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GREENSBORO ECHO The Voice of Rural America May 2008

3rd Edition

Saving Rural America: Third Generation Strong become an active member of the program. The opportunity has allowed me to become aware of the many services offered by county agencies to help small farmers.” The Millers are raising four sheep; they obtained through a donation to the self-help program, by Dr. and Mrs. Glenn Wiyguls. From those four sheep, the Millers now care for three newly birth sheep. In addition, the Millers are raising five breed heifers that they received through the Co-op’s Heifer International Program.

(Center) Elder. George & Equilla Miller along with his parents

By The Press

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lder George and Mrs. Equilla Miller are residents of Louisville, Mississippi. The couple is maintaining a family legacy of being third generation cattle farmers. George and Equilla consider themselves privileged to own and manage land that has been in the family possession for many generations. The couple lived in Detroit, Michigan for several years and has returned home to contribute their time and personal resources to keep the family heritage of cattle farming alive. Elder Miller is the grandson of John B. Miller and the son of George W. Miller who both worked the land. Both men, grandfather and father, instilled within their grandson the idea of preserving a wonderful family heritage.

According to Elder Miller, “I always had the vision to come back home and involve myself in cattle farming. After fifteen years, my vision has become a reality. My vision is being made possible by the assistance of the, Winston County Self Help Cooperative, Natural Resource Conservation Services, Heifer International and other organizations. NRCS’ Small Farmers Initiative and Environmental Quality Incentive Program provided land clearing, fencing, ponds, and land conservation practices.

Presently Dr. Miller is employed as a project director for Healthy Marriage/Healthy Kids Project of the Starkville School District of Starkville, Mississippi. He is the president and founder of Focus Outreach Ministries Inc. Dr. Miller is married to Mrs. Equilla Turner Miller formerly of Forrest City, Arkansas. Mrs. Miller is a schoolteacher for Louisville Public Schools. The couple has adult three children. Dr. Miller currently serves as senior pastor of First Church of Christ Holiness of Cleveland, Mississippi.

The Winston County Self Help Co-op has also helped our vision to become a reality. Mr. Frank Taylor, who remains committed to the farmers of Winston County, heads the WCSHC. The theme of the Winston County Self Help Coop is “Saving Rural America.” Elder Miller stated, “I am thankful to have had the opportunity to

WCSHC’s Saving Rural America Conference Januar y 3, 2009

LOOK INSIDE

WCSHC Youth Group’s First Quarter Report By Dorothy Harper.................................................................2 “Haynes and Hannah Conquers Computer Skills” By Frank Taylor.............................................................2 WCSHC’s Future Leaders By Frank Taylor.............................................................................................................3 Saving Rural America Conference By The Press................................................................................................3 WCSHC Youth Director Receives Dahmer Award By The Press....................................................................3 WCSHC ACTIVITIES......................................................................................................................................................4

For more information contact Frank Taylor @ 601-291-2704 | e-mail address: fltaylor@bellsouth.net


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WCSHC NEWS

WCSHC Youth Group’s First Quarter Report By Dorothy Harper

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inston County Self Help Co-op Youth Group’s goal for 2008…introduce more youth to the natural resources and create interest in “Helping Save Rural America”. Two – thousand eight started with youth participating in WCSHC’s First Saving Rural America Conference on January 5, 2008 with more than 50 youth participants. Other

accomplishments in the first quarter, 4-H general meetings, Feb. 2, (Souper Bowl of Caring) donated $1000.00 to the Hope House of Caring Ministry in Jackson, Ms. Youth traveled to Tupelo, Ms for Ebony’s Annual Fashion Fair Extravaganza. Additionally, the youth participated in WCSHC’s Third Pass On Ceremony, 4-H’s Fun Day, Kids in the Kitchen, MAC’s 36th Annual Meeting and NAACP’s ACT-so Program.

Youth participating in the WCSHC’s First Saving Rural America Conference

May 2008

“Haynes and Hannah Conquers Computer Skills” By Frank Taylor

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nthusiasm and energetic, perhaps, describes (Co-op members) Mattie Haynes and Mary Hannah’s effort to connect with the digital society by participating in Winston County Self Help Co-op’s Adult Computer Classes. Through, WCSHC’s fervent commitment to help save rural America and sustain rural communities, the co-op initiated computer classes, in the Spring of 2007 with support from Mississippi State Office of Natural Resource Conservation Service. Homer Wilkes, State Conservationist stated, “We are working to help farmers’ manager their natural resources, create income and become better stewards….Through our partnership with WCSHC, we are delivering other valuable services, such as computer

Mattie Haynes and Mary Hannah

training to help farmers access NRCS’s cost-share programs”. According to Carnette Hudson class instructor, “Mary and Mattie (M & M) are conquering and harnessing the necessary skills to become computer savvy with several more trainings. Mary Hannah stated, “This is a fabulous opportunity to learn computer skills and embrace new technology”. The Haynes’ children purchased Mattie a home computer for Christmas after learning of their mother’s enthusiasm to master the computer. “Mattie said, I enjoy sending e-mails to family, friends and co-op members as my computer skills develop”. Presently 70% of WCSHC members are digitally connected. WCSHC extends thanks to the Winston County’s Library Staff for providing a friendly learning environment and promoting sustainability in rural America.


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“Saving Rural America”

WCSHC’s Future Leaders

May 2008

WCSHC Youth Director Receives Dahmer Award By The Press

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These young men are members of the Winston County Self Help Cooperative.

By Frank Taylor

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inston County Self Help Cooperative continues to attract young and energetic members. WCSHC membership increased by ten percent in recent months with several individuals joined under the age of 33 years old. “This is part of WCSHC’s mission of recruiting and nurturing the next generations’ of farmers and landowners, according to founding members Mary Hannah. The average age of mainstream farmers is 65, however, African America Farmers are approaching 71 years of age; therefore, we need to develop a comprehensive strategic plan to attract young families into farming… financial incentivesUSDA, develop training modules through extension programs and coordinated a highly intensive mentoring programs engineer by accomplishes farmers”. There are eight members less than 35 years old fostering various interests in farming from equine,

cattle, goats and sheep, however, the co-op’s education component draws most individual to join. We provide technical support, health & wellness, housing, financial and adult education classes to create a holistic approach of surviving in rural America”. Additionally, the co-op developed a youth group component consisting of 25 members involved in community projects. The youth are making modest strides according to youth director Dorothy Harper in connecting with the natural resources and alleviating poverty in Winston County. “Our youth garden project provides fresh vegetables for needy families, senior citizens and nursing home residents in Winston County. Youth are developing leadership, communication, financial & marketing skills and harnessing good work ethics through WCSHC’s inter-generational learning model. We believe Winston County Self Help Cooperative and Youth Group will exit into perpetuity with its mission of helping save rural America”.

inston County’s NAACP Branch bestowed the “Vernon Dahmer Award” to Jean Harper at the Annual Freedom Fund Banquet. Charles Hampton, President said Harper’s (WCSHC Youth Director) passion and commitment is paying dividends to help alleviating poverty in rural communities and providing career guidance for our youth. The youth garden project is a crown jewel of numerous activities, which provides fresh vegetables and stimulates interest reducing man’s environmental footprint. Again, we extend congratulations to Jean Harper for helping save rural America and receiving the “Vernon Dahmer Award”.

Saving Rur al America Confer ence By The Press

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inston County Self Help Cooperative’s Second Saving Rural America and Youth Conference scheduled for January 3, 2009 at the Louisville Coliseum-Louisville, Ms. Mark your calendar for this prolific event. Last’s year conference drew more than 350 participants from four states focusing on gaining access to services

from USDA and non-profit organizations. The 2009’s conference will thrive on building family unity to sustain future generations of farmers and landowners. Winston County Self Help Youth Conference will convene on Friday January 2, with an ambitious agenda of disseminating pertinent information on careers in the agriculture industry. For more information contact fltaylor@bellsouth.net or 601-2912704.

(Left)-WCSHC Youth Director Dorothy Jean Harper


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GREENSBORO ECHO The Voice of Rural America

May 2008

WCSHC ACTIVITIES

May 2008 3rd edition  
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