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March 26, 1998 - Filed Under: Flower Gardens

By Norman Winter
Horticulturist
Central Mississippi Research & Extension Center

Before the National Bureau designated 1998 as the Year of the Geranium, I couldn't remember the last time I planted geraniums or even paid them any attention. Now guess what I have in my landscape and in mixed containers?

March 23, 1998 - Filed Under: Family

MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Spring is an opportune time for thorough cleanings and home maintenance that could prevent costly repairs later.

El Nino can even get the blame this year for a dirty house. The wet winter has likely left enough soil on carpets to justify a thorough spring cleaning. Changes in the seasons always offer a good chance to clean closets and discard old clothes.

March 23, 1998 - Filed Under: Family Financial Management

MISSISSIPPI STATE -- "Putting it on plastic" has become second nature to many American buyers, but not reading the fine print has gotten a lot of them in trouble.

Dr. Beverly Howell, family economics specialist with Mississippi State University's Extension Service, said consumers are responsible for the credit choices they make and should always be cautious with their decisions.

"The responsibility lies with the consumer to use credit to their best advantage," Howell said. "Sometimes that means not using credit cards at all."

March 23, 1998 - Filed Under: Food

MISSISSIPPI STATE -- One of the last things college students look for is more work and responsibilities, but some at Mississippi State University do just that, and call it rewarding.

Each semester, students from MSU's dietetic internship program volunteer an hour a week at Crossroads International Friendship House in Starkville to teach cooking and nutrition to spouses of international students. Jessica Partridge, now a registered clinical dietitian at Arlington Memorial Hospital in Texas, was the first volunteer.

March 23, 1998 - Filed Under: Forestry

MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Idle land does not benefit the owners, the community or the state, but recent forestry programs taught African-Americans how to profit from better management of their underused timberland.

An idea that originated with the Marion County Forestry Association resulted in programs that reached almost 300 minority landowners in three counties: Marion, Jefferson Davis and Walthall.

March 23, 1998 - Filed Under: Beef, Technology

By Amy Woolfolk

STARKVILLE, Miss. -- Most cities in Mississippi do not have a cattle auction barn, but that doesn't mean cows can't be bought and sold in every town.

CyberStockyard, a joint venture of Scott Sanders, his father, David, and Scott Calhoun, all of Starkville, is the first interactive livestock auction available on the Internet. Although some services offer online purchasing for livestock producers, this site allows buyers to view cattle and bid in the auction without traveling to the actual sale location.

March 19, 1998 - Filed Under: Lawn and Garden

By Norman Winter
Horticulturist
Central Mississippi Research & Extension Center

Many homeowners are asking me what they can plant as a screen to increase privacy. The Leyland Cypress certainly is a good choice, as is the Eastern red cedar, but there are several other great choices for screens.

March 12, 1998 - Filed Under: Flower Gardens

By Norman Winter
Horticulturist
Central Mississippi Research & Extension Center

Few plants are as tough and more deserving a place in the Mississippi flower border than the Ruellia (Ruellia brittoniana). Not only does it endure high heat and humidity, but it is also a performer in drought-like conditions. This may be very important if the second half of the El Nino prediction comes through. That prediction calls for very little rain this summer.

March 9, 1998 - Filed Under: Nutrition

By Kelli McPhail

MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Planning a balanced vegetarian diet requires substituting foods that provide needed nutrients for those foods they eliminate.

Vegetarians are usually stereotyped as people who do not eat red meat, fish or poultry. There are, however, several different kinds of vegetarians.

"A lacto-ovo-vegetarian's eating pattern is based on vegetables, fruits, grains, eggs and dairy products," said Dr. Barbara McLaurin, human nutrition specialist with Mississippi State University's Extension Service.

March 9, 1998 - Filed Under: Family, Food

By Amy Woolfolk

MISSISSIPPI STATE -- If preparing meals for a picky child means extra time in the kitchen, arguments and frustration, consider offering a variety of foods at meal time to please every eater.

"Every picky eater has different habits, so it is difficult to define the term," said Dr. Melissa Mixon, human nutrition specialist with Mississippi State University's Extension Service. "Picky eaters are identified, however, as people who refuse to eat a particular food or group of foods."

March 9, 1998 - Filed Under: Cotton

MISSISSIPPI STATE -- No-till cotton farming has gained in popularity in recent years as farmers are learning it can be a successful practice when managed correctly.

Dr. Jac Varco, agronomist with the Mississippi Agricultural and Forestry Experiment Station, said no-tillage cotton increased from 1,183 acres in 1989 to 52,146 acres in 1997. Starting with the 1985 Farm Bill, farmers are required to put highly erodible land in either the Conservation Reserve Program or use conservation practices on that land.

March 9, 1998 - Filed Under: Swine

MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Not only do consumers want bacon with their eggs, they want the hog farms raising the bacon to be environmentally good neighbors.

Poorly operated hog farms can raise a stink, but odor can be managed. A voluntary, new program offered by a cooperation of leading pork producers' organizations can help producers serious about having environmentally friendly farms. The On-Farm Odor Assistance Program, sponsored by the National Pork Producers Council in association with the National Pork Board and PORK '98 magazine, will kick-off in March.

March 5, 1998 - Filed Under: Flower Gardens

By Norman Winter
Horticulturist
Central Mississippi Research & Extension Center

This spring you have got to look for the hot, new verbenas called Temari. Temari, which means "a handful of flowers," is being brought to us by Suntory, the same firm who gave us Surfinias and Tapien verbenas.

Temari verbenas are available in bright red coming from the orange and yellow hues, violet and bright pink. These flowers' colors are very bold and bright. They are trailing type verbenas that actually live up to their claim of having baseball-sized flower clusters.

February 26, 1998 - Filed Under: Herb Gardens

By Norman Winter
Horticulturist
Central Mississippi Research & Extension Center

Many people seem determined to associate herbs with a 1970's hippie adventure in the garden. But the truth is, herb gardening is a new tide rising on a wave of popularity, and I hope you consider planting an herb garden this year.

February 23, 1998 - Filed Under: Weed Control for Crops

By Russell Hood and Bob Ratliff

MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Choice is usually a good thing, but sometimes a person doesn't have the time or information to make the right decision, whether it be choosing a flavor of ice cream or the best weed-control method.

February 23, 1998 - Filed Under: Youth Livestock

JACKSON -- Generous buyers rewarded exhibitors of 33 champion market animals with another record-setting sale following the recent Dixie National Junior Livestock Show.

Dr. Joe Baker, animal specialist with Mississippi State University' Extension Service, said the 1998 Dixie National Sale of Junior Champions netted $185,654. The previous record was set last year at $161,431.

February 23, 1998 - Filed Under: Nutrition

MISSISSIPPI STATE -- A new set of daily nutrition standards are being established to give health-conscious people a better guide for eating right.

The Institute of Medicine of the National Academy of Sciences is developing new dietary standards for the United States and Canada. These standards are being released in seven reports that should be complete by 2000.

Dr. Barbara McLaurin, nutrition specialist at Mississippi State University's Extension Service, explained the impact these changes, known as Dietary Reference Intakes, will have on nutrition guidelines.

February 23, 1998 - Filed Under: Children and Parenting

By Kelli McPhail

MISSISSIPPI STATE -- A program that teaches parents the importance of family and parenting skills also seeks to provide a safe environment where children can grow.

Children born into poverty or single-parent families risk poor development and may not receive skills necessary to become healthy and productive adults.

The Mississippi Department of Human Services and the Mississippi State University Extension Service developed the Bright Futures program in 1995. The program promotes family values and teaches resource management.

February 23, 1998 - Filed Under: Rural Health

By Kelli McPhail

MISSISSIPPI STATE -- A new program to help high school juniors select a career in medicine may improve one of Mississippi's most life-threatening concerns -- rural health care.

Of the 82 counties in Mississippi, 57 counties have a shortage of primary care physicians. Encouraging physicians to move to rural areas could help residents and travelers feel safe while living in or traveling through the undermanned counties.

February 23, 1998 - Filed Under: Youth Livestock

JACKSON -- Generous buyers rewarded exhibitors of 33 champion market animals with another record-setting sale following the recent Dixie National Junior Livestock Show.

Dr. Joe Baker, animal specialist with Mississippi State University' Extension Service, said the 1998 Dixie National Sale of Junior Champions netted $185,654. The previous record was set last year at $161,431.

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