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A Publication of Mississippi Farm Bureau Federation •



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MISSISSIPPI FARM COUNTRY Volume 89 Number 3 May/June 2013 Mississippi Farm Country (ISSN 1529-9600) magazine is published bimonthly by the Mississippi Farm Bureau® Federation. 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 EDITORIAL and BUSINESS OFFICES 6311 Ridgewood Road Jackson, MS 39211 601-977-4153 EDITOR - Glynda Phillips ADVERTISING 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 BUREAU DIRECTORS Carla Taylor, Booneville Lowell Hinton, Corinth Ronnie Jones, Holly Springs Chris Lively, Clarksdale Randle Wright, Vardaman Kelcey Shields, Mantachie Mike Langley, Houston Kenneth King, Ackerman Wanda Hill, Isola Jimmy Whitaker, Satartia Oliver Limerick, Shuqualak Vander Walley, Waynesboro David M. Boyd, Sandhill David C. Barton, Raymond Jeff Mullins, Meadville Mike McCormick, Union Church Lyle Hubbard, Mt. Olive Larry Jefcoat, Soso J. B. Brown, Perkinston Louis J. Breaux IV, Kiln Betty Mills, Winona Jon Koehler Bibb, Tunica



8 Telling Agriculture’s Story 2013 Farm Bureau Ambassador Molly Martin has already begun telling agriculture’s story at meetings and events across the state. Another great way Farm Bureau teaches consumers, especially schoolchildren, about agriculture is through our new Ag Mag newsletter, which you will find at the center of the magazine. (Simply pull it free of the staples and unfold it.) Since June is Dairy Month, the newsletter and magazine have a dairy theme. Enjoy.

14 Solve the Mystery

This city is one of the two seats of government for Jones County. It also grew up around the railroad and the logging industry. Read the clues and make your guess.

24 Farm Bureau Events

Farm Bureau staff members and volunteer leaders have been busy since the beginning of the year. Inside, you will find photo coverage of all of these events.

Departments 4 President’s Message

HONORARY VICE PRESIDENT Louis J. Breaux III 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. MAY/JUNE MAY/JUNE

“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.”

6 Commodity Update: Soybeans 7 Commodity Update: Dairy 16 Counsel’s Corner

About the cover

18 Member Benefits Spotlight

2013 Farm Bureau Ambassador Molly Martin of Rankin County is pictured at Mississippi State University’s Joe Bearden Research Center. The center has Holsteins and Jerseys but is renowned for its Jersey herd. Read about Molly and also the research center inside. MISSISSIPPI FARM COUNTRY


President’s Message Randy Knight, President Mississippi Farm Bureau Federation

Ag Newsletter Teaches Kids about Agriculture Farm life gives children a strong work ethic and a great set of values. Plus, growing up on farm is a whole lot of fun. My wife and I were thrilled to be able to provide our daughters with that type of environment, but most kids today aren’t so lucky. America has become a nation that is many generations removed from the farm. Each year, our Farm Bureau staff members and volunteer leaders introduce schoolchildren to agriculture through activities in the classroom, special events and visits to working farms. Kids need to know that agriculture makes a significant contribution to their lives, from the food they eat and the clothes they wear to the shelter over their heads. Furthermore, a strong agricultural industry is critical to national security. Our country must never reach a point where it depends upon another nation for its food supply. Ag Mag This issue of our membership magazine features our firstever Ag Mag newsletter for children. We are publishing it in May as kids are getting out of school for the summer. The second newsletter will come out in September as they are returning to their classrooms for another year of learning. You will find Ag Mag at the center of the magazine. Very carefully pull it free of the staples, unfold it and take a moment to look through it. Since June is Dairy Month, this issue focuses on the dairy industry. With its fun facts and colorful photos and illustrations, kids (and adults) can learn about dairy farms, processing plants and careers in the dairy industry, as well as the nutritional aspects of milk and milk products. There are things to make and puzzles to solve. I think you will agree with me that our Women’s Program, the sponsors of the newsletter, outdid themselves this time. Ag Mag not only enriches our magazine, it represents an additional resource that can be used in our Ag in the Classroom program. Ag Mag will also be distributed at meetings, fairs and other gatherings across the state. For more information, contact Clara Bilbo at (601) 977-4245. Featured Commodities In addition to the dairy information contained in our newsletter and the dairy update on page 7, we visit a small dairy 4

in Neshoba County that pasteurizes and bottles its own milk. Locally grown food represents a great new niche-market opportunity for family farmers and a wonderful way for them to get to know the people who purchase their products. Shelby and Marlo Beason are longtime Neshoba County Farm Bureau volunteer leaders, and I invite you to read about their dairy in the Fork community near Philadelphia. Our 2013 Farm Bureau Ambassador Molly Martin of Rankin County is featured on the cover of the magazine, photographed at Mississippi State University’s outstanding Joe Bearden Research Center. Molly is doing a great job representing our organization this year, and you can read about her inside this issue. The Farm Bureau Ambassador Contest is also coordinated by our Women’s Program. The soybean industry enjoyed a fantastic year in 2012, moving into the No. 2 spot after poultry. Soybeans had an estimated record value of $1.16 billion and set records for average yield and total production. Mississippi fields averaged 42 bushels per acre, and the state produced a total of 82.3 million bushels. Soybeans also benefited from record prices in 2012, averaging nearly $14.55 per bushel, according to USDA estimates. I invite you to read the update on soybeans on page 6. Your Loyalty Isn’t it great to live in Mississippi? We have access to abundant natural resources, great recreational opportunities, fresh foods in season and neighbors who will go out of their way to help us if we need them. And isn’t it wonderful to be a Farm Bureau member? Farm Bureau works hard every year to help all Mississippians have a better life. From the valuable work that we do in the state and national legislative arenas to our excellent multiline insurance services to the substantial discounts you receive on a variety of useful items, our member benefits package is without equal. If you are unfamiliar with all that you gain access to when you pay your membership fee each year, you can read about our Farm Bureau member benefits on pages 2 and 18 of this issue. For more information, call (601) 977-4169. As always, thank you for your loyalty to Farm Bureau.



Time to get Back to The Grill

With Spicy Beef Back Ribs Ingredients: 5 pounds beef back ribs, cut into 2 to 4 rib sections 1 tablespoon vegetable oil 1-1/2 cups finely chopped onion 1 tablespoon minced garlic 1 to 1-1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes 1-1/2 cups chili sauce ½ cup water 3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice 1/2 teaspoon salt Instructions: 1. Heat oil in medium saucepan over medium high heat until hot. Add onion, garlic and pepper flakes; cook and stir 4 to 5 minutes or until onion is tender. Add chili sauce, water and lemon juice; bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer 5 minutes, stirring frequently. Season with salt. Reserve 1/2 cup sauce for basting. 2. Prepare charcoal grill for indirect cooking by igniting an equal number of charcoal briquets on each side of fire grate, leaving open space in the center. When coals are medium, ash-covered (25 to 30 minutes), add 3 to 4 new briquets to each side. Position cooking grid with handles over coals so additional briquets may be added when necessary. 3. Place ribs, meat side up, in large (16-1/8 x 11-3/4 x 2-7/8 inches) foil roasting pan. Pour remaining sauce over ribs; turn ribs to coat. Cover tightly with aluminum foil; place foil pan on cooking grid. Cover with grill lid and grill over medium heat 1 to 1-1/2 hours or until ribs are fork-tender. Carefully remove roasting pan from grill; remove ribs from pan and place, meat side up, on grill rack. Baste ribs with reserved sauce; grill, covered, 10 to 15 minutes, turning and basting once Total Recipe Time: 1 hour 15 minutes to 1 hour 30 minutes • Makes 6 servings Nutrition information per serving: 379 calories; 17 g fat (6 g saturated fat; 6 g monounsaturated fat); 86 mg cholesterol; 2194 mg sodium; 25 g carbohydrate; 0.8 g fiber; 30 g protein; 4.8 mg niacin; 0.3 mg vitamin B6; 2.8 mcg vitamin B12; 3.1 mg iron; 24.5 mcg selenium; 8.0 mg zinc; 114.5 mg choline.

For great BEEF recipes and nutrition information go to: For the latest beef recipes contact the Mississippi Beef Council 680 Monroe St. Suite A • Jackson, MS 39202 • (601) 353-4520 MAY/JUNE

Sponsored by Mississippi’s Beef Producers through the Beef Checkoff Program MISSISSIPPI FARM COUNTRY



Kendall Garraway - MFBF Soybeans Advisory Committee Chair Justin Ferguson - MFBF Commodity Coordinator for Soybeans

Ag Biotechnology: Key to World Food Security Agricultural biotechnology is a science that allows plant breeders to make precise genetic changes to place beneficial traits, such as pest resistance, disease resistance or herbicide tolerance, into plants. Farmers and gardeners have been creating plant hybrids for as long as they’ve been growing plants. BiotechFerguson nology simply serves as a more technologically advanced method. According to the United Nations, the world population is estimated to reach 9 billion by the year 2050. World population is increasing about 78 million annually. To keep up with population growth, more food will have to be produced in the next 50 years than in the past 10,000 years combined. Ultimately, agricultural biotechnology will emerge as the solution to this worldwide challenge. Biotechnology has led to numerous advancements in agricultural production. Since the introduction of biotechnology-derived commercial crops in 1996, farmers have used this science to grow plants that yield more per acre, with reduced production costs, while being resistant to disease and pests and also beneficial to the environment. Biotech crops are now grown by 14 million farmers in 25 countries, mostly in developing nations. In 1940, the state average yield in Mississippi for soybeans and corn was 10 and 14 bushels, respectively. In 2012, these same numbers reached 42 and 156 bushels. Today, the average U.S. farmer feeds 155 people. In 1960, a farmer fed just 26 people. Today’s American farmer grows twice as much food as his parents did, using less land, energy, water and fewer emissions. Studies show that, since commercial plantings of biotech crops began in 1996, farmers have saved 551 million gallons of fuel because of reduced field operations. In 2006, 252 million acres


of biotech crops reduced carbon dioxide emissions by nearly 15 million metric tons, equivalent to removing nearly 6.56 million cars from the road for an entire year. Farmers using biotech crops may also use pesticides less frequently because of the pest-resistant traits within the plants themGarraway selves. Within the United States alone, biotech crop varieties eliminated the use of 70 million pounds of pesticide applications in 2005. All of this is attributed to agricultural production enhancements from biotechnology. In the near future, we’ll see crops that will be resistant to environmental stresses like drought and crops that use soil nutrients more efficiently, boosting productivity in areas of the world with inadequate rainfall or poor soil. Scientists are also looking to use biotechnology to fortify some food plants with higher nutritional content and to produce pharmaceuticals in plants affordably and efficiently. As we prepare for challenges in the near future that come with a growing world population and less farmland to produce food, biotechnology will be a key solution to meeting the needs of world food security.

Summer Commodity Meetings Summer commodity meetings were being scheduled as our magazine was going to press. See page 33 for a list of the meetings already set, along with their dates and locations. For more information, call Nancy Britt at (601) 977-4230.



COMMODITY UPDATE: dairy Donald Lowery, MFBF Dairy Advisory Committee Chair Doug Ervin, MFBF Commodity Coordinator for Dairy

Mississippians Will Lose if We Lose Our Dairy Industry For generations, dairy farming has been a way of life for many Mississippi producers. Likewise, through the years, the dairy industry has made an important contribution to our state’s economy. Unfortunately, for the past several years, Mississippi has been losing its dairy Lowery farms. The number has continued to decline so that we now have only 105 dairy farms remaining. Hopefully, we can keep them so that this great industry doesn’t leave the state. Dairy farmers want to continue producing a very healthy product for their family and yours. They also want to be able to be good stewards of the land and to pass their farms on to the next generation. Hopefully, this will continue to be the case so that consumers will continue to have healthy, wholesome, locally produced milk, and Mississippi’s economy will benefit. The Mississippi Value of Production Estimate as of December 2012 shows that the annual value of dairy production is $40 million.This estimate is provided by the Division of Agriculture, Forestry, and Veterinary Medicine at Mississippi State University. Our state and its consumers will lose if this industry doesn’t make it through the hard times. Mississippi Farm Bureau Federation continues to work on behalf of our producers to help sustain a local supply of milk, which is the cheapest and highest quality of raw milk available. Without local producers, not only will consumers pay more for a gallon of milk, but quality will also decrease.


Here are some fun Dairy Farm Facts from the Southeast United Dairy Industry Association (SUDIA): 1. Mississippi dairy cows produce an average of 4½ gallons of milk daily … enough to make four pounds of cheese or 39 Ervin pounds of yogurt. 2.Cows have an acute sense of smell and can smell something up to six miles away. 3. A cow has four stomachs and 32 teeth. 4. A typical dairy cow weighs 1,400 pounds and consumes about 75 pounds of grain each day. 5. An average cow consumes 50 gallons of water daily. 6. Milk is high in calcium and vitamin D. Milk is a good source of protein, and one glass has as much potassium as a small banana.

New Way to Pay Dues

You can now pay your annual Farm Bureau membership dues and PIC contributions through electronic funds transfer. Simply sign up for the service, and these funds will be automatically drafted from your bank account each year. For more information, visit our Web site at or contact your county Farm Bureau office to obtain a form.



Telling Agriculture’s Story By Glynda Phillips

Molly is pictured at Mississippi State University’s Joe Bearden Dairy Research Center.

2013 Mississippi Farm Bureau Federation Ambassador Molly Martin has already begun promoting Mississippi agriculture at meetings and events across the state. Molly, who grew up on a Rankin County timber and beef cattle farm, appreciates the importance of agriculture to our state and nation and plans to make agricultural promotions her life’s career. “I love telling agriculture’s story. I believe it is what drives society,” she said. “Without agriculture, we wouldn’t exist.” Molly spent last summer working as an intern for the Mississippi Beef Council and will draw upon that experience in her activities with Farm Bureau. She has also served as an ambassador for the Mississippi State University College of Business and is a member of Delta Gamma sorority. 8

“I am a people person, and public speaking is my strength,” she said. “I saw a great opportunity through the Farm Bureau Ambassador Program to work on my public speaking skills while teaching others about agriculture and what it does for us as a society. “For example, some of the girls in my sorority don’t have an ag background and don’t realize the work that goes into producing their food and clothing,” she said. “I always make an effort to tell them that these products don’t just come from stores. A farmer milked a cow and a farmer grew cotton so that we could have food and clothes.” Molly is proud to represent Farm Bureau in her work this year on behalf of agriculture. “Farm Bureau is the Voice of Agriculture®,” she said. “The staff



and volunteer leaders do an excellent job of representing the interests of farmers at the state Capitol and in Washington, D.C. They also work hard each year to tell agriculture’s story to the general public.” Molly says serving as the 2013 Farm Bureau Ambassador has been a great experience in her life so far, and she looks forward to the rest of the year. In addition to representing Farm Bureau at meetings and events, the Farm Bureau Ambassador receives a $2,000 scholarship, while the alternate receives a $1,000 scholarship. Molly is a junior at Mississippi State University majoring in marketing and minoring in public relations. She is the daughter of Randy and Leah Martin of Cato and attends Cato Baptist Church. For more information about the Mississippi Farm Bureau Federation (MFBF) Ambassador Contest, contact MFBF Women’s Program and Ag in the Classroom Coordinator Clara Bilbo at (601) 977-4245.

Molly joined the State Women’s Committee, Public Policy Director Samantha Newman and others in promoting agriculture at the state Capitol during Women’s Day at the Capitol.

MSU Dairy Farm

Mississippi State University’s Joe Bearden Dairy Research Center supports teaching, research and outreach activities for the college’s Animal and Dairy Sciences Department. The center provides students contact with modern techniques in animal agriculture as well as an opportunity for practical work experience. Through working at the center, students gain insight into the many technical challenges associated with the dairy industry. MAY/JUNE

Some 10 to 15 student workers milk about 160 dairy cows twice a day, seven days a week, at the research center’s dairy. The dairy herd consists of both Holstein and Jersey cows, but the Jerseys are renowned. The college’s Jersey herd is the 7th highest producing herd in the United States and the No. 1 producing university herd in the United States. “All of the milk produced here goes to the Custer Dairy Processing Plant on camMISSISSIPPI FARM COUNTRY

pus for fluid milk, cheese, ice cream and butter,” said herdsman Kenneth Graves. “Mississippi State sells a lot of cheese each year. Some 50,000 balls of Edam cheese alone were sold in 2012.” In addition, the research center holds 15 to 20 labs each year and entertains some 350 visitors for a basic tour. “We get everyone from school kids to senior citizens, and they want to see the cows and what goes on at a working dairy,” Graves said. “We make sure that all of our visitors, especially the school kids, know where their milk comes from. That it comes from a cow and not from the grocery store.” The research staff at the Joe Bearden Dairy Research Center is responsible for all forage production for the dairy herd. This includes all hay, silage and pasture forage. Graves is aided in his work by assistant herdsman J. B. Gardener. Keith Daniels is the research center superintendent. Scotty Coffman is the farm supervisor and Anthony Harris is the farm equipment operator. The Joe Bearden Dairy Research Center is part of the Mississippi Agriculture and Forestry Experiment Station (MAFES).


M A I F L Y N F O A S RM A E B By Glynda Phillips

Beason Family Farm in the Fork community near Philadelphia is meeting a growing demand for fresh locally produced milk while fulfilling Shelby Beason’s childhood dream of owning his own dairy. “I have wanted to be a dairy farmer my whole life,” he said. “But since it’s hard to get started in the dairy business, I started out with beef cattle, hay and poultry instead.” When Shelby and his wife, Marlo, read about Brown Family Dairy in Oxford and Country Girls Creamery in Wiggins, they decided to pay the families a visit. Billy Ray and Paula Brown and Butch and Kiahnell Smith are pasteurizing, bottling and further processing milk that is produced by their own Jersey cows. They sell at farmers markets and/or stores in their respective areas of the state, and they have many loyal customers. “I thought that I could do that, too,” Shelby said.

Getting Started The Beasons talked with experts and drew up a business plan.They bought equipment and built a barn. They already had cows because their kids show registered Jerseys in 4-H. After being inspected and approved by the Mississippi State Department of Health, their operation got underway in October 2012. “We started selling our milk at Williams Brothers and at Vowels stores in Neshoba, Lauderdale, Leake and Winston counties. We also sell from a store on the front of our barn,” Shelby said. “We started out slow, but business picked up substantially around Christmas. We have had to add a couple more cows. The Beasons sell reduced-fat, whole and chocolate milk. They sell cream exclusively from their own store to be used in coffee or for making butter. They offer products by the gallon, half gallon and pint. The cream is sold by the pint. 10



The Beasons say they have two basic types of customers: Those who are health conscious and want food that is grown locally and those who grew up on a farm and remember how milk like that tastes. “Our milk is non-homogenized,” Shelby said. “You have to shake the bottle because the cream rises to the top. There are a lot of people who tell us they can drink our milk when they couldn’t drink milk before. The homogenization process breaks down fat molecules and makes that milk harder to digest than our milk. “As far as processing goes, the conventional way to pasteurize milk is at a higher temperature for a shorter period of time. We pasteurize at a lower temperature for a longer period of time so that it has less of an impact on the quality of the milk,” he said. “Our milk stays fresh longer. “In addition, our cows graze in green pastures with the rare supplement of wholesome grain,” he said. “Grass-fed cows are proven to give milk containing higher levels of key nutrients and with a sweeter taste.” The Beasons started out with six cows and are now milking 11 cows twice a day, seven days a week. Their cows produce a little over 300 gallons of milk a week. The milk is sold at 15 locations as well as on the farm. The Beasons recently added McDades Food Store No. 16 on Northside Drive in Jackson. As for future plans, Shelby and Marlo say they want to eventually milk about 25 to 30 cows. At some point, they may begin further processing their milk into cheese and other dairy products, but they haven’t decided that for sure yet. MAY/JUNE

Come Visit If you are interested in seeing their farm, the Beasons invite you to come on out. “Anybody can come at any time,” Shelby said. “You are welcome. We milk at 8 a.m. and at 8 p.m., and we built our milking parlor with a viewing window so you can watch the process. We have hosted field trips for schoolchildren and 4-H clubs.” Locally grown food is a popular niche-market type of farming that provides family farmers with an extra stream of income. The Beasons say it is also a very satisfying way to do business. “We love this,” Marlo said. “We get to know people on such a personal level, and it is so much fun. When I walked into a local store recently, a child said, ‘There’s the Milk Lady.’ I never thought I’d be known as the Milk Lady.” “I get feedback from the people who purchase our milk, and they tell me they love it.That makes me feel proud,” Shelby said. “I know my beef cattle and chickens are feeding people, and I am proud of those products, too. But I never get to meet the people who purchase them. My dairy is a whole different story.” You can visit the Beason Family Farm Web site at or the Facebook page at Beason Family Farm. You can also call (601) 416-2222 or (601) 562-0817. Shelby and Marlo Beason served on the Young Farmers & Ranchers State Committee in 2007-2008. He has served on his county board since 2002, and she serves as vice chair of the county women’s committee.



Mississippi Farmer


Chester Bradley Jr. of Rose Hill has worked hard his whole life to build a successful farming operation in the hills of northeast Jasper County. He knew from an early age that he wanted to farm because many generations of his family had also been farmers. Chester’s maternal grandfather, Champion Trotter, owned his own farm and grew cotton, corn, peanuts and cattle. His grandmother, Lottie Mae Trotter, raised turkeys, which she sold to a company up North. She would walk eight to 10 miles to the nearest train depot with her turkeys following behind her. In a pocket of her apron, she kept corn, which she would trail along the ground as she went. Chester’s parents, Chester Bradley Sr. and Clarice T. Bradley, were sharecroppers. When his grandfather died, his mother and her siblings inherited the farm. Finally, his parents were able to own their own farm. Chester knew that in order to get started in farming, he would need to purchase some land. As soon as he was old enough, he left home for the Mississippi Gulf Coast, where he had heard jobs were plentiful. He worked in construction during the day and on a loading dock at night, loading bananas onto ships. While working on the coast, he saved his money. He remembers coming home after his first 30 days away, and his mother was canning vegetables from the garden using her wash pot. He told her to come with him. They went to the local Western Auto, and Chester bought his mother her first washing machine and freezer. His uncle, Benjamin Trotter, who had worked at Ford Motor Company in Detroit, Michigan, for 25 years, offered to get Chester a job if he would move. So Chester moved north. He worked for Ford during the day and at the Detroit Terminal at 12

night loading boats. He continued saving his money. “I worked in Detroit until I was in a car accident,” he said. “My friend and I were driving through Canada when he fell asleep at the wheel. My neck was broken twice, and that left me partially paralyzed in my right arm and my left leg. I was 22.” After the accident, Chester returned home. He married his childhood sweetheart, Irine J. Hayes. They bought some land and began farming and raising a family. Chester had cows, grew cucumbers, and raised peas for the market. Irine worked as a registered nurse. “I grew four acres of cucumbers that I sold to Bryan Pickling Company,” he said. “I did very well with them. I also raised pinkeye purple hull peas, which I carried to MISSISSIPPI FARM COUNTRY

the French Quarter in New Orleans in the middle of August. I would get up at 3 a.m. and be there around 6 a.m., and I would sell the peas to a man named Bernard. I had two families picking for me, and we would split the profits.” “I have always had cattle,” he said. “I started out with 10 or 15 cows, and my herd grew to 75 cows. You either love cattle or you don’t. I enjoy them, and I still have some to this day.” In 1976, Chester purchased two tractors, two hay mowers and baling equipment. He began cutting and baling hay for the public and did that for 16 years. He enjoyed it. Slowly, over a period of time, he bought more farmland. Tragedy struck the Bradley family when Irine passed away suddenly at age 51. The MAY/JUNE

recent tornado. They have gone beyond just giving me excellent insurance coverage – they are my friends. When I needed their help, they came out and helped me clean up my property after Katrina and the tornado. Once, they even cooked lunch for me.”

“Our county Farm Bureau has always been there for me, especially after Hurricane Katrina and the recent tornado.”

two oldest girls were in college, one daughter was in high school and one daughter was seven years old. Chester continued raising his family alone and farming. “My children have always helped me around the farm. I have four girls, and they enjoy farm life. They participated in 4-H, where they showed livestock and swine. They also participated in Future Farmers of America (FFA). Two of them, Constance and Candace, I call my boys,” he said with a smile. The girls, from oldest to youngest, are Cassandra, a purchasing specialist I for L-3 Vertex, LLC, in Madison; Constance, a nursing instructor in the registered nurse program at Meridian Community College in Meridian; Cathy Yolanda, an instruction intervention specialist at Spann Elementary MAY/JUNE

School in Jackson; and Candace Irine, who is currently completing her prerequisites for nursing school at East Central Community College in Decatur. He also has one sonin-law, Markus D. Barnett, a Mississippi highway patrolman who is married to Cathy Yolanda. He has one granddaughter, Chanté Irine Bradley, a freshman at Terry High School in Terry, and a two-month-old grandson, Bradley D. Barnett. Chester has been a member of Jasper County Farm Bureau for over 40 years and has served on the board of directors for over 20 years. “I love Farm Bureau,” he said. “Farm Bureau does a lot for farmers. Our county Farm Bureau has always been there for me, especially after Hurricane Katrina and the MISSISSIPPI FARM COUNTRY

Chester says a successful farmer must have a good banker, a good Extension agent, a good insurance agent, and a good natural resources/soil expert. He has made lifelong friends through the years with Ray Robinson, his banker; Lonnie Thigpen, his natural resources/soil expert and the current president of Jasper County Farm Bureau; Carter Sims, his Farm Bureau insurance agent; Shelton Culpepper, his retired Farm Bureau insurance agent; and Tommy Bishop, who served as county agent in Jasper County for many years. Chester also counts as his friend Mississippi Farm Bureau Federation President Randy Knight, of whom he is very proud. He considered it an honor to nominate Knight during state elections held in December. “I think Randy Knight is doing an excellent job leading our organization, and I look forward to continuing my work with Randy and Farm Bureau for many years to come,” he said. Most Farm Bureau members know Chester from his photo in the tabletop photography book about farming entitled “American Farmer.” All of the photographs in the book were taken by Paul Mobley. It is safe to say that Chester Bradley Jr. has lived a long, eventful and very successful life. He has been blessed with a large and loving family, a fulfilling farming career and many lifelong friendships. But stay tuned. He wants you to know that he is not finished yet. 13

Solve the


churches. The Gardiner family of New York was particularly instrumental in creating the culture in this city. The Central Historic District is listed on the National Register of Historic Places and boasts many early 20th century architectural styles, including Classical and Colonial Revival, Queen Anne, Bungalow and Craftsman. The gorgeous landscaping is part of American master architect Fredrick Law Olmstead’s 1909 city plan. The historic area of this city has several large parks: Gardiner Park, Daphne Park, Mason Park, Euclid Park and a tiny one known as Little Park. Gardiner Park was designed by the famed Olmsted Brothers firm. Their father designed Central Park in New York City. Our mystery city once boasted a street car with tracks that ran across the downtown area. The streetcar is no more, but brick streets remain in some downtown areas. Our mystery city was important to the blues industry, and a blues marker can be found in a downtown park that is shaped like a guitar. Important blues musicians from this city include Sam Myers, Albennie Jones and Blind Roosevelt Graves. Record producer Johnny Vincent also called this city home This city is home to great schools and award-winning high school athletic programs. One of the only all-brick high school stadiums in the state is located here. Also, Blair Field was Mississippi’s first lighted high school athletic field in 1929. This city has a fantastic high school gospel choir and an awardwinning high school culinary arts program. The city is located near Jones County Junior College in nearby Ellisville.

Mystery Jones County has two seats of government. One is Ellisville and the other is our mystery city. This city is named for a plant with a beautiful bloom that was growing abundantly and wildly when pioneers settled here in 1882. Read the clues and make your guess. Our mystery city grew up around the railroad. In the late 19th and early 20th centuries, it was a hub of activity as pine trees were logged and milled in the Pine Belt and transported to other areas of the state and nation. This city Mayor Melvin Mack still has an historic operating train depot. The Lindsey Eight-Wheel Log Wagon was built in this city. A mural featuring the wagon by famed artist Mildred Wolfe and dating back to the Works Progress Administration (early 1900s) hangs in the depot. Our mystery city is home to numerous historic homes and 14



Our mystery city is home to the Lauren Rogers Museum of Art, which is celebrating its 90th anniversary this year. The city also has an active Little Theatre that is located in a former movie theater called the Arabian. The Arabian was once a part of the historic and grand Hotel Pinehurst, which was torn down in 1988. A park was built where the hotel once stood. The city recently built a beautiful new 145-acre sportsplex. In addition, the area surrounding the city offers abundant outdoor recreational opportunities. This city has a population of about 18,800 residents. Major employers include Sanderson Farms, Masonite, Central Regional Medical Center, Howard Industries and Wayne Farms. The city is home to Laurel Oil; Brandon Petroleum; Petro Harvester Oil and Gas; and Denbury. There are many active wells in the city. Melvin Mack serves as the city’s first African-American mayor. Mayor Mack, who is a Jones County Farm Bureau member, has worked to upgrade the infrastructure of the town and revitalize the downtown area. Downtown businesses work with the Main Street program to encourage more businesses to locate there. Downtown, you will also notice banners paying tribute to the famous artists who call this city home. The banners have a theme of “Honoring Heritage, Expecting Greatness.” Famous people from this city include opera singer Leontyne Price, actor Tom Lester of “Green Acres” fame, actress Parker Posey, Olympian Ralph Boston, actor Ray Walston of “My Favorite Martian” fame, and author and minister James Street. The relatively low cost of living attracts a good mix of people, including retirees and young families. The residents of this city are close and work together for the good of the community. Some special events held each year include the Loblolly Festival, Chili Cook-off, Blues Bash, and Christmas Parade. This city is a certified retirement community, one of only 21 in the state. It became Mississippi’s first Tree City USA. Name this city. Correct Guesses Mail guesses to Solve the Mystery, Mississippi Farm Country, P. O. Box 1972, Jackson, MS 39215. You may also email 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 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 May 31. March/April The correct answer for the March/April Solve the Mystery is Winona.


Hanging In


By Sam E. Scott, MFBF General Counsel

For starters, hanging in is the opposite of hanging out. The former symbolizes doing what it takes, and the latter anything that comes to mind or comes from out of mind. What would have happened if the Greatest Generation, in the bloody days of WWII, had hung out instead of in? The British talk of keeping a stiff upper lip, but that does not describe what they did in 1914-1918 and 1939-1945. It is epitomized by a story about Churchill, toward the end of his 90-year life, making a speech at a London school. After being introduced, he was silent for a minute, then he said, “Never give up; never, never, never, never give up” and sat down. There was a momentary silence followed by thunderous applause and cheers. Addictions are in the news constantly today. Numerous as they are, one sage recently said that the two worst are seeking easy solutions and someone else to blame for failure. I am reading a new, good book1 about toughness by a sports analyst who explains that being hard or mean, or trying to be, is not necessarily the real thing. It is what we do or don’t do when the chips are down or the game is on the line and not just in a game but in life. We learn this from role models who don’t confuse principle with notoriety or scandal. Fortunately, I had at least two, my father and my high school coach, who were advocates of the Teddy Roosevelt school of “Speak softly and carry a big stick.” Both were quiet, calm men, but when they spoke, you listened. Two examples come to mind. I got a horse when I was about nine or 10. One day as I was riding, she decided she was going back into her stable; I could not stop her and hit my head on the door facing. I was crying, and one of my boyhood mentors ran in and got me


down. My dad said to lead the horse back outside and told me to get back on. I didn’t want to, but he made me, but the girth had come loose, the saddle slipped, and I went down on my back and tuned up again. He made me get up, shut up, and tightened the saddle. He said for me to get back up or he would put me up, and I was made to ride down a dirt road and back to the barn, about half a mile. I cannot remember how many happy hours and days I spent on horseback for the next 10 or so years because of that. He would not let me give up. It was not just tough; it was tough love. My coach caught four of our basketball team members smoking at a tournament and, characteristically, kicked them off, leaving us only six players. Our next game was our biggest rival, who was heavily favored. Coach told us in the locker room to just do our best, that they put their pants on one leg at the time just like we did. Win or lose, he told us, walk off with your heads high because you follow the rules. Sixty years ago, we won that game, and I remember it like it was yesterday. Just little-known events in an obscure country town long ago, but they were as important to me as Churchill’s memorable shortest speech. When I was being treated for cancer, I had an enlightening discussion with my oncologist about attitude. He said that, though it could not be medically proven, he was convinced that it made a difference in facing the dreaded disease. He had seen young, strong guys go to pieces and 80-yearold grandmothers stand tall as a statue. Attitude matters. Let’s hang in there! Toughness by Jay Bilas; New American Library 2013




Yazoo County Donation The Yazoo County Farm Bureau Scholarship Fund received a $2,500 donation from Monsanto through its America’s Farmers Grow Communities program. Yazoo County Farm Bureau President Matt Edgar applied for the funds, and his county was one of only four counties in the state to receive them. The others were Sunflower, Humphreys and Warren. The America’s Farmers Grow Communities program was established in 2010 to recognize the vital role farmers play in our communities and to support organizations important to them. The program has benefited some 1,200 counties across the nation. As a drought county, Sunflower County received $5,000. Edgar is pictured with Mississippi Farm Bureau Federation President Randy Knight.

MONTHLY BANK DRAFT NOW AVAILABLE FOR HOMEOWNER’S COVERAGE! Keep your home covered, without ever leaving it. Today, you can sign up for our Electronic Funds Transfer (EFT) program, and make your home policy payments automatically - no more waiting in line, no more hassles with the mail. With EFT, you can also set up 12 easy monthly installments without increasing your premium! Plus you can conveniently synchronize your EFT payments for both your Home and Auto policies.

Enrolling in EFT is simple: • Call your local agent today or • Call the Billing Help Desk at 1.800.345.8579 (Press 2 at the voice prompt)

*Mississippi Farm Bureau Casualty Insurance Co. *Southern Farm Bureau Life Insurance Co., Jackson, MS






Our Member Benefits ID Theft Credit Save You BigAssistance Dollars Restoration

By Gibson, MFBFMFBF MemberMember Services Director Baymont Inns, Wyndham and Wingate Inn®. ByGreg Greg Gibson, Services Director

To make your reservation, go to www.wyndhamSchool is winding down, summer is right around Our newest partnership to help Farm Bureau members is with a or call 877- 670-7088 and give the the corner, and you and your family are probably pany called ID Experts. They provide a servicecustomer that most people will service representative the Mississippi Farm making vacation plans. Did never need, you do need you will thank Bureauit,discount number, which can be obtained you know that but yourifmemyour lucky stars that you it available to you. through your county Farm Bureau office. bership in Farm Bureau can have IDyour theftvacation is one of the make cost a fastest-growing crimes in the Rental Discounts country. when someoneCar steals your identity, it little less, And leaving you more to rent a this car while money for years other things? can take to fix all of theNeed problems can on vacation? Farm Bureau has discounts for that, too. Avis, Hertz, cause you. Enterprise, Alamo andsteal National carcard compaChoice Hoteltakes Discounts ID theft many forms. Someone could yourrental credit numnies have all offered discounts to Mississippi Farm Farm Bureau’s affiliaber or set up a credit card in your name that you don’t know about. Then they Bureau members. The discounts vary, depending on tion with the Choice Hotel could charge thousands of dollars to that credit card and the card company the location, size of car, length of rental and time of chain saves members 20 thinks it’s you who owes them money. year. Contact each company individually to find out percent off the rack room rate at most locations. Or how this? Someone gets your social security and files on aneach IRSrental. returnCertain in your the exactnumber amount of savings Discounts areabout available at Comfort Inn, Comfort name and steals It could several months beforemay youapply. even discover that it happened. restrictions Suites, Quality Inn,your Sleeprefund. Inn, Clarion Inn,be Main this?Econo A doctor inand LosRodeway AngelesInn. had her identity stolen by a sophisticated international crime StayOr Suites, Lodge More Benefits ringMembers that setcan up make shop their in her name and wasonline bilking Medicare out of hundreds of thousands of dolhotel reservations membership in Farm Bureau is packed with at or bycame callingknocking 1-800-258-at her doorYour lars. The government then wanting the money back. value. Through the money-saving 2847For andthese providing the customer service representareasons and many more, Farm Bureau felt the needalltoofhelp our membersprograms who have offered byBenefits Farm Bureau, members tive thevictims assignedofMississippi Farm Federabeen these types ofBureau crimes. This new Member program willsaved help over any Farm $900,000 in 2012. For a complete list of all the memtion discount number. This number canby be identity Bureau member who hasdiscount been victimized theft get their credit restored to pre-theft staber benefits availableFFtagRiceAdF2013 to you, visit our Web site at obtained by calling your county Farm Bureau office. 1/4/13 4:06 PM Page 1 tus. And the best part of this program is that it doesn’t cost the member a penny!, This free Identity Theft Credit Restoration Program is now availor call Member Wyndham Hotel Discounts able and will work with youalso to offers fix allFarm the problemsBenefits that come Coor-with ID The Wyndham Hotel chain theft. For more information on this program, check out our dinator DedraWeb site Bureau members a 20 percent discount off the at call Member Benefits Luke atDedra (601) Luke at rack room rate. Theseordiscounts are available at Coordinator 977-4169. 601-977-4169. Microtel Inn, Hawthorn Suites, Days Inn®, Howard Johnson®, Knights Inn®, Ramada®, Travelodge®,

Farm Families of Mississippi

Show Your Support for Agriculture

The highly successful Farm Families of Mississippi ag image campaign began its fourth year on the air in late February. This statewide effort to educate the public about the importance of agriculture will be expanding its reach once again this year. The newest TV market will be Hattiesburg, which will join with the established markets in Jackson, Biloxi, Greenville, Tupelo and the Mississippi Public Broadcasting Network. Farm Families of Mississippi has also entered into a partnership with Eat Jackson, a leader in food media and culinary events production, to be the presenting sponsor of that organization for 2013. Eat Jackson’s founder, Andy Chapman, said this marketing partnership with Farm Families of Mississippi demonstrates a shared commitment to the growth of our state’s economy and makes a strong statement for the mutual importance of agriculture and the culinary arts to our state’s long-term success. “We know farmers work tirelessly every day to make the food they grow better and more affordable,” said Daryl Burney, who chairs the Farm Families of Mississippi Committee. “That’s why we are so excited to tell our stories, answer questions and demonstrate our commitment to providing healthy choices for everyone. This partnership with Eat Jackson will help us do that.” To learn more about Eat Jackson, visit or 20

Getting the word out about what agriculture provides to all Mississippians is the goal of the Farm Families of Mississippi. You can help by purchasing one of these tags for your vehicle. The cost is $31 per year. Of that, $24 will go to the Farm Families of Mississippi to use in the promotion of agriculture. Tags are now available at your County Tax Collector’s office where you buy your tags. For more info, call Greg Gibson at 601.977.4154.



Who Grew My Soup?

The Agricultural Book of the Year, offered by the Mississippi Farm Bureau Federation Women’s Program and the American Farm Bureau Foundation for Agriculture, is “Who Grew My Soup?” by Tom Darbyshire with imagery by artist C.F. Payne. The book tells the story of 10-year-old Phineas Quinn, who hatches a plan to avoid eating his vegetable soup. His scheme backfires, and he finds himself on a hilarious adventure, flying from farm to farm in a giant tomato balloon. Along the way, he learns where his food comes from, and he meets the farmers who grow it. The book and a free teaching unit are available for $6 plus $2 postage. Make your check out to Mississippi Farm Bureau Federation and mail it to: Ag in the Classroom, P. O. Box 1972, Jackson, MS 39215. For more information, call Clara Bilbo at (601) 977-4245. “Who Grew My Soup?” was underwritten by Campbell Soup Company.



In an effort to reduce your mail volume, paperless billing is now available for auto and homeowner’s insurance premiums. Paperless billing is an environmentally-friendly solution that also decreases the amount of mail to sort through. Besides, your mailbox could probably use a break.

Going paperless is simple: • Log on to • Click on the Paperless Billing icon g Paperless Billing *Mississippi Farm Bureau Casualty Insurance Co. *Southern Farm Bureau Life Insurance Co., Jackson, MS






Church T Through the years, it has been my joy as a writer for the Mississippi Farm Bureau Federation to visit areas of our state so steeped in history and character that you feel a special energy the moment you step out of your car. The places are too numerous and varied to list here, but three that come immediately to mind are the ghost town of Rodney, a former bustling port on the banks of the Mississippi River; the community of Oktoc, where hardworking men and women made their living dairying among the quiet hills of eastern Mississippi; and Church Hill, a once-prosperous plantation community sitting in the steep bluffs along the Mississippi River some 20 miles north of Natchez. In this article, we will visit Church Hill. Church Hill Church Hill, with its storied history, never fails to fascinate, and Christ Church always takes my breath away when I round that final curve in Highway 553 and see it sitting atop its high hill surrounded by ancient tombstones and tall trees draped in Spanish moss. Across the street is Wagner’s Grocery, the oldest country store made entirely of heart pine in the Southeastern United States. Wagner’s was established in 1827 and closed its doors in the 1990s, but during its heyday, it sold everything a farm or household could need, from clothes and shoes to groceries, medicine, gasoline and farm implements. It even served as a post office for a time. The

By Glynda Phillips


Church Hill Preservation Trust plans to make it into a museum when adequate funds are raised. If you travel the roads around Church Hill, you will find numerous plantation homes like Springfield, where Andrew Jackson and Rachel Robards were married in 1791. These houses hearken back to a more prosperous time when the area was home to a thriving agricultural community. Christ Church Virginia Patterson, 80, a member of Christ Church, knows its history well. Virginia has lived in the community her whole life. Her parents, Adolph and Octavia Wagner, owned Wagner’s Grocery for many years, and her husband, Charles, is also a longtime area resident. “Adam Cloud from the Maryland Settlement established Christ Church in 1790 following the Revolutionary War,” Virginia said. “The first church was a log structure on the banks of a nearby creek, and it was Episcopal. At the time, the Catholic Church ruled the Florida Settlement. Since this area was a part of the Florida Settlement, Cloud was taken away in chains. “In 1798, the area was made a part of the United States, and Cloud came back and built another small brick church,” she said. “The present asbestos and brick church was built in 1857 and modeled after English country churches.” Christ Church has beautiful stained glass windows that are so old they can’t be replaced. Through the years, some of the panes were broken. That glass was replaced with modern glass, but the church still boasts lots of the original stained glass with MAY/JUNE

bubbles in it. At one time, the church had two chimneys and a large exterior cross. Those are gone now. The beams in the church’s vaulted ceiling were hand stained and meticulously grained with a turkey feather. You will find the names of the builder and the grainer etched into a beam in the slaves’ gallery. The pews are original to 1850. The pipe organ was made for the church in Scotland, but only the shell of it now remains. “When the church was still open to the public, we had visitors from all over the world sign our register,” Virginia said. “Regrettably, we had to finally close the doors because of vandals.” The congregation now numbers 10 members, and services are held once a month. In its heyday, the church had 48 members, but everybody in the community would attend services, no matter their denomination. “We keep the cemetery looking good,” Virginia said. “It goes back to maybe the first church members but for sure the MISSISSIPPI FARM COUNTRY

second church members. Many prominent families and important people in Mississippi history are buried here, including our first secretary of state.” If you are ever in the area, stop by and visit Christ Church. Virginia says she would be glad to show it to you. A special thanks to Adams County Farm Bureau Women’s Chair Fayla Guedon for her help with this article. 21

By Glynda Phillips


Mississippi Arts and Meridian is quickly becoming an epicenter for the arts in Mississippi. In addition to the many artists and entertainers who call the city home, it is the birthplace of Jimmie Rodgers, the Father of Country Music, and the home of the Mississippi State University Riley Center, with its fully restored 1889 grand opera house theatre. Very soon, the city will also be home to the Mississippi Arts and Entertainment Center (MAEC), designed to capture the essence of Mississippi’s legacy in the arts and celebrate the richness and depth of that legacy and the Mississippians who created it. What is MAEC? What will visitors find at the Mississippi Arts and Entertainment Center? “Our center will be a state-of-the-art facility that will include MAEC exhibits showcasing every genre of the arts and even some entrepreneurs in arts and entertainment like Bob Pittman of MTV and Hartley Peavey of Peavey Electronics,” said MAEC Executive Director Marty Gamblin. “We will have a state-sanctioned Mississippi Arts and Entertainment Center Hall of Fame, inducting icons in all genres of arts and entertainment, as well as a Walk of Fame, outdoor performance plaza, and recording facility, where aspiring artists can record at a reasonable rate. We will sup-




Entertainment Center Actor Morgan Freeman gets a star on the MAEC Walk of Fame. Illustrations and photo compliments of Leading Edges on behalf of MAEC.

port and complement what is going on at the Riley Center and also showcase new talent in our own outdoor performance arena.” “The center will hold classes for students because arts education will be one of our primary focuses,” he said. “We will also motivate future artists and entertainers because that will be another important focus. Visitors will hear about how someone from very humble beginnings realized their dreams, and they will see that they can do this, too.” The center will be very interactive, and exhibits won’t remain the same but will change over the course of time. “There is nothing like this in Mississippi,” said MAEC President Tommy Dulaney. “There are other great museums, like the B.B. King Museum in Indianola and the Walter Anderson Museum in Ocean Springs. You can tour William Faulkner’s home in Oxford and Eudora Welty’s home in Jackson. We will reference those places as well as have exhibits on those artists ourselves. “We see ourselves as being the Mother Ship. Located within a mile of I-20, the MAEC hopes to lure the transient visitors through Mississippi off the interstate, where we will give them an overall picture of the talent and history of arts and entertainment throughout our state and encourage them to visit the many other museums and attractions Mississippi has to offer.” Working Together All of which brings up a very important aspect of the center. It will be located in Meridian, but it will benefit the entire state. All MAY/JUNE

Mississippians are working together to make sure that it becomes a great success. Here’s some history. In 2001, the Mississippi Legislature established the center, and several Mississippi cities aggressively competed for it, with Meridian ultimately being awarded the project. In 2009, the Legislature presented the city with $4 million in bond money to go toward construction of the facility. A site was located in the downtown Meridian Arts District. Buildings were demolished, and the site was prepared for construction. Despite setbacks in the form of Hurricane Katrina and the economy, funds have been raised and the fundraising effort is ongoing. “This facility will not only educate the public and showcase our Mississippi talent, it holds the potential to become the cornerstone in marketing arts and entertainment as one of our state’s most valuable resources,” Gamblin said. It will also serve to answer the question: What is it about Mississippi? “We will use a water theme,” Dulaney said. “The theme will be something along the lines of ‘It’s in the Water’ as a way of helping people better understand how and why this state has produced such creative bounty and fired the imaginations of people everywhere. “The Mississippi Arts and Entertainment Center will serve as a source of pride and inspiration for all Mississippians.” For more information about the Mississippi Arts and Entertainment Center, contact Gamblin at (601) 581-1550 or visit www.



Sale of Junior Champions

The Reserve Champion Heavyweight European Steer was exhibited by Taylor McNair, Hinds 4-H. Pictured, from left, are David Cobianchi, Henry Hamill, Larry Favreau, Robert Jarrett, Jack Williams and Randy Knight for TeleSouth Communications, Matthews, Cutrer and Lindsay PA, Tico’s Steakhouse, Southern Farm Bureau Life Insurance Company, Mississippi Farm Bureau Federation, Southern Farm Bureau Casualty Insurance Company, Mississippi Farm Bureau Casualty Insurance Company, Crop Production Services and Signs First (buyers); and Taylor.

The Reserve Champion Lightweight Goat was exhibited by Triston/Kylie Roberts, Smith 4-H. Pictured, from left, are Jack Williams, Robert Jarrett, Henry Hamill, Larry Favreau and Randy Knight for Mississippi Farm Bureau Federation, Southern Farm Bureau Casualty Insurance Company, Tico’s Steakhouse, Southern Farm Bureau Life Insurance Company, N&W Construction Co. Inc., Attala Frozen Foods, Hilton Jackson, Ogletree Deakins, Southern Cross Underwriters, Copeland, Cook, Taylor & Bush PA, Regions Bank, Empire Trucks, Stribling Equipment, Bruce & Tina Craft, J.D. White Electric Co., and Mike Smith (buyers); and Kylie.

The Reserve Grand Champion Hog/Reserve Champion Crossbred Hog was exhibited by Adison Mauldin, Forrest 4-H. Pictured, from left, are Robert Jarrett, Jack Williams, Henry Hamill, Larry Favreau and Randy Knight for Southern Farm Bureau Casualty Insurance Company, Mississippi Farm Bureau Casualty Insurance Company, Southern Farm Bureau Life Insurance Company, Tico’s Steakhouse, N & W Construction Company, Copeland, Cook, Taylor & Bush PA, Ogletree Deakins, Attala Frozen Foods, Hilton Jackson, Southern Cross Underwriters and Mississippi Farm Bureau Federation (buyers); and Adison 24

The Reserve Champion Hampshire Hog/MS Bred Champion Hampshire was exhibited by Ashleigh/Kaylin Hickman, Forrest 4-H/Brooklyn FFA. Pictured, from left, are Robert Jarrett, Jack Williams, Henry Hamill, Larry Favreau and Randy Knight for Southern Farm Bureau Casualty Insurance Company, Mississippi Farm Bureau Casualty Insurance Company, Southern Farm Bureau Life Insurance Company, Sen. Billy Hudson, Bank of Wiggins, Stone County Farm Bureau and Mississippi Farm Bureau Federation (buyers); and Ashleigh and Kaylin.

The Reserve Champion Suffolk Lamb was exhibited by Carly Stocks, Hinds 4-H. Pictured, from left, are Jack Williams, Robert Jarrett, Henry Hamill, Larry Favreau and Randy Knight for Mississippi Farm Bureau Federation, Southern Farm Bureau Casualty Insurance Company, Tico’s Steakhouse, Southern Farm Bureau Life Insurance Company, TeleSouth Communications, Matthews, Cutrer & Lindsay PA; First South Farm Credit, Brock Plumbing and Mississippi Fair Commission (buyers); and Carly.

The Grand Champion Lamb/Champion Hampshire Lamb was exhibited by Jacob/Joshua Bell, Hinds 4-H. Pictured, from left, are Jack Williams, Robert Jarrett, Henry Hamill, Larry Favreau and Randy Knight for Mississippi Farm Bureau Federation, Southern Farm Bureau Casualty Insurance Company, Tico’s Steakhouse, Southern Farm Bureau Life Insurance Company, Telesouth Communications and Matthews, Cutrer & Lindsey PA (buyers); and Joshua and Jacob.



AFBF Annual Meeting

American Farm Bureau Federation (AFBF) President Bob Stallman congratulates Mississippi Farm Bureau Federation President Randy Knight during the State Awards Program at national convention. Mississippi received an AFBF Award of Excellence in every program area.

Simpson County Farm Bureau had a display entitled “5th Graders: Farmers for Today, Ag Leaders for Tomorrow” at the trade show at national convention. The booth recently received recognition in the American Farm Bureau Federation County Activities of Excellence awards program. Carol King is president and Tammy Layton is women’s chair.

State winners William and Julie White of Oktibbeha County placed among the top-10 finalists in national Young Farmers & Ranchers Excellence in Agriculture competition.

On behalf of the Women’s Program, State Women’s Committee Chair Betty Mills received a Certificate of Recognition for the biannual Women’s Ag Tour. The State Women’s Committee coordinates the popular event, which visits agricultural enterprises in different areas of the state.

A group of past and present Young Farmers & Ranchers program participants and friends from Yalobusha County enjoyed national convention activities. State winner Cory Williamson competed in the Sweet Sixteen Discussion Meet semi-finals. MAY/JUNE



Farm Bureau Events

State Women’s Committee members and others took cash donations, food and household items to Ronald McDonald House of Jackson as part of their Food Check-Out Day celebration. They are pictured with Ruth Ann Allen, Executive Director of Ronald McDonald House of Jackson.

House and Senate Ag Committee chairs Rep. Preston Sullivan and Sen. Billy Hudson, along with members of their respective committees, visited with the State Women’s Committee and others during Women’s Day at the Capitol. 26



Farm Bureau Events

Jolene Brown, professional speaker, author and family business State Women’s Committee members and others served refreshments consultant, was one of the many speakers at the excellent County Board in the rotunda of the state Capitol during Women’s Day at the Capitol. and Secretary Training Session held at the Ag Museum in Jackson.


Gary Baise with OFW Law addressed the Winter Commodity Conference on the topic of Environmental Issues Facing the Livestock Industry. This year’s two-day conference enjoyed excellent programs and attendance MAY/JUNE



MFBF Grain Bin Safety Workshops

The Mississippi Farm Bureau Federation Safety Department and the National Education Center for Agricultural Safety (NECAS) hosted a series of grain bin safety workshops to educate producers and farm labor about the many hazards of working around grain bins as well as the precautions they can take to prevent grain bin accidents and potential entrapments. The classes were led by NECAS Director Dan Neenan, who used the center’s mobile grain bin engulfment simulator in the programs. The workshops were held in Sardis, Boyle and Belzoni.

MFBF Intern

Jessica Wilkinson, a Hinds Community College agricultural business and ag policy major, worked with the Mississippi Farm Bureau Federation as an intern during the months of February, March and April. Jessica is a past state FFA officer, past member of the Mississippi 4-H

Leadership Team and former Mississippi National Beef Ambassador with the Mississippi Beef Council. Jessica is a recipient of the 2012 Berta White Scholarship and plans to attend Mississippi State University in the fall. She and her family are Franklin County Farm Bureau members.


In Memoriam: Warren Oakley

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Mississippi Farm Bureau Federation (MFBF) Honorary Vice President Warren Oakley passed away Wednesday, March 20. He was 90. Oakley joined Oktibbeha County Farm Bureau in 1946. He served as a county president, state director, state vice president and honorary state vice president. A lifelong farmer, Oakley operated the family dairy for more than 50 years until the day he retired well into his 70s. Oak Ayr Dairy was one of the largest dairies in the Oktoc community near Starkville. Active in agricultural organizations on the county, state and national levels, Oakley was a recipient of the Oktibbeha County Farmer of the Year, Mississippi Farmer of the Year, Master Dairyman and Mississippi Farm Bureau Excellence in Leadership awards. During World War II, Oakley served in the U.S. Army under General George S. Patton. He received the Purple Heart pin with an extra oak leaf cluster signifying he had been injured in battle more than once. He was the recipient of the Bronze Star and Combat Infantry Badge. Oakley was a member of the Oktoc Community Club and Starkville’s Breakfast Exchange Club. He was a member of the First United Methodist Church in Starkville. Oakley attended Mississippi State College and was a lifelong supporter of Mississippi State University’s agricultural research, extension and teaching efforts. Francis Warren Oakley was a devoted husband, father, grandfather and great-grandfather. Please keep this family in your prayers. 29

YF&R State Committee

A Job Well Done By Kirsten Johnson MFBF Young Farmers & Ranchers Coordinator

The following young farmers are going off of the Young Farmers & Ranchers State Committee in 2013. We would like to take this opportunity to thank them for a job well done.

The Carvers

Garrett & Dawn Carver Leflore County Garrett grows row crops in the Mississippi Delta. When he isn’t farming, his hobbies include cars and motorcycles. Dawn’s hobbies include baking and cake decorating. They say they have really enjoyed their time on the committee and were very happy to have served as 1st vice chair (Garrett) and secretary (Dawn). The Carvers have two children, Davis, 10, and Claire, 7. Clay and Kim Green Prentiss County Clay Green is a third-generation farmer operating a row crop farm that includes soybeans, cotton, wheat and cattle. He and his wife Kim have one daughter, Bella, age 3. They would like to say “Thank You” to Farm Bureau for their wonderful experience while serving on the committee.


Blake and Mari Katherine New Washington County Blake and Mari presently grow soybeans and some wheat. Mari Katherine is a nurse in the Heart and Vascular Center at Delta Regional Hospital. Blake works for the USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service in Greenville as a soil conservationist. They live on Lake Washington, about five minutes from the family farm and from their church in Glen Allan. They enjoy spending time on the lake with friends and family during the summer, and he enjoys duck and deer hunting during the winter. He has served on the Washington County Farm Bureau Board of Directors for about three years and on the YF&R State Committee for two years.


Matt and Carrie Edgar Yazoo County Matt is a fourth-generation row crop and cattle farmer. He farms some of the same land his great-grandfather farmed, growing wheat, corn and soybeans and running about 125 head of commercial beef cattle. Carrie is employed by the University of Mississippi Medical Center as a registered mammography technologist. Matt serves as president of Yazoo County Farm Bureau. They attend Parkview Church of God in Yazoo City. Matt and Carrie are lifelong residents of Yazoo County. They have two boys, Adam, 5, and Wyatt, 2. Jason and Kelly Hill Chickasaw County Jason and Kelly Hill grow soybeans and cotton, and they own and manage pastureland where Jason’s grandfather grazes cattle. Jason served as chair of the 2012

The NEWS 30




YF&R State Committee, and in that capacity, he sat on the Mississippi Farm Bureau Federation (MFBF) Board of Directors and the MFBF Executive Committee. He also serves on the MFBF Soybean Advisory Committee. They say they have enjoyed every minute of their involvement in the YF&R program. Jason and Kelly are also active in their church and community. They have a daughter, Katelyn, 9, and a son, Tyler, 4. Tyler and Sarah Huerkamp Noxubee County The Huerkamps grow cotton and corn. They are also part owners in Bogue Chitto Gin, which was constructed in 2012. Sarah works part-time as a licensed physical therapist assistant. They have two children, Lane, 4, and Luke, 3. Their hobbies include hunting, fishing, tennis, wakeboarding and flying. They were chosen to represent (then) Region 6 in the Achievement Award Contest. Tyler served as 2nd vice chair of the YF&R State Committee, and serves as the county YF&R chair. Sarah served as chair of the YF&R Scholarship Committee and works with the county Women’s Committee.


The Huerkamps

Josh and Tiffany Smith Greene County Josh and Tiffany Smith have a poultry and cattle operation. They are leaders of the youth group at Sandhill Baptist Church. Josh is an avid hunter and enjoys sharing his knowledge of the woods, wildlife and farming with young children, especially those who are not familiar with the area. When time permits, he and Tiffany enjoy traveling. The Smiths say that being a part of Farm Bureau has given them the opportunity to network with other young farmers and make friendships that will last a lifetime.

Drew Pierce Walthall County Drew is co-owner of DuBoy Farms, the family’s beef operation. He competed in the YF&R Discussion Meet, attended Southwest Mississippi Community College and is a member of Forest Haven Missionary Baptist Church. He enjoys golf and baseball and is a past 4-H camp counselor and an Eagle Scout. He attended Youth Safety Seminar. Drew is currently an airman attached to the 255th Mobile Communications Squadron of the Air National Guard in Gulfport. He graduated from BMT at Lackland Air Force Base in San Antonio, Texas, and is attending Cyber Transport Tech School at Keesler Air Force Base.

Young Farmers Share Their Experiences

What have you learned about Farm Bureau during your time on the committee?

Before Kelly and I began serving on the YF&R State Committee, we didn’t really understand what Farm Bureau does for farmers every day. Now we do. Farm Bureau is an effective advocate for agriculture in the Legislature and Congress. It is amazing how an idea can start at the county level and go all of the way to the national level. Farm Bureau also teaches consumers to appreciate agriculture. If we as farmers don’t get our message out, no one will do it for us. Farm Bureau helps us get our message out. Jason & Kelly Hill Chickasaw County Farm Bureau is a strong voice for agriculture in the policy development and implementation process on the state and national levels. Farm Bureau is also very involved in changing the common misconceptions of people who are not familiar with agriculture to the actual reality of what farm families do each day and what their lives are really like. Farm Bureau is helping to teach young farmers and ranchers to simply tell our story, so people may know where their food and fiber come from. Tyler & Sarah Huerkamp Noxubee County

What is the most valuable thing you will take from your time on the YF&R committee?

The encouragement we received from Farm Bureau to become more involved and to take leadership roles. And, of course, the lifelong friends. Matt & Carrie Edgar Yazoo County



The friends we have made and the knowledge we have gained about the different types of commodities grown in our state. My wife and I have friends who are poultry farmers. We use chicken litter on our farm, but we didn’t know how chickens were grown. Now we do. My time as state chair has also taught me leadership skills and helped me with my public speaking. I wish I’d gotten involved earlier. Jason & Kelly Hill, Chickasaw County Meeting and getting to know other young couples involved in agriculture in Mississippi and learning how other businesses in the agricultural industry operate throughout the state. Blake and Mari Katherine New Washington County

How do you think your involvement in the state YF&R program has helped you grow as a farmer or rancher? Many farmers think that farming is just about what they do on their farms and nothing else really matters. As a young farmer, I have realized that just isn’t the case. Farming also has a political side to it. This experience will help me become more aware of the changing laws. In addition, it has also made me more aware of how my state representatives and the members of Congress are representing me and my fellow farmers. Garrett & Dawn Carver Leflore County

My involvement on the committee has taught me that Farm Bureau is, in fact, the Voice of Agriculture®. There is comfort in knowing that there are people who care greatly for the wellbeing of farmers and the production of goods through agriculture. Josh & Tiffany Smith Greene County The Farm Bureau YF & R program has offered us a wonderful experience and the opportunity to learn more about agriculture across our state, as well as the privilege to meet many other farmers and make new friendships that will go on past our time on the YF&R committee. Clay & Kim Green Prentiss County

It has given me a broader knowledge of agriculture in Mississippi besides just Delta row crop farming, and I have made many contacts that will be helpful in the future. Blake & Mari Katherine New, Washington County It has taught me many things that I can take back to my home county and apply not only to my own farm but to helping new farmers who are getting started. Drew Pierce Walthall County

Where do you hope to see the program in the future?


What would you say to new members just getting involved in their county programs? Get involved as much as you possibly can! Get to know your fellow committee members - you will be serving with them for the next three years. They can become some of the best friends you could ever ask for. You will also learn more about other types of farming that you probably didn’t know about (i.e., chickens, cows, timber, sweet potatoes). Garrett & Dawn Carver, Leflore County Put forth every effort to get involved in every aspect of the program; be willing to serve where needed. Matt & Carrie Edgar, Yazoo County

We hope to see the YF&R program continue to grow and help shape and mold the young leaders of tomorrow. Tyler & Sarah Huerkamp, Noxubee County

I hope to see the Young Farmers & Ranchers program continuing to thrive in its work to build accomplished young farmers. After all, Young Farmers & Ranchers are our nation’s future. Josh and Tiffany Smith , Greene County We hope to see the program continue to reach more young farmers and help them become actively involved. Young farmers are the future of agriculture, and Farm Bureau is our voice.

Clay & Kim Green, Prentiss County

I would encourage all new members to get involved, stay involved and enjoy every minute of it. Drew Pierce, Walthall County




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Mississippi Farm Country May/June 2013  
Mississippi Farm Country May/June 2013  

Telling Agriculture's Story