Don Bales of Purvis, a senior Mississippi State University Extension Service associate in MSU ‘s College of Forest Resources and certified wildlife biologist, was recently named the national Extension Forester of the Year by the Forest Landowners Association. His office is located in the MSU Extension Service ‘s Southeast District Forestry Office in Lamar County.
Bales was praised for his work in Title III educational programs, which include field days, workshops, short courses, logger education programs and youth events. Bales has garnered nearly $7 million in funding to support more than 1,500 educational programs in the eligible counties.
As an area associate, Bales works with Amite, Benton, Chickasaw, Forrest, Greene, Harrison, Jefferson, Jones, Perry, Scott, Sharkey and Wilkinson counties. Bales has worked for the Extension Service since 1993 and began his career as a county agent.
He holds a bachelor ‘s degree in forestry from MSU and is a registered forester.
Bales is active in professional organizations and serves on the board of directors for the Mississippi Forestry Association and the Mississippi Wildlife Federation. He is a member of the Quality Deer Management Association, the Southeast Deer Study Group, The Wildlife Society and the Society of American Foresters.