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Feature Story

Side-by-side images showing exterior packaging materials and close-up seed packet.
July 29, 2020 - Filed Under: Agriculture, Lawn and Garden

Mississippians are urged not to open or plant packets of unknown seeds that are appearing unsolicited in mailboxes, seemingly shipped from China. Mississippi Commissioner of Agriculture and Commerce Andy Gipson urged state residents who receive the seeds to report them immediately. The Bureau of Plant Industry’s phone number is 662-325-3390.

A person carrying a black bag marked with census information approaches the front door of a house.
July 29, 2020 - Filed Under: 2020 Census

The laid-back way of life in Mississippi has a downside when it leads to very low U.S. Census participation: Inaccurate population counts can cause the state to lose money, political representation and participation in beneficial programs.

July 29, 2020 - Filed Under: Agriculture

Mississippi Commissioner of Agriculture and Commerce Andy Gipson instructs anyone receiving packages of unsolicited seeds from China, or any foreign country, in recent days to immediately contact the Mississippi Department of Agriculture and Commerce’s Bureau of Plant Industry by phoning (662) 325-3390. Those receiving the seeds are instructed to hold onto the seeds and packaging, including the mailing label, until someone from MDAC’s Bureau of Plant Industry contacts you with further instructions. Do not plant seeds from unknown origins.

Three students wear face masks as they sit at their desks.
July 28, 2020 - Filed Under: Health and Wellness, Family, Children and Parenting, Health, Coronavirus

Parents can help children understand how to stay healthy at school amid the COVID-19 pandemic as they prepare for the start of the academic year.

Large nets converge on a boat with two men aboard.
July 17, 2020 - Filed Under: Catfish, Catfish Marketing, Coronavirus

Cash flow challenges are the latest struggle for Mississippi catfish producers, as product sales to their biggest consumers -- restaurants -- are way down due to COVID-19.

July 16, 2020 - Filed Under: Food and Health, Food Safety

A Mississippi State University Extension Service food safety specialist has been selected to serve on the Executive Advisory Board of the Food Safety Preventive Controls Alliance.

July 15, 2020 - Filed Under: Food and Health, Health, AIM for CHangE, Nutrition

David Buys, associate professor in MSU’s Department of Food Science, Nutrition and Health Promotion and state health specialist with the MSU Extension Service, is being honored as a fellow of the Gerontological Society of America.

A woman looks on while a young boy writes on a piece of paper.
July 7, 2020 - Filed Under: Family, Children and Parenting, Coronavirus

Parents dealing with COVID-19 closings are working daily to find safe child care for young children when most of the traditional summer options are gone.

A faucet with water flowing.
July 1, 2020 - Filed Under: Children and Parenting, Creating Healthy Indoor Childcare Environments, Water, Sip Safe

Two simple, daily steps can protect Mississippi’s youngest citizens from lead poisoning. Jason Barrett, an assistant Extension professor in the Mississippi Water Resources Research Institute, said lead in drinking water can harm children’s health. But flushing faucets each morning and using cold water for cooking and preparing baby bottles can greatly reduce exposure.

A man wearing a baseball cap reaches toward a green tomato growing on a large, caged plant.
June 29, 2020 - Filed Under: Other Vegetables, Lawn and Garden, Vegetable Gardens, Youth Gardening

Knowing that many Mississippians share a love for home-grown tomatoes, two Mississippi State University Extension Service agents designed programs just for them.

June 25, 2020 - Filed Under: Agriculture, Agricultural Economics

Three Mississippi State University agricultural economists contributed to a national academic report on the effects of COVID-19 on food and agricultural markets.

A woman handles a tomato plant growing in a wire frame.
June 19, 2020 - Filed Under: Lawn and Garden, Insects-Vegetable Gardens, Vegetable Diseases

Successful Mississippi gardens are filling up with beautiful tomatoes, but unless gardeners stay alert and act, these plants can succumb to summer insect pests and diseases.

June 17, 2020 - Filed Under: Research and Extension Centers, Agriculture

A Mississippi State University research professor is a newly appointed member to the Environmental Protection Agency’s Farm, Ranch, and Rural Communities Committee. U.S. EPA Administrator Andrew Wheeler and U.S. Sen. Cindy Hyde-Smith (R-Miss.) announced today [June 17] the appointment of Jeffrey Gore, one of 33 new committee members.

A bar graph showing data on coronavirus cases.
June 16, 2020 - Filed Under: Coronavirus

STARKVILLE, Miss. -- Knowing the difference between quarantining and isolating is critical in preventing the spread of COVID-19.

On June 15, the Mississippi State Department of Health reported the COVID-19 case total exceeded 20,000, with more than 900 deaths. Rising along with those numbers is the seven-day average of cases by date when the patients became sick. MSDH data indicate an average of around 300 cases per day through the first half of June compared to approximately 250 daily at the beginning of May.

Protective medical mask, sanitizer gel and gloves in bag.
June 11, 2020 - Filed Under: Disaster Preparedness, Family

STARKVILLE, Miss. -- In the second week of June, Tropical Storm Cristobal reminded Mississippians that the Atlantic hurricane season has arrived.

Further complicating preparation for this hurricane season, which officially began June 1 and concludes at the end of November, is the threat of COVID-19. Confirmed cases of the coronavirus in Mississippi have not shown any consistent decrease, which will be an important issue if residents need to evacuate. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration has forecasted an above-average hurricane season in terms of storm activity.

A watermelon lies in the vines in a field.
June 5, 2020 - Filed Under: Agriculture, Crops, Commercial Horticulture, Watermelon Cantaloupe and Cucumber, Watermelons

Good spring weather conditions in southeast Mississippi kept watermelon production on track.

June 5, 2020 - Filed Under: Health and Wellness, The PROMISE Initiative

STARKVILLE, Miss. -- A health leadership team led by the Mississippi State University Extension Service has received a national award for its work to address mental health challenges in the state’s agricultural community.

Directors of the PROMISE Initiative will receive the Southern Distinguished Team award from Epsilon Sigma Phi, during the organization’s annual national conference in October. PROMISE stands for “PReventing Opioid Misuse in the SouthEast.” Epsilon Sigma Phi is a nationwide organization for Extension professionals.

A gloved hand holds a credit card above a keyboard.
June 4, 2020 - Filed Under: Family Financial Management, Fraud and Identity Theft, Coronavirus

Adding insult to injury, attempts at fraud always increase during times of crisis, a reality many Mississippians are experiencing during the COVID-19 pandemic.

June 1, 2020 - Filed Under: Floral Design

When Jim DelPrince became a horticulture specialist with the Mississippi State University Extension Service, his goal was to get flowers in the hands of Mississippians.

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