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Feature Story from 2015

A photo showing corn, cotton, soybeans and rice.
May 29, 2015 - Filed Under: Crops

STARKVILLE, Miss. -- Mother Nature may deserve most of the credit, but management decisions by some “boots on the ground” also contributed to Mississippi’s record yields in cotton, soybeans, corn and rice in 2014.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture recently released the official cotton yield averages, placing Mississippi fields at an all-time high of 1,232 pounds per acre. Cotton joins other 2014 crops with records, including soybeans at 52 bushels per acre, corn at 185 bushels per acre and rice at 7,420 pounds per acre.

Attending safety courses about all-terrain vehicles can provide drivers with experience in handling all types of situations. (File photo/MSU Ag Communications)
May 29, 2015 - Filed Under: 4-H Safety Programs, Farm Safety, Family, ATV Safety

STARKVILLE, Miss. -- Riding all-terrain vehicles is a fun adventure until tragedy strikes, but simple practices can keep riders safe.

Jesse Wilson, a high school senior from Lowndes County, has firsthand experience with an ATV disaster. Wilson was driving up a steep ditch when his ATV fell back on top of him because of excess weight on the back of the vehicle. He was not wearing any safety gear at the time. Wilson broke his shoulder because of this accident, and had to have surgery.

Milk, such as this pictured with the Mississippi State University award-winning dairy herd, is rich in vitamin D and calcium. (Photo by Kevin Hudson/MSU Ag Communications)
May 29, 2015 - Filed Under: Dairy, Family, Food and Health

STARKVILLE, Miss. -- Drinking a beverage that tastes delicious and has good nutritional value is like having your cake and eating it, too.

Brent Fountain, associate professor of food science, nutrition and health promotion with the Mississippi State University Extension Service, said milk is a good source of protein. Protein provides the nutrients the body needs to build and repair bones, muscles, cartilage, skin and blood. Milk is also a good carbohydrate source, providing the body with energy. Calcium and vitamin D are also important nutrients found in milk.

Hope James of James's Tot Shop celebrates the 5-star rating her center received with the children in her care in Bay St. Louis, Mississippi. (Submitted photo)
June 1, 2015 - Filed Under: Family, Children and Parenting

BAY SPRINGS, Miss. -- When Hope James decided to stay home with her children and offer child care to parents in the Bay Springs area, she had no idea her decision would result in her business being recognized as one of the top in the state.

James, owner of Tot Shop of Bay Springs, recently received a 5-star rating from the Quality Rating and Improvement System. The evaluation is based on a national standard and scale, and James’s is one of the few centers in the state to achieve this level of quality.

Termites swarm when they are looking for new places to begin colonies. Left uncontrolled, these pests can cause extensive damage to houses and other buildings. (Photo by MSU Extension Service/Blake Layton)
June 4, 2015 - Filed Under: Insects, Household Insects, Pests

STARKVILLE, Miss. -- Mississippi State University entomologist John Guyton actually wears them on special occasions in a tie, and some people collect them for science experiments, but homeowners typically want nothing to do with termites.

Termites are estimated to cause $40 billion in damage to wooden structures every year. In the U.S., that figure is $2 billion to $3 billion, and several million dollars are lost to termites each year in Mississippi.

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.

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.

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."

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

Mississippi beekeepers can post a "Bee Aware" flag, such as this one flying in a bee yard in Monroe County, Mississippi, to raise awareness of pollinators in the area. (Photo by MSU Extension Service/Reid Nevins)
June 17, 2015 - Filed Under: Beekeeping, Insects

STARKVILLE, Miss. -- Pitting farmers against beekeepers does little to solve the problems facing pollinators.


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