- April 2019
Extension Agent IV
MSU Extension Service
Years in position: 18
Years at MSU: 22
As a family and consumer sciences agent, Jennifer Russell is an important member of the Extension office in Leflore County. Her primary role is to educate adults and young people on family and life skills. For example, she teaches basic sewing skills, financial literacy, nutrition, exercises, food safety, and cooking skills.
Jennifer’s end goal is to train others to continue to provide leadership to the Mississippi Homemakers Volunteers, Begin with Reading volunteers, and the Expanded Food and Nutrition Education program, or EFNEP.
EFNEP is a nutrition program that reaches out to limited-resource parents with ideas for preparing healthy meals.
“I chose this career because I was inspired by an EFNEP educator, Ms. Ellum, coming to my home when I was young,” she said. “Mrs. Ellum taught my mother how to use foods supplied by the Women, Infants, and Children, or WIC, program.”
Jennifer has always loved to cook, and she was introduced to recipes and how to read them at an early age by Ms. Ellum.
“My favorite part of what I do is helping others reach their highest potential though education,” Jennifer said. “In my 22-plus years working for Extension, I have gained friends through my work. My Extension family has seen me through happy moments but even more so through times of trouble. It is the strength and love of this organization shown towards me and my family that makes what I do a joy.”
Jennifer said she does not think of her career as a job, but instead as mission work to make the world a better place for those who live in it. She does this by supplying them with necessary skills.
“This career has taught me to be versatile and have a friendly personality, have a love for what I do, and how to be a team player,” Jennifer said.