DAFVM Spotlight Employees

The administration for the Division of Agriculture, Forestry and Veterinary Medicine (DAFVM) spotlights two employees each month. All benefits-eligible professional and support staff employees within the Division qualify as part of the pool from which employees will be chosen. Highlighted employees will be randomly selected and given his or her choice of a $50 prize from DAFVM to be claimed from specific vendors at MSU. See Guidelines.

Sandy Havard
November 2019

MSU Extension Service
Warren County

Years in position: 3.5s
Years at MSU: 3.5

Sandy Havard found a home at the Warren County Extension office as Extension agent and county coordinator.

She helps the people in her community solve problems regarding issues as small as identifying an insect or as large as dealing with flooded homes.

“I really like how we have a really active master gardener group,” Havard said. “They play a huge role in this community, and without them, we would not be the resource in Warren County as we are today.”

Havard recently helped with a kid’s camp at the Heritage Demonstration Garden, home to heirloom plants that would have been grown in the late 1800s. The kids learned how to plant small flowers, and more about agriculture and farm life.

“This garden serves as historical and educational purposes. We are really fortunate to be able to use it for workshops and events,” Havard said.

“I have met some of my best friends in Extension, and my coworkers make this career really enjoyable for me,” Havard said. “It is so encouraging to walk in to my job to see how everyone is welcoming, supportive, and hard-working.”

Before coming to work with Extension, Havard worked with 4-H at a local agriculture museum where she made a lot of contact with Extension. She said she felt that she would end up with Extension sooner or later because this position just fit her.

“I chose this career because my dad was a farmer, and we have always had cows. I wanted to be in agriculture business since I was very little,” Havard said. “I like to educate children about this business because a lot of them don’t know from where their food comes.”

She has three children and most of her free time is spent watching them play sports. She and her husband have cows, sell hay, and take care of their little farm.


Paige Tipton
November 2019

White Sand Experiment Station

Years in Position: 4 months
Years at MSU: 2.5 years

Paige Tipton has recently started working with Mississippi State University as an agricultural technician in Poplarville, Mississippi.

As part of the Mississippi Agricultural and Forestry Experiment Station team at White Sand, Tipton works with others to conduct cattle-focused research and maintain a cattle herd. She also helps with the daily operations that go along with running a farm.

“My favorite part of my job is getting to learn more about the cattle industry and hone my animal husbandry skills,” Tipton said. “I also love to watch the morning sun rise as I ride out on my horse to gather the cattle for the day.”

Tipton thought this career would be a great fit for her as she loves to be outside and around animals.

“I continue to learn more about the cattle industry every day,” Tipton said. “So much time, effort and research goes into raising a sustainable, safe beef product for consumers. It is really interesting to me to see what everyone does every day.”

Tipton says being hard working and open minded are very important traits to being successful in this career.

Before coming to work at MSU, Tipton grew up on a cattle farm in Arkansas. She attended Arkansas Tech University for her bachelor’s degree and came to MSU to work on her master’s degree in Animal Science. 

  • The drawing for the DAFVM Staff Spotlight recognition will take place the last week of each month and be announced the first working day of the upcoming month.  Names are pulled randomly from a pre-populated Banner list.
  • To be the highlighted staff for any given month, the employee must have acceptable recent performance evaluations on file. Those evaluations will be reviewed prior to acknowledgement of the employee and awarding a prize. The evaluation itself will not be viewed but rather HRM will provide a general recommendation based on the employee’s past reviews.
  • The selected employees will be notified by letter from Dr. Greg Bohach, Vice President, DAFVM.
  • A required photo and a brief  interview of the recipients will be posted on the DAFVM Staff Council Web page www.dafvm.msstate.edu/advisory/spotlight/. This information will also be displayed on the monitors of the first floor of the Bost Building, as well as in other MSU locations and publications.
  • Each recipient can choose one of the following prizes:
    • $50 gift certificate to the University Florist
    • $50 gift certificate to the MAFES Sales Store
    • MSU apparel item ($50 value)

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.