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November 10, 1997 - Filed Under: Agriculture, Farming

MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Some farmers still receive advice from their neighbors, but many are turning to certified crop advisors for help in making decisions that will impact their pocketbooks and protect the environment.

"Certified crop advisors take field management decisions up to a whole new level," said Dr. Larry Oldham, extension soils specialist at Mississippi State University. "CCA advice results from research-based training."

November 10, 1997 - Filed Under: Family, Food and Health, Nutrition

By Allison Powe

MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Eating junk foods and forgetting to exercise can cause health problems much more serious than simply being overweight.

Americans are aware of the importance of good nutrition and physical activity, but many don't realize that neglecting those habits can lead to health risks, such as type 2 diabetes.

November 10, 1997 - Filed Under: 4-H, Youth Livestock

By Amy Woolfolk

MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Youngsters planning to participate in the Mississippi junior livestock program in 1998 have some studying to do before the season begins in January.

Dr. Joe Baker, extension animal science specialist at Mississippi State University, said 4-H and FFA officials serving on an ethics task force committee decided in February 1997 to make the junior livestock program truly a program for the juniors.

November 10, 1997 - Filed Under: 4-H, Youth Livestock

By Amy Woolfolk

MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Youngsters planning to participate in the Mississippi junior livestock program in 1998 have some studying to do before the season begins in January.

Dr. Joe Baker, extension animal science specialist at Mississippi State University, said 4-H and FFA officials serving on an ethics task force committee decided in February 1997 to make the junior livestock program truly a program for the juniors.

November 10, 1997 - Filed Under: Agriculture, Animal Health

MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Heavy acorn crops may delight wildlife enthusiasts, but cattle producers recognize the deadly threat to their animals pastured with large numbers of oak trees.

Dr. Richard Hopper, extension veterinarian at Mississippi State University, said it is common for cattle to eat acorns, but few are poisoned by them in the state. Most happen when acorns are abundant and pastures offer little forage.

November 10, 1997 - Filed Under: Livestock, Animal Health, Beef

MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Heavy acorn crops may delight wildlife enthusiasts, but cattle producers recognize the deadly threat to their animals pastured with large numbers of oak trees.

Dr. Richard Hopper, extension veterinarian at Mississippi State University, said it is common for cattle to eat acorns, but few are poisoned by them in the state. Most happen when acorns are abundant and pastures offer little forage.

November 7, 1997 - Filed Under: Agriculture, Crops, Cotton, Soybeans, Agricultural Economics

MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Like a real roller coaster ride, 1997 left some farmers saying, "Let's go again," and others saying, "No way."

Cold, wet conditions at planting time had row-crop growers struggling to plant fields. As the conditions persisted, the young plants struggled to mature.

"Early season conditions resulted in about 30,000 acres of cotton being destroyed -- mainly in Northeast Mississippi," said Dr. Will McCarty, extension cotton specialist at Mississippi State University.

Growers planted much of the state's cotton later than ideal.

October 31, 1997 - Filed Under: Catfish

MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Catfish processing in the state and country is up this year, but production is not as cool weather in the growing season means the fish are smaller.

Nationwide, catfish processing is up 12 percent from September 1996 with 43.5 million pounds processed in September. But the industry is expected to run short of large catfish by spring, given the numbers being processed now and the amount of feed gotten into the catfish.

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.

October 27, 1997 - Filed Under: Family

By Amy Woolfolk

MISSISSIPPI STATE -- The holiday season brings joy to most families, but every year the spirits of some are dampened when a burglar strikes the home.

Dr. Frances Graham, extension housing specialist at Mississippi State University, said creating a "lived-in look" is the best way to deter burglars from an empty home.

"If you leave your house looking as if someone is home, you have taken a big step in protecting against burglary," she said.

The specialist offered tips to make the home look occupied.

October 27, 1997 - Filed Under: Family, Pets

MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Capture those cherished holiday memories with a familiar camera, as first-time or once-a-year attempts can have disastrous results.

Jim Lytle, senior photographer with Mississippi State University's Office of Agricultural Communications, said many holiday photographers have disappointing results. Many common mistakes result from not knowing the camera well.

October 27, 1997 - Filed Under: Community, Food

MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Holiday guests may pick over or guess about some hors d'oeuvres, but cheese trays provide a comfortable "safe" place for nibblers to return to.

Many cheese varieties contain a protein value equal to red meat. In today's health-conscious world, however, many people shy away from cheese because of its fat content. Cheeses at the top end of the fat scale can have a fat content up to 75 percent, while most are about 40 to 50 percent fat.

Problems with taste and texture have limited the acceptance of recently developed low-fat cheeses.

October 27, 1997 - Filed Under: Community, Food

MISSISSIPPI STATE -- The resolute bulldog and cowbell are widely recognized symbols of Mississippi State University, but at the holidays, MSU's distinctive 3-pound Edam cheese "cannon ball" is not far behind.

During the holiday season, MSU sells more than 46,000 balls of Edam cheese. Another 5,000 are sold around Easter.

Noel Hall, MSU dairy plant superintendent, said the Edams have always been popular, but getting one was difficult in the early years.

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 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 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.

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