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M I S S I S S I P P I

VOLUME 87 NO. 2

FARM

MARCH/APRIL 2011

COUNTRY

Growing

Corn in Mississippi

A Publication of Mississippi Farm Bureau Federation • MSFB.org


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MISSISSIPPI FARM CO UNTRY Volume 87 Number 2 March/April 2011

Mississippi Farm Country (ISSN 1529-9600) magazine is published bimonthly by the Mississippi Farm Bureau® Federation. EDITORIAL and BUSINESS OFFICES 6311 Ridgewood Road Jackson, MS 39211 601-977-4153 E DITOR - Glynda Phillips AD VE RTISING National - Paul Hurst - 1-800-397-8908 Southeastern U.S. – Angela Thompson 1-800-227-8244 ext. 4242 FARM BUREAU OFFICERS President – Randy Knight Vice President – Donald Gant Vice President – Ted Kendall Vice President – Reggie Magee Treasurer – Billy Davis Corporate Secretary – Ilene Sumrall FARM BURE AU D IRECT ORS Dr. Jim Perkins, Iuka Mike Graves, Ripley B.A. Teague, New Albany Bill Ryan Tabb, Cleveland Coley L. Bailey, Jr., Coffeeville Neal Huskison, Pontotoc Jeffrey R. Tabb, Walthall Bobby Moody, Louisville Wanda Hill, Isola James Foy, Canton William Jones, Meridian James Brewer, Shubuta Stanley Williams, Mt. Olive Lonnie Fortner, Port Gibson Moody Davis, Brookhaven Mike McCormick, Union Church D. P. O’Quinn, Purvis Gerald Moore, Petal Clifton Hicks, Leakesville Ken Mallette, Vancleave Betty Mills, Winona Noble Guedon, Natchez

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CONTENTS

Features

8 MISSISSIPPI CORN

Mississippi’s corn industry generates thousands of jobs and contributes to the economies of counties and communities.

1 2 FIDDLIN’ ROOSTER Come with us as we visit a Yalobusha County agritourism business that teaches school kids and others to appreciate agriculture.

2 0 RURAL LIVING Annie Carter bakes French Camp’s renowned bread. Magnolia Honey Company makes and sells a variety of honey-based products. Come with us as we learn more. “Our mission is to create an environment in which Mississippi farmers, ranchers, and Farm Bureau members can have a better life and make a better living.”

Departments 4 6

HONORARY V ICE -PRESID ENTS Louis Breaux, David H. Bennett Warren Oakley Farm Bureau members receive this publication as part of their membership benefit. Periodicals postage is paid at Jackson, MS and at additional mailing offices.

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Postmaster: Send address changes to P. O. Box 1972, Jackson, MS 39215 Material in this publication is based on what the editor believes to be reliable information. Neither Mississippi Farm Bureau Federation nor those individuals or organizations contributing to the MFBF publication assume any liability for errors that might go undetected in the publication – this includes statements in articles or advertisements that could lead to erroneous personal or business management decisions. FARM BUREAU®, FB® and all Farm Bureau logos used in this magazine are registered service marks owned by the American Farm Bureau Federation. They may not be used in any commercial manner without the prior written consent of the American Farm Bureau Federation. Design: Coopwood Communications, Inc.

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President’s Message Commodity Update: Peanuts Commodity Update: Poultry Counsel’s Corner

About the cover Mikes Graves and his family grow corn near Ripley in Tippah County. Mike is pictured with his sons Tyler and Allen and his father Hines. Read about this family inside. MISSISSIPPI FARM COUNTRY

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PRESIDENT’S MESSAGE Randy Knight, President Mississippi Farm Bureau Federation

A

My Door is Always Open

s I begin serving as your president, I find myself caught up in a whirlwind of activity. It is an exciting time for me and a great opportunity to give back to an organization that has meant so much to me and my family through the years. I believe strongly in Farm Bureau and all that it accomplishes on behalf of Mississippi farmers. I’m sure that you feel the same way, but let me ask you something. How well do you really know your organization? Did you know that Farm Bureau was organized some 90 years ago to assist farmers in purchasing seed and fertilizer and in marketing a surplus of farm commodities following World War I? In the 1930s, reorganization efforts saw the Mississippi Farm Bureau Federation taking on the legislative responsibilities of the farm community while the Mississippi Federated Cooperative (MFC) specialized in cooperative purchasing and marketing as a separate and independent organization. MFC has since closed. From those humble but hopeful beginnings, Farm Bureau has grown so that its strength and influence are now evident in so many different areas and aspects of farm and rural life across our state and nation. Our programs and services are diverse, important and far-reaching, and when you pay your membership dues each year, you gain access to them all. One of our better-known programs is insurance. While I can’t say enough about what these folks accomplish for all of us on a daily basis, Farm Bureau offers many other programs of equal importance such as Safety, the Women’s and Young Farmers and Ranchers programs, the Commodity Program, Ag in the Classroom, the Farm Families of Mississippi campaign, and Public Policy, to name a few. Today, I want to talk about four of these programs. Our Commodity Program helps farmers surface and address issues that affect their farming operations. This is so important. Working with eight regional managers who are assigned responsibilities for specific agricultural commodities, farmers can rest assured that their voices will be heard on all fronts. You will notice that this issue of our magazine focuses on Mississippi’s corn industry. Each year, our state corn industry provides thousands of jobs and contributes to the economies of many communities. It is important that the corn industry remains strong, and that’s where Farm Bureau comes in. We truly do represent the interests of all Mississippi farmers. 4

Agriculture in the Classroom (AITC) is another important Farm Bureau program. AITC does a great job of teaching the public to appreciate agriculture from an early age. Through this program, Mississippi teachers are able to include facts about agriculture in the curriculum for K-12 students across the state. In the coming year, our Ag in the Classroom program will take to the road in a mobile ag unit that will give students a hands-on opportunity to learn about our industry. I can’t think of a better way to make sure that the leaders of tomorrow become strong advocates for agriculture. Can you? Our Growing Mississippi-Farm Families of Mississippi campaign will gear up again in February in the central and southern areas of the state. In 2010, this program was a resounding success, with survey results reflecting that our initial efforts in the Jackson area, through television commercials, billboards, radio spots and special events, definitely made a difference in the attitudes and perceptions that consumers hold toward Mississippi agriculture. I’m excited to be working with this campaign in support of Mississippi agriculture. A final program that I want to talk about is Public Policy. Working with the policy development and implementation process, this program takes the wishes of our grassroots membership from the county level all the way to the state and national capitols. In 2011, Farm Bureau will address a number of important issues in the Legislature and U.S. Congress. I will be there, along with staff members and volunteer leaders. We will also continue our involvement with the Farm Bill process as leaders gather the information needed to craft a bill that will address the needs of every Mississippi producer. I want to encourage you to participate in our second annual Ag Day at the Capitol in March. This event gives members an opportunity to let their lawmakers know what they expect from them in the coming year. It is also a great way to express appreciation to them for their efforts on our behalf. In conclusion, I’d like to thank you for your words of encouragement and support. Your faith in me means more than I can ever express. I look forward to working with you to further grow and strengthen our Farm Bureau organization so that it continues the important legacy begun by that group of farmers so long ago. Don’t forget that my door is always open. Come see me.

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AG NEWS

SURE Program Sign-Up Underway

Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack reminds eligible producers that the sign-up period for the 2009 crop year Supplemental Revenue Assistance Payments (SURE) program is underway. SURE is one of five disaster programs included in the Food, Conservation, and Energy Act of 2008 (Farm Bill) that provides assistance to farmers and ranchers who have suffered losses due to natural disasters. “SURE is part of the safety net that assists farmers and ranchers who provide food and fiber to America and the world,” Vilsack said. “Any eligible producer who suffered losses during the 2009 crop year is encouraged to visit a local FSA office to learn more about the SURE program and how to apply.” To be eligible for SURE, a farm or ranch must have:  At least a 10 percent production loss on a crop of economic significance;  A policy or plan of insurance under the Federal Crop Insur-

ance Act or the Noninsured Crop Disaster Assistance Program (NAP) for all economically significant crops;  Been physically located in a county that was declared a primary disaster county or contiguous county by the Agriculture Secretary under a Secretarial Disaster Designation. Without a Secretarial Disaster Designation, individual producers may be eligible if the actual production on the farm is less than 50 percent of the normal production on the farm due to a natural disaster. Producers considered socially disadvantaged, a beginning farmer or rancher, or a limited resource farmer may be eligible for SURE without a policy or plan of insurance or NAP coverage. Farmers and ranchers interested in signing up must do so before July 29, 2011. For more information on the 2009 SURE program, visit any FSA county office or http://www.fsa.usda.gov/sure

Agribusiness Enterprise Loan Program

The Agribusiness Enterprise Loan Program (ABE) provides a percentage of lowcost state financing that is combined with a private financial lending institution’s loan proceeds or the issuance of letters of credit to encourage loans to agribusinesses in the state of Mississippi. Job creation and growth of the agricultural industry is the main goal of this loan program, which is administered by the Mississippi Development Authority (MDA). Through the program, MDA provides interest-free loans to qualified borrowers engaged in the production, manufacturing and processing of agribusiness-related goods and services. To qualify for the program, the business must be an agribusiness, defined as any aquacultural-, horticultural- or agriculturalrelated industrial, manufacturing, research and development or processing enterprise located in the state and owned by a resident of the state. The agribusiness must be creditworthy and demonstrate the ability to repay the loan, and it cannot have defaulted on any previous loan from the state or federal government. An eligible financial institution must originate the ABE loan application for an agribusiness per the guidelines and regulaMARCH/APRIL

tions required by MDA. The financial institution may charge an agribusiness a servicing fee which may not exceed 1 percent of the ABE loan amount. The fee will be a one-time charge allocated when the ABE loan is closed. The financial institution is responsible for servicing the ABE loan, which will include all repayments to MDA. ABE loan proceeds may be used to finance buildings and equipment. Loan proceeds may also be used for costs associated with the purchase of land (appraisals, title searches, eligible improvements, etc.). However, proceeds cannot be used to purchase land. Loan proceeds may not be used to pay off any existing debt for loan consolidation purposes; to finance the acquisition, construction, improvement or operation of real property that is primarily for sale or investment; to provide or free funds for speculation in any kind of property or as a loan to owners; or to provide working capital. The amount of a loan to any single agribusiness shall not exceed 20 percent of the total cost of the project or $200,000, whichever is less. Upgrades for the retrofitting of poultry houses shall not exceed 30 percent of the total cost of the project or $200,000, whichever is less. Land purchases MISSISSIPPI FARM COUNTRY

will not be considered in the total cost of the project when determining an ABE loan. No interest will be charged on an ABE loan. Only the amount actually loaned to an agribusiness will be required to be repaid to the state. The term of the ABE loan will match the term of the financial institution’s loan, up to the maximum maturity of 15 years. In closing, the key points to remember include:  The ABE loan program can provide up to a maximum of $200,000 in interest-free money to qualified borrowers.  ABE loan proceeds can be used for the eligible purchase of and construction of improvements such as poultry houses, catfish ponds, grain bins, etc. The purchase of land is not an eligible purpose and must be deducted from the purchase or construction of eligible improvements when land is being purchased.  ABE loans can qualify for both SBA and FSA guarantees. To learn more about the program, please contact MDA’s Financial Resources Division at (601) 359-3552, or email financial@mississippi.org.

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COMMODITY UPDATE: PEANUTS

Mississippi Peanut Production Lonnie Fortner, MFBF Peanut Advisory Committee Chair John Kilgore, Interim MFBF Commodity Coordinator for Peanuts

Until recently, peanut production in Mississippi consisted of a handful of producers, mostly in the southeastern area of the state, producing about 2,000 acres of peanuts each year. When the 2002 Farm Bill eliminated the quota system for peanuts, production began to expand into new areas. Growth has been slow but steady, and our state now boasts over 50 producers with peanut production in 30 counties across the state. George County remains the highest producer of peanuts, with over 4,700 acres. Holmes County is next, with over 1,800 acres, and Monroe County ranks third, with over 1,500 acres. In 2010, our state had a total of 18,137 acres in production, down slightly from the previous year. Peanut yields in 2010 ranged from 2,000 pounds per acre to over 7,000 pounds per acre, with an average production of 3,500 pounds per acre. Extreme dry conditions during most of the growing season in the Kilgore northern portion of the state and across the entire state towards the end of the season reduced yield potential significantly this season. These dry conditions were so severe in many areas that harvest operations were forced to stop until it rained. The dry conditions prevented diggers from penetrating the soil at risk of tearing peanuts from the vines. Prices this season were lower than those seen in recent years, primarily due to a large carryover from previous crops. Markets did begin to move upward toward the end of the season, based on reduced supply caused by the drought in much of the Southeast. For the 2011 crop, $550 contracts have already been offered, and many economists are projecting even higher prices as we near planting time. The reason for the stronger prices this season is the slightly lower production in 2010 as well as poor quality peanuts due to drought conditions. Another factor is other commodity prices. Peanuts compete for the same acres as cotton and corn, and as these crops continue to have strong prices, peanuts should continue to follow the same trends. With the increased number of peanut growers and peanut acres, the need for local peanut research also increases. In 2010, Mississippi peanut producers benefited from over 25 research trials conducted across the state by Mississippi State and United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) researchers. Much of this research was conducted at the peanut learning centers.

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Fortner

Located in Lucedale and Hamilton, the peanut learning centers are dedicated to small-plot peanut research. Funding for the centers is provided through check-off funds from the Mississippi Peanut Promotion Board. Research projects have included variety trials, planting date trials, tillage trials, disease control trials, insect control trials, and weed control trials. In addition, the peanut learning centers served as a location for two peanut field days in 2010. Growers had the opportunity to visit the centers and see first-hand how the latest developments can affect their management decisions. The Mississippi Peanut Producers Association has also been very active this year, promoting the benefits of peanuts and peanut butter across the state. Radio spots were broadcast during Mississippi State basketball and baseball games, as well as NASCAR’s Talladega 500. The group was also a major sponsor for the Diabetes Walks, taking part in eight walks across the state to help raise money for diabetes research. In November, the group participated in the Mississippi School Nutrition Conference by setting up a booth at the conference. This booth helped educate participants as to the value of peanuts and peanut butter in the diets of school children and was judged the first-place booth at the conference. The peanut industry has exploded in the past few years in Mississippi, and this growth is expected to continue. Acreage for 2011 is expected to be around 20,000 acres again, but efforts by producers in Mississippi will continue to increase the awareness of peanuts through production research, education of consumers, and promotion of peanuts and peanut butter. This article was written by Mike Howell, area MSU Extension agronomic crops specialist, Coastal Research and Extension Center, Southeast District Extension Office.

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COMMODITY UPDATE: POULTRY

Growers Continue to Face Challenges Kyle Rhodes, MFBF Poultry Advisory Committee Chair

Rhodes

In the coming year, Mississippi poultry growers will continue to face challenges with environmental regulations, energy costs and marketing rules. Let’s look first at the environmental arena. Environmental Regs Poultry production has a huge economic impact in Mississippi, and compliance with environmental regulations is essential to the industry’s future growth. Because of efforts by the Mississippi Department of Environmental Quality (MDEQ), Mississippi has an advantage over other states in the environmental arena. While poultry producers across the nation are just coming under permits and nutrient management plans, our producers have been operating with these requirements for years. Producers are urged to maintain compliance with all aspects of their Dry Litter AFO permit, including their Nutrient Management Plan or Manure Management Plan. Compliance with your permit is basically an insurance policy against enforcement action or civil complaints. If you run out of forms, they can be downloaded from MDEQ’s Web site, or by contacting the state Farm Bureau office. (See the sidebar on this page for contact information.) Review your permit often and keep track of dates of expiration for soil test, manure analysis and renewal dates. Mentally conduct inspections when walking around the farm and address potential problems as soon as possible (i.e., water leaks, puddles, drainage problems, etc.). Also, make sure that your stored litter is covered and contained. Avoid having exposed litter around barns, pads and loading areas. Keeping grass and weeds mowed or clipped around barns and manure confinement areas can also present a favorable picture for inspectors. Farms with a fuel storage capacity of 1320 gallons or greater will need to develop and implement a Spill Prevention Control Countermeasures (SPCC) plan. Farms with between a 1320- and 10,000-gallon storage capacity may be able to self-certify their plans, while farms with a fuel storage capacity of over 10,000 gallons must have a Professional Engineers (PE) Certified Plan. If your farm was in operation on or before

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Jack Alexander, MFBF Commodity Coordinator for Poultry

Aug. 16, 2002, go ahead and prepare a plan now. If your farm began operation after Aug. 16, 2002, you have until Nov. 10, 2011, to develop and implement the SPCC. SPCC plans contain lists of fuels and oils stored on the farm, Alexander secondary containment measures, and a description of how the operation will address spills and prevent them from reaching waters. 1 One of the most pressing environmental issues we are facing is addressing nutrients in our waters and the Gulf of Mexico hypoxic zone. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is taking serious action to address nutrient loading in the Chesapeake Bay area and is discussing taking similar steps in the Mississippi River Basin. To avoid heavy-handed EPA mandates, MDEQ is taking a proactive approach to address nutrients through voluntary, state-led nutrient reduction strategies. These strategies are being developed with the help of numerous stakeholders, including producers, to make sure our nutrient reduction goals are realistic and achievable. The goal is to reduce the amount of nitrogen and phosphorus in our waters through Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) conservation practices to address runoff, educate residential property owners, explore alternative uses for poultry litter, and upgrade municipal wastewater treatment. If you are thinking about farm improvement or implementing conservation practices on your farm, please contact your local NRCS office and see what programs are available. Energy Programs Controlling costs is always a challenge, especially in the integrated poultry industry. Renewable energy and energy efficiency are areas that are likely to provide producers some costsaving opportunities, provided we get the policy right. MISSISSIPPI FARM COUNTRY

Renewable energy programs centered on animal waste, such as methane digestion, need to be flexible rather than restrictive. These programs will also need to provide incentives to make conversion economically feasible and provide an opportunity to resell excess energy production. Opportunities also exist to expand the use of solar power generation in poultry production, provided we get the incentive policy right. GIPSA Rules The USDA has announced that it plans to conduct an “exhaustive” in-depth economic cost/benefit analysis of the new livestock marketing rules proposed June 22, 2010, by the Grain Inspection, Packers and Stockyards Administration (GIPSA). During a comment period ending November 22, 2010, over 60,000 comments were received, many expressing a need for this type of analysis. By the time new regulations are written, it will most likely be at least the fall before they go into affect. We will keep you informed regarding the time frame for this. For more information, contact Andy Whittington, Mississippi Farm Bureau Federation (MFBF) Environmental Programs Coordinator, at 601-977- 4238, or call MFBF Commodity Coordinator for Poultry Jack Alexander at 601573-4709.

For more information on SPCC plans, please contact Brian Ketchum, ECS, Inc. at 662840-5945; David Arant, Eco-Systems, Inc. at 601-936-4440; or Andy Whittington at 601-9774238. 1

CONTACT INFO For more information, contact Andy Whittington, Mississippi Farm Bureau Federation Environmental Programs Coordinator, at 601-977-4238. Or visit the following Web site: http://www.deq.state.ms.us/MDEQ.ns f/page/epd_AgriculturalBranchEPD?O penDocument 7


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Family Corn By Glynda Phillips

Growers

The rich bottomland along Tippah Creek grows row crops as well as any Delta soil, say the men and women whose families have farmed the land for generations. Back in the early days, cotton was the row crop of choice. Today, area farmers also grow acres upon acres of corn and soybeans. “My father and grandfather were farming this land before I was born,” said Mike Graves, a former four-time Mississippi Farm Bureau Federation District 2 Young Farmer of the Year and the current president of Tippah County Farm Bureau. “Back then, my family grew 200 acres of cotton each year. It was only in the 1960s and 1970s that they added more farmland and began growing corn and soybeans.” Today, the Graves annually farm about 4,200 acres of cotton, soybeans and corn. They also grow 100 acres of wheat each year, but wheat is harder to manage because of the type of soil and weather in this area of the state. Mike farms with his sons Allen and Tyler, his father

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Hines and his mother Dimple Ramona. He has one employee, Joey, who has worked with him for 25 years. Growing Corn “When I married in 1975, I thought that it would be wonderful to one day grow 1,000 acres of corn,” Mike said. “In recent years, we have grown as much as 1,500 acres of corn and 2,100 acres of cotton. Last year, we grew 850 acres of corn and 500 acres of cotton. It all depends on the prices.” A lot also depends on Mother Nature. Most hill farmers grow dryland corn because they don’t have easy access to water. Timely summer rains are very important. In 2009, Mike and his family had their best corn crop ever. “We harvested 165 bushels per acre of dryland corn, which is the most we’ve ever harvested,” he said. “This past year, the heat hurt us, and we pulled down an average of 120 bushels an acre.”

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Mike and his family market their corn in Memphis and to the chicken mills in Tuscumbia, Alabama. The Memphis corn is marketed to other areas of the nation and overseas. The Graves bought a used grain truck in 2010 for hauling their grain to market, and they say this will help them cut costs. Mike says our nation’s demand for ethanol has also helped the corn industry. Mississippi has one corn ethanol plant in Vicksburg. Changing Agriculture To ensure that they are utilizing all available resources, the Graves stay on top of the latest equipment, technology and farming practices. They use no-till cultivation, integrated pest management and crop rotation, which saves them on fuel costs, adds organic matter to the soil, cuts down on erosion,

■ Corn is the second largest row crop grown in Mississippi. The corn industry generates thousands of jobs in Mississippi and contributes to the economies of counties and communities. ■ Mississippi farmers planted 750,000 acres of corn in 2010, about the same as they planted the two previous years. Farmers produced about 98 million bushels of corn (ties for second highest in Mississippi history) with an

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and preserves precious topsoil. No-till also helps soil hold water. Mike and his father bought a corn dryer 14 years ago which speeds up efforts by letting them shell at a higher moisture level and get their corn out of the way faster. He says this really came in handy last year with all the rain the state experienced. The family owns a tractor and a planter that utilize Global Positioning System (GPS) technology. GPS is a navigation satellite system that provides reliable location and time information. “GPS saves us seed, money and time,” he said. “We also own a spray rig that drives itself using GPS. This is all the way of the future. If cotton prices continue to rise, we will plant more cotton next season and we are looking at the new

estimated farm value of more than $555 million.

■ In 2007, Mississippi recorded 930,000 planted acres, our highest amount since 1960. ■ Corn is grown in row cropproducing regions throughout the state. Acreage is highest in the south Delta, the northern and central hill counties, and the north Delta. Counties that produce the most corn include Yazoo, Washington and Bolivar.

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■ Corn markets for central Mississippi growers are primarily local with the poultry industry. The further north you go, the fewer local marketing opportunities exist, and most corn is marketed to commercial facilities in Memphis and up and down the Mississippi River. ■ The ethanol plant in Vicksburg uses more than 7 million bushels of corn annually. A byproduct of ethanol production, dried distillers

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John Deere pickers that roll the cotton. We may go to that. “My sons get into this new technology quickly, but I’m slower to adapt,” Mike said. “I can’t imagine what we’ll be farming with 10 more years down the road. I hear they are testing equipment that operates with no one in it. We’ll see how that goes.” The family is gradually irrigating fields and will draw their water from Tippah Creek. “In 2010, we harvested 200 bushels under the pivot on 85 acres of corn,” he said. “The dryland corn next to the irrigated fields yielded only 100 bushels an acre. I can tell you that we are definitely drawing circles all over this bottomland. Irrigation is the next thing we will add.” Mike marvels at how much farming has changed in just the past decade.

grain with solubles, or DDGS, is used by the poultry and livestock industries as a high-protein feed.

■ Corn is grown in an environmentally responsible manner using stale seedbed, minimum and no-tillage practices, integrated pest management and crop rotation. ■ Producers in the Delta often utilize supplemental irrigation to improve corn productivity and sustainability of cropping systems.

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“We used to work all day and half the night, and we farmed one-quarter of the acres we farm now,” he said. “We hardly ever turn on the lights now when we’re farming. The planters plant 300 to 400 acres a day. “We built our first grain bin in 1979, and it had a 4,000bushel capacity. We thought at the time that this was all we would ever need,” Mike said. “We now have a 200,000bushel storage capacity, and we’re saying that this is all we will ever need. But you never know.” Mike gladly keeps pace with change because he loves to farm and wants to be able to do so well into the future. “This is my heart and soul,” he said. “I’m glad it is something that my sons enjoy, also. We all work together well.”

Drought stress is a limiting factor in hill regions where moisture is dependent upon summer rainfall.

■ Mississippi State University conducts numerous research and education programs designed to improve the profitability and sustainability of corn production in Mississippi. These efforts include the most comprehensive, third-party evaluation of corn hybrid performance in the industry; a Corn Verification Program which

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enhances management systems and identifies production limitations which can be used to direct future research efforts; improved weed control and pest management programs; and aflatoxin mitigation. This information was provided by Dr. Erick Larson, Ph.D., Grain Crops Specialist, Mississippi State University Extension Service.

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Learning about Agriculture

Down

on the

Farm By Glynda Phillips

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Fiddlin’ Rooster Farm and Bakery near Water Valley offers school kids and the general public an opportunity to learn about farm life while having a whole lot of fun. A visit to this Yalobusha County old-style farm, owned and operated by Doug and Rhonda Webb, is like stepping back in time. You will find here a restored 103-year-old farm house, a weathered twostory barn, a menagerie of farm animals, two ponds stocked with large-mouth bass, a fruit orchard, a corn crop, a vegetable garden and a kitchen garden, just like your grandma and grandpa used to own. But that’s not all … Fiddlin’ Rooster Farm and Bakery also offers learning stations with facts about Mississippi agriculture as well as hands-on experiences with various agricultural commodities. For example, while you learn about the dairy industry, you can shake a container of cream to form butter. While you learn about the corn industry, you can grind corn to form meal. When you are finished, you can make muffins from the meal and slather them with homemade butter. Yum! In addition, you can visit a 6-acre corn maze, ride a cow train, take a hayride, visit a pumpkin patch, shoot a corn cannon, slide down a tall slide out of a hayloft, visit a country store, eat beneath a picnic pavilion, and much, much more. An authentic chuck wagon with antique cooking utensils is parked on the property. This unique learning station represents a great way for visitors to learn about the types of foods Mississippi pioneers ate, the clothes they wore and even how they entertained themselves through music and dance. Doug plays the fiddle during the presentation while Rhonda calls square dance moves that you can’t help but follow.

“We are also passionate about teaching the youth of today about the importance of agriculture to their daily lives.” When you’re done for the day, you can eat a bag lunch at a picnic table beneath the pavilion. The Webbs have also been known to cook for visitors. School kids are invited to visit during the week. On the weekends, it is open to the public.

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What is Agritourism? Agritourism is a business on a working farm or other agricultural enterprise that offers an educational and fun experience for visitors while generating supplemental income for the owner … such as Upick gardens, farm arts and crafts, seasonal festivals, or just about any agricultural activity that brings income from agriculture. For more information, visit: www.mississippiagritourism.org.

Realization of a Dream Fiddlin’ Rooster Farm and Bakery is the realization of a dream for Doug and Rhonda. In 2003, these veteran old-time string band musicians were named Touring Artists by the Mississippi Arts Commission. They have visited dozens of schools, churches, festivals and other events, entertaining and teaching people about old-time music, dance, clothing and food. “We love people, farm life, music, dance and history,” Rhonda said. “We are also passionate about teaching the youth of today about the importance of agriculture to their daily lives. So when we bought this farm, we wanted to do something special with it.” “We called Mississippi State University, and the experts there suggested we open an agritourism business,” Doug added. “With agritourism, all of our interests come together.” The Webbs talked with Yalobusha County Extension Director Steve Cummings, who referred them to Union County Extension Director Stanley Wise, whose specialty area is Agriculture & Natural Resource Enterprises and Community Resource Development. Wise guided them to agritourism. The Webbs conducted research for two years before getting started, attending conferences and visiting other agritourism operations across the state and Southeast. “We learned the basics,” Doug said. “But you don’t really realize just how much time, money and effort goes into running one of these.” Luckily, local farmers and others in the community have pitched in to help them get started, giving very generously of their time, energy and expertise.

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Future Plans Fiddlin’ Rooster Farm and Bakery will eventually become two-fold. It will open from late September through the first of November for the corn maze and the pumpkin patch. It will operate year-round for tour groups and others who want to hold meetings, reunions, parties and wedding receptions. Already, the Webbs have hosted countless numbers of school kids as well as fair number of get-togethers and barn dances beneath the pavilion. And already, the Little Red Hen Bakery is open for business. Using a commercial kitchen, Rhonda cooks all types of bakery items to order. She has also recently opened a cooking school. “Fiddlin’ Rooster Farm and Bakery caters to grades K through 3, but we want schools to know that we do get a lot of fourth-graders and that we have educational opportunities available for up to fifth and sixth grades,” Rhonda said. For more information, call the Webbs at 662-473-5005, or visit their Web site at www.FiddlinRoosterFarm.com.

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Solve the

?

Mystery

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Our mystery town has an unusual name. Read the clues and make your guess. In the late 1800s, a Taylorsville postmaster would often pass through this area on his way to the post office in Ellisville. When asked by the locals about his health, or the weather, or just about anything, he would always reply “oh, it’s so-so.” That response was taken into account when a post office was eventually established here and the town was officially named. Our mystery town was founded as a logging town, but a thriving cotton industry also existed in the area. The Eastman-Gardner Lumber Company logged for yellow pine, and a cotton gin or two ginned wagonloads of cotton. In those early days, you could also find a hotel, newspaper, train station, grist mills and several doctors. In the 1900s, this town boasted the usual small-town businesses, along with Wayne Farms Feed Mill, which produced feed for the poultry industry, a mattress factory, a modern restaurant, a furniture store, doctors, and a dentist. A famous hymn writer, the late J.B. Coats, is a native of nearby Summerland. Among many other popular hymns, Coats wrote “Where Could I Go But To The Lord?” Today, our Jones County mystery town has approximately 500 residents and several thriving businesses. Two well-known businesses include Royals Western Store and McLaurin Carpets. In addition, this town has a police station, a volunteer fire department, a commu-

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nity center, a community football field, and a museum. “We are a close community with outstanding churches, a low crime rate and people who genuinely care about each other,” said Mayor Mike Moore. Our mystery town is located ten miles northwest of Laurel on Highway 28. It is also located near Bay Springs and Stringer on Highway 533 and Ellisville and Hattiesburg on Highway 29. Traffic through this town is quite steady. Mayor Moore says the town is planning a new water system and is looking forward to a Dollar General locating there. It is already home to a Family Dollar store. The kids in this town attend West Jones schools. West Jones High School was preparing to play in the 5A South State Championship at the time of my visit. This is the team’s fifth time to do so in the last nine years. Mayor Moore and Town Clerk Jeanne Sherman invite you to stop by and visit their town. Name this town.

C o r re c t G u e s s e s

Mail guesses to Solve the Mystery, Mississippi Farm Country, P. O. Box 1972, Jackson, MS 39215. You may also e-mail your guesses to FarmCountry@MSFB.org. Please remember to include your name and address on the entry. Visit our Mississippi Farm Bureau Federation Web site at www.msfb.org. When all correct guesses have been received, we will randomly draw 20 names. These 20 names will receive a prize and will be placed in the hat twice. At the end of the year, a winner will be drawn from all correct submissions. The winner will receive a Weekend Bed and Breakfast Trip, courtesy of Mississippi Farm Bureau Federation. Families may submit only one entry. Federation staff members and their families are ineligible to participate in this contest. The deadline for submitting your entry is March 31.

J a n u a r y / F eb r u ar y

The correct answer for the January/February Solve the Mystery is Bruce. Scenes around our mystery town include a gift shop, the historic community center, Royals Western Store, the museum (plus a recreated schoolroom in the museum) and a Baptist church.

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hough many are aware of “Robert’s Rules of Order,” as it has come to be known, few could name the author and even less know anything about him. There have been millions of copies sold and the book has become iconic as a code of how deliberative assemblies and vast numbers of other organizations and societies govern their own proceedings. Henry Martyn Robert (1837-1923) was a U.S. army officer in engineering service and eventually became a general. He became interested in how organizations governed themselves as he was transferred among military posts and learned that rules, if there were any, varied greatly from place to place. During the Civil War, he became enamored with attempting to write a brief manual of rules that could be adopted by societies or bodies that could adopt these rules in their organization and proceedings with a hope on Robert’s part that they would meet with good acceptance. Little could he imagine what this was to become.1 He bought the best books on the subject of what was referred to as parliamentary procedure or parliamentary law and undertook what became a monumental effort and a landmark publication. Parliamentary law takes its name from the English legislative assembly, Parliament, which was developed during the 13th and early 14th centuries. The Norman Conquest in 1066 brought England under the military control of French-speaking kings, but they left the structure of ancient Anglo-Saxon governments, such as they were, largely in place. They assembled councils to discuss matters of state business which eventually became the Great Council and then evolved into Parliament, the term for which had been in use to describe a meeting held for the purpose of discussion. This also evolved from discourse with the sovereign into discussion with each other about “the state of the realm.” Eventually, other representatives were admitted from communities or “commons” and the two separate branches of Parliament, the House of Lords and House of Commons, were established by 1340. Since England’s constitution is unwritten, there were recorded decisions made and entered in the Journal of the House of Commons since 1547. Not long thereafter, there was first published a vol-

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COUNSEL’S CORNER

Who Was Robert?

By Sam E. Scott, MFBF General Counsel ume of these decisions and practices. Others followed and the American settlers brought this developing body of methods or law with them in the 17th century, and it was generally accepted and modified as circumstances dictated. It is no surprise that Thomas Jefferson authored the first such American authoritative book, inspired by his presiding over the U.S. Senate while vice president under John Adams, our second president, from 17971801. His “Manual of Parliamentary Practice” was published in 1801. Over the next several decades, societies of many kinds came into existence and there was a need for rules for these organizations which were considerably different from a legislative body. Luther S. Cushing, clerk of the Massachusetts House of Representatives, published his “Manual of Parliamentary Procedure” in 1845. Though it was a widelyaccepted standard, its concept that each organization should adopt its own rules turned out to be beyond the capability of many, if not most, and there was a need for rules with a broader range of uses. Here, Henry M. Robert comes into the picture. After long study and painstakingly hard work, he decided to publish a 16-page tract after having been assigned to preside over a meeting. He was terrified because he did not know how and determined that he would never attend another meeting until he learned something about parliamentary law. Initially unable to find a publisher, he continued to expand on his manual, and by making financial concessions and contributions, his publisher placed on the cover “Robert’s Rules of Order,” though that was not its actual name, and printed 4,000 copies in February 1876. Robert thought this would be enough

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for two years’ sales, but it sold out in four months at $.75 a copy. Other revisions followed and were enthusiastically accepted, and today, it is in its 10th edition as “Robert’s Rules of Order, Newly Revised” and its authors have always included Robert’s family. From a first edition of 176 pages, the current one is 704 pages, and even by 1970, all editions had sold 2,650,000 copies. It covers such basic distinctions as “assembly” (the body of people who assemble) and “meeting” (the event of their being assembled to do business) down to the rather fine point of which motions are debatable but not amendable and those amendable but not debatable. Its influence is incalculable and it contains more than just procedural rules. General Robert once stated: “The great lesson for democracies to learn is for the majority to give to the minority a full, free opportunity to present their side of the case, and then for the minority, having failed to win a majority to their views, gracefully to submit and to recognize the action as that of the entire organization, and cheerfully to assist in carrying it out, until they can secure its repeal.” Has Congress or the state legislatures missed this and is it too late to learn now? Much could be done and General Robert deserves greater acclaim. 1

Much of the above came from the introduction to the 9th edition.

Sam E. Scott is general counsel for Mississippi Farm Bureau Federation and practices law in the law firm of Samuel E. Scott, PLLC, in Jackson. The foregoing information is general in nature and is not intended as nor should be considered specific legal advice nor to be considered as MFBF’s position or opinion.

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Ag

News Sales Tax Exemption Affidavit

The Farmers’ Sales Tax Exemption Affidavit allows farmers to receive a reduced sales tax of 1.5 percent 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 with which they do business. The farmer will be required to do this once a year to be eligible for the reduced sales tax. To download the affidavit, visit: http://www.msfb.org/public_policy/sales%20 tax%20affidavit.aspx. For more information, contact Samantha Cawthorn at 601-977-4020.

Magnolia Beef and Poultry Expo

Make plans to attend the 2011 Magnolia Beef and Poultry Expo to be held April 7 from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the Smith County Ag Complex in Raleigh. This event offers educational seminars and a trade show featuring agricultural equipment and other valuable information for beef and poultry producers. The 2011 Magnolia Beef and Poultry Expo is sponsored by Mississippi State University Extension Service, Jasper, Newton, Rankin, Scott, Simpson and Smith counties, and Community Bank. For details, contact your local Extension office or Community Bank. MARCH/APRIL

State Ag Commodities Post Record Values Mississippi State -- At presstime, agricultural economists with Mississippi State University’s (MSU) Extension Service were predicting a record $6.9 billion production value for the state’s farm enterprises for 2010. The previous record of $6.4 billion was set in 2005. Extension agricultural economist John Michael Riley said the state’s top crops are poultry at $2.5 billion (up 8 percent); forestry at $1.08 billion (up 25 percent); and soybeans at $821 million (up 16 percent.) In 2000, cotton was Mississippi’s No. 3 crop at a value of $481 million and soybeans was the No. 6 crop at $164 million. “The rise of soybeans is due largely to the work of producers and university experts,” Riley said. “The industry has benefited from research and Extension efforts that have improved state yields from a typical 25-30 bushels per acre in the late 1990s and early 2000s to the current average of about 40 bushels per acre.” Mississippi cotton has shifted from an average of 1.15 million acres from 1998 through 2000 to an average of 363,000 acres from 2008 through 2010, resulting in a much lower value of production in recent years. Jimmy Avery, Extension aquaculture professor at MSU’s Delta Research and Extension Center, said catfish is expected to post its first increase in value in four years, mostly due to improved prices in the last quarter of 2010. Economists are estimating a catfish value of $199 million, up 1 percent from the previous year. Crops expected to make the biggest percentage improvements from 2009 were cotton, up 141 percent to $363 million, and sweet potatoes, up 116 percent to $56 million. Both were casualties in 2009 due to excessive rains at harvest. Specialists estimated a 75 percent loss of the sweet potato crop in 2009. Corn is expected to post a 71 percent value increase to $555 million. Erick Larson, Extension grain crops speMISSISSIPPI FARM COUNTRY

cialist, said the market deserves most of the credit, but corn productivity was remarkable, considering the drought in Mississippi during the growing season. Record prices per bushel averaged between $5.50 and $5.75, compared to $3.72 in 2009. Mississippi’s No. 2 crop, forestry, posted a significant rebound in 2010 from the previous year. The $1.1 billion value was more than $200 million above the depressed 2009 level, which was the only year since 1993 that forestry did not exceed a billion dollars. Other crop values and their percentage change from 2009 include rice, $224 million, up 7 percent; cattle, $169 million, up 17 percent; hay, $116 million, down 7 percent; hogs, $96 million, up 36 percent; horticultural crops, $93 million, up 3 percent; milk, $74 million, up 11 percent; wheat, $23 million, down 37 percent; peanuts, $12 million, up 17 percent; and grain sorghum, $2 million, down 11 percent. Mississippi’s Top Commodities 2010 Value of Production

Poultry & Eggs $2.47 billion Forestry $1.08 billion Soybeans $821 million Corn $555 million Cotton $363 million Rice $224 million Catfish $199 million Cattle $169 million Hay $116 million Hogs $96 million Horticultural Crops $93 million Milk $74 million Sweet Potatoes $56 million Wheat $23 million Peanuts $12 million Grain Sorghum $2 million Government Payments $520 million

TOTAL $6.88 billion

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A Bread-Making By Glynda Phillips

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Photos opposite page and below by Sylvia Dickson, French Camp Academy

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or 18 years, Annie Carter has baked French Camp’s renowned white yeast bread. Her name tag says it all: “Chief Bread Baker.” Most mornings, you will find Annie hard at work in the commercial kitchen at the French Camp Academy Visitor’s Center and Bakery, mixing up ingredients, kneading dough, waiting patiently for the dough to rise then shaping it into 22-ounce and larger loaves, which she slips into a bank of ovens. Soon enough, the aroma of freshly-baked bread fills the center and drifts outside as the door is opened and closed by employees and visitors. Annie bakes 70-plus loaves of bread a day or about 15,000 loaves a year. Approximately 4,500 loaves are distributed during the month of December alone, when production peaks. Most of the 22ounce loaves are shipped out to friends of French Camp Academy–those people who make donations to this private, non-profit school. But a fair number go to businesses who wish to give the bread as gifts, especially during the Christmas season. Loaves of French Camp bread may also be purchased at the visitor’s center and at the Log Cabin Gift Shop located in the historic French Camp Village. The larger 36-ounce loaves are used by the Council House Cafe for sandwiches and bread pudding. “I started my career many years ago working in the kitchen at French Camp Academy,” Annie said, taking a break from her breadmaking activities on a beautiful morning in mid-November. “The school has been making this bread for 50 years. “When they began looking for someone to make the bread in a bakery at the visitor’s center, I decided to try for the job,” she added with a twinkle in her eyes. “I am pleased to say that I got it.” Early in his administration, Sam Patterson, president of French Camp Academy from 1950-1967, would take homemade bread baked by students and staff with him when he traveled. He would MARCH/APRIL

give the bread to supporters to show appreciation for their contributions. Today, French Camp bread is shipped all over the state and nation. “Oh, I love this job,” Annie said. “I enjoy baking, and when I am doing this, it is just me, my Lord and I. I also enjoy visiting with the people who tour our facility. It is a friendly atmosphere and a great place to work. “As long as I am able, I will keep doing this.” Annie and the rest of the staff at French Camp Academy Visitor’s Center and Bakery invite you to come by and say hello. If Annie is busy baking, you may watch her in action. For more information, call 662-547-9464, or visit the Web site at: www.frenchcamp.org. Annie and her husband Ezell are members of Winston County Farm Bureau.

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Success is

Sweet

By Glynda Phillips

Shan Miller, Raven Lewis and Gena Sessions

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for Magnolia Honey Like most successful endeavors, Magnolia Honey Company of Woodville had its beginnings in a single interesting idea. Several years ago, Shan Miller decided to try and sell her homemade honey jelly on a Web site store. That endeavor proved so successful that the rest, as they say, is sweet history. Today, Magnolia Honey Company makes and sells a variety of honey-based products, including jellies, sauces and pickles, that are shipped around the state, the nation and the world. And today, this woman-owned-and-operated business includes Raven Lewis and Gena Sessions as co-owners, along with Miller. Sherry Wilkins, Miller’s cousin, is the resident genius in the kitchen. As an icing on the cake, Magnolia Honey Company’s Raspberry William Honey Jelly won a 2009 gold Sofi award from the National Association for the Specialty Food Trade (NASFT). The award was presented at the 55th Summer Fancy Food Show in New York City and was voted on by 400 foodies and chefs who have a vested interest in the gourmet food industry. Some History Magnolia Honey Company uses pure clover honey in all of its products. The honey comes from Adee Honey Farms, one of the largest family apiaries in the world. Wilkinson County and the surrounding area are dotted with white Adee bee boxes, so honey abounds in this lush area of the state. “Several years ago, someone gave me five pounds of honey, and I didn’t know how I would ever use it all,” Miller said. “I happened to mention this

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to one of my neighbors, and she offered me her recipes for lemon and orange honey jellies. Four years later, I asked if she would let me use those same recipes to make jelly to sell on a Web site store, and she said yes. My neighbor was in her 70s at the time and the recipes had come from her mother who had died in her 80s. So you can imagine how old they were. I liked the history.” The products sold so well on the Web site and at local arts and crafts festivals that Miller decided to go into business for herself. She began experimenting with other flavors, sampling them out to folks at the local school and letting them vote on which ones they liked the best. That’s how she selected her initial flavors.

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In the beginning, Miller used a church kitchen to make her jellies. After a year, the business had out-grown that kitchen so she moved it to the basement of her home, where her husband had installed a commercial kitchen for her. That is when Lewis came onboard. “Raven has a degree in merchandising and is gifted at marketing and sales,” Miller said. “She has truly lifted the visibility of our product. Gena has a degree in banking and finance. Initially, she worked with us part-time, labeling jars to make some extra spending money. Now, she works with us full-time, and she has proven to be gifted in sales as well. “Sherry owned her own business for seven years. Her product, seasoned vinegars, was in 600 Cracker Barrel stores across the U.S.,” Miller said. “She is a major help in the kitchen. We could not do this without all of these women.” Future Goals Magnolia Honey Company moved into its present 2,400-square-foot location on Highway 61 in Woodville in 2006. This facility boasts a commercial kitchen and shipping and receiving facilities. For two years, a retail store was also located there, selling the company’s honey products as well as products made by local craftsmen. After two Christmases, Miller and her partners realized they had too much to do with making honey products and maintaining a Web site to also run a store, so they gave up the retail endeavor. But they still sell some of their honey products at this facility. Magnolia Honey Company does corporate and Christ-

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mas orders and will ship. They can personalize baskets with products that bear your company’s name or with products made by Mississippi craftsmen. Magnolia Honey Company products can be found at other stores across the state, or you may visit their Web site at www.magnoliahoney.com. Magnolia Honey Company participates in the Mississippi Department of Agriculture and Commerce’s “Make Mine Mississippi” program. The women of Magnolia Honey Company are presently hard at work developing a Granny Smith apple-flavored honey jelly. Stay tuned.

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Magnolia Honey Jelly Finishing Sauce Honey Mustard Chicken Wings 3 lbs. chicken wings 1 tsp. salt 1 tsp. black pepper ½ c. honey ½ c. barbecue sauce 2 T. spicy brown mustard

1 jar Raspberry William Honey Jelly 1 jar Michael’s Hot Pepper Jelly 2 oz. Simply Honey 2 T. Dark Brown Sugar 2 oz. Sweet Chili Sauce Combine all ingredients, stir and heat for 5 minutes or until well combined. Pour over roasted duck, chicken, pork

tenderloin or beef tenderloin. Place meat in a 350 oven for 3-5 minutes to caramelize the glaze. This recipe is compliments of Magnolia Honey Company and Kevin Leroux, Head Chef, Clementine Restaurant, New Iberia, Louisiana. For more information, contact Magnolia Honey Company at 601-888-7500 or visit: www.magnoliahoney.com.

Rinse chicken and pat dry. Cut off wing tips; discard. Sprinkle salt and pepper on both sides of chicken. Place wing pieces on broiler rack. Broil about 10 minutes, turning halfway through cooking time. Place broiled wings in slow cooker. Combine all other ingredients. Pour over chicken wings. Cook in slow cooker on low 4-5 hours. This recipe was taken from “Country Cooking, Volume IV,” which is available at most county Farm Bureau offices. The cost is $15. If you order from the state office, you will pay $15 plus postage. For more information, contact Women’s Program Coordinator Clara Bilbo at 1-800-2278244, ext. 4245.

By Tammy Layton, Simpson County

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Calender of Events March 3 Ag Day at the Capitol March 15 AITC Teacher Grant & Regional Coloring Contest Deadline April 7 Magnolia Beef and Poultry Expo Smith County Ag Complex Raleigh April 8 & 9 Super Bulldog Weekend Mississippi State University April 12-14 2011 Women for Ag Conference April 15-18 National Women’s Leadership Conference Baltimore, Maryland April 26-27 Secretaries’ Conference MFBF Building Jackson May 6 Women’s Leadership Conference MFBF Building Jackson June 1 Application Deadline Farm Bureau Scholarships June 6-9 Youth Safety Seminar Timber Creek Camp June 14-16 AITC Workshops Grenada, Collins, Jackson June 22-25 National AITC Conference Fort Lauderdale, Florida

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Adding Value to Your Membership By Greg Gibson, MFBF Member Services Director

If I told you that you could save hundreds of dollars on products and services that you use every day, would you be interested to find out how? Of course you would! Your membership in Farm Bureau costs you a few dollars each year, but that membership fee allows you to participate in many Member Benefit programs that can save you hundreds, perhaps thousands, of dollars. Farm Bureau has signed agreements with many partner companies to provide products and services to Farm Bureau members at a discount. All of these services are available to you as a member and all you have to do is provide your membership number or the special Farm Bureau code that is associated with that particular program. Hotels One of our most popular programs is the 20 percent discount offered by Choice Hotels. By reserving rooms on the Choice Hotel Web site and using Farm Bureau’s savings code, you can save 20 percent on every night you stay in a Choice Hotel, which includes Comfort Inn, Comfort Suites, Quality Inn, Sleep Inn, Clarion, Mainstay Suites, Suburban, Econo Lodge and Rodeway Inn. You can also save 20 percent on Wyndham Hotels, including Microtel Inn, Hawthorn Suites, Days Inn, Howard Johnson, Knights Inn, Ramada, Super 8, Travelodge, Baymont Inns, Wyndham and Wingate Inn brands. Industrial Supplies Grainger, Inc., America’s largest supplier of industrial supplies, offers more than 500,000 parts and supplies at a discounted rate to Mississippi Farm Bureau members. Grainger offers an efficient solution to the need for a speedy and consistent supply of electric motors and other electrical equipment as well as painting, cleaning and other supplies. Members may order supplies online, by phone, fax, or by visiting your local Grainger branch. MISSISSIPPI FARM COUNTRY

Identity Theft Protection Millions of Americans become victims of identity theft each year. Farm Bureau has partnered with LifeLock, the industry leader in identity theft protection, to offer our members a discount when signing up for LifeLock’s ID protection plan. LifeLock helps stop identity theft before it happens – even if your information falls into the wrong hands. As a LifeLock member, if you become a victim of identity theft because of a failure in LifeLock® service, they’ll help you fix it at their expense, up to $1,000,000. This extensive system provides early notification whenever LifeLock detects your personal information being used to apply for many forms of credit and non-credit. It helps you replace the contents of a lost or stolen wallet, and LifeLock even requests that your name be deleted from credit offer mailing lists. This is a great offer that will save members 10 percent off the regular cost of LifeLock protection plus you get a 30-day free trial. Medical Alert System One of the newest benefits that Farm Bureau offers is a Medical Alert System for your home. Most seniors and persons with medical conditions or physical challenges would prefer to live in their own homes and be as independent as possible. That’s not always possible, but this dream can become a reality with the addition of this easy-to-use communications device. The PERS-3600 connects to a phone line and automatically places a call for help whenever assistance is needed. The console’s emergency alarm can be triggered by the help button on top of the console or by using the wireless wristband or pendant. For more information on these and all of the other Member Benefit programs, visit our Web site at www.msfb.org and click on the Member Benefits link. Or you can call Farm Bureau’s Member Benefits Coordinator Dedra Luke at 601-977-4169. MARCH/APRIL


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AFBF Annual Meeting - Atlanta Photos by Danielle Ginn

Mississippi Farm Bureau Federation (MFBF) President Randy Knight greets American Farm Bureau Federation President Bob Stallman during the State Awards Program. MFBF programs receiving an Award of Excellence include Public Relations/Information, Leadership Development, and Agriculture Education/Promotion.

State Women’s Committee Chair Betty Mills accepts recognition on behalf of the Mississippi Farm Bureau Federation Women’s Program. She is pictured with American Farm Bureau Federation (AFBF) President Bob Stallman and AFBF Women’s Leadership Committee Chair Terry Gilbert.

Mississippi Farm Bureau Federation Women Voting Delegates are shown following the Women’s Leadership Recognition Luncheon and Business Session.

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Mississippi Farm Bureau Federation President Randy Knight participates in the Parade of Flags during the American Farm Bureau Federation (AFBF) Annual Meeting in Atlanta, Georgia. In other convention activities, Knight was elected to serve on the AFBF Board of Directors, representing the Southern region.

State Discussion Meet Winner Daniel Martin of Yalobusha County was one of three runners-up in the national Discussion Meet contest in Atlanta, Georgia.

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FLEET VEHICLES FOR SALE If you are interested in a used federation vehicle, please visit our Web site at www.msfb.org for more information. Click on the About Us link, then click the Fleet Vehicles for Sale on the drop down menu or contact Merlene Partridge at 1.800.227.8244, ext. 4233. These vehicles are late model, usually one - two years old. NADA retail, wholesale, and loan values are used to calculate price.

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Youth Safety Seminar

Registration deadline for the 2011 Mississippi Farm Bureau Federation (MFBF) Youth Safety Seminar is May 20. The event will be held June 6 - 9 at Timber Creek Camp in Scott County. Youth Safety Seminar offers young people, entering 7th through 12th grades, an opportunity to receive safety training, enjoy recreational activities and develop friendships that will last a lifetime. In 2010, approximately 58 students from across the state participated in training sessions that included CPR, Electrical Safety, ATV Safety, Fatal Vision and Tractor Safety. For more information about Youth Safety Seminar, contact you county Farm Bureau office or call Angela Thompson at 1-800-227-8244, ext. 4242.

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