A Legacy of Service: Remembering Dr. Max Huddleston, Mississippi’s 2023 Distinguished Service Award winner

Celebrates the life of the 2023 Distinguished Service Award Winner from Mississippi, Dr. Max Huddleston.

Mississippi bid farewell to Dr. Max Huddleston — a true hero, patriot, and distinguished leader — on August 27. The Mississippi Farm Bureau Federation’s 2023 Distinguished Service Award Winner started his journey in agriculture on his grandparent’s farm in Holmes County. Little did the world know, this farm boy would go on to live a fruitful life that left an indelible mark on his community.

Huddleston’s narrative took a patriotic turn as he joined the army during the turbulent times of the Vietnam War. Serving as a Huey helicopter pilot, he embarked on unique missions, including a memorable one commemorated at Camp Shelby, where ingenuity met necessity.

Returning home, Huddleston’s quest for knowledge led him to a doctorate in veterinary medicine. A large animal vet by profession, he played a crucial role in the early days of MSU’s vet school. Colleagues fondly recall his love for making farm calls, especially to dairy farms, where his passion for agriculture and animal welfare shone.

His diverse career saw him rise through the ranks at the Pontotoc County Sheriff’s office, ultimately becoming an investigator. His unique blend of agriculture, education, and law enforcement made him an ideal candidate for the state legislature. In 2008, he began a 15-year stint serving the people of District 15.

Colleagues like Rep. Vince Mangold remember Huddleston’s infectious enthusiasm, high-fives after bill presentations, and the palpable respect he earned from everyone. As Mangold aptly puts it, “It’ll be different without him here.”

The story concludes with a tribute to Dr. Max Huddleston, who sadly passed away earlier this year. Survived by his wife of 32 years, four children, and four grandchildren, his legacy lives on.

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