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WATER VALLEY – The Mississippi State (MSU) Extension Service will advertise for applicants for an Agricultural and Natural Resource agent for Yalobusha County. Known informally as an ag agent, this position has not been filled in the county since May, 2020.
MSU Extension Service Nutrition and Food Safety agent Pamela Redwine shared the news with supervisors during the “first Monday” meeting at the Water Valley courthouse on Oct. 1. Redwine also explained that the Extension Service is requesting that the county fund $10,600 of the agent’s salary, and fringe benefits for that portion of the salary. Redwine also noted that if the county is not able to allocate the funding, the MSU Extension Service will extend the offer to another county that needs an agent.
“This person will have a big responsibility, all agents have 4-H responsibilities and community resource development,” Redwine also told supervisors.
Much of the discussion in the Monday’s meeting focused on the strong 4-H clubs in the county that the ag agent will work with.
“I will just have to say that I went to the 4-H awards banquet,” District 3 Supervisor Kenny Harmon noted. “It is overwhelming for me to know there is that much participation from our youth, their parents and other individual who support it. I didn’t have any idea they had that much going on, it is a great thing. I like to see young people who are eager to learn. They are learning about shooting guns, cooking, sewing, riding and all kinds of stuff,” Harmon added.
“We are still very much an agriculture county, between forestry, sweet potatoes, cotton, soybeans and cows. I feel like we need a county (ag) agent. We have always had one,” District Five Supervisor Gaylon Gray added.
“I am in favor of getting a county agent also, we have more farming going on in the county than any other business,” Board President Cayce Washington agreed.
Following discussion, supervisors unanimously approved the request to supplement the salary.
The agent will be responsible for providing leadership in the development, implementation and evaluation of a comprehensive education program in agriculture and natural resources, in addition to 4-H and community resource development duties.
The position is expected to open soon for applications on the Mississippi State University website. Supervisors also were in favor of not requiring the new ag agent to live in Yalobusha County.