DAFVM Spotlight Employee: Keith Whitehead

Keith Whitehead

When Keith Whitehead graduated from Mississippi State in 1982, he didn’t know he would end up having a second career at his alma mater.

Keith took a job with the Louisiana State University Ag Center and spent 30 years working at research stations.

“I was a research associate and got a master’s degree while I was working at LSU,” Keith said. “My first focus was row crops, and I managed operations on a station just south of campus for about 20 years. During that time, I also started working with pasture management.”

As Keith’s parents aged, he wanted to get closer to home, so he moved to a research station in Clinton, Louisiana, where he worked with aquatic weed control and pasture management.

But when the Extension agent position opened in Franklin County, where he grew up, Keith knew he had to apply.

Since he took the job as an Extension agent in agriculture and natural resources with 4-H responsibilities, he and the Franklin County team have started a 4-H Shooting Sports club, which is already up to 50 members. He said participation in livestock projects has also increased.

“I love this job,” he said. “I like going into the field and helping producers with problems. I love working with 4-H. Extension has always been a service organization, and I like helping people. I always have.”

Keith’s Franklin County roots contribute to his enthusiasm for his work.

“My grandfather had dairy and beef cattle here,” he said. “My great-grandfather never had a tractor -- he always had a mule -- and he grew cotton and sweet potatoes in addition to a large garden. My family was deeply embedded in agriculture as I was growing up.”

When he has time, Keith loves to hunt and fish. He and his wife Stacy have been married 17 years and have two daughters, Molly (14) and Katie (13).

Editor's note: The Division of Agriculture, Forestry and Veterinary Medicine Spotlight Employee profiles are provided by the Office of Agricultural Communications at Mississippi State. For more information, please click here.

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