Catchot named director of MSU Extension

Contact: Mary Kathryn Kight

Portrait of Angus Catchot
Angus L. Catchot Jr. (Photo submitted)

STARKVILLE, Miss.—Mississippi State University Extension has a new leader with a long history of connecting Mississippians with information they need through research, education and outreach. Angus L. Catchot Jr. is the new MSU Extension director, effective Nov. 1.

“Dr. Catchot brings a strong administrative background along with a solid record of teaching and research accomplishments to the task of leading Extension professionals and support staff in continuing our tradition of serving the people of Mississippi in every county,” said MSU President Mark E. Keenum. “I am confident that Angus will build on that tradition as we share the latest technologies and methods in our educational programming.”

The committee leading the national search for the position included Extension professionals throughout the state, as well as industry stakeholders.

MSU Division of Agriculture, Forestry and Veterinary Medicine Vice President Keith Coble said during the interview process, “It was clear Angus has an energy and passion for Extension and what it means to serve our state. Angus is uniquely poised to step into this role, as one of his greatest strengths is his communication ability.”

Catchot currently serves as the associate director of the Mississippi Agricultural and Forestry Experiment Station and a professor in MSU’s College of Agriculture and Life Sciences. Additionally, he has served as interim head of the Central Mississippi Research and Extension Center from Sept. 2022 to Oct. 16, 2023. Catchot succeeds Steve Martin, who has served as interim Extension director since September 2022.

“I’d like to thank Steve for leading Extension over the past year. He is a true example of a servant leader,” Coble said.

A triple MSU College of Agriculture and Life Sciences alumnus, Catchot earned his bachelor’s degree in ag pest management and both his master’s and doctoral degrees in entomology. He worked for Monsanto Company for six years before returning to his alma mater as an Extension faculty member specializing in row crop entomology.

During his nearly 20-year professional experience at MSU, Catchot has served as the major or co-major professor to dozens of graduate students who now serve the agricultural industry both state- and nationwide. 

In his previous roles, Catchot has supported efforts to extend science-based research to stakeholders throughout the midsouth, providing research and demonstration trials, field visits and one-on-one communication. He’s an active member of the Mississippi Association of County Agricultural Agents, Mississippi Agricultural Industry Council, Mississippi Entomological Association and Entomological Society of America.

“From the individual agents in each of the 82 counties to the faculty on campus and around the state at our Research and Extension Centers, MSU Extension strives to enhance the social, economic, and cultural well-being of every citizen. I am excited and honored to lead such an outstanding group of people and an organization that is dedicated to the land-grant mission,” Catchot said.

Catchot and his wife, Beverly, both are natives of Stone County. They have two sons, Angus Catchot III and Ty Catchot, as well as one grandson, Angus Catchot IV.

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