The spread of the Coronavirus and the resulting Covid-19 illness is having a huge impact in Mississippi.  The response to limit gatherings of people to control the spread of this disease has changed our daily lives.  This has had a large impact on the efforts of the Mississippi State University Extension Service in Pontotoc County as well.  

All Pontotoc County Extension Service meetings and programs have been postponed at least through May 10, 2020.  This action is in accordance to the Mississippi State University Extension Service COVID-19 response recommendations.  MSU Extension face to face programing will be rescheduled as soon as possible. The Pontotoc Extension Office will remain open to serve you during normal operating hours.

It is very common for large groups to meet at the Pontotoc Extension office. Examples of these gatherings include the Mississippi Homemaker Volunteers, 4-H Clubs, the Pontotoc Cattlemen’s Association, the Pontotoc Forestry Association, beekeeping groups, row-crop farmers, and the Pontotoc County Master Gardener Association.  These groups better their lives by learning and extending that knowledge to others.  

The postponement of the face to face meetings that we are accustomed to has not stopped the work of the MSU Extension Service.  The MSU Extension Service is continuing to extend knowledge and change the lives of the citizens of Mississippi through the Extension website, television and radio programing, podcasts, digital newsletters, and blogs. 

In the next two editions of “Farm and Garden Notes”, I will discuss the Extension programing that can become a part of your daily life during this difficult period. In this edition, I will discuss how the MSU Extension Service is using its website, blogs, and digital newsletters to serve the citizens of Mississippi.

The MSU Extension Website

The MSU Extension website is an excellent resource. The website includes a vast amount of information that touches all industries, businesses, and interests of the people in Mississippi.  The website describes the Extension Service’s history, organization, and programs.  All the informative MSU Extension publications and digital productions are easily accessible there also. 

There is something new to be discovered each day through the website. One of the most convenient ways to receive this information is to set as your default browser in your internet search engine. You will be welcomed to the world of the MSU Extension Service when you open your computer, smart phone, or other device. 

Blogs and Digital Newsletters

Individuals that enjoy receiving Extension programing through their e-mail inboxes have several choices. People can subscribe to the Extension for Real Life blog, Bug’s Eye View, and Cattle Market Notes Weekly.

Extension for Real Life Blog

The word blog is a shortened version of the phrase web log. A blog is an internet journal that focuses on a subject through the posting of regular entries. Extension for Real Life is a blog that provides current information, helpful ideas, and interesting facts. 

Keri Lewis, Susan Collins-Smith and Ellen Graves provide an interesting and entertaining view into the world of Extension. Examples of recent Extension for Real Life posts include a quick-taco-mac recipe from The Food Factor, how to clean your smart phone, tips for protecting yourself from census scams, and how to attract birds to your landscape. You can subscribe to the Extension for Real Life blog by using the following link.

Cattle Market Notes Weekly 

Cattle Market Notes is a must read for individuals in the business of selling and raising beef cattle. Dr. Josh Maples delivers up to date information on cattle prices and commentary on the factors that influence cattle markets. You can subscribe to Cattle Market Notes by using the following link

Bug’s Eye View

Have you ever seen an insect in your home, lawn, or garden and wondered, “What is that?”  If so, Dr. Blake Layton can help you become an expert in entomology. This digital newsletter includes discussions of insect biology, insect control measures, and great pictures of common insects.  You can subscribe to the Bug’s Eye View by using the following link

We are living through challenging times where traditional interaction is limited.  The MSU Extension Service will continue to disseminate current science-based information where the citizens of Mississippi are located.

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