MSU Extension changes administrative structure

Published 12:11 pm Saturday, November 20, 2021

By Nathan Gregory

MSU Extension Service

STARKVILLE, Miss. -— The Mississippi State University Extension Service is modifying its administrative structure to commit more resources for county level staffing.

Upon Steve Martin’s return to his primary role as MSU Extension associate director Nov. 16, his title changed to Associate Director for County Operations.

Martin was formerly associate director for Extension’s agriculture and natural resources programs, while Paula Threadgill led the 4-H and family and consumer Sciences programs before retiring at the end of 2020. The associate director position she vacated has been eliminated. Martin will now lead all programmatic efforts of Extension at the county level.

He will have oversight responsibilities for the four regional Extension coordinators, the Center for 4-H Youth Development, the Office of Nutrition Education, Mississippi Homemaker Volunteers, civil rights, the MSU Horse Park, and the Mississippi Boll Weevil Program. Along with county Extension agent hiring and retention, the overall budgets of the county operations will also become his responsibility as part of the reorganization.

MSU Extension Director Gary Jackson will continue to lead the overall Extension operations with an emphasis on state and federal initiatives, legislative agenda and process, program planning and evaluation, faculty and specialists, budgeting, policy and other duties.

“In addition to helping us get closer to the staffing we need at the county level, this new structure centralizes our business and hiring practices and enhances our representation for each of our five core program areas in our counties,” Jackson said.

He added the role changes yield greater opportunity for MSU Research and Extension Center heads to concentrate more on programs, collaborative projects, grants, contracts, and the other challenges and needs of their centers.

“I would like to thank Dr. Keith Coble (MSU Vice President for the Division of Agriculture, Forestry and Veterinary Medicine) and our Extension center and unit heads for their support.”

of this change,” Jackson said. “I also appreciate Dr. Martin for his willingness to take on these new responsibilities.”