Feature Story from 2003
MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Statistical data probably doesn't mean a lot to a single mother struggling to raise two children in the Mississippi Delta on income from a minimum wage job.
Analysis of statistical data by scientists at Mississippi State University's Social Science Research Center may, however, help her obtain the healthcare and other services her children need, or even a better paying job.
MISSISSIPPI STATE -- A recent case of Eastern equine encephalitis in Lamar County should remind owners of the importance of vaccinating horses against mosquito-borne diseases.
Eastern equine encephalitis is similar to West Nile virus in that it is spread primarily by mosquitoes that have fed on infected birds. EEE is spread by the Culiseta melanura mosquito and in horses is almost always fatal.
MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Wet weather through most of spring doubled the time it takes to get cotton planted, and the crop was in widely varying stages of development by the end of June.
Will McCarty, cotton specialist with the Mississippi State University Extension Service, said the statewide crop is non-uniform because of excessive rains that delayed cotton plantings, drowned out emerging stands and stunted other areas. Some crops had to be replanted.
MISSISSIPPI STATE -- The majority of cotton growers in the north Mississippi Delta want to take part in region-wide efforts to eradicate boll weevils in their fields, but another referendum will be necessary if the Southeastern program will continue locally after 2003.
By Laura Whelan
MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Although Equine Infectious Anemia is not a new threat to horse health, its potentially deadly consequences and lack of a cure make it an especially harmful risk.
"EIA has commanded a great deal of attention over the years," said Dr. Stanley Robertson, Mississippi State University Extension Service veterinarian. "This disease has no vaccine, treatment or cure, and it is often difficult to differentiate it from other fever producing diseases, like anthrax, influenza and equine encephalitis."
MISSISSIPPI STATE -- First impressions count. For many visitors to Mississippi, the state's highways are the first thing they see and the condition of the roadsides can make a lasting impression.
A partnership between the Mississippi Department of Transportation and Mississippi Agricultural and Forestry Experiment Station scientists at Mississippi State University is helping keep roadways attractive for visitors and residents alike by management of rights-of-way vegetation.
MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Tropical Storm Bill and a very wet June mean the state's major row crops stayed waterlogged, but producers aren't ready to call the season a wash.
The southern and eastern parts of the state saw most of the rainfall in June, but the northern and western crops didn't escape the soaking, averaging as much as 14 percent more than the normal amount of rainfall in some areas. Central and east-central crops received double the normal amount in June.
MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Getting ready for the new school year can be expensive, but parents don't have to give up the budget in frustration when it's time to buy back-to-school supplies.
The beginning of the school year means children need seasonal clothes and a whole list of school supplies. Purchased at one time, the bill can be staggering, especially when shopping at the last minute or for more than one child.
By Laura Whelan
MISSISSIPPI STATE -- As children and teens head back to school this fall, they can feel comfortable sporting their own personal style.
"Fashion emphasizes a really mixed look right now. The rules of fashion are not as hard and fast as they used to be," said Wanda Cheek, assistant professor of apparel, textiles and merchandising in Mississippi State University's School of Human Sciences.
MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Extracurricular activities not only give children something to do in their free time, but involvement in these activities promotes a positive sense of self and decreases the chance a child will drop out of school.
MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Several years after their introduction, school uniforms are performing as expected. And as expected, many students don't like wearing them.
Their use has been credited with reduced behavioral problems and better learning environments. The U.S. Department of Education outlines their usefulness and regulations in an online manual on the subject.
MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Parents need to get an early start and stay involved when it comes to their children's education -- and their ability to develop good study skills.
Experts say parents can set a good learning example for their children to follow long before they reach school age.
MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Mississippi's shrimp season has been on-again, off-again because of rain, but landings to date have been good.
Dave Burrage, Extension professor of marine resources at Mississippi State University's Coastal Research and Extension Center, said Biloxi saw about 1.4 million pounds of shrimp landed the first two weeks of the season. The shrimp season opened June 10, closed June 20, then the western portion reopened June 28.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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