Mississippi Agricultural and Forestry Experiment Station
South MS Branch Experiment Station in Poplarville
Years in Position: 14 years
Years of Service to MSU: 14 years
Melvin Gipson turned his experiences growing up on a farm into a full-time job as a research technician at the South Mississippi Branch Experiment Station.
Gipson works primarily with forages and beef cattle. He manages the day-to-day animal husbandry tasks and works closely with scientists to oversee research projects from start to finish.
“I like my job because of the diversity it provides,” he said. “Every day presents a new or different challenge.”
Agriculture has always been a part of Gipson’s life, which is why he applied for his current position.
“I grew up farming, and I have always enjoyed agriculture,” he said. “I found the application for the research technician position, and I thought it would be a neat job. So here I am.”
Gipson said one thing he wishes people knew about his job is that it comes with many responsibilities.
“My responsibilities involve more than checking the cattle and pastures,” he said. “There is a lot of precise, meticulous work involved in my position that oftentimes people don’t see.”
Outdoor activities are Gipson’s favorite things to do during his free time.
“I have a sawmill at my house, and I enjoy making lumber for projects,” he said. “I grow sugarcane and enjoy making syrup. I also have a garden and some cows at home too. Basically, anything that has me outside, I enjoy doing.”
Gipson has a wife, Mandi, and a daughter, Abby (11).
Extension Agent IV
MSU Extension Service
Years in Position: 9 years
Years of Service to MSU: 27 years
When Lisa Stewart was in Webster County 4-H as a kid, she never imagined she would one day be responsible for the same program.
Stewart serves as the MSU Extension Service county coordinator in Webster County. She works with a family and consumer sciences agent to provide educational programs in agriculture and natural resources, family and consumer education, 4-H youth development, and enterprise and community resource development.
Before working for MSU, Stewart worked at the Bentonia Pest Management Association. She monitored insect populations and conducted a variety of research projects while there.
Stewart became interested in her current job because of her love for 4-H.
“I was a member of the Webster County 4-H Livestock Club during junior high school,” she said. “When I saw the position for 4-H Agent in Leake County, I had to apply for it. That is how I ended up where I am now.”
Stewart said that her job can be a challenge, but the reward of helping others is always worth the effort.
“Sometimes the stress level is high,” she said. “When people call with concerns, they would like an answer ‘right now.’ Also, several activities going on at one time can be a challenge. The fact that I am improving people’s lives on a daily basis is pretty awesome.”
In her spare time, Stewart enjoys spending time with her two daughters and her horses.