Category Archives: Agribuisiness

Local Florist Picked to Help Brighten Up the White House

Local Florist Picked to Help Brighten Up the White House

Courtesy of The Dispatch – West Point, MS


West Point florist Scott Reed, owner of Petal Pushers recently received official word from The White House last week that he was accepted into the 2017 holiday volunteer program.

West Point florist Scott Reed has been selected to decorate the White House for Christmas. He owns Petal Pushers floral shop. Photo by: Luisa Porter/Dispatch Staff

“I’ve always worked with design,” Reed said. “And I just remember hearing about this program years ago and thinking ‘how neat would it be to be a part of something like this?'”

He will serve as part of a volunteer team that will go up to the big house on Pennsylvania Avenue for a four-day decorating spree, along with others who have successfully petitioned to do so. “It was really exciting to see something that I’ve wanted to do for so long come to be,” Reed said. “But I was automatically a little bit nervous because, well, I’m decorating the White House.” He has applied for the program multiple times since 2000, and was elated that he has finally be selected to help.

Reed went to MSU, where he earned a degree in ornamental horticulture. This eventually led to his opening Petal Pushers, a shop that specializes in making floral arrangements, as well as selling gifts, collectibles, and antiques to go along with them. His shop is located at 651 Commerce St.

“I’m just so honored to be chosen to do this, especially after trying unsuccessfully a few times,” Reed said. “I know my staff is just as excited as I am too.”

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Fox Onsite at MSU for an Article About ASSURE


Courtesy of the Starkville Daily News

The Fox Business Network was on the MSU campus Friday, getting footage for the Alliance for System Safety of UAS through Research Excellence (ASSURE), for a story scheduled to air this coming Monday at 4:30PM on Fox Business. ASSURE, an international coalition of universities, is managed by MSU. Their Deputy Director, Steve “Lux” Luxion said that “MSU has taken a leadership role, and it’s got to be recognized . . . When Fox News comes to do a story about the progress, it’s a win.”

Fox News also covered UAS research at MSU, and went to North Farm to take a look at drones used for crop surveyal: “Increasingly, people are beginning to figure out that drones can do many things more efficiently and safely,” Luxion said.

He went on to say that many jobs currently (or formerly) performed by manned aircraft that might end up being done by drones in the future include those which are hazardous, dirty, or just plain monotonous, including routine surveys and hazardous material applications.

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Starkville Farmers Market is Back

Starkville Farmers Market is Back

STARKVILLE – Courtesy of The Dispatch

Prather (courtesy

Starkville Community Market will be open this Tuesday from 4-6 p.m. at Fire Station No. 1 Park.

SCM manager and Greater Starkville Development Partnership special events coordinator Jennifer Prather reports that roughly eight to ten vendors are expected to sell early spring produce and other goods at the event; more growers and producers are expected to join when the market’s Saturday offerings begin May 6. “We’ve spoken to new vendors outside of Starkville about new offerings, like baked goods and goat’s cheese and milk. We’re looking to increase the variety,” she said.

The Market will be held at Fire Station No. 1’s greenspace, located at the intersection of Lampkin and Russell streets.

Prather went on to say, “We’re working with Starkville Utilities to help grow the capacity for electricity there. Many vendors require refrigeration for their products, so that’s a priority for us moving forward. We’re also working on a project to install new benches and garbage cans, and overall looking into other ways to better develop the area in a community friendly way . . . We’re really enjoying the location. The aesthetics make a huge difference because the area is friendly to vendors and shoppers.”

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Cotton on the Rise in Mississippi

Cotton on the Rise in Mississippi

Courtesy of the Mississippi Business Journal

courtesy photo

Buoyed  by a notable increase in cotton prices, agriculture experts are forecasting a significant rise in the amount of cotton production in the state.

“The outlook for the 2016-2017 crop is we are going to a fairly considerable increase in cotton acres,” said Larry Falconer, Ph.D., an extension professor with the Delta Research and Extension Center. “Cotton prices have rebounded. With cotton futures in mid-70s per pound range for the new crop, it looks like the margins for cotton production are much better than they have been in the past two or three years . . . Hopefully, it will continue to do hang in there at these levels or a little higher,” Falconer continued.

This follows several years of low prices for the crop; in 2015, there were 320,000 acres of cotton planted in Mississippi, a near-historic low. In 2016, cotton acres planted went up to 450,000 acres. Falconer says that, if predictions hold true, there may be as many as 700,000 acres on the high end this year, depending on conditions and the weather.

Brian Williams, Ph.D, assistant extension professor, Mississippi State University, spoke about an upcoming farm bill: “They are thinking about it already,” Williams said. “There is a lot of pressure, more than in past years, to get this farm bill through as early as they can. I think part of that is pure politics. When you look at the makeup of the Senate, especially, there are several Democrats from swing states who are up for re-election in 2018. From what I have heard, they would like to get the farm bill off of their plate before re-election.”

Williams said farm groups are also putting pressure on legislators to get it done as soon as they can just because of the low-price environment and the tight margins compared to where producers where with higher prices when the present farm bill was adopted. He said the sooner  a farm bill is adopted, the better producers will fare in getting more money into the commodity programs.

Agriculture is the number one industry in Mississippi with sales of about $6.2 billion a year and employment of about 30 percent of the workforce.

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