- May 2022
MSU Extension Service
Years in Position: 4 years
Years at MSU: 4 years
Jessica Collins Herrington is the first face visitors to the Mississippi State University Extension Service office in Smith County see.
“An office associate’s first job is to serve as the welcome center in the office,” she said. “It’s really important to be hospitable and patient in this job.”
In addition to greeting visitors, answering the phone, and making sure daily operations run smoothly, Herrington assists and supports the county agent with all events and programs.
In fact, her favorite part of the job is working with the 4-H program.
“I truly enjoy getting to see our youth grow and mature in all aspects of their lives,” she said. “Whether it’s becoming a better sportsman, a better showman, or becoming more confident, outgoing, and knowledgeable in a subject. It is a true pleasure to see these youth start fresh and end strong.”
In her four years with Extension, she’s seen that growth through hard work and dedication pay off.
“One of our 4-H families made it into the Dixie National Sale of Champions with a market hog that they bred and raised on their farm here in Smith County,” she said.
Young people who receive a blue ribbon for their goats, lambs, hogs, and steers at the district level livestock shows enter their animals in the statewide Dixie National Junior Round-up in Jackson each February.
The champion animals in the Jackson show advance to the Dixie National Sale of Junior Champions, which is the pinnacle show of the 4-H livestock program.
Although 4-H can keep the office busy, it is only one of the many programs they offer.
“We work on many different programs and events at once,” she said. “While it is very quiet in the office some days, most days are packed full of preparing for an upcoming program, meeting, or event.”
When Herrington is not at work, she loves spending time with her family.
“I am a wife and mom to a house full of girls. We have two very spoiled dogs -- a 12-year-old dalmatian that we rescued and a 3-year-old standard poodle.”