MISSISSIPPI ASSOCIATION OF COOPERATIVES
T HI RD Q U AR TE R ED I TI O N 2 01 1 NEW S L ET TE R
The Quiet Movement
A State Association of the Federation of Southern Cooperatives/Land Assistance Fund
STILL RAISING THE BAR IN THIS ISSUE STILL RAISING THE BAR M A M P is going on its third year of existence and things are constantly improving. The program has…………………..1 GRASS WITH AN ATTITUTE Nut grass is frequently described as the "worst weed in the world." It thrives in ……….2 WOMEN SUSTAINING AGRICULTURE The event was geared toward women doing big things in agriculture………………………..2 FARMERS’ SALES TAX EXEPTION AFFIDAVIT The farmer will be required to do this once a year to be …………………….2 MR. PRODUCTIVITY: MR. DONNIE “PENN” TRAVIS Mr. Travis is also a produce grower and a member………………………….2 THE STATE COORDINATORS REPORT we are anticipating the program to be a success. We will also continue ………….3 WHY BYLAWS ARE IMPORTANT The purpose of Bylaws although most ……….3
By LyTanya Toomer
Mississippi Association of Cooperatives is still raising the bar. MAC has always been dedicated to finding new ways to improve their programs in an effort to be more effective to their members. One such program is the Mississippi Agriculture Mediation Program (MAMP). Mississippi Agriculture Mediation Program is going on its third year of existence and things are constantly improving. The program has been successful in assisting home owners save their homes from foreclosure. Before, MAMP handled disputes regarding agriculture or homes that have mortgages with Rural Development. Now, MAMP can also mediate disputes between farmers and private creditors. There is still no cost for agriculture related disputes. If the dispute is agriculture, FSA, or Rural Development related, the mediation will still incur no cost. Others may incur a small cost. This will be determined at the time the mediation is requested. MAMP will
SAVE THE DATE MARCH 15 —17, 2012 FOR MAC’S 40TH ANNUAL MEETING IN JACKSON, MISSISSIPPI. 1
also give referrals to participants for legal services as well as financial services. Also, it is important to be familiar with the process of requesting mediation so that you do not waive your rights. If your dispute is with Farm Service Agency, MAMP’s contact information is listed in the adverse decision letter for you to contact directly and request mediation. If your issue is with Rural Development, the borrower must contact Rural Development and request mediation. Rural Development will then give the borrower MAMP’s contact information. Borrowers can also send their request to Rural Development and MAMP simultaneously. All mediations must be requested within 30 days from the date o the adverse decision letter or the borrower/farmer waives their right to mediation. For more information on MAMP and the services provided, please contact LyTanya Toomer at 888-914-9941.
"Value Added Forestry Town Hall Meeting" Hosted by The MS Center for Cooperative Development With John & Mary Jarrett, And MSPAG Location: 103 Veterans Drive, Oxford, MS Tuesday Date: Sept 27,
Grass with an Attitude! By: Maya Crooks
Have you ever run across some weeds that had attitudes? No matter how much weed killer or hoeing you may do it never seems to be enough. Well, let me tell you
something, nut grass in itself is a special case. You must be patient and aggressive when handling this culprit. Whether you are working on a farm or in your garden you must be consistent. It will cause more problems and bcome more than you can bargained for if not treated properly and consistently. Nut grass is frequently described as the "worst weed in the world." It thrives in moist, poorlydrained soils. They have nodules on them that look like small nuts. Hence, the name
nut grass. If you try to uproot nut grass, the roots tend to break off and the nuts will simply produce a new plant. I figure it just makes them angry because they are reappear a few days later. I have come to realized that it is not enough just to pull it. you must do more. So what can you do? It is suggested that you can give it a daily dose of Round Up through spot treatment but you'll need to do it two to eight times during the growing season. Southern Living's “Garden Problem Solver” gives this advice for suppressing nut grass: Remove as much of the weed as possible and cover the area with several layers of landscaping fabric or cardboard. Top it off with a thick layer of bark or pine straw. Leave it in place for at least one growing season. Always avoid tilling up soil that has been infested with weeds. Tilling encourages weed seed germination. Don’t let the nut grass attack your five acre okra patch or your cherry tomato garden. Remember as many of these green plants that you may pull out there are always going to be some left behind to multiply. then a new plant emerges.
Farmers' Sales Tax Exemption Affidavit By : Darnella B. Winston
This affidavit allows farmers to receive a reduced sales tax of 1.5% on tractors, farm equipment, parts, and labor. Farmers will need to have the affidavit notarized and give an original copy to every dealer or parts house that they do business with. The farmer will be required to do this once a year to be eligible for the reduced sales tax. Please be reminded that Mississippi Association of Cooperative does have an employee that is a Notary Public. Please Contact our office for assistance if needed.
WOMEN SUSTAINING AGRICULTURE By: Otis Wright Jr.
On Saturday July 9th we hosted a Women in Agriculture Gathering at the farm of S&M Farms. This farm is a collaboration between two sisters, Mrs. Mary McGee and Mrs. Sims. They have been in farming since they were children. Their farm ranges from dairy & beef cattle, swine and a variety of produce and high tunnel growing. The event was geared toward women doing big things in agriculture, and these two women are living proof that women are in no way short of being productive on the farm.
Mr. Productivity : Mr. Donnie “Penn” Travis By: Joe Barnes
For the past three years that I have been employed with the Mississippi Association Of Cooperatives, I have had the pleasure of working with one farmer in that is as consistent as the sunset and sunrise, Donnie “Penn” Travis. Mr. Travis is well known at the USDA /NRCS office . This year he has already received a 90 Percent Cost share that financed the purchase of a water well that will provide fresh water to his herd of goats. At the moment, NRCS is now looking to give Mr. Travis additional funding to install cross fencing which will enable him to separate his herd and allow to better manage the grazing of his animals in his pasture. Mr. Travis is also a produce grower and a member of the Indian Springs Farmers Association where he markets and process his 2
crops. Mr. Travis has been doing well and his produce is well received with customers in the Pine Belt and New Orleans areas. I am quite pleased with the progress that Mr. Travis have made the few years that I have been providing technical assistance to him, and I hope to continue to help this farmer continue to do what he does best; feed America and earn a living by toiling in the soil.
T HI RD Q U AR TE R ED I TI O N 2 01 1 NEW S L ET TE R
The State Coordinators Report From the desk of Ben F. Burkett
Greetings Everyone: awards banquet in Birmingham
44th annual meeting in Epes
Housing Project in Tchula,
First of all, I want to thank everyone, especially the MAC staff , for the great work done in making the Federation of Southern Cooperatives' 44th Anniversary Celebration Awards Banquet in Birmingham and the 44th Annual meeting in Epes, Alabama a success. Congressman Bennie Thompson of the Second Congressional District of Mississippi was awarded by the 10th Estelle Witherspoon Lifetime Achievement Award. Next year, the staff of Mississippi Association of Cooperative will be responsible for preparing he fish fry for 45th FSC annual meeting. We invite everyone to come and taste a bit of Mississippi. I am pleased to report that the Housing Project in Tchula, MS is now 40% complete. Additionally, we are beginning a one year program to develop a Farm-to-School lunch program in the State of Mississippi. Based upon the feedback we have received, we are anticipating the program to be a success. We will also continue to market our crops and vegetables in the States of Louisiana, Tennessee and Mississippi. We are pleased that we will soon have one farmer producing mushrooms. In closing, Mississippi Association of Cooperatives will recognize its 40th year anniversary during a celebration in Jackson, MS. More details about the date, time, and location of the event will be distributed as they become available.
WHY BYLAWS ARE IMPORTANT By : Darnella B. Winston
What are Bylaws? This question has been asked several times in the cooperatives that I enjoy working with in Mississippi and Louisiana. We have begun working on the Bylaws for new cooperatives and Louisiana this word brings up great reasons for members of cooperatives and associations to know there bylaws or at least have a copy of them. The purpose of Bylaws although most states do not require that nonprofit organizations have bylaws, bylaws are desirable because they define the internal structure of an organization for all to see. Instead of relying on the memories or longtime members, governance and other policy decisions can be made based on a concrete document. Bylaws vary from association to association and cooperatives to cooperatives in many ways. Some organizations have very concise bylaws, while others go into great detail. Some organizations include clauses that others do not. And of 3
course the governance structures outlined in the bylaws vary widely. According to the white paper “Starting an Association,” the optimum is somewhere in between “very general, brief provisions” and “highly specific documents that are many pages in length.” The white paper recommends that bylaws “be fairly concise, easy to understand, and readily available to the membership. They should be neither so specific as to require frequent amending, nor so vague as to create uncertainty.” It is also recommended that associations consult legal counsel when establishing or amending bylaws documents. Mississippi Association of Cooperatives was able to give us a sample of bylaws and we have begun the process with the board included. This is awareness that if you belong to an organization you should ask if there are bylaws in place and get your copy.
T HI RD Q U AR TE R ED I TI O N 2 01 1 NEW S L ET TE R
Mississippi Association of Cooperatives 233 East Hamilton Street Jackson, Mississippi, 39202
STAFF ROSTER Ben F. Burkett State Coordinator Myra Bryant Executive Director Kimberly Crisler Director of Finance/Housing Daisy Garrett Administrative Assistant/ Outreach Coordinator/Facilities Manager Angela L. Moore Secretary/Book keeper Antonia Montgomery Agribusiness Management Specialist Conston Scott Agribusiness Management Specialist Daniel Teague Agribusiness Management Specialist Darnella B. Winston COOPERATIVE MEMBERSHIP Cooperative Field Specialist Joe Barnes Attala County Self Help Cooperative Agribusiness Beat 4 Farms Cooperative A.A.L Management Specialist Family Farmers Cooperative LyTanya Toomer Indian Springs Farmers Association, Inc. MS Agriculture Milestone Cooperative Association Mediation Program Mississippi Delta Southern Rural Black Specialist Women in Agriculture Maya Crooks Mid-South Progressive Agricultural Group Agribusiness New Community Cooperative Management Specialist North Bolivar Development Cooperative Nitu Srivastava North Delta Produce Growers Cooperative Information Technology South Rankin County Farmers Association Specialist Shuqualak Community Action Group Otis Wright, Jr. Winston County Self Help Cooperative Agribusiness East Central Federal Credit Union (Hope) Management Specialist Shelby Bolivar County Federal Credit Union Savannah Jackson-Hales Shreveport Federal Credit Union Cooperative Business Development Specialist
Tywan Arrington Agribusiness Management Specialist
BOARD OF DIRECTORS Hubert Nicholson President Jessica Foxx Vice President Celeste Rogers Secretary Charles Houston Assistant Secretary Sandra Bennett Treasurer Lynn Stapleton Jessie Fleming Evelyn Cummings Robert Jackson Andre Matthews Louis Sanders Mae Ida Wesley
First Delta Federal Credit Union
Cooperative Associate Membership Boque Chitto / Lincoln County Community Center Quitman County Development Organization