Sam Floyd

Extension Agent Cultivating Community 

Through Agriculture and Service

By Joey Lee

For Tunica County native, Sam Floyd, the role of Agriculture and Natural Resources Agent is more than a job, it is a way for her to give back to a community that she loves and that has given so much to her.

With her roots deeply embedded in agriculture and farming, Floyd’s journey from Dundee to the Tunica County Extension Office is a testament to her unwavering commitment to her community.

Daily chores and tending cows and horses were the backdrop of her childhood, having grown up on a farm that had been in the family for decades. The year she was born, her father also established the Delta Duck Hunt business.

Her life took an unexpected turn in fourth grade when an electrical fire burned the family’s home to the ground. Left with only the clothes on their backs, the Tunica community rallied around them, providing the support they needed to rebuild. This pivotal moment ignited Sam’s desire to give back to the community that had helped her family rebuild their lives.

Floyd attended Tunica Academy, then headed east to study kinesiology at Mississippi State. However, a floral elective class captured her imagination leading her to switch her major to horticulture.

Following graduation, she returned to Tunica to open “the Flower Girl Florist” shop. Unfortunately, just after opening, COVID hit. “People weren’t getting married and buried like they were before,” she says. “And weddings and funerals are a large part of how florists make money.” 

Unluckily for her, but luckily for Tunica County, she was forced to close the shop and found a job as the intermediate associate at the Extension Office. She parlayed that temporary role into the permanent role of office associate in May 2021.

Anthony Bland, Extension Officer at the time, encouraged Floyd to pursue his position following his retirement, which she did. Following a lengthy gap from Bland’s retirement to her being hired, Floyd seamlessly transitioned into the role of Extension Officer.

In the absence of an Extension Officer during the transition period, she took the initiative to fulfill her role as associate while also performing many of the duties of her future role. This allowed her to get a hands-on education in the nuances of the job.

“During that time I learned all I could and developed as many relationships as possible,” she says. “I couldn’t help but assist the people who came to us for help.”

She is especially excited about the family atmosphere within the Mississippi State Extensions. Following the birth of her daughter, coworkers showered her with care, echoing the strong bonds that define the extension community.

Extension Officer is much more than a job for Floyd, it is a lifeline to the community. Her role involves a variety of tasks, from aiding kids with 4-H initiatives to assisting families with consumer science and dietary concerns to helping farmers with their crops. 

“I consider it to be my job to help people, animals and plants any way I can,” she says. “My goal is to  help the community.”

Having grown up on a farm, she intimately understands and empathizes with the struggles that burden these families. The biggest challenge she has in the job is watching their struggles. However, she finds solace in her ability to help and alleviate the stress and anxiety in a variety of ways.

Floyd says she  loves that the essence of her job lies in helping others find solutions. She recalls an inquiry from a woman puzzled by her non-producing tomato plants. Floyd helped her work through the issue and bring the plants back to productivity. “It was something simple but so important to her. I love helping people and giving them solutions,” she says.

Outside the office, she cherishes time with her family, husband Kenneth and two daughters.  Duck hunting with her husband and father, as well as caring for a herd of cows are also among her joys in life. “There’s rarely a time when we’re not bottle-feeding a calf at my house. It’s just the good ol’ farm life!” she says.

Looking ahead, Floyd hopes to expand the reach and impact of the Extension Office. Her goals are to make the office the first thought for farmers seeking assistance, bolster programs and increase community involvement. 

“I’m a strong believer in God and my faith,” she explains. “With God helping me, I believe there’s no limit to what the extension office can do to help our community.”

Tunica County is lucky to have Sam Floyd as a dedicated leader whose roots in agriculture and commitment to service are shaping a brighter future for the entire community. Through her role at the Extension Office and her personal endeavors, it is clear she will continue to cultivate a sense of community far into the future.