Hunter Null

Hunter Null of Kossuth is settling in to his new job at the Alcorn County Extension Office. A meet and greet reception at the office next to Crossroads Arena is set for 2 to 4 p.m. on Jan. 25, giving the public a chance to meet Null and learn more about extension programs.

Timing has been both a blessing and a curse for Hunter Null in his early assignments with the Mississippi State University Extension Service.

The curse has come in the form of COVID-19, which struck just five months into his previous job as the extension agent for Benton County. Now, just days into his new role as agriculture and natural resources extension agent at the Alcorn County Extension Office, COVID is at it again.

The blessing has been the opportunity to work in his native territory as he follows the recently retired Patrick Poindexter at the office.

In Benton County, “I thoroughly enjoyed my job but couldn’t miss a chance to come home and try to make a difference in my community,” said Null.

He grew up in the Theo area and went to school at Kossuth, where he was an avid football player throughout his high school career. At Mississippi State University, he earned a bachelor’s degree in agricultural science.

Null spent a couple of years working as extension agent in Benton County, which has a one-person extension office.

“It was a good learning experience,” he said. “I had to learn it quick because I was the only one there.”

Null grew up with hunting, fishing and a fondness for the outdoors. After graduating high school, he decided he would like to be a wildlife biologist. But, studying at MSU, he found a passion for agriculture.

In his new role, he is also looking forward to dealing with forestry, horticulture and “pretty much everywhere in between.”

Programs have slowed down out of necessity during the COVID-19 era, which has also made it challenging to keep valuable volunteers engaged.

“Right now, my goal is to get everything up and running again,” said Null. “Dr. Poindexter did a great job in this office. He was an extension agent that a lot of folks looked up to, including myself. He had a lot of things going – a lot of really good things. I’ve walked in here with a really good foundation.”

Null aims to get some of the key groups like the forestry association, cattlemen’s association and master gardeners active again. A beekeepers’ group had also created a buzz of interest in recent years before the pandemic.

4-H is looking to start a sports fishing club for kids of all experience levels to learn about fishing. Volunteers will be needed to help run the program, and an organizational meeting will likely be held soon.

Null, who lives in Kossuth with his wife Ronna and daughters Emmalyn and Maebry, enjoys finding “a little bit of peace in the woods” while hunting deer or turkey. He also enjoys fishing.

But most of his time outside of work, for now, is spent with family.

“My hobbies right now are raising a one-year-old and a three-year-old, because there’s not a lot of time to go around outside of that,” he said.

Null is excited about his new role in the community and the unique opportunity it presents for him. Whether it is organizing a talk on cattle or fielding questions about armyworms and fertilizer, he is ready.

“When the phone rings, you don’t know what’s going to be on the other end of it,” he said. “That’s what makes this job fun is you’re not just sitting in an office doing the same thing every day. And you get to meet some neat people from all different walks of life.”

Staff Writer

Jebb Johnston is a 1991 Alcorn Central High School graduate and a 1995 Ole Miss journalism graduate. His primary beats are city and county government.

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