DAFVM Spotlight Employees

The administration for the Division of Agriculture, Forestry and Veterinary Medicine (DAFVM) spotlights two employees each month. All benefits-eligible professional and support staff employees within the Division qualify as part of the pool from which employees will be chosen. Highlighted employees will be randomly selected and given his or her choice of a $50 prize from DAFVM to be claimed from specific vendors at MSU. See Guidelines.
Spotlight employee, Mark Henry

Mark Henry
Sept. 2018

Extension Associate I
MSU Extension Service
Delta Research & Extension Service

Years in Position: 7
Years at MSU: 7

Mississippi State Extension Associate Mark Henry works tirelessly with farmers to help them better understand and use irrigation tools, such as Pipe Planners, moisture sensors and surge valves.

“One of my favorite aspects of this job is meeting new people and then leaving there knowing that I was able to help someone,” Mark said.

Mark recalled teaching someone how to use computer hole selection to irrigate. The client told him that he already knew what holes to punch in the poly pipe.

“This farmer had been keeping notes for ten years, and I explained a much more efficient and easier way to keep track using the computer,” Mark said. “He gave me a field to do, and in about ten minutes, I gave him a hole punch for his poly pipe.”

When the farmer checked Mark’s calculations against his own, they were both very similar. Needless to say, the farmer started using computer hole selection.

Mark chose this career because he enjoys meeting and helping others and educating them about the principles of efficient farm work.

Outside the office, Mark enjoys spending his spare time with his grandchildren. He also enjoys woodworking, cooking, and hunting.

Spotlight employee Kathy Johnson

Kathy Johnson
Sept. 2018

Events Coordinator
MSU College of Agriculture
and Life Sciences
MSU Campus

Years in Position: 5
Years at MSU: 7

Kathy Johnson works hard as Events Coordinator in the Department of Plant and Soil Sciences. She also works as a full-time mother and student as she pursues her degree in General Studies.

Kathy plans all events for her department. She is in charge of hiring all the 100-plus student workers and intermediate workers. She keeps track of all their paperwork, payroll, and general schedule.

“I love this position because of all the new students and people I get to meet almost every day,” she said.

Kathy’s favorite aspect of her job is the Row Crops Short Course. This three-day seminar is attended by several hundred agricultural producers, consultants, and students. Leading scientists share the latest crop-related research. Some undergraduate and graduate students speak at the event.

“The program has been growing as well,” Kathy said. “When I started, we had about 200 people attend. In the five years that I have been here, over 700 people started coming.”

Kathy said that she is always moving, and no two days are ever the same. She enjoys being busy and having a new task each day.

“I started this career later in my life, and we moved back here to be near my husband’s family,” Kathy said. “There was a lot of opportunity from MSU, and I think where I was hired was a really good fit for me and my family.”

She talked about some advice that she would give students interested in working for her.

“They would have to be flexible, organized, and outgoing. The students would have to be up for different types of tedious work and be able to multitask with all the many responsibilities,” she explained.

Kathy has been married for thirty-three years and has one daughter who is currently a graduate student teaching at Mississippi State University.

  • The drawing for the DAFVM Staff Spotlight recognition will take place the last week of each month and be announced the first working day of the upcoming month.  Names are pulled randomly from a pre-populated Banner list.
  • To be the highlighted staff for any given month, the employee must have acceptable recent performance evaluations on file. Those evaluations will be reviewed prior to acknowledgement of the employee and awarding a prize. The evaluation itself will not be viewed but rather HRM will provide a general recommendation based on the employee’s past reviews.
  • The selected employees will be notified by letter from Dr. Greg Bohach, Vice President, DAFVM.
  • A required photo and a brief  interview of the recipients will be posted on the DAFVM Staff Council Web page www.dafvm.msstate.edu/advisory/spotlight/. This information will also be displayed on the monitors of the first floor of the Bost Building, as well as in other MSU locations and publications.
  • Each recipient can choose one of the following prizes:
    • $50 gift certificate to the University Florist
    • $50 gift certificate to the MAFES Sales Store
    • MSU apparel item ($50 value)

At each annual DAFVM Summer Celebration, the Staff Spotlight recipients from the previous year will be acknowledged. The DAFVM website will have an archive of all winners listed by month/date.

An employee cannot be chosen more than once during a two (2) year period.