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MSU Extension taps Martin for ag, natural resource duties
STARKVILLE, Miss. -- A proven ability to work with producers, university professionals and industry representatives has earned Steve Martin new responsibilities with the Mississippi State University Extension Service.
Extension Director Gary Jackson announced Wednesday that Martin is the new associate director for agriculture and natural resource programs, which support the largest sector of Mississippi’s economy -- farming and related agribusinesses -- accounting for one-third of the state’s gross economic product. Martin has served in the position as interim leader since the retirement of Joe Street in April.
“Steve’s ability to connect with producers, Extension agents and specialists, along with his expertise in grant writing, commodities marketing and agricultural business, will continue to be invaluable as Extension moves forward with its mission of extending knowledge to Mississippians of all ages,” Jackson said. “He began his career with Bryan Foods in West Point and has a keen understanding of industry concerns.”
Martin earned three degrees from MSU, including a bachelor’s in agriculture and extension education, a master’s in business administration and a doctorate in agricultural economics. He began his service to MSU in 1997 as a graduate research assistant in the Department of Agricultural Economics. In 2000, he became an Extension agricultural economist at the Delta Research and Extension Center in Stoneville.
“Steve is an experienced administrator. He brings unique skills that will be assets as we refine the program planning process to serve our clients’ needs,” Jackson said.
Martin began serving Extension and the Mississippi Agricultural and Forestry Experiment Station as an administrator in 2008, when he became head of the Delta Research and Extension Center. In 2012, he assumed the leadership of the North Mississippi Research and Extension Center in Verona.
Martin said he looks forward to leading and expanding on the existing programs and developing new efforts to help residents of Mississippi.
“All Mississippians benefit from reliable, research-based information delivered directly to agriculture-related employers through safer food supplies, quality farm and forest commodities, new value-added products and manufacturing, and higher tax revenues for the state,” Martin said.
Martin will be based in the Bost Extension Center at MSU.