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Feature Story from 2024

January 9, 2024 - Filed Under: Family, Children and Parenting, Mississippi Child Care Resource and Referral

RAYMOND, Miss. -- Individuals interested in working with young children and families in Warren County are encouraged to apply for job openings with the Mississippi State University Extension Service. Mississippi Child Care Resource and Referral at MSU Extension is seeking a program associate and an office associate.

January 11, 2024 - Filed Under: Research and Extension Centers, Agriculture

STARKVILLE, Miss. -- Agricultural specialists and scientists at Mississippi State University are hosting three meetings to hear growers’ needs in research and educational programming.

The MSU Extension Service and Mississippi Agricultural and Forestry Experiment Station will host the Producer Advisory Council meetings at three of their Research and Extension Centers across the state.

January 12, 2024 - Filed Under: Healthy Soils and Water, Water

Mississippi growers and those across the Midwest and mid-South still have time to take advantage of two opportunities to improve soil health and water quality while protecting profitability on their farms.

January 17, 2024 - Filed Under: Community, Family, Lawn and Garden, Landscape Architecture, Smart Landscapes, Natural Resources

PICAYUNE, Miss. -- Fans of The History Channel’s “Forged in Fire” can see season-six champion Seth Borries demonstrating his skills in person during Forge Day at The Crosby Arboretum. Forge Day will be held Jan. 27 from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. in Picayune. This family-friendly event highlights the historic and modern uses of the forge.

A map shows plant hardiness zones in Mississippi.
January 18, 2024 - Filed Under: Planting, Lawn and Garden, Flower Gardens

Gardeners careful to select plants that thrive in their area have an updated U.S. Department of Agriculture Plant Hardiness Zone Map to use.
Released in late 2023, the zone map features an updated chart that was previously drawn in 2012. Much of Mississippi is now in zone 8b. This zone has average low winter temperatures of 15–20 degrees.

January 19, 2024 - Filed Under: Agriculture, Commercial Fruit and Nuts, Fruit

RAYMOND, Miss. -- Mississippi blueberry producers have two opportunities during February to learn more about production of the state’s largest fruit crop. The Mississippi State University Extension Service is hosting an in-person workshop and a virtual workshop.

Ducks in a marsh
January 22, 2024 - Filed Under: Wildlife

STARKVILLE, Miss. -- “Where are all the ducks?” It’s a question James Callicutt fields with more frequency and urgency from hunters and birders in Mississippi by the year.

Callicutt, a Mississippi State University Extension Service instructor specializing in waterfowl and wetlands ecology, said aerial waterfowl survey data show duck abundance in the southeastern U.S. is well below average.

People in an auditorium watching a person give a presentation.
January 22, 2024 - Filed Under: Agriculture, Agricultural Economics

STARKVILLE, Miss. -- Producers should anticipate tighter profit margins in 2024 as agricultural commodity prices decrease and financing costs climb. However, experts expect the industry to be buoyed by its economic strength, which has grown 6% since 2021.

A woman kneels beside a small horse that she is hugging.
January 29, 2024 - Filed Under: Equine

Although much of civilization is intertwined with the use of horses, these animals are much more than beasts of burden, and research today continues to look at the bond between horses and humans.

January 29, 2024 - Filed Under: Agriculture, Commercial Horticulture, Apiculture: Honey Bee Health, Poultry, Forestry, Marine Resources

BILOXI, Miss. -- Many cattle producers in Mississippi like Bobby Jones do not have access to a dedicated large-animal veterinarian.

This was one of the many needs voiced during the 2024 Producer Advisory Council meeting on Jan. 25 at the Mississippi State University Coastal Research and Extension Center in Biloxi. The annual meeting serves as a forum for agricultural producers to discuss their needs with university administrators, researchers, specialists and Extension agents.

January 29, 2024 - Filed Under: Agriculture, Commercial Horticulture, Local Flavor, Specialty Crop Production, Cut Flowers and Houseplants, Floral Design

BILOXI, Miss. -- Floral enthusiasts and business owners can learn from a professional floral designer during an upcoming design demonstration and workshop hosted by the Mississippi State University Extension Service. Rachel Bond, a Pass Christian floral designer, will showcase her floral design style using diverse plant materials and traditional stylings.

February 1, 2024 - Filed Under: Community, City and County Government, Economic Development

RAYMOND, Miss. -- Volunteers, employees and board members of the tourism sector or related organizations can get training and build networks with other tourism professionals in an upcoming certificate program. The Excellence in Tourism Leadership Program is offered by the Mississippi State University Extension Service Center for Government and Community Development in partnership with the Mississippi Tourism Association. The program will help tourism professionals learn how to market and increase tourism while gaining insight about leadership, advocacy, public policy and administration. The two-year program offers the opportunity to earn two separate certificates -- an associate certificate and a master certificate.

February 5, 2024 - Filed Under: Natural Resources, Water, Mississippi Well Owner Network

HOLLY SPRINGS, Miss. -- The Mississippi State University Extension Service will offer free bacteria screenings for private water well owners in Marshall County during an upcoming free program.

A piece of pine tree bark with Ips beetle grooves.
February 5, 2024 - Filed Under: Natural Resources, Forestry, Forest Management, Forest Pests, Urban and Community Forestry

RAYMOND, Miss. -- As drought takes its toll on Mississippi’s trees, foresters encourage landowners and homeowners to be on the lookout for pine bark beetles as spring arrives.

Pasture with dying grass.
February 6, 2024 - Filed Under: Forages, Management - Forages

STARKVILLE, Miss. -- In less than half a year, Mississippi pastures have endured drought conditions and subfreezing temperatures, but landowners can soften the blow winterkill deals to their winter grazing systems.

Rocky Lemus, forage specialist with the Mississippi State University Extension Service, said moderated grazing, cover crop planting and adequate soil nutrition can keep winterkill in cool-season annual grasses from being widespread. Some forage loss is still to be expected.

A teenage boy poses with a goat.
February 9, 2024 - Filed Under: 4-H, 4-H Livestock Program, Join 4-H

JACKSON, Miss. -- Hinds County 4-H’er Mason Williams had already represented Mississippi in a national competition less than a year ago, so showing animals in a statewide event was no sweat.

“Those experiences make it a little bit easier to be in front of all those people,” Williams said. “It doesn’t take all the pressure away, but it makes it easier to manage, so when you walk out there and see everybody, you don’t get stage fright.”

February 9, 2024 - Filed Under: Natural Resources, Marine Resources

STARKVILLE, Miss. -- The National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine have awarded grant funding to Mississippi State University to establish a Gulf Coast-based climate resilience fellowship.

The MSU Extension Service was awarded nearly $500,000 to launch the program, known as Expanding and Diversifying Youth Climate Resilience Opportunities in Coastal Mississippi.

Four people at a table talking to each other.
February 19, 2024 - Filed Under: Extension Program Priorities, Research and Extension Centers, Agriculture

VERONA, Miss. -- The forestry specialist roster at Mississippi State University Extension Service is growing, mostly in response to feedback received from industry professionals at Producer Advisory Council meetings.

A woman scrapes vegetable scraps off a cutting board into a countertop compost bin.
February 21, 2024 - Filed Under: Health and Wellness, Lawn and Garden, Flower Gardens, Vegetable Gardens, Natural Resources, Waste Management

RAYMOND, Miss. -- Many of the practices associated with sustainability, such as recycling, can be extended into the garden. Composting is a way to help reduce organic waste that goes to the landfill and helps feed gardens. These organic materials, which include grass clippings, leaves and other yard wastes, account for about 30% of trash that goes to the landfill.

People sit around a table.
February 26, 2024 - Filed Under: Agriculture, Commercial Horticulture, Beef, Equine, Goats and Sheep, Forestry, Wildlife

RAYMOND, Miss. -- Small ruminants are a popular choice for people like J.T. Crownover who want to get into the livestock business but do not want to raise cattle. Crownover attended the Central Mississippi Research and Extension Center’s Producer Advisory Council meeting Feb. 20. The forum, where agricultural producers can discuss their needs with MSU administrators, researchers, specialists and Extension agents, was the catalyst for the university’s active small ruminant program.


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