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Feature Story from 1997

September 29, 1997 - Filed Under: Agriculture, About Extension

MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Mississippi agriculture has evolved into a diverse, multibillion dollar industry in the last 20 years, and the Farmweek crews have covered it all.

Launched in October 1977, Farmweek continues to provide educational television viewers with news from every facet of the state's agriculture. Farmweek's 30-minute weekly shows are produced by Mississippi State University's Extension Service.

September 29, 1997 - Filed Under: Insects-Human Pests, Insects

By Amy Woolfolk

MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Temperatures may be cooling, but yellow jacket season is just heating up before winter sends them packing.

"Yellow jackets are more noticeable now because their eggs hatched in the summer, producing high populations by fall," said Dr. James Jarratt, extension entomologist at Mississippi State University.

October 3, 1997 - Filed Under: Agriculture, Crops, Sweet Potatoes

MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Weather delayed planting the 1997 sweetpotato crop by three-weeks, making growers scramble now to get it out of the ground as quickly as possible.

Mississippi has 8,200 acres planted in sweetpotatoes this year, an increase of 400 acres more than last year. Harvest began Sept. 15 and is about 35 percent complete. The state usually sells 1.5 million 40-pound boxes of sweetpotatoes.

October 10, 1997 - Filed Under: Agriculture, Crops, Pumpkins

By Amy Woolfolk

MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Pumpkin producers have battled the weather, bugs and disease this season but still expect to harvest a decent crop this fall.

Pumpkins grow best in dry and warm (but not hot) conditions, said Dr. David Nagel, extension horticulturist at Mississippi State University.

"Weather conditions this year were not exceptionally good or bad, so the crop that resulted is only average," Nagel said.

A typical crop produces about 1,000 basketball-size pumpkins per acre.

October 13, 1997 - Filed Under: Animal Health, Technology

MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Veterinarian Kenneth Boschert wants animals and information on their care more available, regardless of where people live.

Boschert, a 1984 graduate of Mississippi State University's College of Veterinary Medicine, created the "NetVet/Electronic Zoo" for the Internet, which reaches rural communities and highly populated cities. With well over 14,000 connections to other websites, the online resource links every veterinary medical and animal-related Internet resource.

October 13, 1997 - Filed Under: 4-H, Youth Livestock, Equine

By Amy Woolfolk

MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Children with special needs will have the opportunity to participate in 4-H horse shows, after the Mississippi 4-H Horse Club board of directors voted recently to add a new class to its program.

The state board accepted a suggestion from a district meeting to have a class for children with special needs, said Dr. Joe Baker, extension animal science specialist.

"We want to give kids with special needs a chance to participate in organized competition," Baker said.

October 13, 1997 - Filed Under: Animal Health, Equine

VERONA -- North Mississippi horse owners and trainers are throwing their support behind a new university program aimed at promoting the equine industry throughout the state.

The North Mississippi Research and Extension Center recently hosted about 70 equine enthusiasts for discussion of the plans to provide increased support to area horse owners.

Dr. Pat Bagley, head of the research station in Verona, said it is time for horses to receive the same support other animal industries have received for years.

October 13, 1997 - Filed Under: Family, Children and Parenting

MISSISSIPPI STATE -- The idea of teaching youth good ethics rather than just insisting they "be good" is often a novel concept, but some people are out to change that.

Several 4-H programs around the state are teaching basic ethical values to build character in today's youth. These programs include livestock ethics training, Lee County horse camp and the 1996 junior and senior leadership conferences.

October 13, 1997 - Filed Under: Family, Food

MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Individuals and families can answer the recent national call to reduce the amount of food wasted.

Dr. Melissa Mixon, extension food safety specialist at Mississippi State University, said Americans have many reasons for throwing away a significant amount of food.

"We throw some food away because of an increased concern for food safety, and if there's the least doubt about a food's safety, people should throw it out," Mixon said.

October 13, 1997 - Filed Under: 4-H, Youth Livestock, Equine, Family

By Amy Woolfolk

MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Children with special needs will have the opportunity to participate in 4-H horse shows, after the Mississippi 4-H Horse Club board of directors voted recently to add a new class to its program.

The state board accepted a suggestion from a district meeting to have a class for children with special needs, said Dr. Joe Baker, extension animal science specialist.

"We want to give kids with special needs a chance to participate in organized competition," Baker said.

October 13, 1997 - Filed Under: Animal Health, Technology

MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Veterinarian Kenneth Boschert wants animals and information on their care more available, regardless of where people live.

Boschert, a 1984 graduate of Mississippi State University's College of Veterinary Medicine, created the "NetVet/Electronic Zoo" for the Internet, which reaches rural communities and highly populated cities. With well over 14,000 connections to other websites, the online resource links every veterinary medical and animal-related Internet resource.

October 13, 1997 - Filed Under: Family, Nutrition

MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Although never thought of as an adult beverage, one drink Americans of all ages need to consume more of is milk.

Dr. Barbara McLaurin, Mississippi State University extension nutrition specialist, said most Americans need more calcium than they are getting. Dairy products, such as milk, cheese and yogurt, provide 75 percent of the calcium in the U.S. food supply.

October 17, 1997 - Filed Under: Agriculture, Wood Products

MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Mississippi's forest products have set record production values in nine of the last 10 years, but the best word to describe the industry is "maturing."

"Mississippi's forestry industry is beginning to mature and has established a firm hold on the national market," said Dr. Bob Daniels, extension forestry specialist at Mississippi State University.

The South has met an increased share of the nation's softwood lumber needs in the last five years, and this has benefitted Mississippi's economy.

October 24, 1997 - Filed Under: Nuts

MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Delta pecan growers have more reason to celebrate than they have had in recent years as the state prepares for its largest harvest since the 1994 ice storm.

Dr. Freddie Rasberry, extension horticulturist at Mississippi State University, said the state has about a dozen commercial orchards, primarily in the Delta. This year's crop will be the largest Delta crop since the February '94 ice storm.

October 27, 1997 - Filed Under: Technology, Family, Family Financial Management

MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Once upon a time, people could get away with excuses like not having enough time to shop or too many people at stores, but the Internet has removed those excuses.

Consumer use of the Internet has gone way beyond sending virtual postcards and buying computer parts. With few exceptions, any service or product available in stores or by mail order can now be purchased in cyberspace.

October 27, 1997 - Filed Under: Family, Children and Parenting

MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Everyone loves to see a child's face light up over a special gift on Christmas morning, but adults need to think beyond Dec. 25 as they shop for children's toys.

"Many adults buy gifts with the goal of seeing an excited reaction to the newly opened present," said Dr. Louise Davis, extension child and family development specialist at Mississippi State University. "But the real test of success will be the amount of and quality of play with the toys. How long will the child play with it? How will the toy benefit the child's development?"

October 27, 1997 - Filed Under: Family, Family Financial Management

By Allison Powe

MISSISSIPPI STATE -- As holiday excitement builds, so do the stress levels for many shoppers faced with the hassles of finding Christmas gifts.

The Christmas frenzy doesn't have to make shopping a burden. Organization and creativity are keys for handling the holiday season.

Dr. Beverly Howell, extension family economics specialist at Mississippi State University, said starting early is the ideal way to handle Christmas shopping.

October 27, 1997 - Filed Under: Family, Nutrition

By Allison Powe

MISSISSIPPI STATE -- The holiday season often presents a series of delicious meals and special treats, but the goodies aren't so great for those watching what they eat.

Dieters face temptation after temptation in the weeks leading up to Christmas, and struggling to avoid calories can cause extra holiday stress.

Dr. Melissa Mixon, extension nutrition specialist at Mississippi State University, said the festive atmosphere of the holiday season does not have to be detrimental to a healthy diet.

October 27, 1997 - Filed Under: Family, Food Safety

By Amy Woolfolk

MISSISSIPPI STATE -- When holiday shopping and decorating are top priorities, neglecting to give enough time and attention to food preparation can result in unsafe food.

Dr. Melissa Mixon, extension nutrition specialist at Mississippi State University, pointed to several mistakes that often lead to food contamination.

Time and Temperature

"Abuse of time and food temperature is probably the most common mistake," she said.

October 27, 1997 - Filed Under: Farm Safety, Family

MISSISSIPPI STATE -- While it looks great in a movie, real homes should never be decorated like the set of National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation.

Dr. Frances Graham, extension housing specialist at Mississippi State University, said there is one overriding safety issue concerning holiday decorations.

"Think before you act," Graham said.

Never place flammable materials such as curtains and Christmas trees near heat sources. Put lights on an automatic timer so they don't stay on too long.

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