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Feature Story

March 20, 2000 - Filed Under: Vegetable Gardens

MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Spring gardeners getting ready to put in their vegetable crop must include plenty of water in those plans.

Dr. David Nagel, vegetable specialist with Mississippi State University's Extension Service, said the state has a rain deficit of 5 to 6 inches. Soil that is growing vegetables loses about 1 inch a week, compared to 7/10 inch a week on fallow ground.

"We normally have a wet January and February and start this time of year with the soil holding as much water as it can," Nagel said. "This year, the whole state has been dry."

March 16, 2000 - Filed Under: Soybeans

By Rebekah Ray

MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Soybeans have been called a miniature miracle because of their versatility.

Soybeans and soy derivatives are being used in a variety of places - coffee creamers, salad and cooking oils, diesel fuels, pesticides, paints, pharmaceuticals, linoleum backings, vinyl plastics, shampoos, chocolate and candy coatings, mayonnaise, cosmetics and bakery products. There are also soy foods like miso, soymilk, soy sauce, tofu and tempeh.

This is great news for Mississippi's soybean producers.

March 13, 2000 - Filed Under: Family Financial Management

MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Online auctions are one of the more popular Internet uses, but they do present a risk to those who take part.

In an online auction with major, reputable services, potential sellers complete the process necessary to register as a user and then post items for sale. Each sale has a description of the product, often with a photo, a closing date and usually a minimum required bid. Potential buyers also must register with the site and then can bid on the item. The highest bid wins.

March 6, 2000 - Filed Under: Agriculture

By Bonnie Coblentz

MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Marketing at a profit in farming is especially difficult when markets are down, but Mississippi farmers have some assistance in this tricky field through the efforts of the Marketing Club Network.

March 6, 2000 - Filed Under: Children and Parenting

MISSISSIPPI STATE -- The Internet offers millions of educational opportunities, but parents need to monitor its use to protect young minds from inappropriate sites and from people who would victimize children.

Dr. Louise Davis, child and family development specialist with Mississippi State University's Extension Service, said a relatively new opportunity for child abuse is entering households in the form of the Internet. Davis encouraged parents and children to enjoy all the learning and entertainment benefits of the Internet, but remember the risk of any unsupervised activity.

March 6, 2000 - Filed Under: 4-H

MISSISSIPPI STATE -- High school students at two Mississippi schools play the role of third grade teachers for a while as they participate in a pilot youth leadership program.

Junior and senior high students from South Panola and Saltillo high schools are taking part in the first year of the School Youth Leadership Program. This effort puts them in the classroom with third graders for one period two or three times a week where they assist teachers and mentor students.

February 28, 2000 - Filed Under: Waste Management

By Laura Martin

MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Mississippi's vast amounts of wood waste and poultry manure are serious disposal problems in a state where these two industries generate the most agricultural income.

In 1999, Mississippi's poultry industry reached a record $1.55 billion in estimated farm gate value. Each year it produces an estimated 600,000 tons of litter.

February 28, 2000 - Filed Under: Community

MISSISSIPPI STATE - In a time when everything appears to be changing, community colleges in the South have undergone a transformation to become key players in economic development.

February 21, 2000 - Filed Under: Children and Parenting

MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Victims of child abuse may not show physical evidence of their experiences, but other signs often are visible when positive parenting skills are lacking.

"Providing children with a warm, loving environment is one of the best ways to avoid certain inappropriate behaviors," said Dr. Louise Davis, child and family development specialist with Mississippi State University's Extension Service. "While children need structure and boundaries, overreacting to their misbehavior or being overcritical can result in low self esteem, insecurity and other problems."

February 21, 2000 - Filed Under: Community

MISSISSIPPI STATE -- A team of nine Mississippi State University students is taking a research experiment to weightlessness as part of a NASA outreach program.

NASA's Reduced Gravity Project is making it possible for the animal and dairy science team to test the action of a firefly enzyme in a weightless environment. The team and their advisor will be in Houston at NASA's Lyndon B. Johnson Space Center March 6 to 18 for preparation and two flights.

February 14, 2000 - Filed Under: Wildlife

By Laura Martin

MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Thousands of people of various ages will enter the forests or fields of Mississippi to bag a prize turkey when turkey season opens on March 20.

A new generation of hunters is being introduced to turkey hunting through the Mississippi State University Extension Service's 4-H Field and Stream Program. This natural resources education program teaches youth and adult leaders essential life skills through shooting sports and managing resources for wildlife and fisheries.

February 14, 2000 - Filed Under: Catfish

MISSISSIPPI STATE - Biologists are encouraging Mississippi catfish producers to control snails in ponds to combat a parasite that caused some severe fingerling losses last year.

1999 was the first year this internal parasite, a trematode tentatively identified as Bolbophorus confusus, was found in Mississippi Delta channel catfish. It is rarely fatal to large catfish, but it can kill young catfish, or fingerlings.

February 14, 2000 - Filed Under: Youth Livestock, 4-H Livestock Program

JACKSON -- Young people in 4-H and FFA recently concluded their 1999-2000 season with the No. 1 youth livestock sale east of the Mississippi River.

The Dixie National Sale of Junior Champions has paid more than $2 million to young livestock exhibitors over the 31 years since the sale was organized. This year, buyers paid $165,828 for 34 market hogs, lambs and steers. In addition to the sale of animals, the Dixie National Sales Committee was able to sponsor scholarships worth $1,000 each for 19 high school seniors to attend Mississippi colleges.

February 7, 2000 - Filed Under: Wildlife, White-Tailed Deer

MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Because property lines mean nothing to deer, management of deer populations must cross those lines as well if the herd is to have quality bucks available for harvest.

Mississippi has an estimated 2 million deer, giving it the highest concentration of deer of any other state in the country. This figure is generated from hunter harvest reports.

February 7, 2000 - Filed Under: Seafood Harvesting and Processing

By Rebekah Ray

MISSISSIPPI STATE -- The harvesting and processing of seafood delicacies such as oysters is a major industry along the Gulf Coast, and research is underway to improve Mississippi's competitive edge by speeding up the processes and increase food safety.

Mississippi State University seafood scientist Dr. Custy Fernandes has received more than $250,000 in grants from the Gulf Coast Industry Initiative to evaluate food safety methods and mechanize oyster harvesting and processing.

February 7, 2000 - Filed Under: Animal Health

MISSISSIPPI STATE -- A delegation from Poland recently visited Mississippi to get ideas for a new veterinary facility at the Warsaw Agricultural University.

Mississippi State University hosted the president, vice president, head of administration, two veterinarians and an architect who studied the physical structure and general philosophy of the College of Veterinary Medicine in Starkville.

Drs. Randy and Karyl Buddington, professors of biological sciences at MSU, were two of the hosts for the delegation.

January 31, 2000 - Filed Under: Animal Health

By Suzanne Berry

MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Job-related stress can affect a working dog's health much like it does humans, but diagnosing problems in an animal that cannot communicate feelings can make treatment a challenge.

Hurricane Bob, an 8-year-old labrador retriever worked as an arson-sniffing dog for the Jackson Fire Department until an unknown illness began to take a serious toll on his health last fall.

January 31, 2000 - Filed Under: Wildlife, White-Tailed Deer

By Laura Martin

MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Mississippi's white-tailed deer face hard times during the winter and early spring, but planting food plots during this time of year can provide the nutrition they need.

Dean Stewart, wildlife specialist with Mississippi State University's Extension Service said the spring and summer are critical times for white-tailed deer when protein is needed for antler growth for bucks and reproduction of fawns. Planting food plots in late winter or early spring can play a critical role in providing the nutrition they need.

January 31, 2000 - Filed Under: Farming

MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Farming has always been risky business and current economic pressures mean more is at stake with each decision farmers make, but Mississippi farmers can get additional assistance through a new Extension Service effort.

The Mississippi State University Extension Service has always worked with the state's farmers in whatever conditions exist. Today, that emphasis is turning to managing the risks associated with farming.

January 24, 2000 - Filed Under: Insects-Pests

By Rebekah Ray

MISSISSIPPI STATE -- A new species of termites is munching its way across the coastal South and Mississippi State University scientists have joined forces with the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Agricultural Research Service and several other coastal states to take aim at this intruder.

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