WATER VALLEY – The county made history this month when Mississippi State University’s Extension Service hired their first Community Resource Development agent to work here.
Allyson Coleman will serve Yalobusha County and is the “first of the first,” according to Sumner Davis, Director of the MSU Center for Community Develop-ment.
“She is the first hire in the first round of hiring,” Davis explained. That’s because Yalobusha County was the first of four counties selected by the Extension Service to place a Community Resource Development Agent after the agency received funding during the 2013 Legislative Session for the project.
“We were very fortunate to get the additional dollars,” Davis explained, money that will be utilized for the program.
Coleman was introduced to county officials during the “first Monday” supervisors’ meeting on April 7.
Her position will be similar to other Extension Service agents, serving as a liaison between the wealth of resources and expertise at Mississippi State University and Yalobusha County. Her duties will include educational programming in agriculture and natural resources, family and consumer education, 4-H youth development, and enterprise and community resource development.
“We serve as partners in the community, we set the stage for small business owners,” Davis added. Coleman will also work alongside the county’s existing economic development team, Water Valley Main Street and the chambers in Water Valley and Coffeeville.
Coleman’s office will be located at the Multi-purpose Building in Coffeeville with MSU-ES Yalobusha County Director Brent Gray and Nutrition and Food Safety Area Agent Pamela Redwine.
Davis said the selection was made after interviewing candidates from a strong pool of candidates with input from various stakeholders in the county.
Coleman resides in Coffeeville with her husband, Braxton Coleman. Her first day on the job was April 1, assisting with the archery shoot in Coffeeville. After meeting with county officials Monday, Coleman traveled to Starkville for two days this week for in-service training as she gets acclimated to the new position.