Feature Story from 1997
By Amy Woolfolk
MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Cold winter weather may bring the need for extra layers of clothes, but it does not have to bring extra pounds.
The cooler temperatures and shorter days leave many people sitting inside, eating too much and exercising too little. People who allow the change of seasons to change their daily activities are at risk for gaining weight.
Linda Patterson, extension health and safety specialist at Mississippi State University, said winter weight gain can be a problem for people of all ages.
MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Clothing designers and manufacturers can benefit from a Mississippi State University professor's efforts to improve computer software programs.
Dr. Phyllis Bell Miller, assistant professor of human sciences, pioneered the art of apparel design on personal computers in the 1980s. Today, she's on the brink of major advancements that will make the programs even more diverse.
MISSISSIPPI STATE -- People can care for themselves, but when temperatures drop and home heaters kick into high gear, pets rely on thoughtful owners.
Indoors, pets can face dry skin problems. Outdoors, extreme temperatures can be life threatening. And on driveways and around vehicles, antifreeze poses a deadly risk.
Dr. John Tyler, internal medicine specialist at Mississippi State University's College of Veterinary Medicine, said owners should keep their pets' safety in mind when watching the weather.
MISSISSIPPI STATE -- When families get together for the holidays, it's easy to forget the furry members of the group.
Dr. Richard Hopper, extension veterinarian at Mississippi State University, said the holidays can be traumatic for house pets. Decorations offer a wide range of potential dangers.
"Be prepared for odd behavior because sometimes guests in the house upset the pet," Hopper said. "Pets can become jealous and aggressive towards children, quit eating or have bad behavior such as soiling the carpet."
MISSISSIPPI STATE -- How can Mississippi cotton growers harvest a record 900 pound average and not be enthusiastic about the crop?
1997 was the first year since 1983 that Mississippi cotton growers planted less than 1 million acres, and only the third time since record keeping began in 1866. Growers had governmental incentive to reduce acres in 1983 due to abundant supplies. In 1997, the incentives not to plant cotton came from market prices.
MISSISSIPPI STATE -- The forestry industry continued its record breaking pace in the state, setting its 10th record in 11 years with 1997's estimated value of $1.22 billion.
Dr. Bob Daniels, extension forestry specialist at Mississippi State University, projected a 3 percent increase over 1996's forestry value. Pine prices and production were up, while hardwood saw a slight price increase and harvest decrease.
MISSISSIPPI STATE -- State poultry producers saw record broiler and egg production with 1997 values up 6 percent to more than $1.43 billion.
Dr. Wallace Morgan, head of Mississippi State University's poultry department, said the state's poultry industry has grown steadily for the last 10 years. Mississippi now ranks No. 4 nationally in broiler production.
"Domestic consumption continues to increase, our exports have been growing very rapidly and Mississippi has been a favored state for growth," Morgan said.
MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Mississippi's total value of production posted an new record of $4.9 billion, an increase of 3 percent from 1996. Casual observers might think a 3 percent change means little happened in Mississippi's 1997 farm economy.
"Several row crops had significant changes in their total value this year, but that was largely because of planted acreage changes," said Dr. John Robinson, extension agricultural economist at Mississippi State University.