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Brookhaven resident to lead state Soil, Water Conservation

JACKSON — The Mississippi Soil and Water ConservationCommission (MSWCC) has named Don Underwood of Brookhaven as its newexecutive director.

Underwood will replace Gale Martin, the Commission’s firstExecutive Director, who is retiring Jan. 31 after 31 years withMSWCC.

“Don has many qualities we feel will be very beneficial to thefuture of MSWCC. We look forward to his leadership and feel certainhe will do an excellent job as the agency’s next executivedirector,” said Paul Myrick, chairman of the Board of MississippiSoil and Water Conservation Commission.

Underwood has served as Deputy Director at MSWCC since 1999. Hebegan at the agency in 1994 as a Special Projects Officer. Beforeworking at the Commission, Underwood practiced law for 13 years,served two terms as a state representative and was the municipaljudge in Brookhaven for two years.

“This is a challenging time in state government in general andconservation in particular. We must prioritize our goals andutilize our assets, both financial and human, more efficiently thanever before,” said Underwood.

The Mississippi Soil and Water Conservation Commission,established by the Mississippi Legislature in 1938, guides,promotes and demonstrates the conservation, development, protectionand proper utilization of the soil, water and related resources ofthe State. MSWCC is governed by an eleven-member board.

Underwood, a lifelong resident of Brookhaven, received his J.D.degree from the University of Mississippi, his Bachelor of Artsfrom the University of Southern Mississippi, and his Associate ofArts degree from Copiah-Lincoln Community College.

He is an active member of United Methodist Church in Brookhaven.He and wife, Sarah, have one son, Stone.