A great program designed to REACH out to our farmers to help address resource concerns.

Our Mission

The REACH program will integrate research and outreach on specific farms to demonstrate the benefits of conservation on agricultural lands. THe products developed by this program will be used to further conservation delivery and adopton in agriculture.

Who We Are

Beth Baker
Assistant Extension Professor

Beth is an Assistant Extension Professor in the College of Forest Resources, Department of Wildlife, Fisheries, and Aquaculture. Beth holds a B.S. in Biomedical Science, a M.S. in Cell and Molecular Biology, and received her Ph.D. in Forest Resources from Mississippi State University in 2015. She leads the REACH program and has been involved with the program since the it’s inception. The REACH program allows her to expand the focus of her research and extension activities, synthesizing cutting-edge science of water resource protection, soil health and regeneration, and ecosystem service- to help Mississippi farms transition conventional operations into those that are more sustainable and profitable.

Austin Omer
Extension Associate

Austin graduated from Illinois State University double majoring in biology and agriculture science. He was recruited to stay in ISU’s Agriculture Department and work on several agriculture environmental projects while earning his Master’s in Agriculture Science. He came to Mississippi State University on a Mississippi Agriculture and Forestry Experimental Station/Forest and Wildlife Research Center Director’s Fellowship Award to work on his dissertation titled “Efficacy of tailwater recovery systems as an approach to water resource conservation.” He recently finished his dissertation research and graduated in May, 2017 with his Ph.D. in Forest Resources. Currently, Austin, has been working on several agriculture water resource research and extension projects.

Alexandra Firth
Graduate Research Assistant

Alexandra is a Graduate Research Assistant under in the Department of Wildlife, Fisheries and Aquaculture. Her master's thesis is investigating a sustainable rice production system using low-external-input to identify ecosystem services towards adoption costs and benefits. She has interdisciplinary experience in ecological systems in the laboratory and field, with previous employment working on conservation projects, evolutionary genomics, climate change, avian ecology, invasive species management, and organic farming. Her research interests include sustainable agriculture, soil ecology and human-environmental relationships. Outside of work, Alexandra enjoys hiking, running, farmer's markets and reading.

Kelsie Hall
Undergraduate Research Assistant

Kelsie is an undergraduate research assistant. She is currently working toward a bachelor’s degree in Environmental Geoscience with a double minor in Geospatial Information Systems and German. She hopes to pursue a career in solving environmental issues that have arisen from society’s use of the Earth’s natural resources such as water ― more specifically water quality. Her personal interests include painting, traveling, and volunteering at animals shelters.

Brent Chaney
Undergraduate Research Assistant

Brent is completing his Bachelor’s Degree in Natural Resources and Environmental Conservation with a concentration in water quality. He plans to graduate in the summer of 2018 and attend graduate school so that to obtain a master’s degree associated with Hydrology. His career goals are to work for a broad-based company as a water resource specialist. His primary interests would pertain to enhancements of land usage, natural resource management, and agricultural irrigation systems.

Contact Information

Beth Baker, Ph.D.
Director of REACH
Department of Wildlife, Fisheries, & Aquaculture
Office: 662.325.7491
Cell: 662.552.8781
Email: beth.baker@msstate.edu