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SUMMER • June 2016 • 1st Edition • Visit us online @


Pg. 6 • WCSHC’s 2016 Canning Workshops

WCSHC helping the Robbins Family Reconnect


By Frank Taylor Email: If you do not pay taxes before August 29, 2016, then your property will be auctioned off at tax sale to the highest bidder.

By Frank Taylor Email:

Perhaps, the title of this article “Land for Sale” could be described as misleading, paradoxical, facetious or oxymoron. No, you will not find a realtor’s sign in the front yard identifying property for sale or under the multiple listing service (MLS). You will find this property listed in your local newspaper’s classified ads starting there about the second week of July in the state of Mississippi. Your property will be advertised as unpaid ad valorem taxes for four consecutive weeks with location, size and estimated tax value. Now, the most important caveat sales date, Monday August 29, 2016, (9:00am normally-check with local

tax assessor clerk) at county courthouse and city hall in the state of Mississippi. O.K, I will end this paradoxical statement and tell you what to do in order not to be apart this sale. If you own personal or real property, then you are assessed a yearly fee or duty by your county or parish government officials. In most cases, the County Tax Assessor assesses your property and levies a value based external factors. Counties uses revenue collected to pay operating expenses such as utilities and elected officials’ salaries. The tax assessor offices in Mississippi usually mail notification cards in November with amount due and deadline for taxes to be paid before

Around 1910 Mississippi harbored more than 32,000 African American Farmers who owned thousands of acres of land. Landownership for black families determined their autonomy through agrarian practices of planting crops. Farmers planted corn, cotton, peas, ribbon cane and other staple vegetables to feed their families and generated income to pay for rudimentary needs. However, this way of life did not provide opportunities for African Americans to thrive economically, nor participate in the American democracy as full pledged citizens. Mississippi used “Jim Crows Laws” to relegate and dehumanize individuals, which helped stimulate the great out-migration of African

Land for Sale Continued on page 2

WCSHC helping the Robbins Family, Continued on page 2

WINSTON COUNTY SELF HELP COOPERATIVE P.O. Box 774 • Louisville, MS 39339 Phone: 601-291-2704 • Email: • Web: “Saving Rural America”


assessors will make courtesy calls or visit to help families avoid forfeiture of properties. After this process, the clerk will initiate certification of delinquent tax role and prepare for publication in local newspapers as the final notification before tax sales. If you do not pay taxes before August 29, 2016, then your property will be auction off at tax sale to the highest bidder. We will conclude this article by urging individuals to pay their ad valorem taxes immediately before your local clerk certifies 2015’s delinquent role for publication. Save your family land and house

by paying the taxes as soon as possible. If loved one died, became disabled or placed in nursing facilities for long-term care, then someone should feel obligated to ensure taxes will be paid in full before deadline. I am encouraging readers and others to plan meetings with your tax assessor and collector for the benefit of understanding how millage works and who determine when your property will be appraised. We will pen a follow up article on what happens after tax sales and how bidders derive income through purchases.

our family income. Our parents worked under extremely adverse conditions to leave this legacy of land. Therefore, we will honor our parents’ commitment to learn how to properly manage our property”. Gwen attended a natural resources meeting sponsored by the Mississippi Minority Farmers Alliance and learned about services through various agencies to promote stewardship practices. After conferring with several service providers Gwen contacted the Winston County Self Help Cooperative for technical assistance. WCSHC staff and Registered Forester met with Robbins Sisters on their family property located in Louisville, MS. Frank Taylor, WCSHC, Team Leader discussed parameters of obtaining services through USDA and state agencies. He instructed Gwen to carry a copy of their deeds to the local Farm Service Agency Service to request assistance in updating their Farm Tract eligibility information (AD1026Certification on Highly Erodible Land) and their AGI- Adjusted Gross Information. Also, he said you should ask for current maps of property to help define property lines and location. Allen McReynolds, WCSHC, Ag

Business Management Specialist, discussed alternative income opportunities such as hunting leases and none timber forest production. Freddie Davis, Registered Forester converse on various management practices. Davis will perform a thorough inventory of forestland and develop a subjective forest management plan. This tool will provide guidance in developing individual conservation plans with assistance from Natural Resources Conservation Service and implement practices through Environmental Quality Incentive Program (EQIP). After completion of this hands-on session, Gwen felt energized and fired up to recapture the Robbins Family glory.

WCSHC’s Operation Helping Hand Program

or cattle enterprises. We awarded this family with goats based on their land stewardship practices and skills of managing goats according to Frank Taylor, WCSHC, Team Leader. The Carters will donate five female goats within two years to a selected family to help start their goat operation. We describe this process as the “Operation Helping Hand Program.” This will spur on economic development and broaden interest in managing our natural resources. WCSHC is working as a team to help others achieve their dreams of managing successful farms.”

Land for Sale Continued from page 1 penalization. Mississippi starts assessing one and half percent penalty on February 1. You will be assessed a delinquency penalty for each month until you pay taxes in full. What happen if you do not pay your ad valorem taxes before August 29, 2016. Your tax assessor usually mails two certified notifications to your last known address, one notice to lienholders and a hand delivered notice by sheriff personnel. Some tax

WCSHC helping the Robbins Family, Continued from page 1 Americans into the northern states. This plight caused unintended consequences for family members who remained and tried to harness livelihoods from farms. The gripping hands of Jim Crow Laws commingled with local lending institutions, judicial system and large plantation owners deprived African American Farmers of access to timely capital needed to plant crops. This process eroded and disposed thousands of black families of their inheritance after being fought for and earned through the loss of life. This dreadful time in history continues to permeate hurt in 2016. However, this part of the article will focus on reconnecting or reacquainting the Robbins siblings with their natural resource (ancestral land). Gwen Robbins Pratt said, “Our parents generated opportunities for us to earn an education by managing this property where we stand today. Our parents planted corn, peas, beans and other vegetables to feed the family. Additionally, they sold forest productions to supplement

Winston County Self Help Cooperative (WCSHC) based in Louisville, MS provided Wayne County farmers Richard and Ruthie

Carter with five female goats on April 26, 2016. WCSHC is committed to help to save rural America by helping families start goat


WCSHC’s Operation Helping Hand, Continued on page 3


Linda’s Shiitake Mushroom Project

(R) WCSHC’s Linda Stephens shares shiitake mushroom methods with the 6th Business Session participants.

As the oppresses of heat and humidity enveloped Louisville, MS in the late afternoon of June 7, 2016, the Winston County Self Help Cooperative members and visitors marshaled for their 6th Business Session at the home of Linda Stephens located at 910 J. C. Stennis Drive. Members and visitors arrived with bright eyes and in hope of learning the intricacies of producing shiitake mushrooms. Host Linda, participated in Alcorn State University Extension Program Shiitake Mushroom Workshop conducted on November 12, 2015 at Incubator Center in Preston. ASU’s staff member, Dr. Frank Rhemea led a six-hour interacted workshop, which involved classroom and hands-on activities. You can grow Shiitakes by two methods, on all-natural hardwood logs and on sawdust blocks. The highest quality shiitakes grow on logs of natural oak or a

similar hardwood. Linda learned methods of inoculating logs with spawn and the selection process for growth logs. After the completion of this workshop, Linda decided she would pursue a mushroom business venture. Initially, Linda purchased a drill and bits for fewer than thirty dollars from a local dollar store. She used drills to complete inoculation of logs received from the workshop with spawn and sealed the holes with hot wax or plastic plugs. Then, Linda strategically placed logs near wooded areas adjacent to the house for the purpose of watering the logs for three consecutive weeks as suggested. Shiitakes need sunlight, day and night cycles, and ventilation. Therefore, you should keep logs under shade trees or in greenhouses with shade cloth. However, some will grow inside under controlled conditions. Linda said, “A log can produce for up to four years

WCSHC’s Operation Helping Hand, Continued from page 2

You would most likely accrue profit from goats quicker than cattle because less time to the final production. Romack Smith, member of WCSHC said “there is a demand for goat meat because of the nutrition value and Mississippi ethnic population is growing by leaps and bounds. Therefore, I am optimistic the goat industry will continue to thrive over the next ten years.” The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s 2012 Census of Agriculture estimated sales of meat goats in the state at $986,000. For more information visit Winston

Recent statistic reported there are more than 20,000 goats in Mississippi with numbers increasing yearly. Here are some hard cold facts about raising goats. You can raise nine adult goats on two acres versus managing one adult cow on the same amount of turf. Under normal conditions a doe could have trifecta births in 24 months which could include twins or triplets after the first birth.


with increasingly larger crops as the log matures. Yields will taper in the last year as the use or consumption of wood cell reduces. When logs relent from production you can burn for heat, composted, or inoculate with other types of mushroom spawns”. Linda directed participants on a show and tell demonstration on how to grow shiitake mushrooms. Linda described in immense details how she meticulously manages shiitake mushroom with care and love. She harvested the first crop of mushrooms with amazing success. She integrated and augmented mushrooms into a sumptuous meal, which included spaghetti, salad and peach cobbler. She served this meal at the closure of the sixth business session. Linda conveys thanks to ASU staff for providing technical support and leadership with this tenable project. One primary benefits of consuming Shiitake Mushroom include weight management: One study found substituting red meat with white button mushrooms could help enhance weight loss. Obese participants with a mean age of 48 years ate approximately one cup of mushrooms per day in place of meat. The control group ate a standard diet without mushrooms. At the end of the 12-month trial, the intervention group had lost an average of 3.6 percent of their starting weight, or about seven pounds. They also showed improvements in body composition, such as reduced waist circumference, and the ability to maintain their weight loss, compared to the control group.

County Self Help Cooperative at or call 601-291-2704.

WCSHC provided these female goats to local farmers.


Scott County’s Small Farmers and Landowners Field Day this format as a building block.” This field day event started with Greg Nicks offering prayer. Vivian Sanders extended welcome, and Joseph Sanders delivered farm history. Jason Hurdle of Scott County Extension Office related a bevy of services to improve the quality of life in east central Mississippi. Jason pitched the 4-H Program as helping develop leadership character, serving as a mentoring program and stimulating interest the natural resources. Carolyn Banks, Alcorn State University Extension Program showered participants with a hodgepodge of opportunities to make improvements on their farms. She elaborated on record keeping, vendor borrower trainings and home-buyers’ education. also, we work in conjunction with Rural Development in delivering information on housing grants, direct and guarantee housing loans. These tools will help families sustain life in rural America. Mike Everett, Scott County, Farm Service Agency discussed a cadre of loans to help individuals expand, enlarge or purchase a farm. He spent a lion share of time discussing macro loans. Everett said, “Recent changes will allow individuals to use microloans to purchase farms. In addition, individuals can apply for a combo

micro operating and farm ownership loans up to $50,000.’” The Microloan may be used for farm equipment, livestock and feed, minor improvements or repairs to buildings, refinance of certain farm-related debts, and other operating expenses. Joe Addy, Scott County, Natural Resources Conservation Service, elaborated on programs offered through his agency. Joe detailed practices inside the Environmental Incentive Quality Program(EQIP) including heavy use area, watering troughs, boundary and cross fences to improve grazing standards for animals. Also, you can apply for a high tunnel house to extend growing season for vegetables. If you need more information about USDA Programs please visit your local office or call 601-469-3464. The Scott County’s Small Farmers and Landowners Field Day ended with the Sanders Family serving a superb meal included barbecue chicken, baked beans, potatoes salad, hot dogs and desserts. We convey thanks to the entire Sanders family for serving as gracious hosts for this transpiring event. For more information on Scott County’s Small Farmers and Landowners Organization, please contact Greg Nicks 601-625-8223 or Sherrie Spivey 601-507-2266.

WCSHC’s 2016 Hay Production

process will allow members to consider selling heifers directly to feedlots, which should increase revenue returns according to member Shelton Cooper. The WCSHC will designate a day for members to bring cattle for vaccination by a veterinarian at no cost. These services will minimize expenses and increase profits by being a member of the Winston County Self Help Cooperative.” WCSHC members express thanks to George Miller and Alonzo Miller for an excellent job of harvesting hay and mentoring young farmers.

Participants received pertinent info at the Field Day.

By Frank Taylor Email:

With a gentle breeze flowing southward, small farmers and landowners from across the region descended onto Joseph and Vivian Sanders’ Farm in Forest, MS for Scott County Small Farmers and Landowners Field Day on Monday May 23, 2016, 6pm. This learning session allowed individuals opportunities to speak with service providers in a group dynamic according to Winston County Self Help Cooperative, Team Leader, Frank Taylor. “This process helps build camaraderie and stimulate a broader interest in the natural resources by using

Winston County Self Help Cooperative harvested 85 round bales of fertilized hay from co-op’s demonstration Farm on June 6-9, 2016. Cooperative member Alonzo Miller will allocate more fertilizer to promote growth before second cutting. Alonzo said, “we will sell hay at cost to our members to help subsidize their feeding regiments during winter months.” WCSHC members will consider moving weaning heifers into pasture after final harvest of hay. This

Kaylee and Kaylen’s Bonnie Cabbage On March 4, 2016, Kaylee and Kaylen Goss (twins) received their very own Bonnie’s Cabbage plant from their 3rd grade teachers Mrs.Stokes and Mrs.Boykins at Fair Elementary School in Louisville, MS. After 12 long weeks of watering, fertilizing and repotting their cabbage several times their giant cabbage was ready to harvest. The final result of their cabbage weighed a whopping 21 pounds and was 41 inches round. The twins shared

many memorable moments while growing and enjoying their prized cabbage. Two of their most memorable moments were the accidental dirt fights and water baths, which occurred during the warm weather. In addition, the twins expressed how they really enjoyed themselves while working and gardening together. Kaylen and Kaylen Goss are members of the Winston County Self Help Youth Group.



Winston County’s Farmers Market The Winston County Farmers Market is open for business on Thursdays from 3:30pm-5:30pm at the Louisville Coliseum 201 Ivy Avenue Louisville, MS 39339. For more information, contact Jean Harper 662-312-8004 or Janice Hopkins 662-705-2019.

Locally Grown Produce for Sale Robert Robinson Farm 453 Greenwich Drive Brookhaven, MS 39601 601-833-6492 Dee Dotson Farm 510 Major Brown Road Louisville, MS 39339 662-773-9758 Thomas Coleman Farm 73 Coleman Road Louisville, MS 39339 662-736-3905 Columbus McReynold Farm 28 Roach St, McCool, MS 39108 662-80-36049 MacArthur Carter 866 Mount Calvary Church Road Louisville, MS 39339 662-708-0188 Green beans, squash, collard and cabbage greens Rosie Harris Farm 7149 Brooksville Road Louisville, MS 39339 662-803-4177 Alonzo Miller 5020 Highpoint-Weir Road Louisville, MS 39339 662 705-1257 Shelton Cooper 479 Davie Rd Louisville, MS 39339 662 803 7444 WCSH Youth Group Louisville, MS 39339 662-313-8004 Warner Hall Farm 2192 Hwy 1042 Greensburg, LA 70441 225-931-0534 James Gregory Farm 479 Thomasville Road Florence, MS 39073 601-808-1250 Clyde Hardin Farm 158 Bethany Ebenezer Road Louisville, MS 662-803-9932 Bobby Hardin Farm 1656 Highpoint Weir Louisville, MS 662-803-2468

For additional information contact: Ms. Eboni Thomas Executive Assistant Federation of Southern Cooperative/ Land Assistance Fund Phone: 404-765-0991 or 205-652-9676 Web:



Winston County Self Help Cooperative’s

2016 Canning Workshops Little Rock M.B. Church Canning Workshop

By Rosie Harris

“The Importance of Food Preservation – Canning” Food preservation is one of the oldest technologies used by human beings. Because of food preservation, our ancestors were able to keep foods without

Mars Hill Church (COGIC) Canning Workshop

WCSHC’s Rosie Harris assisted youth with pouring liquids.

Life is a gift and all of us who have the capacity must remember that we have the responsibility to give something back; a small but consistent commitment of time and

them spoiling and allowed them means to feed their families. It was one of their many survival mechanisms. Today, it could still be considered the same! Preserving foods through the process of canning guarantees your family have safe, healthy, and edible food, when done correctly. The Winston

caring can make a measurable difference in the world. This is the mission and mentality shared by the members of the Winston County Self Help Cooperative (WCSHC) as we traveled to Mars Hill Church of God in Christ, Philadelphia, MS, on Thursday, June 09, 2016, where Elder Melvin Roberson is Pastor. Mrs. Shandra Wilson, coordinator of the Vacation Bible School was instrumental in gathering the youth for a jelly making workshop.  We were warmly greeted and welcomed by the Pastor and Youth Leader.  There were 16 youth and 7 adults engaged in the jelly making process.  Rosie Harris shared with the participants the importance of preserving fresh fruits and vegetables; mainly knowing your family is receiving quality goods and therefore, a healthier lifestyle is maintained.  She explained the necessity of following good and safety procedures in the selection of fruit, and the process for ensuring all safety measures are adhered to in the preparation of utensils and containers.  The youth were eager to learn and participate with hands-on learning experience during the procedures. 


County Self Help Cooperative (WCSHC) is actively involved in the communities by sharing pertinent information and providing workshops that ensure family values are being passed on to the next generation. Members of the WCSHC journeyed to Little Rock M.B. Church, 642 Tallabogue Road, Forest, MS, where The Reverend Sheldon Thomas is the Pastor, on Monday, June 6, 2016, 6pm to conduct a canning workshop. Upon arrival, we were very warmly greeted by the parishioners and welcomed with gracious hospitality. There were 38 adults and 19 children in attendance. Deacon Greg Nicks offered prayer, and Vivian Sanders graciously welcomed participants. Frank Taylor stated the purpose and WCSHC’s commitment to serving humanity in all areas for the advancement of all. Rosie Harris proceeded in conducting the canning workshop, which focused on “How to Process and Can String Beans.” She explained the Little Rock M. B. Church Canning, Continued on page 7

They were very excited and jubilant that they received a jar of jelly to carry home. Members of the Mars Hill Church of God in Christ served a hot dog luncheon with all the trimmings. As we finished our quest, we returned to Louisville, MS with a very satisfied feeling that we had the opportunity to be of service and have a definite object in life outside ourselves and our personal happiness. Thanks to WCSHC for providing encouragement and enthusiasm as we continue to strive to “Save Rural America.


Little Rock M. B. Church Canning, Continued from page 6

importance of proper preparation as it relates to your vegetables and the total process of sterilization of your utensils and jars. Rosie continued by stating, “The old method of canning by boiling on the stove is no longer acceptable nor does it meet government standards, because the boiling does not kill all of the bacteria. Now, canning should be done using a pressure cooker or water bath

canner, which are government-approved methods. However, to avoid botulism, there still must be adequate processing time in the pressure cooker”. There were many questions and inquiries concerning canning from the participants. The participants were also able to actively participate in the canning process. At the end of the session, all participants were able to keep the vegetables canned from the night. After all the fun and excitement of canning, members of Little Rock M.B. Church served a delectable meal of hamburgers, with all the trimmings, including desserts. A special “Thank you” to Pastor Sheldon Thomas and the Members for an opportunity to share with them and provide resources available to them through the many agencies and services of the USDA. Thanks to Frank Taylor, and the members of WCSHC for the opportunity to serve and share with humanity through the wonderful gifts God has given to us to help mankind to become better stewards of the Land. Our goal is to “Save Rural America!”

First Baptist Church Canning Workshop that will be with them for a lifetime. During the workshop, they learned how to can strawberry jam. Ms. Kennard stated, “Our youth really loves strawberries, therefore, using them in a jam was a spectacular idea. During the session, the youth asked lot of questions. In my opinion, the key element of this workshop was the youths’ ability to have hands on experience in preparing jam. I know we will continue to educate our youth on preserving and canning food items”. Each participant received a pint jar of jam to take First Baptist Church Canning Workshop Continued on page 8

As the humidity prevailed and the temperature escalated above 93 degrees, Pastor Marcus Mann and the First Baptist Church Family amassed for a Youth Canning Workshop on Wednesday June 15, 2016, 5:30pm. According to Telecia Kennard workshop organizer, “The Hands on Ministry contains youth between the ages of nine to fourteen”. The students who attended the workshop enjoyed learning canning skills



First Baptist Church Canning Workshop Continued from page 7 home, at the conclusion of the workshop. In addition to canning, Jean Harper, WCSHC Youth Director demonstrated how to repurpose items as gifts. On the behalf of the youth group, Pastor Mann, and the First Baptist Church Family, we would like to extend appreciation to Rosie Harris-workshop facilitator for investing and instructing our youth with life’s skills. Also, we extend thanks to the Winston County Self Help Cooperative for connecting with our parishioners and sharing their inspiration of “Saving Rural America.” First Baptist Church is located at 300 Martin Luther King Drive, Carthage, MS 39051.

Old Enterprise Baptist Church Canning Workshop

On Monday morning June 20, 2016 revealed my disgust over Golden State Warriors’ faulted efforts to repeat as champions. Their failures triggered for a long drive over to Old Enterprise Baptist Church’s Canning Workshop. However, after driving along Interstate 20 east for more than thirty minutes, my life mission of working with small farmers and landowners resurfaced with an urgency of getting it done for rural Americans. This renewed cognition, helped ease my drive into the small Hamlet of Enterprise, MS, which is 15 miles south of Meridian. Old Enterprise Baptist Church’s surroundings of twenty years of old loblolly pine and hardwood trees offered serenity from Sunday’s night debacle. The neatly manicured lawn indicated the workshop organizer, Martha Ross, would greet us warmly. Martha welcomed the Winston County Self Help Cooperative’s Canning Team members Rosie Harris and Lorine Gladney with unbound anticipation of reengaging and learning how to improve their parishioners’ health through canning vegetables. Martha called the workshop to order promptly at 9:58am and host Pastor Marvin Evans solicited prayer. Martha

audible and exceptional welcome was filled with hope. Frank Taylor defined purpose of canning workshop and expounded on WCSHC’s role in rural America. Additionally, Frank presented Pastor Evans and Old Enterprise Church Family with WCSHC’s Saving Rural America Certificate. Participants assembled around tables with great eagerness of starting this life-changing event. Rosie removed green beans from the ice cooler and instructed participants on methods of breaking/snapping beans. After completion of this tedious task Rosie led participants into the kitchen area where they started the process of washing and packing beans into jars. Rosie elaborated on the arduous process of preparing beans for canning. She peppered individuals with a litmus test of steps to ensure the quality and safety of beans for later consumption. Participants performed various tasks from washing and packing jars, sterilizing lids and tops and removing jars from pressure cooker. I surmised attendees enjoyed learning and reengaging in the art of canning locally grown vegetables from their facial expressions. I would like to mention the McSwain Family in this portion of the article. The McSwains travelled over 100 miles from Perry County, MS to reacquaint with this agrarian related practice of living off the land. As the canning workshop shifted towards closure, Rosie conducted a questioning and answering session. Individuals quested for more information on the life span of finished product while others wanted to know the process for canning swine meat. Each participant received a finished quart jar of


beans to take home for their participation in the canning workshop. The WCSHC extends thanks to Pastor Evans and Old Enterprise Baptist Church Family for this opportunity to promote a healthy life style in rural America.


JUNE 2016 GREENSBORO GAZETTE | NEWS FLASH PHOTO GALLERY Cedric Alexander’s GLCI Field Day in Sontag, MS May 5, 2016

McKennis Farm hosted GLCI Field Day on April 28, 2016 in Summit, MS. This innovated farm produces quality round and square bales of hay. For more information Contact Bobby Mckennis 601-248-4390.

Scott County’s Small Farmers and Landowners Field Day

Sanders Brothers Poultry Farmers from Forest, MS

WCSHC’s 2016 Hay Production

WCSHC member George Miller

WCSHC member Alonzo Miller

Editor: WCSHC Team Leader Frank Taylor | Email: | Phone: 601-291-2704 Layout and Design:

Profile for Frank Taylor

Greensboro Gazette News Flash 1st Edition June 2016  

Greensboro Gazette News Flash 1st Edition June 2016