WILL MCCARTY, Mississippi's Extension cotton specialist for nearly two decades, has been appointed to serve as assistant director and state program leader for agriculture and natural resources with the Mississippi State University Extension Service.

The appointment was announced by Joe H. McGilberry, executive director of the Extension Service, in a memo to Extension Service employees. McCarty has been serving as Extension leader, professor and cotton specialist in the MSU Department of Plant and Soil Sciences.

“Dr. McCarty has provided distinguished leadership for Extension Service programs in cotton production for nearly two decades and is known for his expertise throughout the state and nation,” said McGilberry.

After completing a bachelor's degree in agronomy at Mississippi State University in May 1975 and a master's degree in agronomy with a soils specialization in 1977, McCarty worked as soil scientist and agronomist with the U.S. Forest Service from 1977 to 1980. He accepted a position as area agronomist with the MSU Extension Service in 1980, serving in that role until 1986, when he was appointed cotton specialist.

He completed his doctorate in agronomy at MSU in 1991, majoring in agronomy with minors in botany and plant physiology. He was appointed Extension leader in the Department of Plant and Soil Sciences in 1995. In spring 2003, he completed a five-month term as administrative associate, serving as a member of the Extension administrative team.

“In his new position, Dr. McCarty will be responsible for all programmatic and budgetary operations related to the development, execution, and evaluation of a coordinated and effective Extension program in agriculture and natural resources,” said McGilberry.