- July 2020
Years in Position: 18
Years of Service to MSU: 22
Not everyone gets to turn a passion into a career. MSU Extension forester Butch Bailey loves being in the woods and uses his extensive knowledge to help Mississippians through forestry education programs for landowners, loggers, foresters, and 4-H’ers.
“I love teaching and seeing the light going on when someone gets it or they figure out how to make more money in their jobs,” Butch said. “My work varies daily as my role is similar to that of an Extension agent, but with a focus on forestry. I also get to do research and am interested in longleaf pine.”
Butch holds a bachelor’s and a master’s degree in forestry from MSU. His graduate research focused on forestry best management practices (BMPs) and water quality, specifically the effectiveness of streamside management zones (SMZs) in working pine forests.
“I am constantly surprised by some of the things I take for granted when I work in trees,” he said. “Not a lot of people know that there are more trees in Mississippi and America now than there were 50 years ago. People just care about it more.”
Butch and his wife Toni have been married for 20 years and are raising one son, Liam, and a 245-pound English mastiff named Stout.
Butch described his hobbies:
“My own hobbies include cutting and splitting firewood, gardening, camping, reading, flannel, and finding new and creative ways to tempt diabetes, gout, heart disease, and accidental amputation. In the spring I enjoy gardening, fishing, and watching Mississippi State baseball. In the summer I enjoy the air conditioning. In the fall I like camping and squirrel hunting with Liam. And in the winter, I celebrate Christmas for at least three months straight.”
He is an officer for the MSU Alumni Association’s local chapter, volunteers with various activities for Trinity Episcopal Church, serves as a Den Leader in his son’s Cub Scout Pack and occasionally works as a youth sports coach. He also serves on a variety of committees for the Mississippi Forestry Association.