News From 2015
STARKVILLE, Miss. -- For an unassuming rodent, the beaver has quite a significant place in American history.
For more than 300 years, the beaver was one of the most valuable fur-bearing animals in North America and drove the fur trade, one of the earliest and most important industries in the development of the United States and Canada.
STARKVILLE, Miss. -- Twenty-four newly elected tax assessors and collectors from across the state spent three days at Mississippi State University this week honing the skills they will use when they take office next year.
The MSU Extension Service Center for Government and Community Development hosted a three-day orientation for new tax assessors and collectors. During that time, the officials received training in job functions, including property assessment, homestead exemption, vehicle title registration, appraisals and tax collection.
STARKVILLE, Miss. -- A professor emeritus with the Mississippi State University College of Veterinary Medicine received national recognition from the Association of Shelter Veterinarians.
Dr. Phil Bushby, the retired Marcia P. Lane Endowed Chair in Human Ethics and Animal Welfare, accepted the 2015 Association of Shelter Veterinarians Meritorious Award at an association meeting in New Orleans. Each year, the association’s board honors a veterinarian who has significantly advanced shelter medicine through leadership, public service, research, education and/or clinical practice.
STONEVILLE, Miss. -- A governor’s task force is convening a summit Dec. 15 to explore and promote better ways to manage the state’s water resources.
The Governor’s Delta Sustainable Water Resources Task Force will host an Irrigation and Water Conservation Summit at the Mississippi State University Delta Research and Extension Center in Stoneville. The event will be held from 10 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. at the Capps Center.
Producers, landowners, consultants, natural resource professionals and other interested parties are invited to attend. Lunch will be provided.
STARKVILLE, Miss. -- Many Mississippians find it difficult to keep off the pounds during food-oriented holiday celebrations, and hidden calories make this problem even worse.
Ann Twiner, Mississippi State University Extension Service agent in Sunflower County, said turkey, ham and vegetables can be healthy choices, but consider how they are prepared when choosing whether to eat them and deciding how large a portion to take.
STARKVILLE, Miss. -- Joe Street, who retired in summer 2015, dedicated his 35-year career with Mississippi State University to research and education for the advancement of agriculture and preservation of natural resources.
His service continues through an endowed gift that supports other dedicated MSU Extension Service leaders and personnel.
STARKVILLE, Miss. -- Bidding is underway on a variety of horses from the Mississippi State University research herd.
MSU is offering 24 horses, registered with the American Quarter Horse Association, through an online auction that will conclude at 6 p.m. Nov. 21. The sale includes five 2-year-olds that have been started under the saddle, five yearlings and 14 weanlings. Prospective buyers can read descriptions of each horse and see photos and video at https://auction.msucares.com.
This week, I’ve been taking what I’d like to think is a well-earned vacation. But even though I’m technically “off the clock,” I’m still finding interesting ideas to try in our Mississippi gardens and landscapes.
Since we’re heading into the much cooler winter months, I’ve come across several clever uses of unusual planting combinations we can enjoy indoors.
Often, the person is concerned that turtles are eating his fish. Sometimes the turtles are eating the pond owner’s fish food. Other times, the caller has caught a turtle while catfishing and does not like dealing with the angry reptile on the end of his line. For one reason or another, turtles have a bad reputation in Mississippi ponds. Well, it is time to set the record straight on turtles!
RAYMOND, Miss. -- Holiday gift lists often include co-workers, but shoppers should be mindful of a few etiquette rules before hitting the stores.
“Always check company policies before buying gifts,” said Susan Cosgrove, an agent with the Mississippi State University Extension Service in Newton County.
If employers allow gift exchanges, be sure to keep it professional.
Cosgrove said it is okay to give a boss or supervisor a gift, but it should be done as a group or department.
SAUCIER, Miss. -- Christmas tree growers in Mississippi expect a 7 percent increase in sales this year, but unfavorable spring and fall weather may hurt future supplies.
Stephen Dicke, a forestry professor with the Mississippi State University Extension Service, said growers successfully controlled insect and disease problems this year. However, a wet spring followed by a dry summer and early fall caused some growers to lose up to half of their 1-year-old trees.
STARKVILLE, Miss. -- Like the star athletes they are, horses have access in Mississippi to many of the same therapies humans need after exercise.
Equine veterinarians at the Mississippi State University College of Veterinary Medicine offer a variety of treatments and surgeries to mend potentially career-ending conditions.
Dr. Cathleen Mochal, assistant clinical professor, said physical soundness is critical for the usefulness of most horses. While some horses are maintained simply for their beauty and personality, most are also ridden for pleasure, work or competition.
STARKVILLE, Miss. -- The Mississippi State University Extension Service is accepting applications for young people interested in serving as pages during the 2016 regular session of the Mississippi Senate.
Four young people will be selected to serve as pages representing MSU Extension 4-H and the Center for Government and Community Development. They will participate in the 2016 Lt. Gov. Tate Reeves 4-H Senate Page Program, serving Feb. 8-12 in Jackson.
In a fast-paced world, the once commonplace gathering of family members at the dinner table to enjoy a home-cooked meal is an often forgotten activity.
The Mississippi State University Extension Service and Mississippi Association of Family and Consumer Sciences are sponsoring Dining In, a Dec. 3 observation to encourage families to return to the dinner table tradition in an effort to promote planning healthy meals and quality time with loved ones.
That date also marks the second annual celebration of Family and Consumer Sciences Day.
RAYMOND, Miss. -- Problems with private septic systems can be expensive, messy and hazardous to Mississippi’s drinking water. But homeowners can take some proactive steps to keep their systems functioning properly.
Let’s face it: Gardeners like to talk about their gardens, and I’m no different. We all like to brag about our garden successes and ask questions about how to improve. Through email and social media, I get many gardening questions throughout the year.
These questions concern landscape issues, plant care and plant identification. I enjoy answering questions and helping home gardeners to be successful in their gardening endeavors in Mississippi and beyond.
While dressing a deer this fall, there are some common parasites you may encounter. None of these parasites actually affects the quality of the deer meat, but it is important to recognize what they are.
Have you ever noticed little wingless critters crawling around on a deer’s belly? Those are louse flies -- also called deer keds. The adult flies shed their wings and become flightless. While at first glance louse flies resemble small ticks, they only have six legs.
CRYSTAL SPRINGS, Miss. -- The All-America Selections organization named a Mississippi State University experiment station as one of the top landscape gardens in North America.
The MSU Truck Crops Branch Experiment Station in Crystal Springs placed second among gardens that receive 10,000 to 100,000 visitors annually. Personnel at the station represent the MSU Extension Service and the Mississippi Agricultural and Forestry Experiment Station.
PICAYUNE, Miss. -- Attendees of the Piney Woods Heritage Festival in Picayune can celebrate the history and culture of the Piney Woods region located in the central coastal portion of the state.
The Mississippi State University Crosby Arboretum will host the two-day festival on Nov. 20 and 21. Exhibitors will provide live demonstrations of the traditional skills, crafts and arts of the region’s people, including quilting, woodcarving and blacksmithing.
STARKVILLE, Miss. -- Mississippi farmers are expected to plant as much as 200,000 acres of wheat this year, but very little had been planted by the end of October because of exceptionally dry weather since August.
Erick Larson, grain crops agronomist with the Mississippi State University Extension Service, said several factors limited wheat acreage last year, but wheat planting intentions are fairly strong this year if weather allows planting to proceed soon.