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News Filed Under Food and Health

May 21, 2020 - Filed Under: Agriculture, Coronavirus

STARKVILLE, Miss. -- Mississippi producers affected financially by the COVID-19 pandemic can now access a guide on applying for monetary relief through a new federal program.

Spicy tuna on top of mixed greens, in a bowl as a dip, and in a wrap on a plate.
May 18, 2020 - Filed Under: Food and Health, Food

Do you ever get tired of eating the same old healthy salad? I do! That’s why I was excited to find this recipe for Spicy Tuna that can be used three different ways: as a dip with baked tortilla chips, as a wrap with lettuce leaves or tortillas, or as a topping for a green salad made with lettuce, mixed greens or fresh spinach.

Closeup of someone spraying mosquito repellent on their arm.
May 14, 2020 - Filed Under: Insects-Human Pests, Insects-Pet Pests, Household Insects

With all the rain we’ve had this year, mosquitoes have plenty of places to breed. But you can take some easy steps to keep their numbers down.

May 14, 2020 - Filed Under: Food and Health, Coronavirus, Nutrition, SNAP-Ed

As Mississippians continue to practice social distancing, they can learn ways to create shared food and family experiences, prepare meals at home, shop for healthy foods on a budget and be more physically active through the HappyHealthy social campaign.

Orange blooms cover the top of a green plant.
May 11, 2020 - Filed Under: Coronavirus, Flower Gardens

I’m becoming increasingly optimistic about our 2020 Mississippi summer gardens and landscapes. COVID-19 is on everyone’s mind, but an upside to the virus is that more homeowners are gardening than ever before. If you’re looking for summer color that will grow through the summer and beyond, then Profusion zinnia is the plant for you.

May 11, 2020 - Filed Under: Agriculture, Pesticide Applicator Certification, Coronavirus

STARKVILLE, Miss. -- There is a new online pathway for agricultural producers and applicators to obtain pesticide use certification.

The Mississippi State University Extension Service Pesticide Safety Education Program, in partnership with the Mississippi Department of Agriculture and Commerce (MDAC), has launched an online Private Applicator Certification program in Mississippi.

Baked boneless porkchops on sliced sweet potatoes topped with orange slices in a glass baking dish
May 7, 2020 - Filed Under: Food and Health, Food

If you are cooking for just one or two, this recipe is for you! It features one of our favorite ingredients – Mississippi-grown sweet potatoes. You can expand this recipe as needed for a larger crowd.

You’ll want to save this recipe for a weeknight when you have a little extra time or cook it on the weekend, as it requires browning the pork chops first, then baking them.

I love the combination of tangy, sweet, and savory flavors! While the recipe doesn’t specify an order, The Food Factor crew put the sweet potatoes on the bottom of the baking dish with a sprinkle of cinnamon, then we topped the potatoes with the chops. Sprinkle the meat with a bit of salt and pepper before the orange slices.

A boy and girl sit at a wooden table and use markers to draw on different colored sheets of paper.
May 6, 2020 - Filed Under: Family, Children and Parenting, MSU Extension Head Start, Family Dynamics, Coronavirus

Following nationwide closures of pre-Ks and early childhood education centers due to coronavirus, millions of parents are now caring for their young children at home.

Many Mississippi parents are wondering how to continue their young child’s learning, said Louise Davis, a Mississippi State University Extension Service professor with the School of Human Sciences. With a little bit of structure and some fun activities, young children can continue to develop the skills they need for school and beyond.

A bowl of blueberry baked oatmeal.
May 4, 2020 - Filed Under: Food, Coronavirus, Nutrition

My husband and I cook dinner at home 99 percent of the time. Now that we are practicing social distancing under the governor’s safer-at-home order, our kitchen is really getting a workout.

Individual purple flowers rise above the greenery placed on an open-grid surface.
May 4, 2020 - Filed Under: Coronavirus, Lawn and Garden, Flower Gardens

May 4 marks a milestone for me and my wife as the last Star Wars movie, “Star Wars: Episode IX – The Rise of Skywalker,” is being released straight to digital, thanks to COVID-19.

A combine harvester cuts hay in a field.
May 1, 2020 - Filed Under: Agriculture, Farming, Coronavirus

Mississippi State University Extension is helping U.S. Rep. Trent Kelly (R-Tupelo) and other partners in launching a new FARM Corps program to connect furloughed or unemployed veterans and members of the National Guard, Reserve and all service branches with local farm and ranch jobs

A man in a hat stands next to a bush covered in tomatoes growing inside a wire frame.
May 1, 2020 - Filed Under: Coronavirus, Lawn and Garden, Insects-Vegetable Gardens, Vegetable Gardens

More would-be gardeners than ever before are planting with hopes of a summer crop of vegetables, but getting to that harvest means handling the inevitable insect pests, weeds, disease and fertilizer needs.

Hands typing on laptop keyboard
April 30, 2020 - Filed Under: Basic Money Management, Coronavirus

If social distancing measures and the shelter-in-place order have left you with reduced income or without a paycheck, we have some tips to help you take control of your finances.

Red and white flowers with purple centers cover a plant growing from a wooden barrel.
April 27, 2020 - Filed Under: Coronavirus, Flower Gardens

I’m sure Southern Gardening Nation knows that Supertunias, especially Vista Bubblegum, are among my favorite summer color because they are reliable performers in my coastal Mississippi garden and landscape.

But there’s another great group of petunias that I haven’t written much about, primarily because I haven’t been growing them lately. That group is the family of Wave petunias.

A smiling couple holds a smart phone showing a woman on a video call.
April 24, 2020 - Filed Under: Family, Family Dynamics, Coronavirus

Starkville High School senior Christian Leach has photographic proof of the day he sat in his front yard and signed to run track for Mississippi College this fall.

A pile of blueberries
April 24, 2020 - Filed Under: Fruit, Food

Blueberries are a nutrient- and antioxidant-rich food. Harvesting them at the peak of ripeness ensures you get the greatest health benefits and the best taste.

A gray caterpillar covered in tiny brown spines hangs upside down on a green leaf.
April 21, 2020 - Filed Under: Insects-Human Pests, Insects

Mississippi does not have to deal with plagues of locusts like those ravaging other parts of the world, but it does have to contend with a stinging caterpillar that is on the increase this spring.

Beef cows in a field
April 20, 2020 - Filed Under: Beef, Food and Health, Food Safety, Coronavirus

STARKVILLE, Miss. -- Food supplies in the U.S. are abundant and safe, despite some challenges in packaging and distribution related to COVID-19.

Robert Johannson, chief economist for the U.S. Department of Agriculture, acknowledged “widespread worries that the disease could threaten the nation’s food production and supply systems and stoke inflation” in a statement issued April 16.

slices of French toast on a colorful plate
April 20, 2020 - Filed Under: Food and Health, Food

Traditionally, French toast recipes include white bread, eggs, butter and/or oil, and maple syrup. This French toast makeover substitutes whole wheat bread for white bread, mashed banana for the egg, and cooking spray for the oil. As long as you top it with fruit instead of butter and maple syrup, this French toast has a fraction of the calories compared to the traditional option.

Silhouette of a paper cut-out style family of four facing a three-dimensional model of the novel coronavirus.
April 17, 2020 - Filed Under: Health and Wellness, Coronavirus, Mental Health First Aid

When confronted with the need to change or adapt to life’s circumstances, people cope with the resulting stress in many ways. David Buys, health specialist with the Mississippi State University Extension Service, said the domino effect of multiple changes caused by the novel coronavirus pandemic may result in trauma.

“Usually trauma is a major life event that leads to intense stress reactions,” Buys said. “But we are seeing so many changes in such a short time it’s a struggle to manage our feelings and thoughts without falling into anxiety and depression.”

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