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MISSISSIPPI FARM COUNTRY Volume 86 Number 4 July/August 2010


EDITOR Glynda Phillips



Graphic Arts Coordinator Danielle Ginn Department Assistant Angela Thompson

MAKING A DIFFERENCE Mississippi is blessed with strong agricultural leaders. In this issue, we spotlight three of them. Come with us as we learn more.


President - David Waide Vice President - Donald Gant Vice President - Randy Knight Vice President - Reggie Magee Treasurer - Billy Davis Corporate Secretary - Ilene Sumrall



LEGISLATIVE RECAP The 2010 Session of the Mississippi Legislature saw bills signed into law that will benefit Mississippi farmers. Read all about this productive session inside.





Which town is the seat of government for Pontotoc County? This patriotic town has a bustling downtown square. Read the clues and make your guess

In this issue, we visit Yazoo County and a few of the other counties in central Mississippi impacted by a devastating EF4 tornado that swept through the area on April 24. Come with us as we learn more.

Dr. Jim Perkins, Iuka Kevin Simpson, Ashland B.A. Teague, New Albany Bill Ryan Tabb, Cleveland Coley L. Bailey, Jr., Coffeeville Dan L. Bishop, Baldwyn Jeffrey R. Tabb, Walthall Doss Brodnax, Starkville Wanda Hill, Isola Weldon Harris, Kosciusko William Jones, Meridian Max Anderson, Decatur Stanley Williams, Mt. Olive Mark Chaney, Vicksburg Moody Davis, Brookhaven Bill Pigott, Tylertown D.P. O’Quinn, Purvis Wendell Gavin, Laurel Clifton Hicks, Leakesville Tom Daniels, Gulfport Betty Mills, Winona Clint Russell, Cleveland

HONORARY VICE-PRESIDENTS Louis J. Breaux, David H. Bennett, and Warren Oakley 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

Departments 4

President’s Message

6 Commodity Update: Soybeans 7 26

Commodity Update: Cotton Counsel’s Corner

ADVERTISING Call Paul Hurst at 1.800.397.8908 Farm Bureau members receive this publication as part of their membership benefit. Periodicals postage is paid at Jackson, MS, and at additional mailing offices. Postmaster: Send address changes to P. O. Box 1972, Jackson, MS 39215.

*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.

ABOUT THE COVER Mississippi Farm Bureau Federation has benefitted from the visionary leadership of David Whitmire Waide. Read his story, beginning on page 8. JULY/AUGUST

TELEPHONE 601.977.4153


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.



MAKES A DIFFERENCE By David Waide • President, Mississippi Farm Bureau Federation


ur theme for this issue of our magazine is “People Making a Difference in Agriculture.” In this issue, my focus will be on a group who has truly made a difference in agriculture over the long history of agricultural production. I have written numerous articles about how important it is to support our ag research from the public coffers. Contingency research funding usually leads to either information not being released when it is not favorable for the sponsor of the research projects, or, at least, the information not being as forthcoming as it should be because the company sponsoring the research has a vested interest in having favorable results for their product lines. One of the things that has occurred over the years with our land-grant system is that it has helped numerous individuals to get an education because it has made education affordable. In addition to offering an affordable education, it has provided agricultural research that has tremendously advanced the consumer’s interest in maintaining an affordable, abundant, safe food supply. One of the greatest demands in the utilization of our poultry products today is in the availability of chicken wings. Numerous vendors have chicken wings on their menus as an appetizer or, in some cases, the main entrée. This has caused a short supply of this delicious delicacy. It has caused some vendors to be without the ample stock needed to supply their customer base. Research has uncovered a way to increase the wing production from a chicken by 50 percent. This means we are going to get six wing sections from a chicken rather than four. I know that this sounds impossible to believe, but they have developed a robotic


cut from a chicken breast bone that gives an additional wing-like meat product. This will be favorable for the poultry industry in the future and will ultimately lead to more dollars in the pockets of the many people who produce poultry as their main livelihood. One other thing that is very encouraging by this new research is that the meat on the new wing will be of a leaner nature and should readily find consumer acceptance. For a long time, the poultry industry has disposed of the chicken feet. As a result of research and support by our land-grant institutions, the industry has developed a market for chicken feet. This had been a huge waste product, but, now, research has developed a product that has become a delicacy in some foreign countries, and more and more U.S. consumers are purchasing chicken feet. In addition to land-grant research conducted over the years to determine the amount of input costs that can be expended before reaching the point of diminishing return that is practical for various agronomic crops, we have seen research develop numerous methods of more economical production. Such things as Bt cotton, Bt corn, and genetically altered plants that can have nonselective herbicides applied have gone a long way toward increasing the profitability of agricultural producers while making the production of the products more environmentally friendly. Research has certainly reduced the amount of herbicides and insecticides used in the production of many agronomic crops. It has also enhanced the ability farmers have to make a profit, even though the upfront cost is somewhat higher. The net effect has resulted in crops being cheaper to produce because of the technology developed by our research scientists over the course of a number of years.


The beef industry is certainly not without its enhancements in production because of the research that has gone into the development of new products from beef. The steak selection in our local supermarkets has been enhanced by the producers’ checkoff dollars that have contributed to research. Instead of having just the normal cuts of filets, porterhouses and strips, we now are seeing such cuts as grilling steaks and iron skillet cuts that are coming from the muscle cuts in a side of beef. We continue to be the world’s leader in food production because of the extent of this advancement in research. We also are the leader in the dollar amount spent to conduct research that results in our ability to maintain that safe, abundant food supply in the United States. It is not without a tremendous amount of effort and, yes, dollars that we have become the envy of the world in food production. Preventing those activists – whether they are environmental, animal rights activists, or any group with some type of personal agenda – from trying to undo the best food production system known to man will be left to us. We cannot ever compromise that in any way. It is our duty as citizens to be supportive of those individuals who produce that safe, abundant food supply that we enjoy every day. We must inform ourselves so we can inform our regulators and policymakers of the important role that agriculture plays every day, not just in sustaining the needs that are necessary for our body’s function as far as food, but also in sustaining our part of this huge economy that we have. We are indeed blessed in these United States to be the premiere producer. For us to ever allow that to be compromised will be our downfall. Remember, never have so many produced so much for so little.



2010 Legislative Recap By Samantha Cawthorn, MFBF Public Policy Director

Mississippi Farm Bureau Federation is only as successful as our ability to get important issues addressed through a strong grassroots effort. Farm Bureau was successful during this past session of the Mississippi Legislature on a variety of fronts, thanks to our members and their willingness to stand up for what they believe in. We continue to work on collecting signatures for the eminent domain initiative referendum. We hope to have the needed signatures to get this issue on the ballot. If you have not signed or circulated a petition, please go by your county Farm Bureau office, or call me and I will get you a petition. In March, many of our members showed up at the Capitol for the first annual Ag Day at the Capitol. This event was held in conjunction with National Ag Week and was a great opportunity to meet with local legislators. Several representatives and senators took the time to speak to everyone and thank them for taking the time to come to the Capitol.

Successes In legislative action this session, we were able to accomplish the following: • Extend the Catfish Marketing Law that requires country of origin labeling of catfish in restaurants; • Streamline the reauthorization of the Boll Weevil Management Program and create a statewide program in the post-eradication phase; • Divert the cotton warehouse tax to the Boll Weevil Management Board. The dollar assessment will go to help run the board and keep the cost down for cotton producers; • Create a guaranteed loan program for sweet potato farmers administered through the Mississippi Development Authority. The farmer must carry NAP insurance and meet other qualifications set by the state in order to qualify for the loan. The loan program will expire in 2015.

MFBF President David Waide took part in the U.S. House Ag Committee’s 2012 Farm Bill Field Hearing in Troy, Alabama. His testimony focused primarily on crop insurance availability for specialty crops and yield issues with traditional crops. He was the only person from Mississippi selected to participate.


Swine Commodity Conference Oktibbeha County Farm Bureau Office Starkville

July 2

Peanuts Commodity Conference George County Extension Office Lucedale

July 9

Region One Annual Summer Young Farmer Leadership Meeting Cleveland

July 14

Cotton Commodity Conference Grenada County Extension Office Grenada

July 16

Gary Langley Memorial Golf Tournament The Refuge, Flowood

July 23

Rice Commodity Conference Bolivar County Extension Service Auditorium, Cleveland

July 27

Equine Commodity Conference MSU Horse Park, Starkville

July 28

Sweet Potato Commodity Conference Calhoun County Extension Office Pittsboro

Aug. 2

Feeder Cattle Board Sale Southeast Livestock Auction Hattiesburg

National Level The 2012 Farm Bill field hearings have begun taking place. Mississippi Farm Bureau Federation President David Waide was asked to take part in a field hearing in Troy, Alabama, on May 15. His testimony before the committee focused primarily on crop insurance availability for specialty crops and yield issues with traditional crops. He was the only person from Mississippi to be selected to testify at the hearing.

Contact Info If you would like to talk with someone in our Public Policy Department, please call Samantha Cawthorn at 601.977.4020, or email her at JULY/AUGUST




Bill Ryan Tabb

Paul Chamblee


What a Difference a Year Makes Bill Ryan Tabb, MFBF Soybean Advisory Committee Chair Paul Chamblee, MFBF Commodity Coordinator for Soybeans

What a difference a year makes. At this time in 2009, we had planted about 35 percent of our soybean crop and were replanting many acres for the second time in some situations. Today, in 2010, we are about 80 percent planted and off to a great start in many places. We have had our challenges this spring, and when they have occurred, we have had to replant some acres. However, as a whole, we are in a much better situation this spring when we look back to 2009 and 2008. There’s a lot about 2009 we would like to forget, but, unfortunately, many of us will never be able to forget the adverse challenges we were presented last year. None of us ever expected that our latest soybean crop in 2009, with some acres planted behind Mississippi River flood waters in early August, would be one of our best crops. This is especially the case when we take into account the quality of the soybean crop. We had a record-setting soybean crop in much of the state last year going into the end of August. Much of our early-April-planted soybeans last spring yielded exceptionally well (70 to 80+ bushels/acre in many fields) when we were able to harvest before the eight weeks of rain set in. In situations where we were not able to finish harvesting these fields before the rains began or between rains the first couple of weeks the rains began, the record crop turned into a crop that was not marketable in many situations. We all found out that a goodyielding crop of extremely poor quality is of little to no value. Last year definitely made us appreciate that quality in years like last year is just as important as quantity and that clear and concise guidelines are needed with respect to interpreting insurance claims when quality comes into play. Maybe one benefit that may come from last year is a clearer understanding of how the quality of a soybean crop influences insurance claims for future crops. Outside of acres where we have seen herbicide injury or stand losses due to excessive moisture or disease or the need to implement costly control options for managing glyphosate-resistant weeds, our 2010 soybean crop is off to a great start. The past few springs have


proven that we are all going to have to do things a little or a lot differently and, in many cases, implement residual herbicides into our production systems in order to manage weeds like glyphosate-resistant horseweed (marestail), Italian ryegrass and pigweeds. Our acres will be down a little this year, as we have seen an increase in cotton, rice and corn acres. People seem a little surprised by my response when they ask: “Are you disappointed about soybean acres going down?” My response is always: “We need a good diversity in our cropping systems.” We are fortunate in Mississippi in that we can successfully grow several crops and that other states or regions of the country don’t have that luxury. We need crop rotations such as a corn/cotton rotation, a soybean/rice or corn rotation, or a peanut/corn or cotton rotation. Rotations oftentimes benefit yield and, in some cases, help to reduce some input costs associated with issues such as disease management. Big yields and reducing costs are the keys to being successful. Diversity also helps us to spread our risks associated with ever-increasing production costs. Hardly ever is there a year where all four of our major crops do extremely well. However, hardly ever is there a year where they all do extremely poorly (2009 may be that exception for some growers). In most years, one or two of our crops may be off, but, oftentimes, the others do okay or very well. We need crop diversity every year when multiple crops are an option. Let us hope the middle and end of 2010 are like what the start of 2010 has been for many of us. Good luck and God bless. This article was written by Dr. Trey Koger, Mississippi State University Extension Soybean Specialist.




COTTON Clint Tindall

Justin Ferguson

Cotton Acres to Make Comeback in 2010 by Clint Tindall, MFBF Cotton Advisory Committee Chair Justin Ferguson, MFBF Commodity Coordinator for Cotton

Over the last four crop years, the Mississippi cotton industry has seen some of the most dramatic changes in its history. In 2006, Mississippi boasted more than 1.2 million planted acres of cotton. In 2007, the soybean and corn markets saw a dramatic jump in value, influencing many traditional cotton producers to devote a portion of their acreage to grain production. Some producers left cotton all together because grain production was much more profitable, especially those who could irrigate their land. In 2009, Mississippi saw only 305,000 acres of cotton planted, the lowest in history as records go back to 1866. However, this dramatic shift to grain production did pose many challenges to Mississippi. Transportation and storage logistics were two areas of concern as many producers without on-farm storage had to deliver their grain to market at harvest, immediately taking a price reduction due to the volume of grain coming to market at one time. Also, in 2008 and especially in 2009, there were serious concerns over grain quality. Because of the unprecedented wet harvest season and crop disaster experienced in Mississippi in 2009, many producers had a total value loss of their soybeans in quality. From an economic standpoint, cotton is a commodity that generates a multitude of economic activity, as compared to grain production. Cotton production requires much more input and intense management than corn or soybeans. This dramatic shift in acres over the last four crop years has resulted in a painful loss to many agricultural industry businesses that provide products or services to the cotton industry. This translates into less activity in the local economy in many towns all across Mississippi. However, there are positive signs on the horizon. As the futures market for cotton has seen a modest price increase lately and the grain markets have seen a small decline, many producers are returning to their staple crop, cotton, because of its relative stability in the Mississippi climate and their familiarity with production, handling and marketing practices. In fact, the latest United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) planting intentions report indicates that Mississippi will plant some 340,000 acres of cotton in 2010, an 11 percent increase over 2009 and the only increase in acreage seen in five years. In addition, the latest World Agricultural Supply and Demand Estimate (WASDE) from USDA projects world consumption of cotton to rise 2.8 percent this year. JULY/AUGUST

USDA further expects foreign demand to outpace supply and anticipates U.S. ending stocks at 3.0 million bales, the lowest since 1995/96. We hope this translates into additional positive market movements over the next year. In summary, whether you are a crop consultant in Greenwood or a local business owner in Eupora, we welcome the small comeback that cotton is expected to make in Mississippi during 2010.

2010 SUMMER COMMODITY CONFERENCES Here are dates for the remaining 2010 summer commodity conferences: July 1 – Swine – Oktibbeha County Farm Bureau Office in Starkville July 2 – Peanuts - George County Extension Office in Lucedale July 14 – Cotton – Grenada County Extension Office in Grenanda July 23 – Rice – Bolivar County Extension Service Auditorium in Cleveland July 27 – Equine – MSU Horse Park in Starkville July 28 – Sweet Potato – Calhoun County Extension Office in Pittsboro



AVISIONARY True LEADER A true visionary leader is a rarity. Mississippi Farm Bureau Federation has been blessed. When David Whitmire Waide, the federation’s eighth president, steps down in December, he will leave behind a legacy of innovation, growth and change. Working with a committed board of directors, a dedicated network of volunteer leaders and a very capable staff, Waide has successfully led our state’s largest general farm organization through the closing years of the 20th century and the first decade of the 21st century, establishing a strong foundation upon which the Mississippi Farm Bureau Federation can continue to grow and prosper well into the future. It hasn’t always been easy. (Continued on page 10)








David and Sandra Waide

he Waide administration weathered events as earth-shattering as the 9/11 terrorist attacks in New York City and Washington, D.C., and as devastating as Hurricane Katrina’s rampage through the Gulf Coast region of our state. Waide’s tenure spanned the course of three U.S. presidents, major changes within Congress and the writing of three important farm bills. His administration worked with legislative efforts that ranged from term limits and tort reform to boll weevil eradication and eminent domain, to name just a few. During the Waide administration, farmers saw seasons of bountiful harvests and seasons of despair. Challenges included adverse weather patterns, a faltering economy, rising fuel and feed costs, King Cotton’s topple as the state’s number one ag commodity, drastic changes within the dairy and farm-raised catfish industries, the appearance of soybean rust, and the Avian Flu-Mad Cow Disease-H1N1 Flu scares experienced across the nation and around the world. Through it all, the Clay County row crop and cattle producer combined a down-to-earth common sense with a razor-sharp intellect and a forward-thinking sensibility. His


work ethic, humor and compassion were unrelenting. “Hill country farmers are a unique breed,” Waide said with a smile. “I’m proud to be a fourth generation hill country farmer. It’s not easy to farm in the hills. Irrigation is a big problem. We have rich bottomland – I would put our land up against any in the Delta – but we lack easily accessible sources of water. In order to farm successfully in the hills, you must be willing to work hard, diversify and think outside of the box.” Waide farms some family land, but much of his farmland he purchased himself in 1974. PRIORITIES In 1972, Waide was elected president of Clay County Farm Bureau. In January 1973, he attended his first American Farm Bureau Federation convention. “I went with President Hugh Arant, and it became my goal from that point forward to become president of the Mississippi Farm Bureau Federation,” he said. “I have always believed that Farm Bureau best represents the interests of all rural people.” Waide was elected MFBF Vice President-North Mississippi in 1994. When he became the organization’s eighth president in 1996, two of his top goals were to further strengthen the organization’s already-powerful



voice in the Mississippi Legislature and to raise its visibility and clout within the regulatory field. “I wanted those involved in the Legislature and in regulatory activities to recognize Farm Bureau as the influence that we truly are,” he said. “Further, I wanted those in the regulatory field to understand that we would only accept decisions based upon sound science, not upon emotion or what some bureaucrat thinks might be a good idea.” Other Waide administration priorities were education and communication. “I wanted to increase the visibility of the Farm Bureau organization with Mississippi consumers and teach them to appreciate agriculture,” he said. “The establishment of a 4-color magazine in 2000 became a most effective tool for reaching that goal. Mississippi Farm Country has been successful in creating a new understanding and appreciation for agriculture and Farm Bureau.” Mississippi was also among the first state Farm Bureaus to establish a Web site and to open Facebook and Twitter accounts. A television program, “Voices of Agriculture,” airs on RFD-TV. “Another successful innovation was how we work with the growers of our individual agricultural commodities,” Waide said. “We decided in 2004 to add an eighth region and to decentralize the Commodity Department by assigning regional managers specific commodities and charging them with disseminating information to the growers. This has been most successful. As a result of our efforts, we have seen a renewed interest in Farm Bureau among our farmers. “Our Ag Image Campaign, begun this year, is something else that I’m proud of,” he added. “Most consumers are generations removed from farm life. This campaign is designed to give them confidence in our food supply and to make producers aware of the fact that the environmental rules and regulations with which they must comply are not all bad. There’s a reason for them.” Waide says he hopes that his administration has had an impact on the insurance program from a federation perspective. “The restructuring of the Casualty Company had been attempted in the past but not successfully before my administration,” he said. “It is virtually impossible for a single insurance company to make it in this day and time. We are always one storm away from a complete disaster. That has proven to be an impetus for changing from a multi-state casualty to a multi-state property company in the near future. We need more surplus funds in order to make rates more affordable.” CHALLENGES During the Waide administration, Mississippi experienced the unprecedented devastation of Hurricane Katrina. In the aftermath of this multi-billion-dollar disaster, Mississippi Farm Bureau Federation volunteer leaders and staff worked tirelessly to administer to the needs of farmers and rural communities impacted by the storm. No sector of the agricultural industry was left untouched. Hurricane Rita, which arrived soon afterwards, didn’t help matters. Donations of food, water, fuel and fencing supplies were distributed, and farmers slowly began to rebuild. Waide is proud that the federation survived with minimal lasting effects. He is also proud that all insurance claims have been paid.

(Continued on page 14)


THREE FARM BILLS When David Waide ran for Mississippi Farm Bureau Federation Vice President-North Mississippi in 1994, the ’96 Farm Bill was about to be written. “One of the priorities of my campaign was to emphasize the importance of agriculture continuing to have target prices and loan support for the commodities,” he said. “This was paramount in allowing the flexibility of marketing that farmers needed to get out of the huge harvest glut of crops and to give farmers a mechanism to market their crop more during the other 10 or 11 months of the year. We were successful in maintaining the loan program range and the target prices, and agriculture survived.” As the nation continued toward the ‘02 bill, Waide felt it was vital that farmers continue to have the same principles as the ’96 bill. “The ‘96 Farm Bill was probably one of the best we ever had,” he said. “The fundamentals of that bill would be essential to support agriculture in the future. The 2002 bill was very similar, and we continued to maintain the necessity of having the support that agriculture needed to allow the flexibility in marketing and have the cash flows available as crops come from the field and are not necessarily put in the marketplace. “I think one of the more significant things in the 2002 Farm Bill and, I know, in the 2008 bill was the fact that all livestock producers were given some conservation monies that they could access to help their operation. The livestock producers had only received assistance indirectly via the fact that those individuals producing grain had gotten government support in their raising of feedstock for animals, which had kept the price of livestock feeds at a more reasonable level.” Waide says the ’08 bill was very similar, but farmers did see a reduction in the number of entities that had access to the various government programs. The three-entity rule was eliminated, which was a major obstacle for really large producers. “The question that always seems to surface is can farmers live without the government support,” he said. “I guess the real question in my mind is can we as a nation survive if we lose the ability we have to produce a domestic supply of food, energy, and fiber. “I think we can survive if we level the playing field. We cannot allow WTO to put us at a disadvantage in competing in the world marketplace and the consumers are going to have to be willing to pay more for food and fiber without subsidies. Just remember, never have so few fed so many for so little.”



"Over the years working with David on the many agricultural issues that arise both in Mississippi and nationwide, I know of his unselfish commitment to agriculture and its producers. As a farmer, David knows firsthand what it takes to be successful in an agriculturally-based operation. He has been tireless in using this knowledge through the Farm Bureau to further Mississippi's agricultural industry." - Dr. Lester Spell, Mississippi Commissioner of Agriculture and Commerce "It has truly been an honor to work with a man of such character and integrity. In my biggest fight at the State Capitol defending the farmers’ way of life, David Waide had my back and I knew it. He stands for what is right and his leadership has benefitted all Mississippians. I will always be grateful to him and am honored to call him friend.” - Senator Cindy Hyde-Smith, Chair of the Mississippi Senate Agriculture Committee “It was a real pleasure working with David in some challenging times. Honesty and integrity describe David Waide. He was always supportive in doing the right thing to make the Farm Bureau insurance program a better membership service.” - Robert Jarratt, Executive Vice President-CEO, Southern Farm Bureau Casualty Insurance Company “No other president in the history of Farm Bureau has worked harder to represent the people involved in all types of agriculture than Mr. Waide. His contributions have truly made a difference to everyone involved in agriculture and Farm Bureau.” - Randy Knight, MFBF Vice President-Central Mississippi “It has certainly been a pleasure to work with David Waide for the entire 14 years of his presidency. Being a hands-on farmer certainly helped him meet the challenges he faced during the writing and passage of three farm bills as he presented testimony to help farmers survive during these uncertain times. His ability to sustain and maintain quality staff to help increase membership and push through critical legislation at both state and national levels is a true signature of his leadership. I really appreciate the sacrifices he made for a job well done for the betterment of production agriculture and a better life for each of us.” – Kenneth Hood, Past Chair of the National Cotton Council and Past President of the National Cotton Ginners Association, Southern Cotton Ginners Association and Delta Council

“I have had the pleasure of knowing David for nearly two decades. While a member of Senator Thad Cochran’s staff in Washington, I worked very closely with him on agricultural issues affecting Mississippi and the nation. Under his leadership as president, the strong influence of Mississippi Farm Bureau has continued to be felt in Jackson as well as in our nation’s capital. Since becoming president of Mississippi State University (MSU), I have had the chance to work with David on issues important to MSU before the state Legislature. He has been a strong and effective supporter of research and extension programs that are so vital to the mission of our university in serving the agricultural, forestry and natural resource sector of our state. We appreciate David’s leadership and service and wish him much continued success.” – Dr. Mark Keenum, President of Mississippi State University I have enjoyed working with David Waide for the past three years as Ag Chairman in the House. He is a man of integrity and a devoted friend of agriculture. Farm Bureau has had a strong influence at the Capitol under his leadership and direction. There will be some big shoes to fill in his absence.” -Rep. Greg Ward, Chair of the Mississippi House Agriculture Committee “For the past 14 years, David Waide has effectively served the state’s agriculture community through his leadership of the Mississippi Farm Bureau. I have been privileged to work shoulder to shoulder with David on a broad range of complex agriculture issues, and he has been an incredibly strong advocate for Mississippi’s farmers. He always worked hard to make sure Congress understood the needs of the agriculture industry. There is no question David will be missed by Mississippi Farm Bureau and all of our state’s farmers.” - U.S. Senator Roger Wicker “David Waide spends more time at meetings, traveling and working in his office and in the field than most of us farmers spend farming. He works long hours.”

- Donald Gant, MFBF Vice President-North Mississippi “David Waide has truly been an outstanding leader during his tenure as president of Mississippi Farm Bureau Federation. He has worked tirelessly to promote Farm Bureau everywhere he goes. He has been dedicated to speaking out in support of farmers everywhere and the vital role they play as food producers in the world. It has been my privilege to work so closely with someone whose actions exemplify his personal character, integrity, passion for Farm Bureau, his support of our insurance program for our Farm Bureau members and his vision for the future success of all Farm Bureau organizations.” - Jack Williams, State Manager, Mississippi Farm Bureau Casualty Insurance Company

“David Waide is a true champion for agriculture. His leadership through the Mississippi Farm Bureau has put new light on production agriculture and its relationship to the consumer. He has set the proper example for Mississippi agriculture to follow.” - Travis Satterfield, President of Delta Council 12



“David Waide has been a diligent and effective advocate for Mississippi farmers and livestock producers. I’ve had the pleasure of working with him on farm bills and many other legislative measures that affect agriculture since he took the reins of the Farm Bureau in 1996. David’s ability to find solutions to problems affecting farmers large and small, his business acumen and his public service record have made him a very effective leader. He has certainly set a high standard for future Mississippi Farm Bureau presidents. I thank David and his wife Sandra for their years of service to the people of Mississippi.” - U.S. Senator Thad Cochran

“David has been an outstanding leader in the agricultural community. Under his direction, the Mississippi Farm Bureau has pushed for growth, innovation, and expansion in agriculture and forestry business in Mississippi. David's passion for agriculture has served Mississippi well, and I wish him the best in his future endeavors.”

“From the time I first met David, I was impressed by his ability to cut through all the fluff in a discussion and get directly to the point. And when David speaks, people pay attention! As a member of the AFBF Board of Directors, he has diligently served the interests of Mississippi Farm Bureau members and American agriculture. We will miss him and his leadership but wish him the best in his future endeavors.”

- Mississippi Governor Haley Barbour

- Bob Stallman, President, American Farm Bureau Federation “Mr. Waide is a passionate advocate for agriculture in Mississippi and for the members of the Mississippi Farm Bureau, whom he represents very well on the American Farm Bureau level. He is a good friend, and I will miss working with him and miss seeing his lovely wife Sandra. I wish them both the best!”

“It is both an honor and a privilege to have David as a friend and fellow Farm Bureau member. The promotion of agriculture and the success of farm operations are a priority with him. He is and has been an effective leader for Farm Bureau.”

- Terry Gilbert, American Farm Bureau Federation Women’s Leadership Committee Chair

- Reggie Magee, MFBF Vice PresidentSouth Mississippi

“With his dedicated leadership of Farm Bureau and agriculture, David Waide has never forgotten his roots, his love of God and his respect for those in need. His willingness to truly listen to people has earned him the admiration of farmers and others across the state.” - Betty Mills, MFBF State Women’s Committee Chair

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The federation and the insurance services offered are on solid financial footing and growing. In the area of national issues, Waide’s administration worked with the 1996, 2002 and 2008 farm bills, ensuring that the voice of Southern agriculture was heard on all fronts. Farm Bureau also worked tirelessly to ensure that farmers were afforded abundant international trading opportunities. Waide points out that the United States exports a huge volume of agricultural products each year and that agriculture is one of the largest contributors to balancing the international trade deficit. In the state legislative arena, Farm Bureau was successful with the following issues during the Waide administration: • Term Limits – “We were successful in defeating term limits,” Waide said. “Everyone has their own view about this issue and I respect that view, but if we limit terms, we end up with bureaucrats running everything.” • Civil Justice Reform – “We worked hard to get a strong tort reform law,” he said. “Businesses and healthcare can’t function in an environment where they have to worry about runaway jury rewards.” • Boll Weevil Eradication – “A statewide boll weevil eradication program was controversial in the beginning,” Waide said. “There were a lot of critics. But I think everyone realizes now that it was a good thing. We have completely eradicated the boll weevil, and this is why cotton production is so economically feasible right now.” • Seed Law – “We wanted to accomplish massive changes with our seed law,” he said. “We still have work to do. Consumers and farmers must be the driving forces behind this effort. We need an affordable food supply, and farmers must be able to make a profit.” • Eminent Domain – “This is one of Farm Bureau’s best ongoing efforts,” Waide said. “The right to own property is second only to religious freedom. We can’t give up that right. We must draw a line in the sand.” • Country of Origin Labeling – “We were successful in getting two bills passed requiring country of origin labeling for beef and catfish products. We also promoted national country of origin labeling and animal identification requirements.” • Right to Farm & Sales Tax – “We strengthened our right-to-farm law and passed a law that substantially decreases the sales tax on farm equipment so that farm-related business can be kept in Mississippi,” he said. • Extension Research – “Each year, Farm Bureau works hard to ensure that our land-grant institutions are adequately funded,” Waide said. “Land-grant research and extension efforts have contributed greatly to the efficiency of our nation’s farmers. It is critical that we maintain this type of independent research through our tax dollars.” 14



Waide says he owes a debt of gratitude to Lake Robertson, Danny Fields, Eddie Pearl Robertson (pictured below) and to his wife Sandra for keeping the farm operating smoothly when he is away.

The Future Waide believes biofuel production represents a great opportunity for our nation’s farmers and holds much promise for local and state economies. He also sees specialty markets and locally-grown products receiving more emphasis in years to come. Waide’s own future will revolve around the family farm, which he and his wife Sandra plan to one day hand over to their children, Whit and Linda Bess. Waide is also mulling over the possibility of running for public office. “I am continually asked to run for public office,” he said. “I don’t have a clue as to which office I might seek if, indeed, I decide to run at all. If I do run, I want to serve in an area that will benefit the people of this state in the best way that I can contribute. “I have to be willing to do this and I have to be committed,” he said. “If I don’t have the willingness and commitment, then I will just go back to the farm and enjoy being with my horses, cows and dogs, and that won’t be bad. I don’t have an ego to feed. All I’ve ever wanted was to be of service to Mississippi agriculture.” His advice to his successor? “My advice to the next president of the Mississippi Farm Bureau Federation is to retain the environment that currently exists,” he said. “There exists a real cohesiveness among staff members and a willingness to pull together for a common cause on the part of our volunteer leaders. If my successor can maintain that, he will be assured of success.

“I wish for Farm Bureau the very best in the years to come, and I will continue my involvement no matter where life may take me.” “I wish for Farm Bureau the very best in the years to come, and I will continue my involvement no matter where life may take me,” he said. “We must continue to work together to ensure that our farmers and rural communities prosper and that the Farm Bureau tradition of God, family and country remains alive and well, for it is the bedrock upon which our great nation was founded. “I thank you all for giving me the opportunity to realize a dream,” he said. “I hope that in some small way I have been of help.” FC In addition to his many years of service to the Mississippi Farm Bureau Federation, David W. Waide served multiple terms on the American Farm Bureau Federation Board of Directors. He is a member of the 4-H Board of Trustees, Fundraising Committee, Annual Golf Classic Committee, and the West Point Property Committee. He serves as state president of the 4-H Advisory Council, and he and Jack Williams (Fed. and Ins.) have partnered to provide $20,000 for the construction of a pavilion for the State 4-H ATV Safety Training Center on 4-H property in West Point. Waide has served as director of the Federal Land Bank of Houston, director of the Mississippi Soil and Water Commission, director of the Clay County Soil and Water Commission, chairman of the Federal Intermediate Credit Bank, and director of the Clay County ASCS Committee. He served four one-year terms as president of Southern Farm Bureau Casualty Insurance Company. He is active in the Clay County Ag Club. He received a Presidential Citation from the Mississippi Association of County Agricultural Agents and was named 1999 Citizen of the Year in Clay County. He has twice received the Mississippi State University President’s Award. JULY/AUGUST




ON A FARM By David Waide

Article reprinted from May/June 2002 Mississippi Farm Country

Being born and reared in the country is an experience I shall days of emptying into the wagon cotton sacks that had been picked by cherish until I go to my grave. There is absolutely nothing like going hand, then weighed and ultimately carried to the local cotton gin. out in the morning and breathing in the fresh country air, hearing a I remember those days in the hot July sun of hauling square bales rooster crow and listening to the sounds that are so prevalent in nature. of hay, putting them in the barn when the temperatures in the loft often I can think of many mornings when I’ve heard a bobwhite whistle exceeded 110 degrees. I remember the days of pulling corn by hand or a deer bleat. Even sounds that we become accustomed to that and scooping it into the crib that was our storage of energy for the indicate danger such as the rattle of a diamondback in the grass, “horse� power we needed to continue to produce food and fiber. perhaps a coyote or wolf howl in the night. I remember those days with fondness now as I think back to how Whatever we relate to the excitement of rural living is generally a difficult the times were. I remember the things that we did to just memory that is etched in the minds of every individual who has had preserve that family farm and to maintain economic viability as we this opportunity. This is an opportunity that is taken for granted by produced food and fiber for our family and the American consumer. those of us who have these chances on a daily basis, but it is a coveted As I look back over my few short years, I think of what we have acexperience by individuals who complished in this nation. I think live in urban U.S.A. of those primitive methods of I remember the days of my food production we utilized that youth on that northeast Missiscaused us then to be a well-fed, sippi farm that perhaps shaped well-clothed nation. But then and molded my thought process I think of today and the tremenand, just in general, my way of dous capabilities of production being. I cherish those experiences we have, and I cannot help but like nothing else I have ever wonder what the future holds. encountered. Certainly, we have seen a vast I remember back in the days of amount of change. We have seen my youth the opportunity that was the major pest in cotton elimiafforded to ride horseback to a nated through a boll weevil local church and attend worship eradication program. I can services. I remember the many remember those moonlit nights times my brother and I swam our when we would trot mules horses in our pond, and, at times, through the fields with a poison we would swim creeks. machine that just dusted six rows In general, we enjoyed life at a time of DDT, hoping to Pictured, from left and clockwise: David Waide and his brother Jim; without a care in the world. Those eliminate the costly pest in our Waide and daughter Linda Bess; son Whit. times were not enjoyed, though, cotton fields. without a lot of hard work going into the fact that we lived on a farm We have seen genetic altering of seed that causes plants to and had to do those routine farm chores that were expected of a fam- produce a biological resistance to certain insects. ily as they sought their livelihood from the land. As we think about the changes in agriculture we have seen evolve I remember the days when we would center furrow that rich in our lifetime, we must all be reminded that if this nation is to remain bottomland with a four-horse buster. Those days would be so long you a free and sovereign nation we must be able to produce that which would think that the sun would never set, but it was a character- we consume. building experience. Our success as a nation will always depend on the fact that as a I remember following a team of mules as we plowed the middles nation we have the capability of the production of food and fiber and in our cotton field and covered bulldog soda around the cotton. I the capability of maintaining the necessary self-sufficiency in energy remember how the cotton responded to that nitrogen source. How so that we cannot be held captive to any nation. it would be so green from the time that fertilizer took to absorb into the Certainly, agriculture has changed in 50 years. As we remember the plant. past, we must be willing to accept the changes that the future will I remember those long days of weeding the cotton field with the bring. We must insist, though, that we not allow Americans to become hoe when there was no chemical means of doing so. I remember the food, fiber or energy-dependent on any other nation. 16



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hen Betty Mills was elected chair of the Mississippi Farm Bureau Federation (MFBF) State Women’s Committee in early December 2009, she said she looked forward to continuing her work with one of the best State Women’s Committees in the nation. Mills had previously served on the committee for many years representing the Region 4 Women’s Committee. “I am constantly amazed at the caliber of the talented women serving on our county and state women’s committees,” she said. “We’ve accomplished so much, and we have so many exciting plans for the future.” The State Women’s Committee consists of women’s chairs from the eight Farm Bureau regions, including Deniese Swindoll, Region 1; Kay Perkins, Region 2; Peggy McKey, Region 3; Jody Bailey, Region 4; Betty Edwards, Region 5; Joan Thompson, Region 6; Carolyn Turner, Region 7; and Wanda Hill, Region 8. Shelby Williams of Covington County serves as State Women’s Committee vice chair. State Women’s Committee members assist Clara Bilbo in carrying out the responsibilities of the Mississippi Farm Bureau Federation Women’s and Ag in the Classroom (AITC) programs, which Clara coordinates.

AG IN THE CLASSROOM Betty says one of the top priorities of the State Women’s Committee for 2010 is to surface new and interesting ways of improving the Ag in the Classroom program. Ag in the Classroom supplements the curriculum of grades K-12 with information about agriculture that a teacher can use along with other coursework. The program also offers a Learning Barn filled with books, handouts, CDs and other resource materials that appeal to all students. 18



“We already have a wonderful Ag in the Classroom program,” Betty said. “But times are changing, and we need to stay on top of things. We must constantly look for new ways to teach Mississippi agriculture in our schools and to tell our farm story. “One idea we are mulling over is using farm kids to talk to students about life on a working farm,” she said. “We could do this through a video or power point presentation or by simply having farm children visit classrooms and answer questions. Children relate to other children and their experiences.” Since most of today’s youths are generations removed from farming, Betty also believes that it benefits school children to actually visit a working farm. “I think an Ag Camp is a good idea,” she said. “We could visit several farms and hold mini-workshops. You can teach kids a lot about agriculture during a 3-day camp.” Another idea, which will be implemented this year, is an annual statewide Ag Ambassador contest to surface a young adult, age 19 to 25, who possesses the ability to speak to clubs and other groups about agriculture. A scholarship will be presented to the contest winner. “It would be a college student who excels in public speaking and in meeting the public,” Betty said. “We are looking forward to beginning the new Ag Ambassador program. It is a very progressive idea and will definitely work well with our Farm Families of Mississippi agricultural promotion. “We conducted a survey and listened to our counties, and we’ve decided to discontinue the Miss Farm Bureau-Mississippi and Talent contests.”

our 4-Hers but to the leaders and to the district and state program directors.” WOMEN’S PROGRAM In addition to the Ag in the Classroom program, the State Women’s Committee assists the Women’s Program with a variety of ag-related events throughout the year. Betty says one of her top priorities upon taking office was to delegate responsibilities to more effectively carry out these activities. “Within our State Women’s Committee, we now have separate committees charged with coordinating activities like Women’s Day at the Capitol, Food Check-Out Day, the Women’s Handbook, and the Women’s Leadership Conference. This has worked out well. “It takes everyone,” she added. “Each committee member has her own unique skills that can be used in different ways. A good leader understands that.” Betty adds that a good leader is also a good communicator. “In everything we do as a State Women’s Committee, we work closely with Clara,” Betty said. “She’s the coordinator, so we talk about everything with her, even minor details. We must all be on the same page to make this work. “Clara is such a talented, capable person, and we have so many other talented people involved with these programs,” Betty said. “We appreciate Betty Kelly, the Women’s Program assistant. She is so creative and contributes greatly to our overall program. We have a great staff and board of directors, and David and Sandra Waide are so supportive of our Women’s Program. This is a real plus for everyone.

WITHAG MESSAGE By Glynda Phillips

4-H WORK Before retiring in recent years from the Montgomery County Extension Office, Betty spent 25 years working with 4-H youths in Montgomery and Carroll counties, teaching them about agriculture and helping them to acquire life skills that would enrich their lives no matter where they might find themselves when they were grown. “Don’t get me talking about 4-H,” she said with a smile. “Next to my church, my family and Farm Bureau, 4-H is definitely the great love of my life. It is so exciting to work with children and so rewarding to make a difference in their lives. “I’ve had adults come up to me and tell me just how much their 4-H experience meant to them as they were growing up” she said. “And we’ve not only seen farmers come out of our program but a wide range of professionals, including some doctors.” “I give credit for the success of our local program not only to


“The women have a lot to offer the other federation programs,” Betty said. “For example, Clara and I would like to see more women involved in the Farm Families of Mississippi state agriculture promotion. “In closing, I’d like say that I do believe that the good Lord puts you where He wants you to be,” she said. “You must give every new idea prayerful consideration and listen to what God wants for your life.” FC Betty has served as president of Montgomery County Farm Bureau, Montgomery County Farm Bureau Women’s Chair, Region 4 Women’s Chair and as a state director. Betty and her husband Thomas farm row crops and beef cattle and sell quarter horses on their farm in the Eskridge Community near Winona. The Mills are active members of Eskridge Baptist Church.



Farmer Gives Back to

community & state By Glynda Phillips

Pike County cattleman and timber grower Clifton McGowan takes time from his busy schedule each year to give something back to his community and state. He is active in his church and he’s a member of several agricultural and civic organizations. “I have been blessed with so much,” he said with a smile. “I just want to show my appreciation for all that I have been given.” Eminent Domain A longtime Pike County Farm Bureau member, Clifton presently serves on the Pike County Farm Bureau Board of Directors. Through his involvement with Farm Bureau, McGowan has addressed many important issues affecting not only farmers but all Mississippians. If you’ve ever visited the Capitol during the legislative session, you’ve probably seen him there. He has been especially vocal in recent years about Mississippi’s need for strong eminent domain laws. “If you own property, no one should be able to take that from you,” he said. “I worked hard, saved my money and was able to buy property here in Pike County. I don’t want someone else having any kind of control over it. I’m also concerned about property ownership and mineral rights.” McGowan wouldn’t take anything for the rural lifestyle that his land has enabled him to enjoy through the years. He and his wife Louisa raised their four children on the farm, and now their grandchildren are enjoying it as well. McGowan’s land is located near Osyka and Magnolia. He knows these towns aren’t large metropolitan areas, but he says they are definitely growing. “People are finding jobs here, and the jobs are better than they used to be,” he said. “You used to have to leave town to find work, but we have a good group of supervisors interested in bringing big industry here. I want to make sure that the rural landowner’s voice is not lost during all of this growth and change.”


Farm Bureau Helps “I have attended the state Farm Bureau convention for 12 consecutive years, and a lot of the issues that are voted on there are a big help to farmers and rural communities,” McGowan said. “Farm Bureau is a grassroots organization. When I attend Farm Bureau meetings, I know that I am contributing to the policies that mean so much to the farmers and loggers around here. “And Farm Bureau not only helps livestock producers but the producers of other agricultural commodities as well. It is a good general farm organization,” he said. “It speaks for all farmers and rural Mississippians.” Ag’s Future McGowan says he encourages the young people in his area to become farmers. “One of the things that I tell young people is that they have so many resources available to them now to help them get started,” he said. “There are so many programs, including low-interest loans, that they can take advantage of that I didn’t have. As farmers begin to retire or as they decide to get out of the business, there will be more available land around here to purchase.” McGowan is excited that a wood pellet biofuel plant is being built in Magnolia. “It will take materials that farmers grow and make fuel from them,” he explained. “This is a wonderful opportunity for our farmers. It is very exciting. “I am so proud to be a Mississippi farmer, and I feel so very blessed to be associated with Farm Bureau. It is a great organization.” FC Clifton McGowan is a member of the Pike County Cattlemen’s Association, Pike County Forestry Association, and Pike County Fair Board. He serves on the local Farm Service Agency Committee. Clifton and Louisa are active members of Unity M.B. Church in Progress, where he is chairman of the Board of Trustees and chairman of the Finance Committee. Clifton and Louisa have worked the polls for many years. He is retired from Transcontinental Gas and Pipe.




New fire trucks for our mystery town and surrounding communities line the square.

Name the north Mississippi town that is the seat of government for Pontotoc County. Read the clues and make your guess. The area that surrounds our mystery town was once home to a large Chickasaw population. Their influence is still evident there today. Our mystery town was founded in 1836 by Scotts-Irish settlers from Georgia, the Carolinas and Tennessee. Its original name was Paki-Takali, a Native American word for Land of the Hanging Grapes. The land around this town was once covered in wild grapes or muscadines. Today, our mystery town boasts some 5,400 citizens and is growing. Located between Tupelo and Oxford, the town participates in the Main Street program, a countywide program designed to revitalize the commercial districts of all communities. Elvis can Our mystery town’s always be downtown square bustles found at with activity. On the square, you will find an historic district and many family-owned specialty shops the Red and restaurants. The square makes a vital contribution to life in our mystery town. Each year, it is the Rooster setting of special events like the Ridge Run and the Bodock Festival, a tailgating party to support Cafe. local football teams, and the Christmas parade. This town is very patriotic. It honors its soldiers and war veterans throughout the year. You will find on the grounds of the historic courthouse a monument dedicated to all local soldiers who died during the Civil War. Another monument honors those men and women from Pontotoc County who gave their lives in each war since the Civil War. A black marble marker is dedicated to all Pontotoc Countians who have served or are currently serving in all branches of the military. Our mystery town is the hometown of Jimmy Weatherly, a songwriter, and the late Ruby Elzy, a singer and performer. The town is located near Ecru, the hometown of the late M. B. Mayfield, a famous folk artist. Elvis’ parents are said to have obtained their marriage license at the county courthouse in our mystery town. They were married in Verona. A large Amish community can be found near this town. WPA Mural (1930s) Craftsmen sell handmade baskets, quilts and other items. Their blacksmith shop does a thriving business. This town boasts historic churches and homes, including the beautiful Lochinvar, an antebellum home built in 1842. The town has excellent schools and a huge sportsplex that is used by the entire county. Our mystery town lies in close proximity to City Lake and Trace State Park. Ingomar Mounds, a temple mound that is the largest prehistoric structure in this part of the state, is located near our mystery town. When you visit this town, make a point of stopping by the historic post office building. You will find a mural painted during the Works Progress Administration (1930s) by renowned artist Joseph Pollett. It depicts the first Christian marriage in North America. 22



Lochinvar (1842)

Hernando DeSoto set up camp in the Pontotoc County area in the winter of 1540-41. Pigs and horses were brought to the New World by the Spaniards. Our mystery town became the place where people first tasted barbecued pork. The first U.S. post office between Natchez and Nashville was established in this town as was the first school for Indians in America. In 1839, a suit was filed in this town by a woman named Betty Love Allen, the Chickasaw wife of John Allen. The suit resulted in a woman being given the right, for the first time, to own property and not be held liable for her husband’s debts. Our mystery town is located near Brice’s Crossroads in Baldwyn, the site of an important Civil War battle. It also lies in close proximity to the Old Natchez Trace route. Davy Crockett’s horse corral can be found near this town. After Crockett was defeated for reelection to Congress in his home state of Tennessee, he brought horses down the Natchez Trace and built a corral in the middle of what is now Trace State Park. He ran a thriving business there for many years. The historic Pontotoc City Cemetery was given to our mystery town by the Chickasaws and the U.S. government on June 22, 1852 because “many Chickasaws and their white friends were buried there.” Name this town. A special thanks to Martha Jo Coleman for her help with this article. A retired school teacher, Martha Jo is curator of our mystery town’s wonderful museum located in the historic post office building downtown.

First Presbyterian Church

CORRECT GUESSES Mail guesses to Solve the Mystery, Mississippi Farm Country, P. O. Box 1972, Jackson, MS 39215. You may also e-mail your guesses to Please remember to include your name and address on the entry. Visit our Mississippi Farm Bureau Federation Web site at 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 the 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 July 31. MAY/JUNE The correct answer for the May/June Solve the Mystery is West Point.

The town has hosted the regional Special Olympics competition since 1995. JULY/AUGUST



MISSISSIPPI TORNADO DAMAGE Yazoo, Holmes, Attala, Choctaw and 13 neighboring counties in central Mississippi began cleanup efforts soon after a deadly EF4 tornado ripped through the area on April 24. Lives were lost and hundreds of homes and businesses damaged. The Mississippi Forestry Commission reports the value of timber damaged by the tornado activity at $19,084,878. The value of timber damaged by two north Mississippi tornadoes on May 1 is estimated at $3,730,109. Pictured here are scenes reflecting the aftermath of the April 24th tornado. The Mississippi Farm Bureau Foundation and Relief Fund Inc. is accepting monetary donations to assist ag producer-members affected by the April 24th tornado. One-hundred percent of these donations will go to producer-members to help restore their ag operations. Please send your tax-deductible donations to: Mississippi Farm Bureau Foundation & Relief Fund; ATTN: Billy Davis; P. O. Box 1972; Jackson, MS Photos by Danielle Ginn & Glynda Phillips 39215-1972.











STRANDED ON FIRST Sam E. Scott, MFBF General Counsel

In baseball, it is very costly to leave runners stranded on base. In law, we will see what the outcome may be since campaign finance reform has been, in effect, stranded on first - the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. Freedom of speech was the basis upon which the U.S. Supreme Court recently struck down restrictions on corporate spending on political campaigns in Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission1, in which the majority equates speaking with spending in political matters (a 5 to 4 decision that took the court 176 pages to set forth a total of five opinions. Justice Stevens’ dissent alone is 90 pages.) The esteemed Professor Strunk would call it a perfect example of verbosity and prolixity. If further support was needed, one learns that five of the seminal cases in American constitutional law, Marbury v. Madison2 (establishing the judicial right to determine the constitutionality of a congressional act); Fletcher v. Peck3 (laws impairing contracts are unconstitutional); Martin v. Hunter’s Lessee4 (supremacy of federal over state law); McCulloch v. Maryland5 (the validity of the “necessary and proper” clause of the Constitution); and Gibbons v. Ogden6 (the power to regulate commerce among the states), all together contain opinions that are less than half (80 pages) the length of the Citizens opinion and 10 pages shorter than the dissent alone. This tome reminds me of the printed statement on the back of the World War II gas ration stamp on our 1940 Studebaker: “Is this (trip) really necessary?” Informed sources suggest that 80 percent of the public does not agree with the decision, and, clearly, the president is among them. At his State of the Union address, he looked out right over the justices seated before him and asked Congress to overrule the decision, making claims about the result of the decision that some contend were not correct. Nevertheless, he got a standing ovation, and the six attending justices had to sit there and take it. Later, Chief Justice 26

Roberts said that he found the episode very troubling, suggesting he might not go back. Presidential contests with the Supreme Court are nothing new. When Justice John Marshall handed down his decision that the United States Bank was valid, President Andrew Jackson, an ardent opponent of the bank, is reputed to have said, “Marshall has made his decision, now let him enforce it” and later killed the bank. But the most famous battle was Franklin Roosevelt’s so-called court-packing plan in 1937. Stung by several decisions holding initial reforms of the New Deal unconstitutional, FDR proposed to increase the number of Supreme Court justices from nine (none of whom he had appointed) to 15 by adding one more justice for each sitting justice over age 70. Though the plan was a legislative failure and a near political disaster, the tide turned7 and the New Deal’s philosophy of using government power to address society’s ills in the Great Depression eventually passed judicial scrutiny. There can be no doubt that FDR dangled a carrot before the court by passage of a bill guaranteeing that retired justices would receive full pay whereupon several of those over 70 retired, and FDR made new appointments, thus winning the war after losing the battle. President Obama may have picked a public fight with the court, and there are many who think it was not wise and certainly will not win friends and influence people on the court as it will probably review this administration’s several controversial programs. Already, a suit has been filed challenging healthcare reform. To add to the mix, Justice Stevens, recognized as a leader of the liberal wing of the court (though he was appointed by Republican President Ford), is retiring after 35 years on the court. The appointee to succeed him, Solicitor General Kagan, is certainly in for a battle. Justice Sotomayor’s confirmation hearing was cool pudding compared to those of Robert Bork (rejected) M I S S I S S I P P I FA R M C O U N T RY

and Clarence Thomas (confirmed). It has been suggested that the coming battle over the new nominee will be a “recurring Armageddon.” Has the president appointed someone he thinks will decide issues as he wishes or someone he feels will be confirmed? The nominee has strong academic credentials, was dean of the Harvard Law School, presently argues cases for the government before the U.S. Supreme Court, and was confirmed by the Senate for her present position; however, a battle is still likely. Recently, the New York Times asked ten legal “experts” what the court needs in its new member. The responses were published and are as follows: a politician, a veteran, a young person, an evangelical, a non-believer, an immigrant, a gay person, an Asian, a state politician, and a great heart. How’s that for variety? I suppose it is too far-fetched that either the president or the Senate would be satisfied with a candidate that would make a good judge with intelligence, an experienced legal mind, sound judicial temperament, a record of achievement and unquestionable character. After all, that is not the way things are done in Washington these days. At times, it seems as though common sense, like the legendary Mighty Casey at the Bat, has struck out. The more things change, the more they remain the same. 558 U.S. ______ (2010) 1 Cranch 137, 2 L.Ed. 60 (1803) 3 6 Cranch 87, 3 L.Ed. 162 (1810) 4 1 Wheat. 304, 4 L.Ed. 97 (1816) 5 4 Wheat. 316, 4 L.Ed. 579 (1819) 6 9 Wheat. 1, 6 L.Ed. 23 (1824) 7 See West Court Hotel v. Parrish, 300 U.S. 379, 57 S.Ct. 578 (1937), upholding the validity of a state minimum wage law. 1 2

Sam E. Scott is general counsel for Mississippi Farm Bureau Federation (MFBF) 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. JULY/AUGUST


READY, WILLING, ABLE … AND WAITING By Andy Whittington MFBF Environmental Programs Coordinator

Something I’ve learned about magazines is that in order for the magazine to get put together, sent to the printer and mailed to your home, I have to write my articles two months in advance. I tell you that because we have just witnessed back-to-back weekends of severe weather and a major oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico. While victims of these storms were being rushed to hospitals or the homes of friends and family, numerous others were rushing in with chainsaws, water, blankets or just a shoulder to lean on. Friends and neighbors are the true first responders to some of the most horrific events most of us will ever witness. The oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico has many of our friends and family headed to the coast, where they are receiving training for the anticipated cleanup and wildlife rescue associated with the spill making landfall. It has also rekindled the debate on off-shore drilling, our addiction to oil, and spurred calls for renewable energy and fuels. Farm Bureau supports a transition to energy independence, including everything from domestic oil and gas exploration to renewable fuels from animal waste and crop residue. Our future energy economy is going to be dependent on a vast and diverse portfolio of energy sources. Oil and natural gas are going to be a huge part of our lives for many, many more years. The question is where are we going to get it? Simply put, a gallon of gas will carry 4,000 lbs. twenty miles in 15 minutes for $2.69. Today, there is nothing that can compete with that, but what about tomorrow? Make no mistake, oil spills are devastating and costly to the environment and the economy, but so are maintaining a military presence in the Persian Gulf and tanker accidents. Our energy economy needs to be focused on domestic oil and gas production and expanding the use of renewable fuels and energy. Farmers all across America are ready, willing and able to produce feedstocks for alternative fuels. Ethanol and biodiesel are proven alternatives, but they face any number of challenges for increased production. Financing production and the ability of our current fleet of vehicles to burn more than a 10-15 percent blend of ethanol are major challenges. But the expansion of biofuels is also hampered by an aggressive challenge from environmental groups, who claim that expanding biofuels use is only replacing one environmental bad for another. Pesticide and fertilizer use, water use, changes in land use, and a general dislike for big agriculture are all among their talking points. Cellulosic ethanol is, by all credible estimates, five years minimum from becoming a reality, primarily because the process of going from the test tube to commercial scale production will


take time. How much fuel you ask? Well, that will depend on your definition of “biomass.” The definition many environmental groups would like to use excludes many abundant and readily available feedstocks. Aside from not being able to consider anything on public lands as biomass, the environmentalist wants much more stringent rules on what can be considered biomass from private lands. The production of energy crops for biofuel production is also being hampered by land use change considerations. The transition to electric automobiles will be challenged by how energy is produced. Let’s just go ahead and rule coal-fired plants out, including clean coal technologies because of their air emissions. Some wildlife groups are challenging many wind farms because they disrupt the migration routes of birds. Groups out West oppose them because large transmission lines obstruct mountain views, and many people oppose them because they don’t like the noise or because they think they’ll get cancer from them. Should I even bother to talk about the challenges with developing new nuclear sources? Large-scale solar arrays have met the fierce backhand of the enviro as well for a variety of reasons. There are options for solar systems at your home, which you plug into to charge your car. Currently, we have some producers using solar panels on poultry houses, and they have been pleased with the results so far. Animal activists would never let us go back to horse and buggies, so I guess we better get a bike. Hey, that’ll also help fight obesity! America’s farmers are ready, willing and able to provide us with clean and renewable energy. We’re just waiting for everybody else.





½ c. vegetable oil 3 eggs 2 c. sugar 3 c. flour 1 c. chopped walnuts 2 tsp. baking soda 1 tsp. salt 1 tsp. vanilla 3 c. apples, cut coarsely (or applesauce)

1 c. brown sugar 1 c. oil 2 c. self-rising flour 1 c. cornflakes 1 tsp. vanilla flavoring 1 c. sugar 2 lg. eggs 1 c. quick-cooking oats 1 c. cooked, mashed sweet potatoes

Glaze: 1 stick margarine 1 c. sugar ½ c. evaporated milk

Mix together sugar, oil and eggs. Add flour, oats, cornflakes, potatoes and vanilla. Mix well and put in greased muffin pan. Bake at 325 degrees for 12-15 minutes.

Mix oil, eggs and sugar then add remaining ingredients. Pour into 2 small loaf pans, 8 x 4-inch, that have been sprayed with Pam. Bake for 90 minutes at 350 degrees. Top with glaze that has been boiled together and pour over baked bread.

Betty Mills Montgomery County

By Cindy McDonald Hinds County

FRENCH OLIVE BREAD 1 lg. loaf French bread 1 sm. can diced black olives 1 (8-oz.) pkg. mozzarella cheese, grated 6 green onions, chopped 1 stick margarine, melted ½ c. mayonnaise ½ tsp. garlic salt Cut French bread loaf in half, cutting the top part off to make 2 halves. Mix all of the other ingredients together to make a spread for the bread. Spread mixture on the 2 halves and place in large baking dish, spread side up. Bake 20-30 minutes at 350 degrees until golden brown. Anita Webb Scott County


These recipes were 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, it will cost you $15 plus postage. For more information, contact Women’s Program Coordinator Clara Bilbo at 1.800.227.8244, ext. 4245.




Mississippi Farm Bureau Federation Young Farmers and Ranchers visited with Corey Hart from Congressman Benny Thompson’s office during their annual trip to Washington, D.C.

Young Farmers and Ranchers visiting Washington, D.C., met with American Farm Bureau Federation President Bob Stallman.

Mississippi Farm Bureau Federation members met with their respective congressmen during the annual Washington, D.C. Member Tour. Pictured here are those members from the Second Congressional District who met with Congressman Benny Thompson.


Senator Roger Wicker visited with Farm Bureau members during the Mississippi Farm Bureau Federation’s annual Washington D.C. Member Tour. Members also met with Sen. Thad Cochran.





Women from Australia stopped by Natchez one week prior to the 26th Triennial Associated Country Women of the World Conference in Hot Springs, Arkansas, to talk about Mississippi agriculture. Here, they are shown meeting with Mississippi Farm Bureau Federation (MFBF) Women’s Program volunteer leaders and MFBF staff.

Mississippi Farm Bureau Federation again had a booth at Super Bulldog Weekend at Mississippi State University. Guests enjoyed sandwiches and hotdogs while learning about agriculture from the colorful, hands-on ag educational displays. They also learned about the federation’s Eminent Domain Citizen’s Initiative Campaign.


The 2010 Magnolia Beef and Poultry Expo in Raleigh was a big success. Over 400 participants enjoyed a variety of educational seminars and exhibits featuring agricultural equipment and other valuable information for beef and poultry producers.

Rita Sweatt, a motivational speaker from Amory, addressed the Mississippi Farm Bureau Federation (MFBF) 2010 Secretaries’ Conference in Jackson. An excellent participation was enjoyed at this event. Sweatt also spoke at the 2010 MFBF Women’s Leadership Conference.



The 2010 Mississippi Farm Bureau Federation Women’s Leadership Conference held in Jackson in March enjoyed excellent attendance. Participants learned techniques for effectively telling the ag story in order to change perceptions about farm life.

Toni Boatner, recipient of the 2009 Teacher Grant Award, was a guest facilitator at the 2010 Women’s Leadership Conference. Boatner, who received an expense-paid trip to the National Ag in the Classroom Conference in St. Louis, Missouri, demonstrated some of the classroom activities that helped her win the award.

Kay Perkins, Region 2 Women’s Chair, attended the Triennial Associated Country Women of the World Conference in Hot Springs, Arkansas. She is shown with Terry Gilbert, Chair of the American Farm Bureau Federation (AFBF) Women's Leadership Committee, and Marsha Purcell, Director of AFBF Membership and Program Development. Over 600 people attended the conference from around the world. JULY/AUGUST

Congressman Travis Childers met with North Mississippi farmers during his district-wide “Jobs and Economy Tour” to discuss the status of disaster assistance legislation, the upcoming 2012 Farm Bill, climate legislation, and other measures affecting the agriculture industry. Here, he visits with Farm Bureau members in Calhoun City. Photo courtesy of Congressman Childers’ office




Calhoun County Farm Bureau Tuesday, Aug. 10, at 7 p.m. Multipurpose Building Pittsboro Desoto County Farm Bureau Tuesday, Aug. 17, at 7:30 a.m. Hernando Library Hernando

Who would step up to replace livestock and poultry producers as the number one customer for U.S. soy? Where would we get the meat that is responsible for providing most of the protein necessary to feed the world? And how would we replace the millions of tax dollars they generate to help create new roads, repair existing ones and build new schools and parks? Animal agriculture helps your rural community thrive. That’s why it’s important that we all continue to give them our support. Because a safe and secure food supply and a safe and secure rural community both come from the same place – inside the barns and out in the fields of your rural neighbors. Soybean farmers helping livestock and poultry producers just makes sense.

Leake County Farm Bureau Thursday, Sept. 2, at 7 p.m. County Farm Bureau Office Carthage


Webster County Farm Bureau Thursday, Aug. 12, at 6:30 p.m. Kamp Kumbaya Louisville

Lee County Farm Bureau Saturday, Aug. 28, at 6 p.m. North Mississippi Research and Extension Center Verona

Perry County Farm Bureau Thursday, Aug. 5, at 6:30 p.m. Catfish Wagon in Runnelstown Please bring a side dish or dessert

Jefferson County Farm Bureau Wednesday, Sept. 8, at 7 p.m. County Farm Bureau Office Fayette

Marshall County Farm Bureau Thursday, Aug. 5, at 6:30 p.m. Wall Doxey State Park Holly Springs

Stone County Farm Bureau Thursday, July 22, at 5 p.m. County Farm Bureau Office Wiggins


© 2010 United Soybean Board. (38420-mm-5/10)



Have you heard? Your annual membership fee includes many valuable member benefits. Highlighted below are a few of those benefits. To see a complete list, visit our Web site at Take advantage of the benefits available to Farm Bureau members ONLY. If you are not a member, joining is simple. Contact the Farm Bureau office in the county where you live, pay your membership dues, and start enjoying these benefits today! For more information, contact Member Benefits Coordinator Dedra Luke at 1.800.227.8244, ext. 4169. ®

RENTAL CAR DISCOUNTS Various discounts through Hertz, Avis, Alamo, Enterprise, National and Budget.



Farm Bureau members receive a 15 percent discount on truck rentals through Budget.

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