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News From 2003

Bob L. Karr
August 4, 2003 - Filed Under: Community

STARKVILLE -- Bob L. Karr, associate dean for Mississippi State University's College of Forest Resources and associate director for the Forest and Wildlife Research Center, has been named interim dean and interim director.

Vance Watson, vice president for the Division of Agriculture, Forestry and Veterinary Medicine and George Verrall, the university's provost, announced the interim appointment effective June 9. This is the third time that Karr has served in an interim capacity in the college and center.

Make your beds large enough so that a grass like this Japanese Silver Grass can reach its true potential.
August 4, 2003 - Filed Under: Lawn and Garden

By Norman Winter
MSU Horticulturist
Central Mississippi Research & Extension Center

In just a few short weeks, many gardeners are going to be jealous of their neighbors simply because of ornamental grass.

Growing ornamental grass is a lot easier than you think. The first suggestion would be to make beds large enough that the grasses can reach their full potential in size and elegance.

August 4, 2003 - Filed Under: Family Financial Management

MISSISSIPPI STATE -- American teens spend an average of $104 a week and qualify for credit cards, but they don't necessarily know how to handle financial opportunity.

According to the Jump$tart Coalition for Personal Financial Literacy, high school graduates have the earning potential to make more than $1 million in their lifetime. When freshmen enter college, most have at least two credit cards, and by the time they graduate, they are carrying $20,402 in education loan and credit card debt.

August 4, 2003 - Filed Under: Food and Health

MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Childhood obesity in Mississippi is a growing problem, but avoiding this common problem -- or reversing its effects -- is not as difficult as it may seem.

Very minor dietary and lifestyle changes can drastically improve the physical and emotional health of overweight children, who have a staggering 70 percent likelihood of becoming overweight adults.

August 1, 2003 - Filed Under: Soybeans

MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Mississippi soybean growers are looking in August at a potentially record-setting crop for the third consecutive year. They are hoping rains will hold off to make this year the charm.

Late-season rains in 2001 and 2002 doused opportunities to surpass the 34 bushel per acre record of 1992. However, growers managed to average 33 and 32 bushels per acre despite weather conditions those years.

July 28, 2003 - Filed Under: Biofuels

MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Researchers at Mississippi State University are converting grasses and agricultural waste into energy, hoping to lower ethanol's cost enough to compete with gasoline as a fuel.

Researchers at MSU and Oklahoma State University are pursuing the conversion of biomass from switchgrass or agricultural byproducts into energy. This energy is in the form of either biofuels, such as ethanol, or electricity.

The dark blue-violet of Sunny Border Blue Veronica partners well with Goldsturm rudbeckia and the light blue Russian sage.
July 28, 2003 - Filed Under: Flower Gardens

By Norman Winter
MSU Horticulturist
Central Mississippi Research & Extension Center

Occasionally I am guilty of pronouncing a plant a failure without giving it a second year or a better garden location. I preach otherwise, but it still happens. Probably you would admit to making this mistake, too.

July 28, 2003 - Filed Under: Children and Parenting

MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Adults can change a job environment that is unsuitable, but children have no such option when it comes to their 8-to-5 lives.

All children need to spend their time where they are safe and will thrive. For healthy development to occur, children must be talked to, played with, and given love and attention.

July 25, 2003 - Filed Under: Wheat

MISSISSIPPI STATE -- An average crop may not seem worth bragging about without considering the obstacles growers faced along the way.

Mississippi's wheat harvest concluded in June much as it started last fall: in the rain. Growers posted yields near the five-year average despite rainy conditions all along the way.

July 21, 2003 - Filed Under: Beef

HATTIESBURG -- South Mississippi cattle producers are counting on (market) strength in numbers as well as the quality of their heifers to bring a more satisfying experience for buyers and sellers alike at an upcoming sale.

With the aid of Mississippi State University's Extension Service, a group of 25 cattle producers are planning a bred and open heifer sale in the Southeast Mississippi Sale Barn at 1 p.m. on Aug. 30. The barn is on Highway 49 North in Hattiesburg.

July 21, 2003 - Filed Under: About Extension

MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Plans for a new 30,000 square foot horticulture laboratory complex were unveiled during July 11 ceremonies at the South Mississippi Branch Experiment Station in Poplarville.

The $10 million Pearl River County facility will house research laboratories and offices for U.S. Department of Agriculture and Mississippi State University personnel. The laboratories will be used for ornamental horticulture and small fruit research. Construction will begin later this year.

The Gold Star esperanza produces yellow, bell-shaped flowers from spring until frost and attracts hummingbirds and butterflies.
July 21, 2003 - Filed Under: Flower Gardens

By Norman Winter
MSU Horticulturist
Central Mississippi Research & Extension Center

Yellow bells, or Gold Star esperanza, has become a hot plant in the past couple of years. As a testament to its showy nature, people are buying it despite not knowing much about it.

July 21, 2003 - Filed Under: 4-H Shooting Sports

MISSISSIPPI STATE --Developing responsibility, sportsmanship and self-discipline is the No. 1 priority of Mississippi's 4-H shooting sports program.

"Most people probably think our first goal is to teach kids to hunt and shoot," said Ben West, Mississippi State University Extension Service assistant wildlife specialist. "But that's not true. Our No. 1 goal is to teach discipline, concentration and other skills young people can use in the future."

July 18, 2003 - Filed Under: Commercial Horticulture

MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Frequent rains and cooler-than-normal temperatures have presented challenges for this year's tomato crop, but consumers are finally enjoying these fruits of Mississippi growers' labor.

Much of Mississippi's $3 million commercial tomato industry experienced delays in planting and slow growth early in the 2003 season. The good news is that cooler temperatures enabled plants to continue setting fruit longer than normal.

July 14, 2003 - Filed Under: Food

MISSISSIPPI STATE -- A workshop in north Mississippi focuses on turning dreams into reality for anyone considering getting into a food-related business.

The Mississippi State University Extension Service is sponsoring Food as a Business Aug. 5 from 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the DeSoto County Extension office in Hernando. Registration for Food as a Business is $35 and includes lunch, breaks and conference materials. Speakers represent the Extension Service, the Mississippi Development Authority, the state Department of Health, manufacturing and retail.

July 14, 2003 - Filed Under: Animal Health

MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Mississippi State University's College of Veterinary Medicine can once again boast about having the "best vet."

Dr. A. Wayne Groce, a professor assigned to the CVM Office of Special Programs and home-based in the Department of Pathobiology and Population Medicine, was named Veterinarian of the Year by the Mississippi Veterinary Medical Association for his contributions to the field of veterinary medicine. The award was announced at the 2003 MVMA annual summer convention in Gulfport.

July 14, 2003 - Filed Under: Cotton

MISSISSIPPI STATE -- North Delta farmers did not pass the referendum to continue a maintenance program battling boll weevils on the first vote, but a cotton insect expert wants growers to consider the alternative before the second referendum begins the first of August.

Blake Layton, an entomologist with Mississippi State University's Extension Service, said it would not take boll weevils as long to infest the entire state in this century as it did in the early 1900s when they first arrived from Mexico.

July 14, 2003 - Filed Under: Women for Agriculture

MISSISSIPPI STATE -- They may not look like the typical Mississippi State University "aggie," but two Grenada High School graduates are not letting stereotypes stop them.

Ashley Andrews and Teresa Bryan have joined a growing group of young women who are realizing agricultural and environmental sciences are not just for the boys. They are also adding diversity to a field of study typically dominated by men.

Scarlet sage is now available in a range of colors, all of which are sure to add sizzle to the landscape.
July 14, 2003 - Filed Under: Flower Gardens

By Norman Winter
MSU Horticulturist
Central Mississippi Research & Extension Center

As I drive around Mississippi this summer, it seems the old-fashioned scarlet sage is still the showiest plant in the garden. Scarlet sage is our annual salvia known botanically as Salvia splendens.

July 14, 2003 - Filed Under: Rural Health

MISSISSIPPI STATE -- When Ashley Harris was accepted into medical school this year, organizers of a summer program for high schoolers saw results they've been waiting on for five years.

Harris, 21, participated in the Rural Medical Scholars program at Mississippi State University in 1999. He is just eight hours short of a biochemistry degree at MSU, and begins medical school at University Medical Center in Jackson in August. He will earn his degree from MSU after his first year of medical school.