Feature Story from 2002
MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Catfish producers have an updated tool to help them remain afloat in financial hard times.
Fishy 2002 is the latest version of computer software developed in 1982 at Mississippi State University to aid the aquaculture industry. Wallace Killcreas, Fishy programmer and Mississippi Agricultural and Forestry Experiment Station agricultural economist, said the program aids management and decision-making.
MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Growers normally make planting decisions well before planting time based on their crop rotation plans and the markets, but this year's Farm Bill debate and the weather are throwing a monkey wrench into growers' plans.
Jim Quinn, marketing specialist with Farm Bureau and Mississippi State University's Extension Service, said without a finalized Farm Bill, bankers are withholding loans until they know how much governmental support to expect.
By Ashley Crawford
MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Graduating from college brings many celebrations unless accumulated debts limit a person's opportunities.
"Students are coming out of college with more student loan and credit card debt than 10 years ago," said Jan Lukens, consumer management specialist with Mississippi State University's Extension Service. "In fact, the predominant means that students meet their college financial needs is through student loans rather than grants."
By Charmain Tan Courcelle
MISISSIPPI STATE -- Mississippi State University researchers have initiated a new study to examine the effect of air quality on the health, performance and productivity of dairy cows.
Angelica Chapa, dairy scientist with the Mississippi Agricultural and Forestry Experiment Station and MSU Extension dairy specialist, said enclosed free-stall barns with tunnel ventilation may help keep cows cool in Mississippi's hot and humid weather, but little is known about the effect of air quality on the performance of dairy cows in confined housing.
MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Mississippi's winter wheat has contended with wet conditions since planting season last fall, but plants are reaching a critical need for drier fields in April.
Erick Larson, grain crops agronomist with Mississippi State University's Extension Service, said fields have had plenty of moisture since an unseasonably wet August, so any rains received this year have caused water-logged conditions.
By Ashley Crawford
MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Today's senior citizens face many obstacles when trying to enjoy their hard-earned money, but consumer knowledge may ensure a happy retirement.
MISSISSIPPI STATE -- April has been set aside to focus attention on preventing child abuse, and the Mississippi State University Extension Service is a major supporter of what has come to be known as Blue Ribbon Month.
The commemoration began years ago in Virginia when Bonnie Finney tied a blue ribbon on her vehicle's antennae to symbolize the death of her grandson to child abuse. The color blue was chosen to vividly represent the bruises left by physical abuse to children. Blue Ribbon Month has since spread across the country.
MISSISSIPPI STATE -- The day when a child is finally ready to be left alone is a big moment for parent and child, but one that the law and child experts say should not be rushed.
According to the Mississippi Department of Human Services' Child Protective Services website, the age at which a child is old enough to be left alone depends on the maturity of the child. This means it is up to parents to decide when the child is mature enough to take on the responsibility of their own care for brief periods.
MISSISSIPPI STATE -- An oversupply of catfish, economic recession and imports have driven catfish prices to their lowest in years, but farmers are just happy that people have continued to buy as much of their fish as before.
Jimmy Avery, associate Extension catfish specialist at Mississippi State University's Thad Cochran National Warmwater Aquaculture Center in Stoneville, said the only bright spots for catfish farmers are fairly low feed prices and continued demand for the product.
By Ashley Crawford
MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Mississippi youth gain pride in themselves and in their communities through a unique environmental improvement program.
Community Pride is a grants and awards program sponsored by the ChevronTexaco Companies and administered by the Mississippi State University Extension Service.
MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Dairy producers and industry supporters can find answers to the topics most on their minds at a May 23 field day in Bogue Chitto.
The Mississippi State University Extension Service and Mississippi Agricultural and Forestry Experiment Station are cosponsoring the Statewide Dairy Field Day at the Ronnie and Mary Nell Clark Dairy, a privately owned farm.
Registration for the field day begins at 8:30 a.m. and the program begins at 9:30. There is no cost to attend, and lunch is provided.
MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Mississippi leads the world in catfish production, but for various reasons, the state's children may not be introduced to fish on their plates as soon as they should.
As the Bolivar County home economist with Mississippi State University's Extension Service, Sharon Allen works in the heart of catfish production -- the Mississippi Delta. She sees firsthand what children are eating and what they are not eating. She also knows the importance of consuming a variety of foods to maintain a healthy diet.
MISSISSIPPI STATE -- The break between spring rains may have come too late for some corn growers as the optimum planting dates have passed for Mississippi fields.
Erick Larson, grain crops agronomist with Mississippi State University's Extension Service, said the latest optimum corn planting date in Mississippi is April 25 in the extreme northern counties. Persistent rains in March and April delayed growers from getting the seed in the ground.
MISSISSIPPI STATE -- A recent Mississippi State University study suggests that Americans don't mind eating beef treated with growth hormones or fed genetically engineered corn nearly as much as do European consumers.
Jayson Lusk, assistant professor in MSU's Department of Agricultural Economics, helped conduct a survey of consumers in France, Germany, the United Kingdom and the United States. He worked with Jutta Rossen from the Louvain-la-Neuve in Belgium and John Fox of Kansas State University.
MISSISSIPPI STATE -- A Mississippi man considered by many to be one of the founders of 4-H was inducted in early April into the National 4-H Hall of Fame.
William Hall "Corn Club" Smith established the first boys and girls clubs in Holmes County, Mississippi in 1907. He was the first person to receive federal funds to work with youth and is considered a founder of 4-H.
MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Two Mississippi Agricultural and Forestry Experiment Station researchers helped compile a reference book series on various aspects of cotton production.
MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Spring storms have dampened corn growers fields, but not their hopes for the 2003 crop.
While heavy rains are not unusual during planting season, some growers had to evaluate replanting decisions to make sure whatever they do is money well spent. They know lost time reduces yield potential and profit, and every pass across the field is going to be expensive with fuel prices at their current levels.
MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Last fall, Mississippi cattle producers had every reason to be optimistic about 2002 prices, but skittish markets have taken every opportunity to go the wrong direction in recent months.
"In spite of Sept. 11, beef demand held up well in the fall," said John Anderson, agricultural economist with Mississippi State University's Extension Service. "We saw declining cattle numbers in the feedlots and a small calf crop last fall. We certainly expected a very good spring, since April is usually the month when the market peaks."
By Ashley Crawford
MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Mississippi public schools are discovering the many benefits of health programs with the help of an organization dedicated to improving the lives of youth.
MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Prices that reached some historic lows couldn't prevent Mississippi farmers from posting a farm value in 2001 that surpassed the previous year's by just over 3 percent.
Final agriculture production figures were recently calculated and show the state's largest industry had a value of $4.39 billion. Farm production value in 2000 was $4.25 billion.