Feature Story from 2014
MISSISSIPPI STATE -- One week each October packs a double thrill for Mississippi 4-H’ers.
National 4-H Week, held Oct. 5-11, overlaps with the Mississippi State Fair, which runs from Oct. 1-12.
This year, 4-H’ers will promote both the state and national events through social media. The theme for the 2014 National 4-H Week is #iam4H.
MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Wood is a major part of Americans’ daily lives. In fact, wood consumption in the U.S. is five and a half pounds per person per day. This is just one of the fascinating facts fourth graders will discover about wood when they visit Mississippi State University’s Wood Magic Science Fair.
MSU will host about 4,000 children, teachers and visitors Oct. 6 through 10. They will learn about forestry, sustainable bioproducts and wildlife.
PRAIRIE -- Beef and forage producers will receive current recommendations on a variety of topics influencing production success at a field day on Oct. 25.
The 2014 Fall Beef Cattle and Forage Field Day will begin at 9 a.m on that Saturday at the Mississippi Agricultural and Forestry Experiment Station’s Prairie Research Unit in Monroe County. A sponsored lunch will conclude the event.
MAFES researchers and Mississippi State University Extension Service agents and specialists will provide information on nutrition, marketing and other issues related to beef production.
MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Mississippi’s oldest agricultural television news show begins its 38th season Oct. 3 on Mississippi Public Broadcasting.
Farmweek, produced by the Mississippi State University Extension Service and the MSU Office of Agricultural Communications, airs weekly on Mississippi Public Broadcasting and RFD-TV.
Artis Ford, Farmweek’s managing editor and reporter for almost 30 years, said Friday’s show will mark the 1,880th airing. Viewers also will notice a few changes this season as a result of a viewership survey conducted in 2014.
TUNICA -- The nation’s farmers and agricultural landowners have some important decisions to make in the next six months.
Krysta Harden, deputy secretary for the U.S. Department of Agriculture, met with farmers and others at the Tunica Museum on Sept. 29 to answer questions about programs available in the new farm bill.
While the delay in passage of the farm bill created some deadline challenges, Harden said USDA is working with the Extension Service in each state to help farmers and landowners understand the process, which is managed through the Farm Service Agency.
RAYMOND -- Members of the produce industry have two opportunities to evaluate and comment on revisions to proposed changes to a U.S. Food and Drug Administration food safety law.
Experts with Mississippi State University’s Extension Service and the Mississippi Agricultural and Forestry Experiment Station will help participants understand the revisions to the Food Safety Modernization Act during two separate workshops.
The act introduces new rules to help prevent contamination of fresh fruits and vegetables during growing, harvesting, packing and holding.
MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Dr. Andy Shores hopes to help veterinarians make better patient recommendations with a smartphone application.
Shores, chief of neurosurgery and neurology at the Mississippi State University College of Veterinary Medicine, developed the Small Animal Coma Scale app to give veterinarians an easier way to assess the severity of a traumatic brain injury in dogs and cats while capturing statistical data.
MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Mississippi State University’s foundation seed program, a unit of the Mississippi Agricultural and Forestry Experiment Station, has provided seed to Mississippi seed distributors and growers for 55 years.
Brad Burgess, MSU director of research support for variety testing and foundation seed, oversees the program. Major crops include sweet sorghum, soybean and rice. MSU also produces foundation sweet potato slips and some minor crops as well.
GRENADA -- Two sisters in Grenada County’s 4-H program placed in the top three in a national video contest.
Isabella Kinder, 15, won second place in her age division and $300 in the “Do the Ride Thing” video contest for all-terrain vehicles and dirt bike safety. Katrina Kinder, 18, won third place in her age division and $200. Contest sponsors included the ATV Safety Institute, the Right Rider Access Fund and the Motorcycle Safety Foundation Dirt Bike School.
VERONA -- Forage and livestock producers can learn about the latest research and production methods at the annual Mississippi Forage and Grassland Conference.
The Mississippi State University Extension Service will co-sponsor the event on Nov. 14 at the North Mississippi Research and Extension Center, located at 5421 Highway 145 South in Verona.
MISSISSIPPI STATE -- A new grant will enable Mississippi State University Extension Service leaders to refine the organization’s efforts to help communities prepare for and recover from disasters.
With offices in all 82 Mississippi counties, Extension agents and specialists provide “boots on the ground” assistance in communities following disasters. They receive training in advance to complete tasks such as agricultural damage assessment, shelter assistance and distribution of educational recovery materials.
GOODMAN -- Small-scale fruit and vegetable producers can attend a field day Oct. 17 in Goodman to learn how to create and follow a financial plan to produce a profit.
The Alliance for Sustainable Agricultural Production Demonstration Farm will host Velma Oliver, farm management and loan specialist with Alcorn State University. She will help farmers understand recordkeeping and budgeting for items such as labor, equipment and inputs.
GREENWOOD -- A conference planned to better equip economic development officials to promote rural tourism opportunities has an educational lineup worthy of a festival.
The Mississippi-Alabama Rural Tourism Conference will be Oct. 20-22 in Greenwood.
CRYSTAL SPRINGS -- A new horticulture research scientist joined the Mississippi State University Extension Service and Mississippi Agricultural and Forestry Experiment Station Oct. 1.
MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Enterovirus-68 is making headlines and drawing attention to the importance of taking precautions even before cold and flu season arrives.
Dr. Thomas Dobbs, state epidemiologist with the Mississippi State Department of Health, said a strain of enterovirus is causing serious complications in some children in 42 states, including Mississippi, as of the first of October. Strains of enterovirus have been around since the 1960s, but they have never been seen as severe as this year.
RAYMOND -- Goats are growing in popularity among Mississippi livestock producers who have limited acreage or want to diversify their farming business.
“Since 2012, the overall number of meat goats in the southeastern region of the state has increased,” said Mitch Newman, Greene County agricultural agent with the Mississippi State University Extension Service. “More small farmers want to raise livestock to supplement other income, and some landowners have fragmented property, which makes raising cattle unrealistic.”
MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Two Mississippi State University Extension Service professionals were recently honored by the National Extension Association for Family and Consumer Sciences for their work in the early childhood field.
Jenna Schilling, Extension associate, and Natasha Haynes, Extension agent in family and consumer sciences, won the national Early Childhood Child Care Training Award for the TummySafe program, a food certification course for child care providers.
MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Longtime outreach efforts by the Mississippi State University Extension Service’s forestry department received significant attention when it won a national award.
MSU Extension Forestry won the 2014 Family Forests Education Award presented by the National Woodland Owners Association and the National Association of University Forest Resources Programs. George Hopper, dean of the MSU College of Forest Resources, accepted the award Oct. 8 at the Society of American Foresters national convention in Salt Lake City.
MISSISSIPPI STATE -- A New York-based think tank has designated the Mississippi State University Extension Service an Intelligent Community Institute, the second of its kind in the country.
MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Most Mississippi State University horses arrive on campus in the spring educating students about the foaling process and leave in November teaching them about auctions.
The annual horse sale will take place in a nontraditional setting as about 20 horses, ages 6 months to 12 years, are sold online Nov. 15 through 21.
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