Behind the Scenes at Extension Annual Conference
Every year Mississippi State University Extension administration, faculty, agents, and staff gather to celebrate exemplary programs, honor contributions to Extension’s mission, and to discuss the vision for Extension’s future.
Dr. Doug Steele, incoming vice president for Food, Agriculture, and Natural Resources, Association for Public and Land-Grant Universities, shared his perspective on the changes Extension must make to engage new clients in meaningful ways where they are through existing and emerging technologies.
Motivational speaker, magician, and mentalist Joe M. Turner returned to his alma mater – cowbell in hand – to inspire Extension workers to choose their focus carefully, because it shapes how they see the world. He shared wise words from his grandfather, who taught agriculture at Jones County Junior College, encouraging the audience to do the best they could with what they had where they are.
MSU President Dr. Mark Keenum stopped by to thank Extension for their work in communities across the state. He also presented Dr. John Byrd, Extension weed scientist, with the 2018 Mark E. Keenum Outstanding Extension Faculty Award.
Finally, Farmweek co-anchor Leighton Spann graciously hosts the conference every year. With numerous speakers and awards, his calm demeanor and enthusiastic delivery keep everyone engaged!
2018 Extension Annual Award Winners
- James and Ressie Carpenter Scholarship Awards: Blake Bland and Rachel Wilson
- Customer Outreach Award: Ontenncia Boclear, Alma Harris, Jennifer Russel, and Ann Twiner.
- Franklin T. Burns Outstanding Extension Community Resource Development Award: Rebecca Bates
- Geoff Guyton Innovation in Extension Technology Award: Terence Norwood
- Grantsmanship: Dr. Darrin Dodds
- Leopold Award for Excellence in Extension Programming: Dr. Jay McCurdy
- Charles & Jane Aiken Outstanding Extension Communication Award: Dr. Gary Bachman
- Duane H. Tucker Outstanding Extension Leadership Award: Dr. Laura Downey and Dr. Donna Peterson
- Duane H. Tucker Outstanding Livestock Program Award: Sherry Thompson
- Joe Street Outstanding Extension Agriculture and Natural Resources Award: Gene Merkl
- Spirit of Excellence Award: Dr. Scott Cagle
- Outstanding Extension Support Staff Award: Jatonya Farrow
- Outstanding Extension Professional Award: India Crews
- Travis Tadlock Outstanding Extension Agent Award: Kimberly Gowdy
- Mark E. Keenum Outstanding Extension Faculty Award: Dr. John Byrd
- Director’s Award: Dr. Andy Ezell
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