- July 2022
Extension Agent IV
MSU Extension Service
Years in Position: 18 years
Years at MSU: 18 years
Ellen Russell has been helping people in her community for 18 years.
An Extension agent with the Mississippi State University Extension Service, she teaches a variety of topics by whatever means necessary, including through workshops and seminars, at community events, through the media, and with technology.
But the job is much, much more than educational presentations and information delivery.
“An equally important part of the job is working with people, and I love to help people solve problems,” Russell said.
Time management, communication, and teamwork are important aspects of the job, whether it’s for an Extension event or to provide clientele with the information they need and want.
“Agents especially in our region work as a team with other agents in the region to preform district events,” she said. “And we work extensively with committees of local residents to identify educational needs and with volunteers who help implement programs to meet those needs. We also cooperate with other agencies, businesses, school districts, community groups, and organizations to jointly sponsor community programs.”
With specialists on topics ranging from agriculture to food safety, Extension can provide information and training on a wide variety of topics.
“Extension is an amazing resource in your very own community,” Russell said. “I wish more people realized what Extension provides. We’re here to help people no matter how big or small the problem because solving that problem is important to them.”
While Russell addresses all kinds of topics, from family and consumer sciences to horticulture, her favorite program area to work with is 4-H livestock and horse projects.
“I love to watch kids begin in 4-H and work hard for several years to get better and better and finally master their project area,” Russell said.