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Gray Will Manage Multi-purpose Building Until New Ag Agent Is Hired

Brent Gray

By David Howell

WATER VALLEY – Supervisors agreed to hire Brent Gray as the Multi-purpose Building manager on a temporary basis until Mississippi State Extension Service can hire a new ag agent.

            Gray resigned as the county’s ag agent last month, but told supervisors he would continue to manage the arena, which includes preparing the facility for horse shows and other bookings for the area, lobby and conference room.

            Gray will be paid $466.67 month, or $5,600 annually, the same amount the county has subsidized the ag agent position through the Extension Service. The hiring came at the “first Monday” supervisor meeting on Feb. 2.

            Board President Tommy Vaughn recommended the hiring, explaining that Gray had indicated he would be willing to take care of the facility.  Vaughn added that this position put a strain on the Nutrition and Food Safety Area Agent Pamela Redwine, who oversaw the Multi-Purpose Building during the year interval between the retirement of Steve Cummings and the hiring of Gray.

            Supervisors also agreed to continue the $5,600 supplement to the Extension Service when a new ag agent is hired, but held off on signing a board order presented by the Extension Service. The order also requested fringe benefits and retirement for the position, but did not clarify the exact amount.

            “We really need to see a figure of what we are looking on Social Security, retirement and health benefits before we sign an order,” Board President Tommy Vaughn explained.                             Redwine attended the Feb. 2 meeting and reported Extension Service Research Professor and Department Head Dr. Steve Martin has committed to start the hiring process very quickly.

            “It still could be a month or two  before it gets going, but he wants to  get the ball rolling as soon as possible,” Redwine added.

            Other business conducted at the meeting included:

            • Supervisors pledged continued support for Windsor Foods to the plant’s new general manager, David Morris, who was introduced at the meeting by Bob Tyler, the county’s economic development director.

            “He has a long, strong resume with large corporations and he has already made himself known at Windsor Foods over there for production and good management,” Tyler told supervisors.

            “We look forward to doing great things at Windsor,” Morris told supervisors.

            Morris also fielded questions about a potential expansion at the Windsor Plant in Oakland, and reported a final decision was several weeks away.

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