Ty Jones (Staff)
Ty Jones wears many hats as the Mississippi State University Extension Service agent in Madison County.
On any given day, he’s helping a cattle producer with forage questions, a homeowner with squirrels in the attic, or a 4-H shooting sports member preparing for competition.
And that’s okay with him. In fact, this was just the type of work he was looking for when he returned to the university in 2009.
“Extension gives me the opportunity to provide people with the knowledge and tools they need to be better stewards of God’s creation,” Jones said. “That’s what keeps me interested and committed, and it’s really what drew me to this job.”
Jones works primarily with clients interested in agriculture and natural resources. He steers an active group of horticulture volunteers in the Master Gardener program and helps train natural resource volunteers through the central chapter of the Master Naturalist program. He also is responsible for the livestock and shooting sports segments of the 4-H Youth Development Program in Madison County.
“The work I do with 4-H’ers is the most rewarding part of my job,” Jones said. “When you watch young people gain confidence through the hard work and practice they put in, it doesn’t compare to any other work I do through Extension.”
About 100 children participate in various livestock clubs and the shooting sports education program, including Jones’ 12-year-old daughter Hannah Katherine.
“She began showing cattle and goats at 8 years old and loves it,” Jones said. “This was a natural fit for her, with parents who work in agriculture and who have cattle and goats at home. She’s been around animals all her life.”
But 4-H has allowed her to develop skills she can use throughout life.
“I don’t know where else she could have gained the self-confidence and work ethic she now has,” Jones said. “Showing cattle and goats is her passion and has allowed her to learn responsibility while having fun.”
Jones earned a bachelor’s degree in animal science and a master’s degree in reproductive physiology from MSU. In the late 1990s, he served as the first facilities coordinator at the H.H. Leveck Animal Research Center, often referred to as South Farm. He returned to Extension after doing work in reproduction in the private cattle industry.
“Both my wife, who is a veterinarian, and I graduated from MSU. We believe in what the university does through its commitment to research and education,” Jones said. “Serving as an Extension agent allows me to share my education and experience to better others’ lives. I can see in my own daughter the benefits of our efforts.”