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October 27, 1997 - Filed Under: Farm Safety, Family
By Ms. Bonnie A. Coblentz
MSU Extension Service

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
By Ms. Bonnie A. Coblentz
MSU Extension Service

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 24, 1997 - Filed Under: Nuts
By Ms. Linda M. Breazeale
MSU Extension Service

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 23, 1997 - Filed Under: Lawn and Garden, Flower Gardens

By Norman Winter
Horticulturist
Central Mississippi Research & Extension Center

Recent dinner guests drooled over my container-grown lemon tree that was holding about 50 fruit of differing stages of ripeness. The friends looked at the Mexican limes and satsuma oranges with the same enthusiasm.

These trees range in age from 12 to 15 years, which means I have had them in Bryan, Texas; Shreveport, La.; Arlington, Texas; and Mount Olive, Miss. Doesn't exactly sound like the Citrus Belt, does it?

October 17, 1997 - Filed Under: Agriculture, Wood Products
By Ms. Linda M. Breazeale
MSU Extension Service

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.

October 16, 1997 - Filed Under: Lawn and Garden, Flower Gardens

By Norman Winter
Horticulturist
Central Mississippi Research & Extension Center

Floral accents at entry ways give a feeling of warmth and welcome. Beautiful fall-colored flowers and plants gives us the opportunity to create a floral work of art not only for the landscape, but for planters, too!

Container gardening is not just for the spring or summer. With flowers like pansies, violas, flowering kale or cabbage, dianthus and chrysanthemums, the choices for your fall planter are great.

October 13, 1997 - Filed Under: Family, Children and Parenting
By Ms. Bonnie A. Coblentz
MSU Extension Service

MISSISSIPPI STATE -- The idea of teaching youth good ethics rather than just insisting they "be good" is often a novel concept, but some people are out to change that.

Several 4-H programs around the state are teaching basic ethical values to build character in today's youth. These programs include livestock ethics training, Lee County horse camp and the 1996 junior and senior leadership conferences.

October 13, 1997 - Filed Under: Family, Food
By Ms. Bonnie A. Coblentz
MSU Extension Service

MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Individuals and families can answer the recent national call to reduce the amount of food wasted.

Dr. Melissa Mixon, extension food safety specialist at Mississippi State University, said Americans have many reasons for throwing away a significant amount of food.

"We throw some food away because of an increased concern for food safety, and if there's the least doubt about a food's safety, people should throw it out," Mixon said.

October 13, 1997 - Filed Under: 4-H, Youth Livestock, Equine, Family

By Amy Woolfolk

MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Children with special needs will have the opportunity to participate in 4-H horse shows, after the Mississippi 4-H Horse Club board of directors voted recently to add a new class to its program.

The state board accepted a suggestion from a district meeting to have a class for children with special needs, said Dr. Joe Baker, extension animal science specialist.

"We want to give kids with special needs a chance to participate in organized competition," Baker said.

October 13, 1997 - Filed Under: Family, Nutrition

MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Although never thought of as an adult beverage, one drink Americans of all ages need to consume more of is milk.

Dr. Barbara McLaurin, Mississippi State University extension nutrition specialist, said most Americans need more calcium than they are getting. Dairy products, such as milk, cheese and yogurt, provide 75 percent of the calcium in the U.S. food supply.

October 13, 1997 - Filed Under: Animal Health, Technology
By Ms. Linda M. Breazeale
MSU Extension Service

MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Veterinarian Kenneth Boschert wants animals and information on their care more available, regardless of where people live.

Boschert, a 1984 graduate of Mississippi State University's College of Veterinary Medicine, created the "NetVet/Electronic Zoo" for the Internet, which reaches rural communities and highly populated cities. With well over 14,000 connections to other websites, the online resource links every veterinary medical and animal-related Internet resource.

October 13, 1997 - Filed Under: 4-H, Youth Livestock, Equine

By Amy Woolfolk

MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Children with special needs will have the opportunity to participate in 4-H horse shows, after the Mississippi 4-H Horse Club board of directors voted recently to add a new class to its program.

The state board accepted a suggestion from a district meeting to have a class for children with special needs, said Dr. Joe Baker, extension animal science specialist.

"We want to give kids with special needs a chance to participate in organized competition," Baker said.

October 13, 1997 - Filed Under: Animal Health, Equine
By Ms. Linda M. Breazeale
MSU Extension Service

VERONA -- North Mississippi horse owners and trainers are throwing their support behind a new university program aimed at promoting the equine industry throughout the state.

The North Mississippi Research and Extension Center recently hosted about 70 equine enthusiasts for discussion of the plans to provide increased support to area horse owners.

Dr. Pat Bagley, head of the research station in Verona, said it is time for horses to receive the same support other animal industries have received for years.

October 13, 1997 - Filed Under: Animal Health, Technology
By Ms. Linda M. Breazeale
MSU Extension Service

MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Veterinarian Kenneth Boschert wants animals and information on their care more available, regardless of where people live.

Boschert, a 1984 graduate of Mississippi State University's College of Veterinary Medicine, created the "NetVet/Electronic Zoo" for the Internet, which reaches rural communities and highly populated cities. With well over 14,000 connections to other websites, the online resource links every veterinary medical and animal-related Internet resource.

October 10, 1997 - Filed Under: Agriculture, Crops, Pumpkins

By Amy Woolfolk

MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Pumpkin producers have battled the weather, bugs and disease this season but still expect to harvest a decent crop this fall.

Pumpkins grow best in dry and warm (but not hot) conditions, said Dr. David Nagel, extension horticulturist at Mississippi State University.

"Weather conditions this year were not exceptionally good or bad, so the crop that resulted is only average," Nagel said.

A typical crop produces about 1,000 basketball-size pumpkins per acre.

October 9, 1997 - Filed Under: Lawn and Garden, Flower Gardens

By Norman Winter
Horticulturist
Central Mississippi Research & Extension Center

Pansies are no wimps, and neither are the people who plant them generously in their landscapes.

The choices of pansies have become staggering. One major seed supplier alone lists 180 varieties and various mixtures. The reason is plain and simple: The pansy sits on the throne as the most popular fall and winter flower.

October 3, 1997 - Filed Under: Agriculture, Crops, Sweet Potatoes
By Ms. Bonnie A. Coblentz
MSU Extension Service

MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Weather delayed planting the 1997 sweetpotato crop by three-weeks, making growers scramble now to get it out of the ground as quickly as possible.

Mississippi has 8,200 acres planted in sweetpotatoes this year, an increase of 400 acres more than last year. Harvest began Sept. 15 and is about 35 percent complete. The state usually sells 1.5 million 40-pound boxes of sweetpotatoes.

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