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Threadgill named Extension leader
MISSISSIPPI STATE – When Paula Threadgill became leader of Family and Consumer Sciences for the Mississippi State University Extension Service, she decided to tackle the state’s obesity problem.
Threadgill was named state leader of the Extension Service arm of Family and Consumer Sciences, or FCS, on Jan. 1. She had been filling the role on an interim basis since April 2010. She is also an Extension professor.
“My role is to provide leadership to the FCS area agents across the state and to gain support from stakeholders so they can understand our programming and the importance of what we do,” Threadgill said. “Our challenge is to educate the people of the state about what FCS can offer. We have a whole generation of people we’d like to reach.”
Gary Jackson, director of the MSU Extension Service, said Threadgill brings a wealth of knowledge and experience to the position.
“She achieved an excellent professional record as a field agent in the Alabama Extension system prior to coming to MSU,” Jackson said. “She also served as a faculty member in the School of Human Sciences and as a district administrator prior to being named State Program Leader for Family and Consumer Sciences.
“She understands and champions Extension and will serve as an effective leader for our FCS programming,” he said.
Threadgill is overseeing the work of 42 people with responsibilities in various programs within the Family and Consumer Sciences field. One of her challenges is to use the program’s personnel and resources wisely so the public knows what services are offered and can benefit from them. Topics addressed within FCS include family issues, financial management, nutrition, food safety and health education.
“One of my goals is to try to get enough support from the legislature so we can hire more FCS agents across the state,” Threadgill said. “There is a need, especially in the Delta, for food safety and nutrition programming.
“We in Family and Consumer Sciences would love to help reduce the obesity rates in the state. Achieving and maintaining a healthy weight can positively affect many areas of life,” she said.
Threadgill is originally from Livingston, Ala., and grew up active in 4-H. Her mother was an Alabama Cooperative Extension System home economist and 4-H agent, and her father was an educator and county commissioner.
Threadgill has worked for MSU since 1994 in a variety of capacities. She earned a bachelor’s degree from the University of Alabama, a master’s degree from the University of Montevallo in Alabama, and a doctorate degree from MSU. She holds numerous professional affiliations and has earned awards for her professional accomplishments.