Starkville Daily News

Natalie Ray admires Starkville


Although she makes the drive over to Clay County every morning for her work, Natalie Ray is glad to call Starkville her home.

Ray works as an Extension Agent for Clay County through the Mississipp­i State University Extension Service. As MSU'S off-campus “educationa­l arm,” the Extension Service provides current research and educationa­l informatio­n to individual­s in all 82 counties. Its agents play an important role as they each serve on the statewide team that is MSU Extension.

“Extension's goal is to extend knowledge and make changes in people's lives. So our goal is to give them the base education, the research that's been provided to us from MSU, and take it out into the communitie­s for people to make educated decisions,” said Ray.

While her colleague BJ Mcclenton focuses on agricultur­al and natural science and Ray focuses on the family consumer side.

“We also do 4-H where we work with youth ages 8 to 18, and a whole series of different programs,” Ray said.

The Corinth native found her way to the Golden Triangle when she started attending MSU for her collegiate studies. It was during that time of her life when she met the guy who would end up being her husband, Patrick Ray, who is the Career and Technology Director for the West Point School District and makes custom cowbells through his company named The Bellsmith.

When she is not busy with work, Ray enjoys her time by cooking, and going to MSU sporting events with her husband and their two children Mason and Riley.

When talking about what she likes most about Starkville, Ray had a good amount of things to say.

“We get a lot of the big city life, but we're still in a smaller town. We have an option of places to go and things to do, and we really enjoy that,” said Ray. “We'll be around town and we'll see people we know and we like that smalltown feel about it too. At our church, we work with college kids, and having been a college kid and working with them now as an adult, we've really enjoyed that as well.”

If you see Natalie around, be sure to say hello.

This article is part of an ongoing, weekly series titled Know Your Neighbor. If you wish to be featured in a future Know Your Neighbor or know of someone you’d like to see in a future article, please email us at editor@ starkville­

 ?? (Submitted photo) ?? Natalie Ray is this week’s selection for Know Your Neighbor.
(Submitted photo) Natalie Ray is this week’s selection for Know Your Neighbor.

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