The North Mississippi Research and Extension Center established in Verona, Miss., in 1984 marked the beginning of the research and Extension center concept in Mississippi. Now the center has been renamed the Hiram D. Palmertree North Mississippi Research and Extension Center in honor of its first head.

“It's more than fitting that the center be named for an individual who was a leader in promoting the establishment of research and Extension centers statewide,” said Reuben Moore, the center's current head. “His leadership was instrumental in obtaining internal and external support for funding and for legislative authorization to establish the center.”

Palmertree earned his bachelor's degree at Mississippi State University in 1962 and began his career that same year as an agronomist with the Mississippi Agricultural and Forestry Experiment Station. He later completed a master's and doctorate at MSU.

From 1967 until 1978, he was a statewide Extension specialist in forage and turfgrass. He then served in leadership positions at several MAFES branches, including the Pontotoc Ridge-Flatwoods Branch and the Northeast Mississippi Branch. He was named director of the Mississippi Cooperative Extension Service in 1988. In that position, he continued to promote the research and Extension center concept.

“As Extension director, Dr. Palmertree brought a critical mass of Extension specialists to the research and Extension centers,” said MAFES Director Vance Watson. “He promoted cooperation between Extension and research personnel, resulting in a more efficient and productive operation.”


Bob Ratliff is a science writer for University Relations at Mississippi State University.