Mississippi State University has recognized Extension professor Jimmy Avery with a Spirit of Excellence Award.
As Mississippi’s only Extension catfish specialist, Avery has spent the last several years working to revitalize an industry in which Mississippi excels. That leading position has been hit hard recently due to foreign imports and falling prices. He coordinated efforts of several colleagues to initiate the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s 2009 Trade Adjustment Assistance for Farmers program.
Avery led in developing a coordinated national effort to contest foreign imports of catfish into the six major catfish producing states. The team developed a series of lectures and distance education to instruct applicants. Eight meetings in Stoneville and Starkville provided 1,074 clients with nearly 14,000 hours of instruction. Mississippi producers have received nearly $2.4 million dollars in support payments with just over two million dollars of payments pending.