MSU Extension Service
Years in Position: 10
Years at MSU: 10
Gregory Biggs’ joy for serving young people began in 1981 during his time in seminary. Today, he engages this passion through the Mississippi State University Extension Service as a 4-H agent.
Biggs supports Madison County 4-H’ers through developing practical leadership, communication, and professional skills. Children ranging from 8 to 18 years old have opportunities to hone in on their specific interests through activities like livestock exhibits, shooting sports, horse shows, robotics, district and state agricultural competitions, and the Mississippi State Fair.
His 4-H knowledge stems from an extensive agricultural background. Raised on what he called a “weekend farm,” skills in livestock and agriculture are not new to Biggs. Later, during his undergraduate career at Texas Tech University, he was a member of Farmhouse Fraternity. Ultimately, his agriculture upbringing and seminary education perfectly shaped him for his current profession -- one where the children he teaches leave with better scholarships, impressive resumes and stronger characters.
“When the Extension job opened up, I felt like it was a great fit,” Biggs said. “I’ve always worked with kids. It’s a calling.”
One of Biggs’ favorite aspects of 4-H is the relationships it fosters between young people and their communities.
“We host monthly meetings for clubs like ‘Leadership Skills that Last a Lifetime’ and lunches where volunteers and parents are invited to eat with 4-H’ers,” Biggs said. “This gives parents and students from different areas a chance to meet.”
Apart from 4-H, Biggs plays sports -- especially baseball, basketball, football and golf. He loves spending time with his wife of 31 years, June, and their three children, Austin, Hope and Alex.
Melissa E. Montgomery
College of Veterinary Medicine
MSU Starkville Campus
Years in Position: 15
Years at MSU: 17
Melissa Montgomery is determined to make the world a brighter place through service and stewardship. At the Mississippi State University College of Veterinary Medicine, she is known as a philanthropist.
Montgomery works alongside the college’s dean, primarily on fundraising projects. She manages the college’s annual giving program, handles gift administration and donor relations, identifies and cultivates donors and coordinates events. Montgomery also crafts and edits press releases and development stories.
Choosing a career so focused on others’ needs was not halfhearted. Both Montgomery and her coworkers chose their positions for a purpose.
“It’s wonderful to know there are many philanthropists from all walks of life who want to enrich the world,” Montgomery said. “Each colleague has different goals in mind, but I notice that they share a common thread – the desire to help others.”
Often, Montgomery’s dedication proves worthwhile through meeting people as passionate as herself. One such person included one of the nation’s leading animal experts, Jack Hanna.
“One of my favorite memories was having lunch with him,” she said. “He’s very personable, and I appreciate his conservation work.”
At the end of the day, Montgomery considers herself grateful for the ways her position allows her to connect with and influence others.
“I enjoy spending my time helping others and making a real impact in the lives of people and animals,” she said.
Outside of work, Montgomery enjoys running, photography and cheering on her children in their endeavors. She and her husband John have two children, Madeline and Nathan.
At each annual DAFVM Summer Celebration, the Staff Spotlight recipients from the previous year will be acknowledged. The DAFVM website will have an archive of all winners listed by month/date.
An employee cannot be chosen more than once during a two (2) year period.