Linda Breazeale (Staff)

Linda Breazeale, pictured in a cemetery.

Linda Breazeale has written about almost everything over the past 31 years—from agriculture to zoonotic diseases. A senior editor and writer for the Mississippi State University Extension Service Office of Agricultural Communications, Breazeale is sorting through files and passing more than one baton to colleagues as she prepares to retire in June.

Breazeale’s contributions to Extension range from serving as a public information officer during disasters to training generations of Extension agents in best media relations practices.

“I believe in supporting local journalism because I appreciate what it takes to cover a news story,” she said. “My first job after graduating from MSU was at Starkville Daily News. Those two years gave me an appreciation for the role of the community newspaper as well as the mutually beneficial relationship with Extension agents.”

Breazeale’s community ties extend beyond those related to her job. She currently serves on eight advisory boards.

“I serve on advisory boards for Zeta Tau Alpha, University Baptist Church, the Cooperative Baptist Fellowship of Mississippi, the Dwelling Place retreat center, the OCH Regional Medical Center Board of Trustees, the Starkville Cemetery Association, the MSU Communication Department, and Oktibbeha County Forestry Association,” she said.

Breazeale said she was practically born in the Oktibbeha County Extension Office, back when it was the Felix Long Memorial Hospital.

“So my roots go back to that building. Along the way, I’ve gained an appreciation for the history of this community, which is why I want to give back,” she said. “And I know where the bodies are buried—because I’ve been in Ag Comm 31+ years, I’ve learned the back story on topics and people.”

Her appreciation for her community has led her to invest time and effort in improving the medical care available and maintaining historic Odd Fellows Cemetery. And no, the irony of promoting quality health care and maintaining the cemetery is not lost on her.

Recently, Breazeale took some MSU students on a tour of the cemetery to show them the graves of people for whom MSU buildings are named.

“I wanted to connect the students with the community,” she said. “I want them to pass the campus building, see the name, and know it was someone who lived here and worked to promote higher education.”

Breazeale and her husband, John, have joined the volunteer firefighters and are going through four months of Emergency Medical Technician training.

“Retirement will give me more time for community needs, for my daughter and for other projects. I’m looking forward to writing the next story,” she said.