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SPRING • April 2016 • 1st Edition • Visit us online @ www.wcshc.com

Pg. 11 • Remembering Pearlie Sylvester Reed

WCSHC’s member “Saving Rural America” WCSHC Team Leader




Dee Dotson’s Spring 2016 crop in production

By Frank Taylor Email: fltaylor@bellsouth.net

Dee Dotson uttered, “I am no ways tired of managing my natural resources at 93 years old”. Dee Dotson’s farm is nestled in the rolling hills of Louisville, MS.“My daily goal is to work and manage my farm, which includes vegetables, cattle, and forestry. However, my greatest passion is growing vegetables for local consumption”. Dee said, “Mississippi’s weather conditions are presenting phenomenal challenges to gardeners and farmers in turn in preparing their soil for planting”. Most localities in Mississippi have received more than 30 inches of rain in the first 100 days of Watch WCSHC’s Founding Member Dee Dotson sharing his lifelong Farming Techniques Click Link to Watch: https://youtu.be/4rRTgaglhJg

WCSHC’s member “Saving Rural America” Continued on page 2

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

I extoll words of gratitude and thanks to our members, supporters and others for championing Winston County Self Help Cooperative’s mantra of saving rural America and allowing me an opportunity to serve as your team leader for twenty-seven years. Your words of encouragement and tireless struggles continue to germinate hope in rural America. Therefore, I am thankful for your endearing support and will honor your thoughtfulness by using my/our energies to unearth changes to promote a livable life in rural America. Also, we would like to extend thanks to our partners at USDA, extension, governments, and community-based organizations for assisting WCSHC 2016 in the delivery of paramount services.


WCSHC 2016 Crops

WCSHC’s member “Saving Rural America” Continued from page 1

2016. This factor has inhibited individuals from planting their crops. However, Dee Dotson is defying the odds of wetness and coolness and successfully planted 2016’s crop. Dee’s wisdom surpasses sciencebased applications by trusting his lifetime of practical knowledge of farming in rural America. Above, Dee is standing upright with an infectious smile said, “I started cultivating my soil in January into the early days of February and I used low impact implements to reduce soil compaction”.

Dee’s arsenal of tools requires no fossil fuels to operate only manpower, hoe, shovel and a push plow. I wonder if Dee uses The Farmer’s Almanac as a guide in planting his crops. Some farmers swear on this noticed document as the absolute planting guide. The Farmer’s Almanac suggests, you should plant according to the mythological position of the moon. Some individuals are adamant about planting on Good Friday as a symbol of hope for productive crops. However, Dee debunked all the above theories and said, “I plant when the weather conditions permit me to drop seeds into soil”. Some individuals are utilizing greenhouses or seasonal high tunnels as alternatives to overcome unpredicted weather conditions. These houses supposed to provide farmers with at least thirty days head start compared to conventional farming. Nevertheless, I am betting my money on Dee’s wisdom to accrue yearly crops from his black soil. Dee’s caring; passion, knowledge, commitment, and experiences outshine science-based applications. Sure, we have been blessed with science-based technologies to help improve growing techniques with a greater respect for Mother Earth. However, I have witnessed Dee’s skills of this managing soil for more than fifty years without failure. Dee started harvesting greens on March 30, 2016.


WCSHC founding member Bobby Hardin

Winston County Self Help Cooperative’s 2016 crops look bleak and unpromising due to excessive rain resulting in planting delays. According to founding member Bobby Hardin, some cooperative members will abandon planting turnip and mustard greens because of Mississippi’s rainfall. Collectively, as an organization we plan to plant 10 acres of watermelons for summer and fall crops. Furthermore, we will plant 10 acres of peas and corn for local markets, seven acres of tomatoes, peppers and green beans for commercial production. Established customers started inquiring about our crops this pass February and, therefore, we hope their interest reflects in increased market sales across the summer. Lastly, WCSHC looks forward to a bountiful crop year, which will assist our members to increase their sales through local farmers’ markets.


WCSHC FIRST 100 DAYS IN 2016 REPORT Winston County Self Help Cooperative members and sub-groups with financial assistance or rate of cost to implement conservation practices. Several members successfully implemented and completed 2014’s conservation contracts. Some of the practices installed included Small Ruminants, Timber Stand Improvement, Heavy Use Area, water troughs, stream crossings and Critical Use Area. WCSHC personnel surrendered guidance and worked with individuals to ascertain quality vendors. WCSHC encouraged members and others to sign up for Conservation Stewardship Program (CSP). Allen McReynolds, WCSHC Ag Business Management Specialist said, “Small and socially disadvantaged farmers should investigate services to help enhance their farm operations. We believe CSP will provide incentives for our farmers to implement additional conservation practices to help heal their lands. CSP places higher priority on cropland, grazing land and forestry, and, therefore, this profile would benefit our producers”. Winston County Self Help Cooperative would like for NRCS to reconsider and reinstitute fertilization and cattle corrals as practices. We talked with grazers daily who expresses interest about the aforementioned issues. Additionally, WCSHC and NRCS partnered up and hosted 15 events in the first quarter of 2016.

Farm Service Agency serves farmers and landowners with loans, conservation programs and risk management tools to minimize perils.WCSHC members and subgroups obtained macros operating loans and farm ownership loans. FSA recently modified macros loan to include farm ownership. This change will allow individuals to purchase small tracts of land to expand their farm operations. WCSHC members signed up for crop insurance coverage through Risk Management. This should help shoulder some of the risk of planting high valued crops. If you received one of the following designations, limited resource, socially disadvantaged, beginning farmers or veteran farmer then your fees could be waived. An additional program members received service includes the Livestock Forage Program (LFP): LFP provides compensation to eligible livestock producers, which suffered grazing losses due to 2015 drought conditions.

USDA Rural Development assisted WCSHC members and sub groups with housing issues. Numerous individual completed applications for 502 direct housing loans, and 504 loans and grants. The underside of the 2008 housing crisis pummeled rural Americans to halt in purchasing affordable homes. This moment in history forced people into predatory lending situations, which proved to be untenable for rural Americans. Therefore, WCSHC ask Rural Development to double the amount funds for 502 direct loans and 504 grants. We need Rural Development to help restore faith in the American dream of home ownership.

Alcorn State and Mississippi State Extension Service provided immeasurable time and effort to change rural America into a positive frame. Members and subgroups received an uncanny amount of services to help propel dreams and stimulate growth in rural communities. Jean Harper, WCSHC Youth Director said, “I received hands on assistance in developing and implementing programs through consumer science”.Winston County Extension Office provides garden space for our youth group to grow healthy vegetables. Moreover, Alcorn State University Extension staff participated in youth conferences and seminars to help enhance families.



WCSHC FIRST 100 DAYS IN 2016 REPORT CONTINUED Mississippi Forestry Commission (MFC) partnered with WCSHC on numerous events in the first quarter of 2016.MFC participated in WCSHC’s Saving Rural America Conferences, youth events and provided forest landowners with technical service and stewardship planning.


Winston County Self Help Cooperative’s Heifer Program should shatter previous pass on records. Alonzo Miller indicated 2016 holds potential for a record setting pass on of WCSHC’s Heifer Program. He estimated a possibility of transferring 16 heifers by year’s end, which will assist three families to start their cattle operations. WCSHC received a grant of $74,500 from Heifer International in 2001 to purchase 60-bred heifers and six service bulls. The WCSHC Heifer Program has contributed hundreds of thousands dollars to the local economy.


Winston County Self Help Cooperative’s 40 acres demonstration pasture, serves two primary purposes; hay production and a holding cell for pass on animals. Alonzo Miller surmise WCSHC should roll over 220 rolls of hay if the county continues to receive adequate rain in a timely manner. WCSHC received a grant through Mississippi Grazing Lands Conservation Initiative in 2015 to implement several practices. Miller said, “We planted clover and mete out fertilizer to improve the quality of hay. Also, we will move cattle into the pasture after the last cutting in September”. An invitation was extended to other groups to visit and observe implemented practices. The WCSHC appreciate Natural Resources Conservation Service and Mississippi Grazing Lands Conservation Initiative Steering Committee for their services.



WCSH Youth Group Plants

WCSHC 4th Business Session April 19, 2016 Photo Gallery

(C) WCSH Youth Group Director Jean Harper spearheading gardening activity with youth members (R) Kaylen and (L) Kaylee Goss

Winston County Self Help Youth Group is promoting sustainable agriculture practices through hands-on activities according to youth director, Jean Harper. We planted white potatoes and cabbages in early March. We would like to plant other staple vegetables including tomatoes, peas, corn and green beans but weather conditions continue to hamper and cause delay. Gardening activities create camaraderie and promote a healthy lifestyle. In fact, our youth enjoys planting and placing seeds into the soil. They participate without chagrins on their faces or complaints from their lips. In addition, garden activities are a great way to enjoy and take an interest in growing fresh and nutritional vegetables. We share our vegetables with senior citizens and needy families to help eliminate abject poverty in Winston County. It is our mission to help individuals improve their health by growing their food using sustainable garden practices.

“My name is Kaylee Goss. To me, gardening is fun because it gives me an opportunity to play in the soil, plant seeds and watch it grow. I can’t wait to harvest our salad mix so that I can make a salad and eat it!”

“My name is Kaylen Goss. I enjoy planting seeds, watering plants and pulling weeds. In March, my sister and I, planted potatoes at home and now they are 6 inches tall.”



Rosie Harris “Burning Thirty-two Acres” By Rosie Harris

My desires and goals continue to be fulfilled in many areas in regards to farmland. Someone once said, “You are never too old to set new goals or to dream new dreams.” On Wednesday, March 23, 2016, one of my goals pertaining to my forestry was finally contented. Timber Consultant, Freddie Davis, completed the prescribed burning of thirty-two (32) acres of pine timberland. I received financial assistance through Natural Resource Conservation Service (NRCS) Environmental Quality Incentive Program (EQIP) to conduct the burn. I will always be grateful for the information learned and


shared through the Winston County Self Help Cooperative (WCSHC). Truly, the information I have obtained has been contributory to the well-being of my farmland. In addition, my membership with the WCSHC has allowed me to garner services through the USDA. Furthermore, the WCSHC involvement in the communities has benefited the people of Winston County and the surrounding Counties. Therefore, it is my hope and dream that I will continue to be a part of the WCSHC and its on-going pursuit to help “Save Rural America”. Please visit your local NRCS office to learn more about their programs to help you better manage your farm.


Alcorn State University Agro-Forestry Tour By Rosie Harris

On this joyful Easter Sunday afternoon, March 27, 2016, members of the Winston County Self Help Cooperative (WCSHC) Mary Hannah, Bobby Hardin, and Rosie Harris met in the parking lot of Wal-Mart in Louisville, MS. The trio journeyed to the beautiful campus of Alcorn State University in Lorman, MS. The trio, connected with others to continue their travels to Wallen, TX for the Prairie View University and AgroForestry three-city tour. The members arrived in Wallen, TX on about 12:30 A.M. and checked into their hotel for a brief moment of rest and relaxation. Upon arising early on Monday, March 28, 2016, their first stop was at the Prairie View University Campus, Prairie View, TX. They were warmly greeted and welcomed by Billy Laveton, Program Leader, who gave a brief review of the history, services and programs offered by the University, followed by a video presentation. Ashley Pellerin, revealed the programs and services available through the County Extension office. In addition, the group was educated on how they should be informed and take advantage of every opportunity the county extension office offers. Billy continued by offering information about the goals of Prairie View University and how they focus on their client’s production, finances, and marketing. He further reported the benefits of the 2501 Fund Program, an Outreach and Assistance Program for Socially Disadvantaged and Veterans Farmers and Ranchers. Forrest Hodge, Office of Advocacy and Outreach Specialist, also gave a brief overview of the 1890 Partnership Organization. He stated, “There are only nineteen (19) 1890’s Universities in the United States”. He encouraged the group to promote the Historical Black Colleges and Universities (HBCU’s). On the campus, the group toured different farm plots, namely, strawberries, kale and different types of greens, Botanical gardens, and much more. Also, the professors shared a vast amount of information such as soil types, fertilization, and seeds. An interesting tour displaying the varieties of goats and information on the upkeep of the goats was also given. At the end of the day, the group loaded the bus to travel to Crockett, Texas. Upon arrival, the WCSHC members checked into a hotel for a well-deserved and warranted restful night because they had a full

schedule mapped out for the next day. Early in the morning, Tuesday, March 29,2016,the group visited the farm of Ms. Cather Woods she recounted her experiences of trying to purchase her farm, and the many obstacles she had to endure through the process. She conveyed the necessity to remain persistent if you truly want something. Most importantly, she stated, “Don’t take no for an answer”. Ms. Woods’s farm consists of a training site for the youth, beef cattle, and forestry. She served a very delicious lunch on the farm and then the group attended a barn sale (livestock sale). The barn sale allowed the group to observe the process of marketing cattle on a large scale. At the day’s end, the members traveled to Tyler, Texas, and checked into their hotel for another night’s rest. Wednesday, March 30, 2016, Ashley Pellerin, joined the group and served as their tour guide for the day. First, they toured a huge Tree Nursery, where all the trees are planted from seeds and grown to desired height for marketing. There were all types of trees and information was shared on the processes used in grafting trees. Also, all the soils are processed on the farm and everything on the 288 acres is self-contained. The primary purpose of the nursery is to ship trees to various cities in the United States and to Foreign Countries. Next, the group visited the Chamblee’s Rose Nursery, where they saw a mass variety of Roses. Information was shared on the specific care that should be given to roses for a healthy bush. The tour day ended in Tyler, TX. The group visited a Wine Distillery along with the grape vineyards. The wine distillery is a “Third Generation Business” that has expanded throughout the years.


Their farm consists of eighty-eight (88) acres of muscadine/ scuppernong groves. Everything is processed, bottled and sold right on site. A delectable meal from the restaurant on site was served to the members. Finally, they boarded the bus to return home, but there was one more stop in Shreveport, LA, to visit the Shreveport Federal Credit Union. Mrs. Helen Godfrey Smith, engaged the group with pertinent information and an overview of the many services and benefits of the Credit Union. She exclusively talked about the importance of the “Power of Financial Empowerment and Endless Possibilities”! A delicious lunch was served and they boarded the bus for Lorman, MS. The members would like to extend a special thanks to the Anthony Reed, Alcorn State University Coordinator/ Planner for an innovative and progressive Tour. The tour inspired, informed, and gratified all of those who attended. Words cannot express the gratitude for the opportunity to be able to travel, observe, hear, and learn how individuals can achieve their dreams and aspirations to help “Save Rural America.”



New Galilean M. B. Church supports farmers by purchasing locally grown fruits and vegetables to strengthen our church family. Join us on Sundays starting 7:30am with Sunday School. For more information call 601.366.6667.

Develop health through canning fruit and vegetables. Winston County Self Help Cooperative provides canning workshops for churches, community groups and families at no cost in the state of Mississippi. This is your opportunity to reconnect with your family heritage. Call Frank Taylor 601.291.2704 or fltaylor@bellsouth.net

Remembering Pearlie Sylvester Reed June 14, 1948 –April 8, 2016 Pearlie S. Reed most recently served as the Assistant Secretary for Administration from May 2009 until his retirement in June 2012. Beginning in 2003, Reed worked as a private consultant in his own firm focusing on agriculture, conservation, economic development, and management issues. Prior to 2003, he held a variety of positions at United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) throughout a distinguished 35-year career. He began his distinguished career at USDA as a student trainee with the Soil Conservation Service while in college in Walnut Ridge, Arkansas in 1968, and rose to the position of the Chief of the Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) in 1998. Reed served in that position until 2002. He served in four states and NRCS national headquarters during his career with USDA. From 1994-97, he served as NRCS’s Associate Chief. He was the State Conservationist for California from 1989-94 and State Conservationist for Maryland from 1985-89 and was responsible for leading comprehensive soil, water, and resource conservation and development programs in those states. Reed previously served as Acting Assistant Secretary for Administration from 1997- 98. A leader on civil rights issues, he was appointed to head the USDA Civil Rights Action Team. The team issued a report that made recommendations on how to improve civil rights both inside and outside of USDA. President Bill Clinton issued an order that all 92 recommendations of the team be implemented. Over the course of his career, he has received numerous awards and honors including the Distinguished Presidential Rank Award for strength, integrity, industry and a relentless commitment to excellence in public service. He is a native of Heth, Arkansas, and graduated with honors from the University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff with a B.S. degree in animal husbandry and agricultural business. He received a Master of Public Administration degree, with honors from the American University in Washington, DC. In 2005, Reed received the first Pearlie S. Reed Award from the National Organization of Professional Black Natural Resources Conservation Service Employees for which he was a founding and life member. He believed in public service and had a humble spirit that was quiet, but yet it roared. It gave him great joy and pleasure to serve others. He was a true and dedicated champion for those that had no voice and believed in fairness for all. He was a man with unwavering character and sharp wit and a smile that warmed his sense of humor.

Editor: WCSHC Team Leader Frank Taylor | Email: fltaylor@bellsouth.net | Phone: 601-291-2704 Layout and Design: www.MarqueusDraper.com

Profile for Frank Taylor

Greensboro gazette news flash 1st edition april 2016  

Greensboro gazette news flash 1st edition april 2016