Feature Story from 2003
MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Most gardens look dead in the winter as gardeners wait for spring to put in their crops, but these plots can come alive in January with fresh vegetables for the table.
David Nagel, horticulture specialist with the Mississippi State University Extension Service, said mid- to late-January is the time to plant peas and greens.
"Mississippi gardeners don't plant peas nearly as much as they used to, but these vegetables thrive in our climate," Nagel said.
MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Dropping a few pounds to look great for wedding pictures may be a worthy goal, but nutritionists urge brides and grooms to concentrate on long-term lifestyle changes rather than quick fixes.
Statistics show that more than half of all Americans are overweight, and nearly 20 percent are obese. Even trim newlyweds must fend off the extra pounds that seem to haunt new couples.
MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Friends can shower Mississippi couples with unique gifts produced within the state's borders, and couples can return the favor with a spread of the state's speciality foods at the reception and parties surrounding the wedding.
Beth Duncan, small business development specialist with Mississippi State University Extension Service's Food and Fiber Center, said when the thought counts, Mississippi products add to the specialness of the occasion while giving a boost to the state's economy.
MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Married couples and money are a volatile situation, and the problem is the difference in attitudes and behavior about money and the lack of communication on the subject.
Susan Cosgrove, family resource management specialist in Newton County with Mississippi State University's Extension Service, said disagreements over money are the most common problem in marriages. Many of these problems escalate into divorce, so she urged prospective couples to work out money issues before marriage.
By Laura Whelan
MISSISSIPPI STATE -- After the whirlwind of wedding activities are over, many new couples find that when stomachs growl, it's easier to go to a restaurant than prepare a healthy meal at home.
Melissa Mixon, human nutrition specialist with Mississippi State University's Extension Service, said the convenience of fast food may not outweigh the consequences. A simple fast-food meal consisting of a burger, fries and soda can contain 1,000 calories.
MISSISSIPPI STATE -- The flood of emotions parents face on their child's wedding day may increase exponentially if an estranged spouse is part of the day, but the bottom line always is to be willing to abide by the wishes of the bride and groom.
MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Many families with both parents working fall into the unhealthy trap of eating too much fast food, but quick and healthy meals can be prepared at home with just a little extra planning.
Melissa Mixon, human nutrition specialist with Mississippi State University's Extension Service, said there are many reasons to avoid resorting to prepared meals and fast food.
MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Catfish processors nationwide are invited to attend the 2003 Catfish Processors Conference Feb. 25 and 26 at Mississippi State University.
The catfish processors conference provides information on the processing and marketing of catfish for those involved in the production and processing of catfish. It is sponsored by MSU's Extension Service Food and Fiber Center and the MSU Department of Food Science and Technology.
MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Got milk questions? International experts including several Mississippi State University faculty members provide answers about dairy science "from paddock to plate" in a newly released encyclopedia.
MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Soybean farmers making decisions for their next crop can find the latest variety trial information online from the Mississippi State University Extension Service.
Variety trial information details how certain types of soybeans performed on different soil types and under varying conditions across the state. Since the early 1980s, the Mississippi Agricultural and Forestry Experiment Station has conducted these trials and jointly with the MSU Extension Service has made the information public at no charge.
JACKSON -- Greenhouse tomato growers should mark their calendars for the 13th annual greenhouse tomato short course to be held in Jackson on March 11 through 13.
The 2003 Greenhouse Tomato Short Course will be held at the Mississippi Agriculture and Forestry Museum in Jackson. It is sponsored by the Mississippi State University Extension Service. The U.S. Department of Agriculture's Risk Management Agency is providing additional funding through a partnership agreement to enhance the program.
MISSISSIPPI STATE -- When Ryan Anderson came to Mississippi State University's College of Veterinary Medicine as a student in 1984, he both kept and broke family tradition.
Dr. Ryan Anderson, a 1987 MSU graduate, is the seventh man in his family to become a veterinarian. His father, Dr. Walter Anderson Sr., began the tradition in 1949, and Ryan's two brothers and three first cousins followed suit.
MISSISSIPPI STATE -- It turns out chicken soup may be the perfect food for winter's cold and flu season, but other foods can also help ease the transition back to health.
Rebecca Kelly, human nutrition specialist and a registered dietitian with Mississippi State University's Extension Service, said the main focus during and after an illness is getting liquids and some energy back into the body.
MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Simply gaining national accreditation for its riding program for people with disabilities was not enough. Mississippi State University's 4-H TEAM aimed for and reached 100 percent of the national standards.
Mississippi State 4-H TEAM, or Therapeutic Equine Activity Member, was granted national accreditation in January from the North American Riding for the Handicapped Association through the Premier Accredited Center Program. The group is the only such organization in the state to have this accreditation.
JACKSON -- Excitement is always in the air for young livestock exhibitors who qualify for the Dixie National Sale of Junior Champions, which culminates the annual market animal show each February.
For 34 years, the sale has brought out the best in 4-H and FFA exhibitors and in philanthropic buyers who bid generously to reward some of the state's most responsible youth. This year, 35 market animals brought a total of $183,663. The eight steers averaged $9,268, the 12 hogs averaged $4,985, the 13 lambs averaged $3,343, and the two goats averaged $3,123.
JACKSON -- Fifty lenders and other supporters of microenterprises recently met for the founding conference of the Mississippi Micro-Enterprise Association Network, designed to help the smallest businesses establish themselves in the state.
MISSISSIPPI STATE -- A growing number of students are finding that Mississippi State University is a great place to horse around -- seriously.
Forty students are members of the MSU Horseman's Association, and half of those members comprise the university's equestrian team.
MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Many communities are ready and willing to make aesthetic improvements or increase environmental consciousness, but it often takes outside encouragement to get a project started.
"The Community Pride program usually provides the seed money to motivate youth groups to develop projects to improve their local environment. The grants are intended to stimulate additional investments by the local community," said Rae Wilkinson, 4-H program specialist with the MSU Extension Service.
MISSISSIPPI STATE -- A series of meetings around Mississippi in early March will help producers and agribusiness leaders understand conservation programs found in the new Farm Bill.
Charlie Forrest, agricultural economist with Mississippi State University's Extension Service, said the 2002 Farm Security and Rural Investment Act, or Farm Bill, provided for a substantial increase in funding for existing and new conservation programs.
By Charmain Tan Courcelle
MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Neighborhood watch programs tend to deter criminal activity, and Mississippi State University researchers are hoping increased surveillance will have a similar effect on a devastating species of termites at work in the state.