backing out."

Dr. Sharon Fooshee Grace, a clinical professor in Mississippi State University's College of Veterinary Medicine, has a passion to protect the vulnerable. She works with a domestic violence shelter to provide care for victims' pets, many of which may also need protection and medical care. (Photo by MSU Public Affairs/Megan Bean)
June 8, 2015 - Filed Under: Community, Family, Pets

STARKVILLE, Miss. -- The American Kennel Club Humane Fund has awarded the Mississippi State University College of Veterinary Medicine with a grant to support the college’s Safe Haven for Pets program.

The grant will cover some of the program’s expenses in providing care to the pets of women escaping domestic violence. Dr. Sharon Fooshee Grace, the MSU-CVM clinical professor who applied for the competitive grant, administers Safe Haven for Pets along with MSU-CVM assistant clinical professor Dr. Christine Bryan.

Colocasia Blue Hawaii is an elephant ear variety with large green leaves featuring prominent bluish-purple veins and wavy edges. (Photo by MSU Extension Service/Gary Bachman)
June 8, 2015 - Filed Under: Lawn and Garden, Flower Gardens

Tropical plants, like elephant ears, just scream for attention and attract interest in any landscape. Most gardeners love elephant ears because they are easy-to-grow tropical plants that make a big impact.

There are three species commonly found in Mississippi landscapes: Alocasia, Colocasia and Xanthosoma. Colocasia is my favorite elephant ear variety and the focus of this column. Most Colocasia plants feature big leaves and big texture, but they’re not all green. In fact, there are Colocasia varieties with black leaves.

Blueberries are ripe for the picking across much of the state if rains will allow opportunities for harvest. Bushes are loaded with berries, such as these photographed on June 2, 2015, in Poplarville, Mississippi. (Photo by Eric Stafne)
June 5, 2015 - Filed Under: Fruit

POPLARVILLE, Miss. -- Frequent rains have complicated harvests and triggered some disease issues, but Mississippians’ love for blueberries will not be dampened.

Luis Monterde, a blueberry grower near Purvis, said it takes a lot of patience to grow blueberries.

Emergency supply kits include water, food and medical supplies. Preparing kits ahead of time is beneficial in case of a hurricane or other disaster. (Photo by iStock)
June 5, 2015 - Filed Under: Disaster Preparedness, Family

STARKVILLE, Miss. -- Boxes of supplies can provide important lifelines when storms and other disasters threaten to uproot a household.

It has been 10 years since the devastation of Hurricane Katrina occurred, but the disaster still affects the lives of many individuals today. Christian Stephenson, an agent with the Mississippi State University Extension Service in Hancock County, said he was not on the coast when Katrina struck, but he still remembers the aftermath of the event.

June 5, 2015 - Filed Under: About Extension

STARKVILLE, Miss. -- A Mississippi State University Extension Service nutritionist has earned two rare designations in his field.

June 5, 2015 - Filed Under: Nuisance Wildlife and Damage Management

STARKVILLE, Miss. -- Growing skunk populations in Mississippi are causing a stink in the Magnolia state.

Striped and spotted skunks, which are both found in Mississippi, are among the most common and widely distributed mammals in North America. Skunks are solitary and typically nonaggressive, and they have not historically been a serious threat to homeowners, agricultural producers and other wildlife. However, that could change.