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Serving: Central

MSU welcomes new department head

Georgia native Steve Turner has taken over the helm of Mississippi State University's Agricultural Economics Department. “Dr. Turner comes highly recommended to us, and we have utmost confidence in his ability to lead this important department in the Division of Agriculture, Forestry and Veterinary Medicine,” says Vance Watson, interim vice president of the Mississippi Agriculture and Forestry Experiment Station system.

Turner comes to Mississippi from his post as professor of agricultural and applied economics at the University of Georgia in Athens, Ga. Turner joined the faculty at Georgia in 1986, teaching classes on futures and options markets, agricultural prices, food and fiber marketing, and the economics of agricultural marketing. He is also a past president of the Southern Agricultural Economics Association.

Agriculture is not new to Turner. His father and mother have had a poultry and cattle farm in Lumpkin County, Ga., since 1957, and he and his wife, Jenny, are the owners of a farm in the Blue Ridge Mountains of Southwest Virginia on the New River.

“It is an honor and privilege to join Mississippi State University and the Department of Agricultural Economics,” says Turner. “Over the last 10 years, John Lee and Bill Herndon have done an excellent job of leading the Department and developing an outstanding reputation in the state and nation, which we will maintain and build on. Our goal is to provide distinctive undergraduate and graduate programs, conduct relevant applied research, and perform Extension activities that help Mississippi farmers and citizens, businesses and communities.”

Turner received a bachelor's degree in English literature from Mercer University in Macon, Ga., a master's degree in agricultural economics from the University of Georgia and a doctorate in the same from Virginia Tech. He and his wife, Jenny, have two children, Emily and Clay.

His past research has concentrated on the marketing and finance of landscape plants and livestock. At MSU, he will be responsible for leading the academic, research and outreach efforts related to agricultural economics.

To reach Turner, call 662-325-2750, or e-mail him at


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