Page 1






Pictured with Farm Bureau Ambassador Collin Ray Hutcheson at the Capitol are State Women’s Committee Chair Betty Mills of Winona, State Women’s Committee Vice Chair Shelby Williams of Seminary and the eight regional women’s chairs as follows: Region 1- Deniese Swindoll of Hernando, Region 2 - Kay Perkins of Iuka, Region 3 - Peggy McKey of Edwards, Region 4 - Jody Bailey of Coffeeville, Region 5 - Betty Edwards of Smithdale, Region 6 - Joan Thompson of Philadelphia, Region 7 - Carolyn Turner of Ellisville, and Region 8 - Wanda Hill of Isola.

Farm Bureau Making a Difference in Your Life As your State Women’s Committee,

we work hard each year to make a difference in your life. All of us farm, and all of us have served for many years as Farm Bureau volunteer leaders. We believe deeply in this organization, and we want to ensure that Mississippi agriculture remains strong. Through the Farm Bureau Women’s Program, women’s committees are organized on the county, state and national levels. These committees strive to develop and promote all Farm Bureau programs and services, ranging from ag education and commodity promotion to special ag tours and leadership development. Here are some specific programs our volunteer leaders work with each year:

Ag in the Classroom: The mission of Agriculture in the Classroom is to increase MAY/JUNE 2014

agricultural literacy through K-12 education. Volunteer leaders present educational programs in classrooms and at special events across the state. We also have an Ag in the Classroom trailer filled with all sorts of agricultural resource materials. Farm Bureau Ambassador: The $4,000 Mississippi Farm Bureau Federation (MFBF) Ambassador Scholarship gives young leaders an opportunity to tell the farm story. In addition, the Women’s Program annually awards a $3,000 Berta Lee White Scholarship to four deserving female college students. Farm Woman of the Year: The Farm Woman of the Year contest recognizes, encourages and rewards the achievements of women farmers who also serve as Farm Bureau volunteer leaders.

Biannual Women’s Farm Tour: Volunteer leaders have an opportunity to learn about agriculture in different areas of the state. Women’s Day at the Capitol/Food Check-Out Day: Each year, state committee members and others visit the Mississippi State Capitol to serve refreshments in the rotunda and visit with leaders from the House and Senate ag committees. We also take household items and a cash donation collected by volunteer leaders from across the state to the Ronald McDonald House in Jackson. If you’d like more information, contact MFBF Women’s Program Coordinator Clara Bilbo at (601) 977-4245. On the adjoining page, you can read about the many benefits you gain access to with your Farm Bureau membership. FB MISSISSIPPI FARM COUNTRY





may / june 2014 Volume 90 Number 3 May/June 2014


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


Farming Heritage

Country stores are an important part of our farming culture. Come with us as we visit three historic stores still in operation today.

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

Solve the Mystery

Our mystery water park is situated on Rials Creek near Mendenhall in Simpson County. Read the clues and make your guess.

FARM BUREAU DIRECTORS Dr. Jim Perkins, Iuka Lowell Hinton, Corinth Tommy Swindoll, Hernando Chris Lively, Clarksdale Tripp Thomas, Batesville Kelcey Shields, Mantachie Herbert Word, Okolona Kenneth King, Ackerman Pepper Beard, Coila Jimmy Whitaker, Satartia Kenneth Thompson, Philadelphia Vander Walley, Waynesboro Quinton Mills, Forest David C. Barton, Raymond Robert Earl McGehee Jr., Brookhaven Mike McCormick, Union Church Bobby Selman, Monticello Larry Jefcoat, Soso J. B. Brown, Perkinston Louis J. Breaux IV, Kiln Betty Mills, Winona Mallory Sayle, Lake Cormorant HONORARY VICE PRESIDENT Louis J. Breaux III


Farm Bureau Events

Farm Bureau volunteer leaders and staff have been busy since the beginning of the year. You will find photo coverage of many of these events inside.


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.

Member Benefits 6 President’s Message 8 Commodity Update: Dairy 9 Commodity Update: Apiculture 18 Strolling: Sam Scott

About The Cover 2014 Farm Bureau Ambassador Collin Ray Hutcheson of Lee County is eager to tell agriculture’s story at events around the state. Read about Collin inside. He is pictured at the Mississippi Agriculture and Forestry Museum in Jackson.



P R E S I D E N T’ S M E S S A G E Randy Knight, President, Mississippi Farm Bureau Federation

Our Farming Heritage As a lifelong farmer, I have visited my

share of country stores through the years. Typically, these establishments are familyowned and offer some or all of the items a farmer or rural household might need during the course of the year, from feed and fertilizer to farm implements and grocery staples. Back in the day, quite a few country stores also served as post offices, bus depots and Western Union stations. They were places where neighbors could visit with each other and old-timers could sit out on the front porch and swap stories as they whittled or enjoyed a game of checkers. If you were hungry, you could eat a moon pie and wash it down with an RC Cola or Orange Crush. Usually, a drink box or barrel filled with ice and soft drinks could be found near the cash register. My great-uncle, George Carter, started Carter’s Mercantile, a country store in the grand old tradition, located at Sandhill. I have enjoyed visiting that store through the years. Country stores are becoming scarce as larger megastores compete for their customers and the interstate highway system allows for easy access to larger towns and cities. Still, they are out there in small communities across the state. Not only are they an 6


important part of these communities, they give their customers an opportunity to step back in time and get a feel for the way things used to be back in the day. This issue of our membership publication spotlights country stores in Hinds and Jefferson counties. Next time you visit a country store, think about the contributions these businesses have historically made and continue to make to Mississippi agriculture. And remember how important our agricultural industry is to us all. Farmers truly do make a big difference in our lives.

I want to thank the members of our congressional delegation for their unanimous support of this far-reaching bill. Their actions tell me these men not only appreciate Mississippi agriculture but recognize that our farmers must have the tools they need to successfully compete in today’s marketplace. This Farm Bill will be different from any other Farm Bill we have had. It contains a lot of options, and farmers will have to make some decisions that will influence their operations through the next five years or during the life of the bill. In the months ahead, we will be working with Mississippi State University to offer a series of meetings around the state to help farmers decide which option they need to take. We will be sending you more information on this in the near future.

FARM BILL Yes, we finally have a Farm Bill, and it’s a piece of legislation that manages to satisfy both Southern farmers and the huge Midwestern farms that have such different needs and issues. I know we all worked hard here at Mississippi Farm Bureau Federation to see that the bill was passed and signed into law. We made numerous trips to Washington, D.C., to talk with lawmakers and attend meetings. Often I traveled alone, but sometimes you made those trips with me, along with our Public Policy staff.

STRENGTH IN NUMBERS If you haven’t already heard, I am pleased to announce that we met our 2014 membership goal in mid-February. Today, Mississippi Farm Bureau Federation stands nearly 200,000 members strong, and our influence is far-reaching, touching many diverse and important arenas. I want to express my thanks to you, our volunteer leaders, for your hard work and dedication. You are the reason Farm Bureau is such a dynamic, well-respected organization, and I hope you never forget that. I know I don’t. FB MAY/JUNE 2014



U.S. Senators Thad Cochran and Roger Wicker visited with Mississippi Farm Bureau Federation volunteer leaders and staff.

The 2014 Washington D.C. Fly-In Visit enjoyed excellent participation. Participants met with lawmakers and their staffs about the Farm Bill and other issues.






2014 Looks Good for Dairy

Mike Ferguson

MFBF Dairy Commodity Advisory Committee Chair

2014 looks to be a good year for dairy. Several factors enter into this projection. The first factor is exports. According to USDEC, exports account for 15.5 percent of national milk solids production. The U.S. has achieved a 19-percent share of the global dairy export market. These exports carry a price tag of $6.7 billion, with Mexico and Southeast Asia being the largest customers. Projections are these markets will continue to grow as long as the world economy doesn’t slump. Secondly, with cull cow process strong and cow numbers at a manageable level, milk production hopefully will remain in the 1- to 2-percent growth range. Continued strength in sales can easily handle this type of growth. Third, weather conditions (drought) in the West have helped curtail production. Also, poor forage quality in other parts of the U.S. has helped keep production under control. With feed cost being somewhat lower than in the past year or year and a half, 2014 has the potential to be a very good year. Hopefully, dairy farmers will realize that keeping production under control and in line with potential sales increases can result in very profitable returns. MISSISSIPPI DAIRIES

Mississippi Farm Bureau Federation would like to thank all of our state dairy farmers for producing a very healthy product for our families while making an important contribution to our state’s economy and being good stewards of the land. 8


It is very unfortunate that our dairy farms continue to decline here in Mississippi. As of December 2013, we had 96 dairy farms left in the state, and they were located in 31 counties. Twenty-two dairy farms could be found in 12 counties north of I-20, and 74 dairy farms were located in 19 counties south of I-20, as reported by the Mississippi State Department of Health. FARM BILL

Early in February, the Senate passed the Farm Bill with an impressive bipartisan vote of 261-155. We are now waiting for the USDA agencies to write the rules for the new programs because it is their responsibility to implement the policies adopted by Congress. At almost 1,000 pages in length, it will be a lengthy process to interpret and adopt Farm Bill measures into programs that work for farmers. The department has a deadline for the new dairy program, but we will not wait as long as some commodities because September 1st is the deadline to get a look at the new Margin Protection Program. SPECIAL RECOGNITION

Mississippi Farm Bureau Federation would like to thank Donald Lowery of Marion County for his four years of dedicated service chairing our MFBF Dairy Commodity Advisory Committee. Donald worked closely with staff and followed the dairy issues on a national level to ensure that speakers and topics for our commodity meetings were current and related to issues producers face each day.

Doug Irvin

MFBF Commodity Coordinator for Dairy

Mike Ferguson of Tate County will now chair the committee. Mike was appointed to this position by MFBF President Randy Knight. FB


The two-day Mississippi Farm Bureau Federation (MFBF) Women’s Ag Tour will visit ag-related facilities in the Mississippi Delta this fall. The tour will be held Oct. 2-3. Participants will visit a catfish processing facility, Staplcotn and the Museum of the Mississippi Delta (formerly Cottonlandia Museum) in Greenwood as well as Indianola Pecan House and the B.B. King Museum and Delta Interpretive Center in Indianola. The tour will also include the Catfish Museum and Welcome Center, Ethel Wright Mohamed Stitchery Museum and Sky Lake Boardwalk in Belzoni as well as Mont Helena in Rolling Fork. If you’d like to participate in the biannual Women’s Ag Tour, contact your county Farm Bureau or the state Women’s Program at (601) 977-4245. SUMMER COMMODITY MEETINGS

Summer commodity meetings were being scheduled as our magazine was going to press. For more information, call Nancy Britt at (601) 977-4230. MAY/JUNE 2014


Protecting Mississippi’s Bee Population

Johnny Thompson

MFBF Apiculture Commodity Advisory Committee Chair

In January, leadership from the Mississippi Farm Bureau Federation (MFBF), Mississippi Beekeepers Association, Mississippi Agricultural Aviation Association, Mississippi Agricultural Consultants Association, Mississippi Department of Agriculture and Commerce and Mississippi State University (MSU) Extension Service convened to discuss a draft of the “Mississippi Bee Stewardship Program,” which encompasses a suggested set of cooperative standards for a good working relationship between beekeepers and farmers. In light of the global decline of honey bee populations, the Mississippi Farm Bureau Federation and MSU Extension Service facilitated discussions to foster a better working dialogue among Mississippi’s row crop farmers and beekeepers, all in the spirit of coexistence and cooperation.

some states, laws have been passed requiring beekeepers and farmers to follow certain protocols, but so far, the level of cooperation in Mississippi has allowed for the stewardship program to be voluntary.” One component of the program is a unified flagging system to be used throughout the state to identify hive locations that are near agricultural fields. Beekeepers will work with farmers to place the black-and-yellowstriped Bee Aware flags where they will be visible both on the ground and from the air to alert pesticide applicators.

Terry Norwood

MFBF Commodity Coordinator for Apiculture


“The Mississippi Honey Bee Stewardship Program is setting a precedent by showing there is cooperation and commitment on both sides,” Knight said. “They are willing to work together to minimize the risk of economic losses by both the beekeepers and the farmers. “The Bee Aware flags that resulted from this agreement are an additional tool to help raise everyone’s awareness about pollinator health and protecting pollinators.” FB


MFBF President Randy Knight stated, “From our initial meeting of this group in September, I asked our staff and MSU Extension Service personnel to develop a short document that contains a set of “best management practices” that farmers and beekeepers can agree to in hopes of better protecting our bee population. The core component of the entire program is enhanced communication among all parties. “I am pleased to report that all groups at the table have agreed to these core components,” he said. “We will be developing promotional material and communication efforts for our state’s beekeepers and row crop producers on this important effort. In MAY/JUNE 2014



“Listen, I can’t let these other establishments catch up and pass me. I have a reputation at stake. If The Colonel had had my recipe, he would have been known as a The Five-Star General.”



S T O R E ’ S

e e e e Fried Chicken King e e B Y G LY N D A P H I L L I P S

Fried chicken is an important food in the Deep South. Family recipes are often handed down like treasured heirlooms from one generation to the next. So when someone tells you that Arthur Davis’ Old Country Store restaurant in Lorman serves the best fried chicken they’ve ever eaten, your curiosity is naturally piqued. It doesn’t hurt that Arthur has been featured in a number of national publications and on more than one Food Network television program. You decide to pay the restaurant a visit and check it out for yourself. GRANDMAMMA’S RECIPE

What you discover is that Mr. D (as he is called by his many fans) uses his grandmamma’s recipe for fried chicken, and it is top secret. However, he will tell you that he uses a special Comeback Sauce as a marinade. He dredges his chicken in flour and flavors it with a special blend of spices. He will also tell you that he only cooks fresh chicken and that he uses a specific type of frying vat. He changes the oil often to keep it fresh. These are all tricks he learned from his grandmamma. “My grandmamma ran a rooming house and would cook for her tenants,” he said. “She taught me how to season food, and she let me season our fried chicken when I was just a kid. When customers would compliment her on her delicious fried chicken, I would be secretly proud. That set me on my course as a cook and restaurant entrepreneur.”

Mr. D’s fried chicken is a featured part of a buffet that offers two other meats, a salad bar and a variety of side dishes. The buffet is topped off with blackberry cobbler and ice cream. “It’s just good Southern food,” Mr. D said proudly. AN HONOR

For 65-year-old Arthur Davis, cooking for the public is no longer a job but an honor, and he is constantly striving to surpass his latest offering. “I take great pride in it. It gets me up in the morning,” he said. “Listen, I can’t let these other establishments catch up and pass me. I have a reputation at stake. If The Colonel had had my recipe, he would have been known as a The Five-Star General.” Others obviously agree. Mr. D’s only means of advertising is through word of mouth, and he says his restaurant does a brisk business. It is visited by area residents, hunters in season and tourists from around the state, the nation and the world. Mr. D is proud to say that Mississippi’s current governor and other dignitaries have also dined there. “I get people from all walks of life, and their stations in life are impressive,” he said. “My intention when I bought this store in 1999 and began serving food here was to increase the building’s value and sell it for a profit. But as I began to meet my customers and they began to tell me their stories and

the ways in which they were connected to this store, I began to really appreciate it. I also wanted to continue the legacy I had begun with the restaurant. It was gaining quite a reputation.” Oh and one more thing. Mr. D always entertains diners by singing a song about his grandmamma’s cornbread. “My grandmamma, my grandmamma was the cornbread-cooking queen,” he sings to adults and to kids, who duck their heads and grin. If Mr. D’s grandmamma were around today, she would no doubt crown her grandson the indisputable fried-chickencooking king. Plan your visit and see if you agree. MORE INFORMATION

The Old Country Store restaurant is open seven days a week from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. The buffet is $10.95. The store is located on Highway 61 South in Lorman about 1.9 miles east of the Natchez Trace Parkway. Mr. D also owns a chicken wing business on the campus of Alcorn State University and will soon open a convenience store on Highway 552 West that will offer a food buffet serving his renowned fried chicken. For more information, call Davis at (601) 437-3661. With great pride, Arthur Davis informs me that he and his wife, Margie, are longtime, devoted Farm Bureau members. Their five sons are grown. FB

THE OLD COUNTRY STORE IN LORMAN was built in 1875. Through the years, the 10,000-square-foot facility has served as a bank, post office, Western Union station, general mercantile store, bus station, telephone company, craft mall and restaurant. • The store offers an old-timey ambiance with its original door latch, wooden floors, rusted signs and floor-to-ceiling shelves that hearken back to the days when country stores offered just about anything a person would need to run a home or farm. • People often stop by to share memories. • “One 80-year-old woman who was gravely ill insisted that her daughter bring her back to the store of her childhood,” said proprietor Arthur Davis. “When she arrived, she ran her hands lovingly along the wooden counters and shelves. It brought tears to my eyes. • I baked a special cake for her, and we had a wonderful visit.” MAY/JUNE 2014









had never really considered myself one to be concerned with architecture, but when Chip Gibbes, owner of H.D. Gibbes & Sons in Learned, told me he wanted to show me the store’s exterior walls before our interview, I was immediately interested to find out what made this building so special. As Mr. Gibbes pointed at the rusted and aged nails in the wall of this wooden gem, he asked me, “What do you see?” The nails looked different, that’s for sure. They were smaller, with visible signs of wear and tear, but most uniquely, they were square. H.D. Gibbes & Sons opened the doors of its current location in 1899, after the first building burned down in

the 1890s. I soon discovered that the square-headed nails I was looking at — so quintessential to the days and times of long ago — were merely the first tribute I would see to this store’s authenticity. Once started as a general mercantile store, strategically located near railroad tracks, H.D. Gibbes & Sons played an integral role in the town’s accessibility to receiving goods. Similar to other country stores of that era, the store also served as a bank, where loans and exchanges of goods were furnished on a handshake and a smile. “Most locals couldn’t have maintained their livelihood without this store,” Mr. Gibbes said. “They’d come here to buy the things they couldn’t grow or make themselves, such as material for sewing





clothes or machinery to help keep their farms operating.” As Mr. Gibbes showed me around the inside of the store, I noticed how the authenticity of the items inside matched the authenticity of the square-headed nails 14


outside. Originality. Quality. Nostalgia. That’s what I remember. The ring of the cash register is the same one that each customer heard when his great-grandfather ran the store. The original merchant’s tables, once used to cut the cloth being

sold, now serve as dining tables. The antique cheese cutter still slices as swiftly as it did a hundred years ago. And, despite not being used, the original coal-fired potbelly stove still stands proudly in the center of the store. MAY/JUNE 2014

Similar to other country stores of that era, the store also served as a bank, where loans and exchanges of goods were furnished on a handshake and a smile. “Most locals couldn’t have maintained their livelihood without this store,” Mr. Gibbes said. “They’d come here to buy the things they couldn’t grow or make themselves, such as material for sewing clothes or machinery to help keep their farms operating.”

Another thing that has remained consistent with the store is its commitment to the community it serves. This commitment hasn’t wavered even amidst changing times. Serving locally grown food and products such as Mississippi sweet potatoes, tomatoes and syrups, this store remains as committed to local economic growth as it did many years ago. In the 1950s, H.D. Gibbes & Sons shifted from a general mercantile store to a convenience store, and it continues to evolve with the changing markets. Although Mr. Gibbes plans to always keep H.D. Gibbes & Sons primarily a store, it currently serves up some of the tastiest hamburgers and steaks around on Thursday, Friday and Saturday nights. Mr. Gibbes hopes the lessons he has learned from his career will be passed to future generations. MAY/JUNE 2014

“If there’s something I wish young people could learn from the history of H.D. Gibbes & Sons, it’s that changes in some things are necessary. We changed in the early 1900s,

THE RING OF THE CASH REGISTER IS THE SAME ONE that each customer heard when Mr. Gibbe’s greatgrandfather ran the store. The original merchant’s tables, once used to cut the cloth being sold, now serve as dining tables. The antique cheese cutter still slices as swiftly as it did a hundred years ago. And, despite not being used, the original coal-fired potbelly stove still stands proudly in the center of the store.

again in the 1950s, and we continue to change today. In order to be successful, you have to be willing to evolve; however, never

change your core principles and the way you treat people.” He also attributes his success to those closest to him… his wife, Mary Bell Gibbes, for her constant support and his dog, Coal, for being his four-legged righthand man. Maybe I’m an old soul, but odds are, if you’ve read to this point, you just might be an old soul as well. Isn’t there something special about strolling around a store that has been around longer than all of us? Maybe it’s the square-headed nails or the original pieces inside the store that make all of us feel a little more connected to the past. Maybe it takes going into old places like H.D. Gibbes & Sons to inspire us to preserve that past and make it a part of our present. And if it is for nothing more than that, or a dill pickle, I hope you’ll go. FB MISSISSIPPI FARM COUNTRY





“But he’s staring at me.

He keeps staring at me.” Somehow, I don’t really remember my awkward outburst. But I do remember that I was slightly surprised when I caught sight of him staring back at me. He just sat there, slowly tapping his tail on the counter like the drumming of an old clock. Calm. Steady. Resilient. “That’s Joe Jack,” said Kenneth Morris, a longtime employee of Gaddis-McLaurin, a country store in Bolton. Joe Jack, the 8-yearold cat, is no stranger to the store. As its mascot, head mouse-killer and town celebrity, all wrapped into one furry bundle, he is often found sunbathing in the window or on the checkout counter, relentlessly staring at you. Joe Jack was merely the first thing to catch my eye as I walked in. I felt like a kid in a candy store, surrounded by every kind of good thing imaginable — horse-riding tack, local items such as honey and even Mississippi-made duck traps — all vying for my attention as I waited to speak to Pier, the store manager. I expected to blend in, wearing my blue jeans and boots. But the longer I waited, the more I realized that I actually didn’t blend in so much. “Hi Harry.” “How ya doing, Mike?” “How’s that grandkid of yours, Jim?”

Suddenly it dawned on me. I was the only person in the entire store whose name was unknown to the owners, employees and customers of Gaddis-McLaurin. The only person, in probably years, to enter as a stranger to them…and I liked that. SOME HISTORY

This store has been essential to the growth and economic development of Bolton since it first opened its doors in 1871. While listening to the history of Gaddis-McLaurin, I was immediately intrigued by the story of how the original location burned down in January 1948. What caught my attention most was that after the flames quit burning, the only thing John Gaddis, then owner, wanted of the remains was the picture of his wife from his office. Taking the space of a vacant grocery lot down the street, John Gaddis rebuilt the store. Today, over 50 years later, it still stands at the same location. The more I learned about the beginnings of Gaddis-McLaurin, the more I realized how imperative country stores must have been, and still are, to the economic progression of rural communities all over the state. In the early 1900s, when most farmers were sharecroppers just trying to survive, Gaddis-McLaurin operated on a different

kind of credit system. The farmers would come in at the beginning of the growing season and buy the things they needed on credit, consisting of nothing more than a handshake and one’s word. At the end of the season, after they sold their crops, the farmers would return and pay off their debts. PURE AMERICANA

As I sat listening, no longer worried about the unyielding stares of Joe Jack, I got an overwhelming sense that in this place not only does one’s word have value, but that people do, too. I can’t say I have seen much of the world yet, but I can’t imagine a better place to be than inside Gaddis-McLaurin. When you step inside, it’s like you’re stepping back in time. Not because the merchandise is outdated, which couldn’t be further from the truth, but by the way that you’re treated — the undying way of someone knowing your name as soon as you step inside — very different from the service you’d receive at some of the megastores springing up everywhere. If there’s one thing I took away from Gaddis-McLaurin, it’s this: Like the beating of Joe Jack’s tail, this store echoes resiliency amidst prior flames, a sense of calmness, a steady march forward into whatever the future might bring and, most importantly, the pride of being unapologetically American. FB






Monticello Man We recently celebrated President’s Day, and there can be no doubt that any list of great presidents must include Thomas Jefferson, our third president. He was, by all accounts save those who opposed him politically, a genius. Soon after being elected, President Kennedy had a dinner at the White House for Nobel Prize winners. In welcoming his guests, he said that they represented the greatest collection of knowledge that ever assembled in the room since Thomas Jefferson dined alone. His interests were by Sam Scott vast and his achievements monumental. Born in 1743, his father died when young Thomas was 14, and he became, in a sense, the man of the house, which was Shadwell in Albemarle County, Virginia. He attended William and Mary College, studied law with the great George Wythe, was admitted to the bar and elected to the Virginia House of Burgesses at age 25. For the next 40 years, he was in the forefront of American government and life. As the historian Henry Steele Commager said, his papers “illuminate, as does no comparable body of private papers, the whole course of our history from the 1760s to the 1820s — the period of the Revolution, the launching of the Constitution, the for-



mation of basic political institutions, the establishment of political parties, the development of the West, the emergence into world politics, the evolution of characteristic social and cultural institutions.” He wrote over 18,000 letters and received no less than 25,000. His papers were collected and publication was begun by Princeton University in 1950, now numbering 40 print volumes (probably 30,000 pages). The papers are up to mid-1803, but he lived until 1826. His best-known six-volume biography, “Jefferson and His Times,” by Dumas Malone took almost 40 years to finish. An excellent new book is “Thomas Jefferson, The Art of Power” by Jon Meacham, and I highly recommend it. Jefferson was happiest at his home, Monticello (Italian for little mountain), which he built and rebuilt for years. No other home so properly represents the character of its builder and resident. Passing out of his family’s hands after his death in 1826, Monticello deteriorated badly until rescued by a memorial foundation organized in New York City in 1927. It is truly a living memorial to the sage of Monticello. If you have not been there, try your best to go. In recent years, Jefferson has taken harsh personal criticism for being a slave owner and his relationship with one of them, Sally Hemmings. Though true, this does not diminish his galaxy of accomplishments,

far too great to even list here. The best short summary of him is in Volume 1 of his papers: He was a man of sentiment; he was a man of reason. He was the perfect provincial, never happy but at Monticello; he was the complete cosmopolitan, at home in every society. He was the transcendentalist, guided in his search for truth by inner light; he was the scientist, experimenting on his farm or in his laboratory. He was the shrewd politician, cunningly building a political party; he was the aloof philosopher, criticizing Plato and celebrating Locke. He was engineer and investor, musician and architect, philologist, bookman,1 agronomist and horticulturalist, scholar and educator, lawyer and statesman, administrator and diplomat. His own monument in the Monticello cemetery listed in his usual reserved and modest way only: “Author of the Declaration of American Independence, the Virginia Statutes of Religious Freedom and Father of the University of Virginia.” Where are his ideals today? Read the Declaration of Independence. Are we there yet? FB


His 6,700-volume personal library became the core of the U.S. Library of Congress.


Seed, Soil, Sun The Agricultural Book of the Year for 2014 is “Seed, Soil, Sun” by Cris Peterson. The book describes the process by which air and water combine with seed, soil and sun to create nearly all of the food we eat. Using the corn plant as an example, the author takes the reader through the story of germination and growth of a tiny corn seed into a giant plant reaching high into the air with roots extending over six feet into the ground. The book will educate youth about the soil’s connection to growing crops and feeding humans and animals. Copies of “Seed, Soil, Sun” can be ordered by contacting Pam Jones at 1-800-227-8244, ext. 4854, or Clara Bilbo, ext. 4245. You may also contact your county Farm Bureau office. The cost of the book is $6 plus $2 shipping. The educator’s guide developed for the book is available for an additional $3.50. The Mississippi Farm Bureau Federation Ag in the Classroom Program is designed to educate youth, increase their understanding of agriculture and instill in them an appreciation for our renewable food, fiber and fuel systems. FB






arm Bureau Ambassador Collin Ray Hutcheson of Saltillo dreams of one day becoming a full-time farmer. In this day and age when farmers’ numbers are declining and most young people would rather have an office job, you don’t hear that as often as you used to. “I knew from an early age, as I followed my grandfather around his farm, that I wanted to farm, too,” Collin said. “My grandfather had cows and baled hay for the public, and that’s where I wanted to be. “Farming is just something I was born to do,” he added. “I’ve always known it, and I can’t wait to graduate from Mississippi State University and begin my full-time farming legacy. I am dead set on doing this.” GETTING STARTED

Collin’s first jobs in junior high and high school involved helping local farmers with their cattle and hay. Along the way, he became a 4-H leader, showing cows and eventually serving as vice president of the Northeast District Senior 4-H Council. He continues to mentor 4-H youths today. When his mother, Sheila, passed away in 2010, Collin was 17 years old. He says his work with 4-H and agriculture helped him through that difficult time in his life. “My family, Lee County Extension Agent Belvia Giachelli and three local farmers, Mike Smith, Ray Gibson and Mark White, were right there for me, serving as my mentors and helping me develop the strength of character and values I would need to get through that tough time and through my life to come.” Collin was in high school when he bought his first five heifers from Mike

Smith. His operation has since grown from Lee County Farm Bureau and from to include 20 mama cows. He also does the State Women’s Committee through their some custom hay harvesting on the side. generous scholarship.” He says he eventually wants a cattle and At press time, a feature article on row crop operation. Collin had appeared in the Daily Journal Collin is majoring in ag business with newspaper in Tupelo. He had spoken to a production concentration. He balances the Lee County Cattlemen’s Association, his school work with his work on the farm. judged a celebrity livestock show in When he has the time, he helps out at Verona and participated in Women’s Day his father’s restaurant, Ray-Ray’s, in Blue at the Capitol, Food Check-Out Day, the Springs. The restaurant offers plate lunches Women’s Leadership Conference and Ag and breakfasts six days a Day at the Capitol. He “FARM BUREAU REPRESENTS AN week and, on Friday and plans to attend county Saturday nights, serves ONGOING SUPPORT FOR AGRICUL- Farm Bureau annual steak and catfish. Collin meetings in late summer TURE SO THAT ALL OF US CAN says the old country store CONTINUE TO HAVE THE THINGS WE and early fall. where the restaurant is If you are a student NEED TO SURVIVE EVERY DAY. located has been around at a Mississippi college I ESPECIALLY APPRECIATE THE for a while. ENCOURAGEMENT AND HELP I HAVE and you have a passion RECEIVED FROM LEE COUNTY FARM for agriculture, Collin AN AMBASSADOR encourages you to particBUREAU AND FROM THE STATE Collin is proud to ipate in the Farm Bureau WOMEN’S COMMITTEE THROUGH serve as an ambassador Ambassador Contest. The THEIR GENEROUS SCHOLARSHIP.” for the Mississippi Farm scholarship totals $4,000. COLLIN RAY HUTCHESON, Bureau Federation. He Your parents must be FARM BUREAU AMBASSADOR says he wants to promote Farm Bureau members agriculture any way he can. for you to participate. “It’s an opportunity to tell your story For more information, contact Women’s of agriculture,” he said. “Agriculture is Program Coordinator Clara Bilbo at Mississippi’s number-one industry and con- (601) 977-4245. tributes over $7 billion to the economy each Collin is chair of the Lee County year. It is very important that we make sure Farm Bureau Young Farmers & Ranchers it remains strong and growing. Committee. While in high school and “Working with Farm Bureau volunteer attending Itawamba Community College leaders and staff has been a great experience,” in Fulton, he received many awards and he added. “Farm Bureau represents an ongo- honors. He is a member of the Lee County ing support for agriculture so that all of us Cattlemen’s Association, the Mississippi can continue to have the things we need Chapter of the Farmhouse Fraternity to survive every day. I especially appreciate at Mississippi State University and the the encouragement and help I have received Collegiate Cattlemen’s Association. FB B Y G LY N D A P H I L L I P S




Rural Artist Enjoys Life

Simpson County artist Ann Layton

began painting after her kids were grown. “Ada Griffith was teaching me needlework and quilting in the 1970s, and one day, she looked at me and said, ‘Ann, I’m going to teach you to paint with oils.’ ” Ann, who had always enjoyed drawing, took to painting with ease and enthusiasm. She prefers painting wildlife and outdoor scenes, but she also enjoys painting objects that hold meaning for her family, like a conch shell that dates back to when her ancestors lived in Wales; the beloved family Bible; and an ancient milking stool that has been handed down from one generation to the next. Right now, Ann is fascinated with peacocks, but that could change. She says her artist’s eye is like that. She often takes a camera with her, snapping photos for future reference.

On the day of her interview, she visited a beautiful water park near her home. She admired the waterfall and the way the

shoreline had become carved and washed smooth by the rushing, tumbling water. Could waterfalls be a future subject? “Waterfalls are fascinating,” she said. “When you paint, you look at things differently. “You notice shadows and where the light hits. You see things in a whole different way than you used to. “Painting for me is so relaxing,” she added. “I can start painting and spend hours before I realize that time has passed. I would sometimes forget to cook Maurice’s dinner. But he would always remind me.” She laughed. FARM LIFE

creek reflected the midafternoon sunlight. She also noticed how the rocks along the

Maurice and Ann were married for almost 60 years before his death in 2011. “I was attending Mississippi State College




for Women (now Mississippi University for Women) when Maurice and I began dating. He was a student at Mississippi State University, and I eventually transferred there. When he picked me up for one of our first dates, he had a Duroc hog in the back of his pickup truck,” she said with a laugh. “Maurice later proposed to me on the steps of Old Main, which at the time was the biggest dorm in the world. He asked me if I would help him feed calves for the rest of our lives. Of course, I told him yes.” Maurice’s degree was in animal husbandry, and Ann’s was in bacteriology. She worked in a lab for a time, but she says her degree also came in handy during the many years she spent as a farmer’s wife in the Martinville community near Magee. She

and Maurice raised cattle and poultry. Ann is a longtime Farm Bureau volunteer leader. At age 80, she continues to serve as vice chair of the Simpson County Farm Bureau Women’s Committee. “I have lots of friends in Farm Bureau,” she said. “I also have a great interest in the activities we sponsor each year.” Ann’s daughter-in-law, Tammy Layton, serves as president of Simpson County Farm Bureau. A granddaughter, Samantha Laird, is a Mississippi Farm Bureau Federation regional manager. Ann’s daughter, Anita Webb, is director of the Mississippi State University Scott County Extension Office in Forest. Her son, Blake, is an Extension professor of entomology at Mississippi State University. Her son, Dirk, is a farmer who

raises poultry and cattle. She has seven grandchildren. ENJOY LIFE

When she isn’t visiting with family and friends, taking care of her three dogs or painting, Ann enjoys cooking. She has put together a cookbook of old family recipes called “Mama Ann’s Favorite Recipes.” She designed the colorful cover and says the recipes are “real basic.” We are proud to offer two of them on this page. Enjoy. And enjoy life. Ann, a breast cancer survivor, says that kind of approach to life is the very best antidote for whatever ails you. FB

ANN LAYTON’S RECIPES Irish Chili By Inda Hooker and Ann Layton

1 ½ lb. ground beef or ground deer 1 can dark red kidney beans 1 ½ cups cubed Irish potatoes, cooked 1 qt. tomatoes Dash of Worcestershire sauce ½ bell pepper, chopped and sautéed 1 onion, chopped and sautéed (optional) 1 stalk celery, chopped and sautéed Salt and pepper 1 pkg. of McCormick chili seasoning Scramble-fry hamburger meat. Drain and set aside. In a large, heavy pot, simmer 1 qt. tomatoes, adding bell pepper, onions, celery and tomato sauce, Worcestershire sauce, salt, pepper and chili seasoning. Add cooked meat. Simmer about 20 or 30 minutes, adding some water if needed. Add diced cooked potatoes and kidney beans. Simmer another 10 minutes. Butterscotch Pie By Ann Layton

3 eggs, separated ¾ c. brown sugar ¾ c. white sugar 24


½ tsp. salt 5 T. flour 2 c. milk 2 tsp. vanilla 2 T. oleo 1 baked pie shell In a large, heavy pot, mix sugar and flour. Add salt, eggs and milk. Beat well. Pour into a saucepan and cook over medium heat, stirring constantly until thick. Add vanilla and oleo and mix well. Pour into a baked pie shell and make meringue with egg whites. Brown in oven until meringue is golden brown. Meringue: 3 egg whites ½ tsp. vanilla ¼ tsp. cream of tartar 6 T. sugar Add cream of tartar to egg whites and beat until they stand in still peak. Add sugar and vanilla and beat until sugar is dissolved and the peaks are stiff and glossy. Spread meringue over the filled pie. Seal to the edge of the pie shell. Bake at 350 degrees for 12 or 15 minutes or until meringue is golden. Cool.

THE CONCH SHELL One of Ann Layton’s most prized possessions is an ancient conch shell with a hole bored in the top of it. The shell dates back to when her ancestors lived in Wales and the conch was blown to call the clans together. When Ann’s family came to America in the early years of the 18th century, one relative used the conch to alert her husband and his troops that Tories were in the house. When the Tories showed up at her door, the woman told them she would use the conch to call her son up to help her fix their meal. The troops left their guns outside the house and the woman blew the shell (using a previously agreed-upon low tone as a signal) then stealthily reached out a window and hid the guns. Her husband and his troops returned to the house and captured the Tories without spilling a drop of blood. FB MAY/JUNE 2014




S2olve the Mystery


ur mystery water park is situated on Rials Creek, a beautiful spring-fed body of water that is cold even in the summer. You will find a small waterfall, a swimming area, picnic tables and a beach of rock and sand. The facility consists of 25 acres operated and maintained by the Simpson County Park Commission. Read the clues and make your guess. Our mystery water park is located on Highway 43 near Mendenhall.

It takes its name from a nearby community. According to one historical account,1 the area got its name when it put in a bid for the Simpson County courthouse and said that it would “stand on its own merit.” Mendenhall eventually got the courthouse, but the community — and its water park — got a unique name. The area is also home to Eason’s Catfish House. Name our mystery water park.


Mail guesses to Solve the Mystery, Mississippi Farm Country, P.O. Box 1972, Jackson, MS 39215. You may also email your guesses to FarmCountry @ Please remember to include your name and address on the entry. Visit our Mississippi Farm Bureau Federation website 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 May 31. MARCH/APRIL

The correct answer for the March/April Solve the Mystery is Picayune. 1

“Home Town Mississippi” by Jim Brieger




Sale of Junior Champions

Champion English Steer exhibited by Taylor McNair, Hinds

Champion Yorkshire Hog exhibited by Britton Holland,

Mississippi Bred Grand Champion/Mississippi Bred Champion Light Heavyweight Goat exhibited by Mikayla/

Reserve Champion Crossbred Lamb exhibited by Jacob/

4-H. Pictured, from left, are David Cobianchi, Duff Wallace, Larry Favreau, Henry Hamill, Jack Williams and Randy Knight for Crop Production Services, Southern Farm Bureau Casualty Insurance, Southern Farm Bureau Life Insurance, Mississippi Farm Bureau Federation, Mississippi Farm Bureau Casualty Insurance, Tico’s Steakhouse, N&W Construction Co., ServiceMaster Premier Cleaning Services, Mississippi Ag Co., Cal-Maine Foods (buyers); and Taylor and Cassie St. Amant.

Conner Shelton, Calhoun 4-H/Bruce FFA. Pictured, from left, are Larry Favreau, Jack Williams, Henry Hamill, Randy Knight and Duff Wallace for Mississippi Farm Bureau Federation, Southern Farm Bureau Casualty Insurance, Southern Farm Bureau Life Insurance, Mississippi Farm Bureau Casualty Insurance, Tico’s Steakhouse, N&W Construction, Senator Russell Jolly, Pinebelt Truss Inc. (buyers); and Mikayla and Chris Shelton.



Simpson 4-H. Pictured, from left, are Larry Favreau, Jack Williams, Randy Knight, Henry Hamill, Duff Wallace for Mississippi Farm Bureau Federation, Southern Farm Bureau Life Insurance, Southern Farm Bureau Casualty Insurance, Mississippi Farm Bureau Casualty Insurance, Farm Bureau Bank, Tico’s Steakhouse, N&W Construction Co., Copeland, Cook, Taylor and Bush, Ogletree Deakins, Telesouth Communications, Attala Frozen Foods, HiltonJackson, Southern Cross Underwriters Inc. (buyers); and Britton.

Joshua Bell, Hinds 4-H. Pictured, from left, are Larry Favreau, Jack Williams, Randy Knight, Henry Hamill and Duff Wallace for Southern Farm Bureau Casualty Insurance, Southern Farm Bureau Life Insurance, Mississippi Farm Bureau Federation, Southern Cross Underwriters Inc., N&W Construction, Tico’s Steakhouse, Ogletree Deakins, Dixie National Booster Club, Capitol Ag Services, Telesouth Communications, Attala Frozen Foods, Hilton-Jackson, Farm Bureau Bank, Copeland, Cook, Taylor and Bush (buyers); and Jacob and Joshua.


Sale of Junior Champions

Reserve Champion Hampshire Hog exhibited by Carmin/

Caragan Childs, Forrest 4-H. Pictured, from left, are Larry Favreau, Jack Williams, Randy Knight, Henry Hamill and Duff Wallace for Mississippi Farm Bureau Federation, Southern Farm Bureau Life Insurance, Southern Farm Bureau Casualty Insurance, Missssippi Farm Bureau Casualty Insurance, Farm Bureau Bank, Tico’s Steakhouse, N&W Construction Co., Copeland, Cook, Taylor and Bush, Ogletree Deakins, Telesouth Communications, Attala Frozen Foods, Hilton-Jackson, Southern Cross Underwriters Inc. (buyers); and Claire, Carmin and Caragan.


Reserve Champion Mediumweight Goat exhibited by

Lyndsey Paige Hill, Simpson 4-H. Pictured, from left, are Larry Favreau, Jack Williams, Randy Knight, Henry Hamill and Duff Wallace for Mississippi Farm Bureau Federation, Southern Farm Bureau Casualty Insurance, Southern Farm Bureau Life Insurance, Mississippi Farm Bureau Casualty Insurance, Tico’s Steakhouse, N&W Construction, Copeland, Cook, Taylor & Bush, Doug and Judy Varney, Greg and Belvia Giachelli (buyers); and Lyndsey.



Farm Bureau Events

State Women’s Committee members, Ag Ambassador Collin Hutcheson and others took cash donations, food and household items to Ronald McDonald House of Jackson. They are pictured with Ruth Ann Allen, executive director of Ronald McDonald House of Jackson. The donation is collected by volunteer leaders from across the state for Food Check-Out Day.

Mississippi Farm Bureau Federation volunteer leaders visited with Gov. Phil Bryant and other lawmakers during Ag Day at the Capitol. Each year, this event gives Farm Bureau leaders an opportunity to thank legislators for the work they do on behalf of agriculture.

State Women’s Committee members and others met with House Ag Committee Chair Preston Sullivan during Women’s Day at the Capitol.

State Women’s Committee members, Ag Ambassador Collin Hutcheson and others met with Senate Ag Committee Chair Billy Hudson and Senate Ag Committee Vice Chair Russell Jolly (not pictured) during Women’s Day at the Capitol.

A workshop designed to help landowners learn about generating supplemental income from their property was held at the Mississippi Farm Bureau Federation (MFBF) Building in Jackson. The workshop, sponsored by MFBF and other ag organizations, was presented by the Mississippi State University (MSU) Natural Resource Enterprises program. Program coordinator Daryl Jones is shown addressing the group.

The 2014 Mississippi Farm Bureau Federation Winter Commodity Conference enjoyed a great attendance and informative speakers. Dr. David Kohl is shown providing participants with a broad look at the world and U.S. economies and their impact on U.S. monetary policy, land values and agricultural trade. Dr Kohl is president of AgriVisions LLC.




Farm Bureau Events

Women voting delegates and others are pictured at national convention in San Antonio, Texas.

Over 120 county volunteer leaders from across the state attended the Mississippi Farm Bureau Federation County Board Member Training in Raymond. Participants were briefed on employee recruitment and management issues and were provided sample county employer and employee handbooks for review and possible use in their counties. Pictured with the group is Dr. Hank Flick II, coordinator of Communication Studies at Mississippi State University.

Dr. Brandi Karisch competed in the Discussion Meet Sweet Sixteen semifinals at national convention.

State Women’s Committee Chair Betty Mills received a Certificate of Recognition on behalf of the state Women’s Program for the new Farm Woman of the Year Award. The presentation was made at national convention. She is pictured with American Farm Bureau Federation Women’s Leadership Committee Chair Terry Gilbert. MAY/JUNE 2014

The Mississippi Farm Bureau Federation Safety Department and the National Education Center for Agricultural Safety (NECAS) hosted a series of well-attended grain bin safety and rescue training workshops in Yazoo City, Macon and Greenwood. The classes were led by NECAS Director Dan Neenan, who used the center’s mobile grain bin engulfment simulator in the programs. MISSISSIPPI FARM COUNTRY


2014 YF&R Leadership Conference Over 120 young farmers

from across the state attended this year’s Young Farmers & Ranchers Leadership Conference held in Vicksburg. The conference’s agriculture tour focused on hardwood timber production and was hosted by Anderson-Tully of Vicksburg. Conference



speakers covered topics such as Succession Planning, How to Speak to Your Elected Officials, FSA Update and Wild Hogs. The group toured the Vicksburg Military Park, Old Courthouse Museum, Coca-Cola Museum and Cedar Grove. The theme of the conference was “A Bridge to the Future.”


Youth Safety Camp The Mississippi Farm Bureau Federation Youth Safety Camp is scheduled for July 28-31 at the Gray Center in Madison County. The camp offers students entering seventh through twelfth grades an opportunity to receive safety training, enjoy recreational

activities and develop friendships that will last a lifetime. Training sessions include Certified CPR, ATV Safety, Fatal Vision, Texting & Driving, Tractor Safety and more. The application and $100 registration fee are due by June 27. Contact your county Farm Bureau office for more information and about sponsoring your student. Additional information can be found on our website at or by calling Angela Thompson at (601) 977-4242.

Calendar of Events

MAY 15

Deadline for Teacher/ Volunteer AITC Workshops


Scholarships Deadline

JUNE 10-11-12 Teacher/Volunteer AITC

Workshops — Hernando, Cleveland, Hattiesburg


Cotton Commodity Meeting Grenada County Extension Bldg. — Grenada


Horticulture/Apiculture Commodity Meeting MFBF Building — Jackson

JULY 28-31 Youth Safety Camp


Gray Center — Canton


FB Ambassador & Farm Woman of Year Deadline

OCT. 2-3

Women’s Ag Tour — Delta






Ag in the Classroom T-Shirts & Fans

If you have not purchased your Ag in the Classroom T-shirt, contact the State Women’s Program or you county Farm Bureau office. The shirts are available in maroon or red, sizes Youth – small through large, and Adult – small through 3XL. The cost is $15. A limited number of long-sleeve t-shirts are available at $20 each. The State Women’s Committee would like to thank Region 4 Women’s Chair Jody Bailey for the design. We also have fans for sale, using the same design as the t-shirt, at 50 cents each. If you buy in bulk, you get a cut. For example, you can purchase 25 fans for $10. For more information, contact Pam Jones at (601) 977-4854 or email her at




Mississippi Farm Country  
Mississippi Farm Country  

Volume 90 Number 3 Telling Agriculture's Story