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WINSTON COUNTY SELF HELP COOPERATIVE’S 2014 YEAR END REPORT P.O. Box 774 Louisville, MS 39339 Phone 601-291-2704 Website: www.wcshc.com “A TEAM COMMITTED TO HELP SAVE RURAL AMERICA”

(Left) Mother Ozolla Eichelberger, Former WCSHC member and (Right) Mrs. Omerio Dotson, Former WCSHC member and co-founder


TABLE OF CONTENTS

WCSHC Purpose..........................................................................................................................................3 WCSHC’s 2014 Reflections.......................................................................................................................4 WCSHC Delivers Homeownership........................................................................................................5 Field Trips and Tours...................................................................................................................................6 Winston County Self Help Youth Groups............................................................................................7 USDA Program Awareness Efforts........................................................................................................8 WCSHC Outreach Meetings, Field Days And Workshops..............................................................9 ECONOMIC IMPACT..................................................................................................................................10 Market Development..............................................................................................................................10 WCSHC’s Starter Groups 2014..............................................................................................................11 SUCCESS STORIES.....................................................................................................................................11 Letter from WCSHC’s Team Leader.....................................................................................................12 2014 Collaborative Partners.................................................................................................................12

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Winston County Self Help Cooperative’s 2014 Yearly Report


“A Team Committed to Help Save Rural America” Winston County Self Help Cooperative’s 2014 Yearly Report WCSHC FOUNDING MEMBERS

(Left to right) Dee Dotson, Mary Hannah, Omerio Dotson and Bobby Hardin

WCSHC Purpose: Winston County Self Help Cooperative (WCSHC) will celebrate thirty years of Serving Rural America in 2015. This prolific organization germinated out of the 1980s Farm Crisis to provide small farmers and landowners with acute technical services needed to maintain ownership in times of uncertainties. Today, WCSHC continues to dispense relevant information and develops economic opportunities in Rural

America through gifting families with cattle, goats and other animals. This in return creates income and foster growth in rural communities. Winston County Self Help Cooperatives of efforts helping Saving Rural America continues to create dividends to benefit the entire family structure. WCSHC extends an invitation for you to visit wcshc.com and to read the Co-op’s rich history. You will spend hours and days reading newsletters, news flashes, and watching videos of WCSHC’s remarkable work of serving rural Americans.

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WCSHC’s 2014 Reflection Cooperative Business: The clock bespectacled 3:50pm on December 30, 2013 and Winston County Self Help Cooperative Members maneuvered into their seats for 2014’s Kick-off Meeting at Louisville Coliseum. Perhaps other individuals would frown upon intervening or intruding on their Holiday Season with an Organizational Assembly, however, WCSHC Membership demonstrated resilience by adhering to the call on the last Monday of 2013. The cooperative conducted thirteen (13) official Business Sessions for its members and other program participants. These sessions provides important information on cooperative and leadership development, Grant Writing, the empowering of Rural Communities and the County Committee Election process. State and County Officials participated in numerous sessions. Approximately forty (40) Cooperative Members and other program participants were in attendance for each session. WCSHC Business Sessions occurred on Members’ Farms, Extension Offices, Coliseum, and local churches. The Evening Sessions starts @ 3:50 p.m. and Saturday morning sessions started @ 6:50 a.m. Several events to acknowledge are: • April 5, 2014 Greensboro Day Celebration presented individuals, friends and visitors a day of fun and games on Taylor’s Funeral Home Lawn in Greensboro, MS. 2014’s celebration started on Friday Night with a fish fry and other forms of entertainment. Saturday’s activities featured a parade including horses and cars. • Two (2) Individuals earned homebuyers certificate on Saturday, March 15, 2014 in Jackson, MS. • Jean Harper received the Winston County Chamber of Commerce for Farmer of the Year Award. • Thursday August 21, 2014. Members participated in Winston County and City of Louisville Delinquent Tax Sales. • Cooperative members attended Farm Bureaus Annual Meeting Thursday September 18, 2014, 7pm at Shrine Building on Hwy 15 south Louisville, MS. • WCSHC & Mississippi State University’s College (MSU) of Veterinary Medicine delivered health service for Co-op members’ cattle on October 3, 2014 at Alonzo & Peggy Miller’s Farm in Louisville, MS. MSU’s _______________________________________________ WCSHC’s 2014 REFLECTION Continued on page 5 4

Winston County Self Help Cooperative’s 2014 Yearly Report


_______________________________________________ WCSHC’s 2014 REFLECTION Continued from page 4 College of Veterinary Medicine’s Team administered a variety of vaccinations for more thirty animals. WCSHC formulated this relationship with MSU in 2005 to assist members in providing health care for their herds according to Co-op member Shelton Cooper.” • WCSHC placed nine pass on heifers in coop’s pasture on October 18, 2014. Each heifer received heath care before being placed into the facility. Pass heifers are placed with co-op members to start their cattle enterprise.

WCSHC Delivers Homeownership Most people identify Winston County Self Help Cooperative as an organization assisting individuals in starting their farm operations; however, WCSHC also provides technical support in helping families purchase homes. WCSHC convened workshops for individuals to learn processes how to purchase a home and post education classes to hinder foreclosure. WCSHC partnered with USDA-Rural Development, Mississippi Home Corporation, banks, and credit unions to make the America’s dream of homeownership a reality for Denisha Gladney on March 31, 2014. WCSHC and Denisha linked together in January 2013 and started the arduous journey to homeownership with a credit check. This _______________________________________________ WCSHC Delivers Homeownership Continued on page 10 Winston County Self Help Cooperative’s 2014 Yearly Report

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Field Trips and Tours • Eleven Members attended the Minority Landowners Conference in Greenville, South Carolina February 27-29, 2014. • Four (4) cooperative members attended the Mississippi Association of Cooperative Annual Meeting on March 14-15, 2014 Macon, MS. • Five (5) members attended Alcorn State University’s Small Farmers Conference March 24-26, 2014 in Jackson, MS. Alcorn State University honored Jewell McDonald & Ozolla Eichelberger for their years of toiling in the soils and producing vegetable crops. • Member attended North Mississippi Field Day in Okolona, MS at Chris and Carolyn Jones’ Farm May 13, 2014. WCSHC, ASU & MSU highlighted services available for small farmer enterprises. • June, 3 2014 Cooperative member attended Pike County’s USDA GLCI Field at Bobby Mckennis Farm in Summit, MS. Participants observed innovated practices to maximize hay production. Bobby constructed a solar pump to harvest water for cattle. He has employed other conservation practices through NRCS’ EQIP. • June 9, 2014 Cooperative members attended Louisiana Ag Tour in conjunction with St. Helena Parish. This tour showcased local farmers employing practices through USDA and obtaining educational support from Southern University Extension Program. • Cooperative members attended the Federation of Southern Cooperatives Annual Meeting August 14-16, 2014. WCSHC members visited several grass fed or all natural farms in West Point, MS on Thursday August 21, 2014. • Ten (10) members participated in farm diversity tour on September 17, 2014 in Quitman & Coahoma Counties. Participants observed numerous farm enterprises from agri-tourism, pecan orchard and Alcorn State University and North Delta Producers’ Canning Facility in Marks, MS. this tour provided individuals with inspiration and technical support to engage in Mississippi agriculture. • Eleven (11) members of the cooperative traveled the black belt of Alabama on September 22 & 23, 2014. This trip included stops in historic Gee’s Bend, Tuskegee and Montgomery, Ala. Members learned visited the historic Quilting Bee in Gee Bend. The caravan arrived at the Kellogg Conference Center on the historic campus at 3:45pm. Several individuals toured Tuskegee’s Campus and observed prolific sites of historic significant. Next members visited George 6

Washington Carver Museum, Booker T. Washington Home, and Tuskegee Famed Airman Museum. Members board van and traveled south on interstate 85 to Montgomery where they visited Rosa Park Museum and drove pass Dexter Avenue King Memorial Baptist Church where Dr. Martin Luther King served as pastor. • Thirteen (13) members participated in Richard and Ruthie Carter’s Livestock Field Day in Eucutta, MS on September 29, 2014. Members traveled the scenic route into Spring Hill Community where they partake in a fun filled afternoon. The Carters and WCSHO members rolled out the welcoming mate on Sugar Hill Road. USDA, Dear Group and Wayne County Public Schools delivered valuable information through presentations. • Cooperative members participated in Vickie Roberts’ Agro-Forestry Field Day on Saturday November 1, 2014 in Winona, MS. This field day highlighted several enterprises using a variety of practices to generate dollars from their natural resources. Vickie continues to work with the Federation of Southern Cooperatives to implement agro-forestry practices and manage the family’s century old forest.

Winston County Self Help Cooperative’s 2014 Yearly Report


Winston County Self Help Youth Groups

eating healthy, reducing obesity and chronic diseases. • WCSH Youth Groups planted spring and fall gardens and donated over $4,000.00 of fresh vegetables to needy families and senior citizens.

• WCSHC conducted forty nine (49) Reading and Tutoring Programs to four hundred and sixteen (416) youth. • WCSHC held one (1) Youth Conference one hundred and thirty (130) Youth were in attendance. • WCSHC conducted a 4H Leaders Training for eight (8) youth. • WCSH Youth Groups sponsored five (5) Community Service Projects: -Two (2) communities clean up Days and nine (9) individuals participated -One (1) Relay for Life Event and twelve (12) individuals participated -One (1) youth leader participated in Red Hills Festival -Five (5) youth participated in planting a Community Garden -Five (5) youth participated in a Family Matters Seminar • WCSH Youth Groups Volunteered at Louisville Head Start and fifty two (52) youth participated. • WCSH Youth Groups attended a Growing Girls Seminar and thirty two (3) youth participated. • WCSH Youth Groups participated in Kids Intellectual Academy Camp and fifty six (56) youth attended. • WCSH Youth Groups sponsored five (5) kids in the kitchen workshops. They learned kitchen safety, etiquette, making healthy food choices, canning techniques and teamwork. • WCSH Youth Groups participated in NFusion Child Growth and Development Classes and nineteen (19) youth participated. • Greensboro Youth Group Greensboro Day on April 5, 2014 in Greensboro, MS. This day of jubilation included a parade, fun and games storytelling, arts and crafts and good food. • 121 Youth participated in WCSH Youth Forestry Field Day May 19, 2014 at Legion State Park. U S Forest Service provided funds and educational material to enlightening the next generation of farmers and landowners. • WCSH Youth Groups conducted six (6) nutritional workshops to teach importance of planning nutritious meals for adults of all ages. Workshops promoted

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USDA Program Awareness Efforts

Conference. Theme for the conference was “Harvesting the Future”. This one day conference provided education and resources to small farm operators and fostered relationships between farmers and communities partners. Approximately sixty six (66) small farmers/ ranchers and other constituents were in attendance.

There were several methods that the WCSHC used to promote USDA and others programs. The most effective were conferences, quarterly news flashes, brochures, promotional flyers, weekly radio talk shows and WCSHC website.

Third conference was held on February 8, 2014 at the Paulding Fire Department 1778 Hwy 803 Paulding, MS. Wayne County Self Help Organization and Winston County Self Help Cooperative worked cooperatively with Jasper County Supervisors, community leaders and others to host Jasper County 1st Saving Rural America Conference. Theme for the conference was “Strengthening Rural Communities through Partnerships”. Approximately forty five (45) small farmers/ranchers were in attendance.

WCSHC conducted four (4) Saving Rural America and Youth Conferences. The purpose of these conferences was to provide an atmosphere of learning, networking and strengthening families’ values. The first conference was held on January 24, 2014 at the Louisville Coliseum in Louisville, MS. Conference host was WCSHC. Theme for the conference was “Strengthening Rural Communities through Partnerships”. 2014’s conference highlighted WCSHC’S vast network with USDA, Extension, state agencies, communities, schools health care facilities, jobs and families. Approximately four hundred & twenty-eight (428) small farmers/ranchers and other constituents were in attendance. Second conference was held on February 1, 2014 at the David L. Beckley Center (Rust College) 150 Rust Avenue, Holly Springs, MS. Mid-South Agricultural Producer Group hosted their 1st Saving Rural America

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_______________________________________________ USDA Program Awareness Efforts Continued from page 8

WCSHC Outreach Meetings, Field Days And Workshops Nine (9) trainings and educational workshops were conducted during 2014 which included forestry production, hoop house production training, crop and livestock production, marketing of alternative crops, credit counseling, estate planning, whole farm planning, food safety, canning and preserving. Approximately three hundred and fifty seven (357) small farmers/ranchers were in attendance. Six (6) USDA Programs Awareness Workshops were conducted. These workshops informed small farmers/ ranchers and beginning farmers/ranchers of USDA Programs availability as well as other programs offered on the Federal, State and County Levels. Our program staff worked closely with Natural Resource Conservation Service, Farm Service Agency, Rural Development, Land Grant University’s and other partners to conduct these informational workshops. Natural Resource Conservation Service discussed financial assistance, livestock management, small ruminants and Specialty Crop Initiatives. Farm Service Agency discussed new micro-loan program and other lending resources. Rural Development elaborated on their housing loans and grants. The majority of these workshops were held on small family/ranchers farms. Approximately two hundred and ten (210) small farmers/ ranchers and public citizens were in attendance.

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Conservation Services highlighted conservation practices to protect air, water and soil, USDA Rural Development delivered a detail orientation on 504’s housing loans and grants, Alcorn State University’s Extension Personnel delivered presentations on; Building a better credit report and marketing of alternative crops. The National Network of Forest Practitioners encouraged landowners to manage their forestlands for multiple income streams, such as pine straw and hunting leases. Approximately sixty (60) small farmers/ ranchers and other constituents were in attendance. WCSHC provide information to small farmers/ranchers through its quarterly news flashes which include USDA Programs, crop production, extension and others upcoming events. WCSHC published seven (7) newsflash-newsletters. You can read previous newsletters at the website www.wcshc.com WCSHC Outreach and Assistance Program hosted sixteen (16) talk show radio programs. These radio talk shows allow USDA Officials, Extension and non-profit organizations personnel to dialogue on issues affecting landowners, farmers/ ranchers and natural resources enthusiasts. WCSHC’s radio program listen audience is targeted in the southeastern states with exponentially growth throughout the United States. The host of the Saving Rural America Talk Radio Show is Frank Taylor. Visit us online every Monday at 6:00 pm CST @ www.blogtalkradio.com/savingruralamerica or call 323-580-5735 to speak to the host.

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_______________________________________________ WCSHC Delivers Homeownership Continued from page 5

ECONOMIC IMPACT Results from our financial and business workshops indicated that there was an overall increase of 8% farm income for program participants. Results from our credit counseling courses indicated that fourteen (14) program participants applied for farm operating loans and that ten (10) loans were approved totaling over five hundred and twenty thousand dollars ($520,000) and five (5) youth received loans from FSA to purchase livestock and equipment. Program participants participated in a series of USDA Program Awareness Workshops. Results of those workshops show that there was a 15% increase in participation in USDA Programs. Twenty three (23) program participants were able to take advantage of NRCS Cost Share Programs, whereas, thirteen (15) small farmers/ranchers received cost share assistance for fence repairs and pasture maintenance, five (5) was able to obtain irrigation systems and three (3) received financial assistance to construct hoop houses. Program Participants timber sales gross over three thousand dollars ($300,000) whereas livestock sales gross over one hundred and sixty thousand dollars ($160,000).

process helps individuals discover positive and negative reports to credit bureaus and allows you an opportunity to advocate for corrections. Additionally, you can obtain valid credit scores based on bureaus’ reporting methods. Denisha stated “you must be patient and undeterred in your path to homeownership. WCSHC’s Homeownership Program provided my family with timely services from completing the initial application, homebuyers’ education classes and closing process. This process enables me to build a level of confident in this life’s long obligation and I am thankful to Winston County Self Help Cooperative.” Additionally, we appreciate Terri Tate of Rural Development-Housing Specialist for delivering professional services and assisting with the unknowns in homeownership. We will encourage other peers to consider purchasing homes in Winston County.

Market Development

19, 2014 with a Kick-Off Jamboree! The event helped the Winston County Disaster Relief Fund with a local chef competition. There was live music and fun for WCSHC Outreach and Assistance Program launched the kids. Consumers purchased summer vegetables, its 2014 Farmer’s Market Bulletin. The market bulletin highlights small producers in Mississippi, Alabama and fruits, canned and baked goods, and other products Louisiana who generates income from their farms. This supporting local farmers in Winston County and surrounding areas. The Chef Competition featured is a good marketing strategic to allow small farmers to area chefs using fresh market ingredients to sell their products through the internet. create a healthy side dish. Attendees tasted Additionally, this is an RS E M R A F C the food the chefs create and vote which IN WCASRH ULLET opportunity to “know KET B M dish they like the best by voting with a dollar. your Farmer- Know f Farm e e B d n a s All proceeds gained from votes went to the getable your Food” and for AM-PM Ve Winston County Disaster Relief Fund. Attendees customers to spend voted as many times as they would like! Local their dollars with residents were welcome to bring their favorite local farmers to create recipes and compete in the challenge. The sustainability in rural market accepted cash, EBT, and some vendors communities. Please accepted checks and credit/debit cards. Thirty visit our website @ five 35 to 40% of the producers selling their www.wcshc.com/fmb. goods at the market were WCSHC members. The market closed on the last Thursday The WCSHC was proud September 26, 2014. It is estimated that to announce the opened small farmers/ranchers sold over forty the Winston County thousand dollars ($40,000) at the market. Farmer’s Market on June . . – 5:00 p.m ay, 8:00 a.m nday – Saturd uisville, MS 39339 eration: Mo Lo . Op Rd of ir urs We t Ho 5-1257 0 Highpoin Address: 502 : 662-705-1217 or 662-70 Phone

wer: Name of Gro Beef Farm etables and e include: ño and mediate Sal pers, Jalape ered for Im Red Bell Pep Products off en, Yellow, and il and Rosemary. Bas Tomatoes, Gre r.) eet en me Sw Gre ing and sum Ripe and pers, Fresh Banana Pep l be offered later this spr rt of New bles wil d in the hea (Other vegeta ctly We are locate rket, and dire t Peggy Miller. and nzo Farmers Ma Alo vide the bes at the local e pro operated by to duc and ve pro stri ned is ow s. Weeds scratch and . We sale our ide m MS bic fro lle, AM-PM Farm her isvi of farm lding our nity in Lou grown void and are Zion Commu en pride in bui tomers. Our produce is are organic . We have tak ticides used cus rities. The only pes from our farm grown produce to our our first prio ting by hand. ally lity, and safety n way, cultiva quality of loc qua , hio ers fas tom old the our cus n. We make are controlled an consumptio safe for hum

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Winston County Self Help Cooperative’s 2014 Yearly Report


WCSHC’s Starter Groups 2014

Mississippi Minority Farmers Alliance • MMFA is based in Egypt, MS (Chickasaw County). This group was formed in 2013 under the decisive leadership of Chris & Carolyn Jones. Members are centralized in Northeast Mississippi. MMFA’s provides leadership and inspiration for beginning and returning farmers.

Oktibbeha County Small Farmers and Landowners Group • Group meetings and workshop: Eleven (11) outreach meetings were conducted throughout the year. Meetings occurred at American Legion Post 240 located at 3828 Pat Station Rd. Starkville, MS. • Workshops and Conferences attendance: Group attended five (5) workshops, seminars, and conferences in 2014. Leake, Madison, and Scott Counties Farmers Connection: • Leake, Madison, and Scott Counties Farmers Connection conducted twelve (12) monthly meetings with average attendant of eighteen (18) participants. Field staff helped organized strike force outreach meeting with thirty one (31) in attendant. They also planted youth gardens, conducted cattle vaccination on two farms and one canning workshop in Lena, MS.

SUCCESS STORIES WCSHC’s Heifer Project Gifting Families; The Winston County Self Help Cooperative’s Heifer Project parlayed and multiplied opportunities for small farmers in Eastern Mississippi by providing families with heifers to start their cattle operations. Heifer International funded WCSHC in 2001 with a grant of 74,500. Heifer International’s mission is to work with communities to end world hunger and poverty and to care for the Earth. You can learn more by visiting heifer.org. WCSHC’s passed on sixteen (16) heifers to small farmers/rancher to start a farm operation. As of today WCSHC placed 303 bred heifers with 45 members and 7 families waiting for pass on. This gift from Heifer International’s continues to multiply and generate sustainability in Winston County through sales of animals, purchase of farmland, wire, posts, tractors, hay equipment, and other implements to manage their farm enterprises. WCSHC’s Heifer Program contributed more than 2 million dollars to Winston County’s economy over 13 years.

Tomorrow’s Farmer Averill Gladney; According to National Agricultural Statistic Service the average American farmer is 58 years old and growing older by the minute with a glimmer of _______________________________________________ SUCCESS STORIES Continued on page 12

Winston County Self Help Cooperative’s 2014 Yearly Report

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_______________________________________________ SUCCESS STORIES Continued from page 11 hope in 21 year old Averill Gladney, of Eupora, MS. Averill’s lifelong dream is to become a fulltime farmer with God’s blessings and support of his family & Winston County Self Help Cooperative. Averill first encounter with agriculture surfaced from riding horses and observing other entities closely connected to farming such as hay production. This experience set Averill’s dreams assailed to inquire about cattle production and other means of earning income from natural resources. After consulting with his father, Averill contacted WCSHC for technical advice in developing a farm management plan which initiated his quest. WCSHC assisted Averill in obtaining a Youth Loan through Farm Service Agency which he used to acquire 4 bred heifers in 2011. This positioned Averill to apply for USDA’s Microloan in 2013. With this loan Averill purchased14 heifers, tractor, hay spear, cattle trailer, bush hog, and cattle panels to enhance his farm operation. Averill said “I am building my farm operation with an aim of becoming a fulltime farmer to feed America. I would like to thank Winston County Self Help Cooperative and USDA-Farm Service Agency for making my dreams a reality.”

Letter from WCSHC’s Team Leader Co-op members, we celebrated a bountiful 2014 and you will be rewarded for humble spirit of creating an environment of success. I am thankful to you for allowing me an opportunity to be a part of the Winston County Self Help Cooperative team to help change lives in rural America. I am forever grateful for this moment to serve as your team leader and we will continue to work on the behalf of this winning team.

Sincerely,

Frank Taylor WCSHC Team Leader

2014 COLLABORTIVE PARTNERS Winston County Extension Office National Institute of Food and Agriculture USDA-Office of Advocacy and Outreach Heifer International Self-Development of People Black Belt Foundation Dennis Murray of YDACBINC Winston County Office of Natural Resources Conservation Service Winston County Office of Farm Service Agency Rooted in the Community National Agricultural Statistics Service Kentucky State University Extension Program Mississippi’s State Office of Rural Development Mississippi’s State Office of Farm Service Agency Mississippi State University Extension Program Mississippi State University College of Veterinary Medicine Alabama A & M University Extension Program Alabama A&M University Forestry, Ecology & Wildlife Program Alcorn State University’s Extension Program Alcorn State University’s Mississippi Small Farm Development Center Mississippi State University‘s College of Veterinary Medicine Tuskegee University North Carolina A & T University Mississippi Association of Cooperatives Federation of Southern Cooperatives Wayne County Extension Office National Wildlife Federation Mississippi Wildlife Federation Mississippi’s Natural Resources Conservation Service Mississippi Forestry Commission Southern Echo Incorporation Southern University Ag-Center U S Forest Service Mississippi Farm Bureau National Network of Forest Practitioners Minority Landowner Magazine Winston County Journal Newspaper Winston County Public Library City of Louisville Winston County’s Board of Supervisors WLSM Radio Station Grandma Soul Food Eatery Perry County Self Help Group-New Augusta, MS Covington County Self Help Group-Collins, MS New Community Cooperative-Bassfield, MS Simpson County Self Help Livestock Group-Magee, MS Wayne County Self Help Group-Waynesboro, MS Attala County Self Help Cooperative-Sallis, MS South Rankin County Farmers Association-Brandon, MS Chester Bradley’s Cattle Farm-Rose Hill, MS Operation Spring Plant-Oxford, NC Robert Robinson’s Farm-Brookhaven, MS TRI-County Agriculture Cooperative-Batesville, MS Grenada’s Farmers Market-Grenada, MS St. Helena Parish Cattle Company-Greensburg, LA Imaginers and Dreamers-Uneedus, LA Southern University Law Center North Delta Produce Growers Cooperative-Mark, MS Mid-South Progressive Agricultural Group-Holly Spring, MS Oktibbeha County Small Farmers and Landowners Group-Starkville, MS Leake, Madison and Scott Counties Farmers Connection-Carthage, MS

WCSHC is a member of the Federation of Southern Cooperatives Frank Taylor President and Editor / fltaylor@bellsouth.net or 601- 291- 2704 Designed by www.marqueusdraper.com

Wcshc 2014 year end report  
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