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MISSISSIPPI FARM COUNTRY Volume 86 Number 2 March/April 2010

CONTENTS

Features

4

EDITOR Glynda Phillips

SAVING MY LAND The right of an individual to own property is one of the basic principles upon which our great nation was founded. It is a right that must never be taken for granted. Mississippi has weak eminent domain laws. For the past three years, all of Farm Bureau’s attempts to get strong eminent domain legislation passed in the Mississippi Legislature and signed into law have failed. But we are not giving up. Farm Bureau supports a citizens’ initiative sponsored by David Waide, MFBF president, to amend the Mississippi Constitution for eminent domain reform. In order to do this, some 90,000 Mississippi voters must first sign a petition to put the reform measure on the next statewide ballot. In this issue, you will find a petition between pages 18 & 19. Please read the instructions carefully. Sign the petition and get friends and relatives to sign it. Mail it to our offices as follows: MFBF Petitions, P.O. Box 1972, Jackson, MS 39215. Petitions will also be available at your county Farm Bureau office. If you have any questions, please call 1.800.227.8244 and ask for Petition Assistance. It is important that we stand together for strong eminent domain reform. For more information, visit our Web site at www.savingmyland.com.

Graphic Arts Coordinator Danielle Ginn Department Assistant Angela Thompson

FARM BUREAU OFFICERS

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

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

HONORARY VICE-PRESIDENTS Louis J. Breaux, David H. Bennett, and Warren Oakley Mississippi Farm Country (ISSN 1529-9600) magazine is published bimonthly by the *Mississippi Farm Bureau® Federation.

Departments 4

President’s Message

6

Commodity Update: Peanuts

7

Commodity Update: Aquaculture

18

Counsel’s Corner

TELEPHONE 601.977.4153 ADVERTISING Call Paul Hurst at 1.800.397.8908 Farm Bureau members receive this publication as part of their membership benefit. Periodicals postage is paid at Jackson, MS, and at additional mailing offices. Postmaster: Send address changes to P. O. Box 1972, Jackson, MS 39215.

ABOUT THE COVER Charles McMahan of Forrest County is farming land that his grandfather farmed in the early 1920s. Charles would never sell his land, but what if a developer should one day decide to simply take it? Mississippi has weak eminent domain laws. In this issue, McMahan talks about efforts to strengthen the laws that govern our private property rights. Read his story, beginning on page 8. MARCH/APRIL

EDITORIAL AND BUSINESS OFFICES 6311 Ridgewood Road Jackson, MS 39211

M I S S I S S I P P I FA R M C O U N T RY

*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. 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.

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PRESIDENT’S MESSAGE

EMINENT DOMAIN: The Citizens’ Initiative Process By David Waide • President, Mississippi Farm Bureau Federation

W

e are focusing on eminent domain in this issue of our magazine. Most everybody who has followed Farm Bureau and its work throughout this past year knows that we worked diligently to get an eminent domain bill passed. As most remember, this has been a key priority of Farm Bureau since the Kelo case. We had failed in two legislative sessions to pass any meaningful eminent domain protection but were successful in the 2009 Legislature. We were successful in getting overwhelming votes in both the Senate and House to restrict the taking of our personal private property through the eminent domain process to be utilized for economic development. While we were successful in getting a bill passed, we ended up with the governor’s veto that caused this legislation to not take effect. Since that time, Farm Bureau has proposed a way to get eminent domain protection through the citizens’ initiative process. While it is not as comprehensive as we would like it, due to provisions governing initiatives, we believe it does accomplish the objective of protecting private property rights. It also may motivate the Legislature to propose a constitutional amendment to put on the ballot so that land will be perpetually protected from takings for economic development use. GATHerInG SIGnATureS There are numerous instructions in this magazine as to what you can do as an individual member of Farm Bureau or a citizen and voter of your county and state. I hope each of you will take the time to gather the names of family members and return the initiative that is in this magazine with ten names properly signed and filled out so that 4

we can have these names certified by your circuit clerk. This is the only way we can get our private property rights protected. Hopefully, we can get the necessary signatures to have this initiative placed on the 2011 ballot. We will have until October 1, 2010, to get the necessary names on our initiative. The law requires that the initiative be filed 90 days before the legislative session begins in the year the initiative will be placed on the ballot. We have planned all of our actions around this date. We believe we can collect the necessary signatures on the petition and get the names certified and continue to seek a constitutional amendment from the Legislature also prior to the time the balloting will take place in november 2011. If I can judge from the number of telephone calls and emails that I have received about how people feel about this issue, I would say that an overwhelming 90 percent of Mississippians are in favor of protecting private property rights. This initiative would give the voters of this state the right to speak up and let everybody know how they personally feel if they are willing to sign the petition and take the time to get nine additional signatures. YOur COrreCT DISTrICT It will take some 90,000 names for the initiative to be placed on the ballot. However, as required by Mississippi law, it will take 20% of the names from each of the congressional districts in place prior to the last redistricting. What that means is you will have to report your congressional district as the district you were in prior to the last redistricting. For this petition’s purpose, it will be necessary to gather 20% of the names in each of the previous five congressional districts. enclosed is a map showing the M I S S I S S I P P I FA R M C O U N T RY

old congressional districts. If you can remember or if you can determine from the map which congressional district you were in, you can list that district. However, if you are unable to do that, please be sure that your name is printed and signed as it appears on the voter rolls at your local county courthouse so that we can determine which congressional district you were in prior to the last redistricting. We will fill that in for you. While this is going to take some work on the part of a good many individuals, I believe this is a task that Mississippians want accomplished. I believe it is a task that Farm Bureau, as supporter of the initiative, will be successful in getting on the ballot and, ultimately, in getting the vote required to make it a constitutional amendment, which is a majority of the votes and not less than 40 percent of the total votes cast at the election. A FOunDInG PrInCIPLe We continue to compromise our Founding Fathers’ principles in many areas of our government. I hope that each individual who believes as strongly as I do that the right to own property was one of the basic reasons this country was founded will take the time to become involved in this important issue and see that we are successful in getting the necessary names to see this initiative on the ballot in 2011. For more detailed information, visit our new Web site at: www.SavingMyLand.com. At presstime, Mississippi Farm Bureau Federation (MFBF) President David Waide had announced that he would not seek an eighth term in office. A ninth president will be elected at MFBF Annual Meeting in December. More information will run in a future publication. MARCH/APRIL


Beef

It’s What’s For Dinner Skillet Steaks with Sautéed Wild Mushrooms 1 to 1-1/4 pounds beef top sirloin cap steaks, cut 1 inch thick 2 teaspoons olive oil 3 cups assorted wild mushrooms (such as cremini, oyster, shiitake, enoki and morel) 2 cloves garlic, minced, divided 2 teaspoons chopped fresh thyme Kosher salt and pepper 1. Heat oil in large nonstick skillet over medium heat until hot. Add mushrooms and 1 clove minced garlic; cook and stir 2 to 4 minutes or until mushrooms are tender and browned. Remove; keep warm. 2. Combine thyme and remaining garlic; press evenly onto beef steaks. Place steaks in same skillet over medium heat; cook 8 to 11 minutes for medium rare to medium doneness, turning occasionally. Remove to platter. 3. Carve steaks into slices. Season with salt and pepper, as desired. Top with mushrooms. Total Recipe Time: 25 to 30 minutes Makes 4 servings Cook's Tip: Three cups sliced button mushrooms can be substituted for assorted wild mushrooms.

For the latest beef recipes contact the Mississippi Beef Council 680 Monroe St. Suite A Jackson, MS 39202 (601) 353-4520 www.beefitswhatsfordinner.com Sponsored by Mississippi’s Beef Producers through the Beef Checkoff Program


COMMODITY UPDATE

Clayton Lawrence

Greg Shows

PEANUTS

Peanut Production in Mississippi Clayton Lawrence, MFBF Peanut Advisory Committee Chair Greg Shows, MFBF Commodity Coordinator for Peanuts

Peanut acreage has reached 20,543 acres in the state of Mississippi, according to FSA records. George County still ranks first in total production, but the northeastern portion of the state saw another increase in acres in 2009. Peanuts work well in a rotation with cotton or corn, and they are a more drought tolerant crop. This was not the problem this year. “Water, water everywhere” (as the saying goes) was a much too common sight. Producers across the state produced an average crop through the season with an increased outbreak of white mold disease, but when maturity and harvest time approached, the rains would not relent. This was probably the toughest harvest season that producers have ever seen. Two main problems occurred. The first was the fact that peanuts need to come out of the ground when they reach maturity or they become too mature and will fall off the pegs that attach them to the plant. When this happens, we leave the peanuts in the ground instead of getting to harvest them and get paid. The second problem came when peanuts were dug and then they got rained on for day after day after day. Many acres of the crop spent two to three weeks lying on top of the ground getting rained on, and this caused peanuts to fall off the pegs and the vines to deteriorate. As of this writing, between 1,000-2,000 acres of peanuts were not harvested due to not being able to get back into the field with harvest equipment. We are so happy 2009 is gone! Prices for the 2009 crop were around $400 per ton, which was down significantly from the 2008 crop year, in which we produced a record crop. It’s amazing how overproduction usually results in lower prices. Across the Southeastern peanut region, acreage was cut back nearly 30 percent, and it looks as though we produced an average crop and the carry-out should come back in line to where we should see stronger prices for the 2010 crop. In George County, we will probably continue at a similar acreage as the past seven years, and we have seen more interest in some other parts of the state. I believe that peanuts are here to stay. We now have some infrastructure to support growth in the industry and producers who are learning how to include a peanut crop into a profitable rotation. 6

eat more peanut butter! This article was written by Mike Steede, County Extension Director, George County Extension Service.

MAGNOLIA BEEF AND POULTRY EXPO Make plans to attend the 2010 Magnolia Beef and Poultry expo to be held April 8, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., at the Smith County Ag Complex in raleigh. The expo will offer educational seminars and a trade show featuring agricultural equipment and other valuable information for beef and poultry producers. This event is sponsored by Mississippi State university extension Service; Jasper, newton, rankin, Scott, Simpson and Smith counties; and Community Bank. For details, contact your local extension office or Community Bank.

M I S S I S S I P P I FA R M C O U N T RY

MARCH/APRIL


COMMODITY UPDATE

Wayne Hill

Paul Chamblee

CATFISH

Catfish Industry Continues to Experience Challenges By: Wayne Hill, MFBF Aquaculture Advisory Committee Chair Paul Chamblee, MFBF Commodity Coordinator for Aquaculture

In 2009, the high cost of production, low pond bank prices, and imports continued to force catfish farmers out of business. In 2001, Mississippi had an all-time high of 113,000 acres of catfish ponds. In January of 2008, the acreage had dropped to 90,000 acres, and, as of July of 2009, it is down to 70,000 acres. This is a 37 percent decrease for Mississippi compared to a 39 percent overall decrease for the four major catfish-producing states, including Mississippi, Alabama, Arkansas and Louisiana. Catfish feed has gone from around $250 a ton in 2006 to around $330 a ton in 2009. A united States Department of Agriculture feed assistance program in 2009 provided feed vouchers based on how much feed was fed in 2008. This program helped many farmers. Pond bank prices briefly hit highs over 80 cents in both 2007 and 2008, but the average price paid to the farmer for 2007, 2008 and 2009 is unchanged at 77 cents a pound. Farmers cannot make a profit at this price with the increased cost of feed and fuel. Historically, when farmers are losing money on one crop, they will switch to another crop, if they can. Most of the ponds that are being taken out of production are being put back in to either rice or soybeans. Some acreage is being put in CrP and some is being used for recreation. Catfish farming has had a significant impact on the economy of the Delta for many years but, as the acreage declines, so does the economic impact Imports continue to be a problem for the catfish industry. Channel catfish imports have increased from a low of 3.2 million pounds in 2006 to a high of 23.4 million pounds in 2008. The estimate for 2009 is around 17.5 million pounds. All catfish-type imports, including Tra and Basa, have increased from a low of 5 million pounds in 2002 to a high of 102 million pounds in 2008 and are estimated to be 121 million pounds for 2009. A proposed changeover of processing and production inspection under the uSDA Food Safety Inspection Service could dramatically impact imports and ensure that all catfish products are safe and wholesome for consumers. This changeover is still likely a year away at best. MARCH/APRIL

editor Taylor Webb gave an update in The Catfish Journal on the newly-redesigned www.uscatfish.com Web site. The webpage continues to carry news, recipes, health and safety talk. The main difference is the Industry Alerts section. In this section, you will find various ad campaigns, press releases and articles. The main focus is on the ongoing efforts concerning the uSDA inspection of catfish and catfish-like species. Jeff McCord, Trade and Issues Advisor to The Catfish Institute, stated that 21 shipments of fish have been rejected due to unsafe and unapproved additives and/or banned drugs during the first nine months of 2009. The FDA only inspects about 2 percent of the 5.2 billion pounds of seafood imported annually, and only two-tenths of 1 percent of seafood imports is ever tested in laboratories for banned chemicals and pathogens. The Web site provides a one-stop location for all information concerning the catfish industry. In november 2009, Mississippi Farm Bureau Federation President David Waide appointed Wayne Hill of Humphreys County to serve as chair and John Abney from Sharkey County to serve as vice chair of the Mississippi Farm Bureau Federation Aquaculture Advisory Committee. Wayne Hill replaces Billy George Janous, who served as chair for the last two years. Wayne is currently serving on the Humphreys County Farm Bureau Board of Directors and has served on the Young Farmers and ranchers State Committee. Wayne will also serve on the American Farm Bureau Federation Aquaculture Commodity Advisory Committee.

M I S S I S S I P P I FA R M C O U N T RY

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LAND Is an Important Legacy


M

By Glynda Phillips ississippians have a deep and abiding love of the land. We know that good, available land means abundant farming and recreational opportunities and a rural lifestyle that is the envy of the world. But Mississippians know something more. Land means family. Our ancestors carved from this land a legacy of flourishing homesteads, productive farms and vibrant, culturally-rich communities. They handed their land down to us with the expectation that we would continue to care for and preserve its history, beauty and bounty. no one knows this better than beef cattle farmer Charles McMahan of Forrest County. Charles would never sell his land. no price would ever be high enough. “My grandfather and two of his brothers bought land in Forrest County after moving here from Alabama in 1920,” he said. “My grandfather’s farm was here in the eatonville Community. The brothers started truck crop farms on this fertile land because Hattiesburg was booming, and no one was growing food to feed the residents.” Charles is the only descendant of the three brothers who still farms the family land today. He intends to do so as long as he can, then hand the land down to his own children. “I grew up here and raised my children here,” he said. “Whenever they bring their families to visit, the minute they get here, they put on their walking shoes and they’re gone. They like to roam. Both of my children live in big cities in other states, and this is definitely a treat for them.”

URBAN SPRAWL The McMahan property is bordered on the east by Interstate 59. Heavy traffic provides a noisy backdrop as Charles plants and harvests his ryegrass each season. Cars and trucks zoom by as he feeds and tends his beef cattle. It is a constant reminder that the Hattiesburg area is ever-growing and ever-expanding. “I have people stop four or five times a year and ask me if I’d consider selling my land,” he said. “Some people just want to build houses, but, occasionally, I will get a developer. I tell them I never plan to sell. I want to preserve the farm and my family’s country lifestyle for as long as I am able.” And if a private developer should one day decide to simply take Charles’ land, what defense would he have? He knows that this has never happened in Mississippi, but he is also well aware that our state has weak eminent domain laws. In recent years, a u.S. Supreme Court ruling known as Kelo versus New London CT broadened the traditional definition of eminent domain. Traditionally, the state could seize land for development of highways, utilities, parks and other public uses. now, property can be taken and given to a private party for development and their own gain. To protect against this happening, 43 states have strengthened their eminent domain laws. Of those 43 states, 23 have strengthened their laws significantly. Alabama, Louisiana, Georgia, Florida and South Carolina have all successfully passed strong private property rights laws. Some of these states have passed multiple legislative actions to get to their current strength. Mississippi needs to do the same. WE ALMOST DID IT During the 2009 Session of the Mississippi Legislature, Charles took time from his busy farming schedule to visit the State Capitol – not once, not twice, but many times. He joined hundreds of other Farm Bureau members and staff in lobbying for eminent domain reform. Charles cheered when a strong piece of Farm Bureau-supported legislation passed the Legislature. He was disappointed when Gov. Haley Barbour promptly vetoed the bill. Charles cheered again when the House of representatives overturned the governor’s veto. But the Senate was another story. “I was sitting in the gallery when the Senate fell five votes short of overturning the governor’s veto,” Charles said. “It was discouraging. Farm Bureau has worked so hard on this, and we came so close this year to getting a strong law that would protect Mississippi landowners. We almost did it.” Comtinued on page 10

MARCH/APRIL

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Comtinued from page 9

WILL YOU HELP? Mississippi is one of only eight states without strong private property rights laws. For the past three years, all of Farm Bureau’s attempts to pass this type of legislation in the Mississippi Legislature and have it signed into law have failed. But Farm Bureau is not giving up. Farm Bureau supports a citizens’ initiative sponsored by David Waide, MFBF president, to amend the Mississippi Constitution for eminent domain reform. In order to do this, some 90,000 Mississippi voters must sign a petition to put the reform measure on the next statewide ballot. You will find a petition between pages 18 & 19 of this magazine. read the instructions carefully then sign the petition, get signatures of friends and relatives, and mail it to our offices as follows: MFBF Petitions, P. O. Box 1972, Jackson, MS 39215. Or mail it to your county Farm Bureau office, where you will also find copies of the petition. If you have questions, call 1.800.227.8244 and ask for Petition Assistance. Land is our most valuable asset. As rural landowners, we must stand together for strong laws that will protect our private property rights. For more information, visit our Web site at www.savingmyland.com. FC

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myLAND.COM

SAVING

One of the founding principles of our great country is the right of private individuals to own property. This sacred principle helped form the foundation upon which our nation was built. Join with Farm Bureau and many other interested organizations in keeping the government from taking private land and turning it over to individuals for the purpose of private economic development. For more information, visit our Web site at www.savingmyland.com.

SWINDOLLS NAMED TO NATIONAL YF&R COMMITTEE

Patrick and Kim Swindoll of Hernando have been selected to serve on the American Farm Bureau Federation Young Farmers and ranchers (YF&r) Committee. This committee is responsible for the annual YF&r contests, the planning and implementation of the annual YF&r leadership conference and other related programs. In addition, committee members attend several business meetings throughout the year, including “Day on the Hill” in Washington, D.C., where young farmers visit with their respective members of Congress, helping to inform them about the issues facing American agriculture. “We need more people like Patrick and Kim to step up and do the things necessary to keep agriculture going in this country,” said Mississippi Farm Bureau Federation President David Waide. “If we don’t, we will be dependent on others to feed and clothe us. We can’t survive as a nation like that.” The Young Farmers and ranchers program targets young farmer members, ages of 18 through 35. The program’s goal is to provide leadership development to build a more effective Farm Bureau though education, problem solving and network building. MARCH/APRIL

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SOLVE THE MYSTERY

Our mystery town serves as the seat of county government for Marion County. It was first known as Lott’s Bluff for two brothers who settled the area in the early 1800s. The town was later renamed for a town in South Carolina, from whence many of its other early settlers came. This town became our state’s fourth municipality in 1819. name the town. Here are more clues. POINTS OF INTEREST The historic John Ford House is located near this town. This home was built in 1809 and served as an inn, fort and territorial post office. Many important historical figures visited or stayed in the home, including Gen. Andrew Jackson on his way to the Battle of new Orleans. The John Ford House is listed on the national register of Historic Places. Our mystery town once served as Mississippi’s temporary capital. The fifth session of the Mississippi Legislature met in this town in november 1821 and in a special session on June 1822. Walter Leake was inaugurated governor here in January 1822. The county courthouse dates back to 1906. The mansion of Gov. Hugh White, a native of this town, was built here in 1925 and is said to be one of Mississippi’s finest residential essays in the Spanish Colonial revival style. Our mystery town is also known for the white squirrels brought in by Gov. White. You might catch a glimpse of one of them at Friendship Park. They are not albino squirrels, but a special kind of squirrel. Corner Oaks Bed and Breakfast features a restored 1896 Victorian home located in the heart of the downtown area. The local high school is a designated Mississippi Landmark. Its architecture is reminiscent of early modern european architecture, and its renovations have received honors. nFL star, the late Walter Payton, grew up in this town. You will find memorabilia in his honor at the public high school and a bronze statue on the football field. The statue was created by local sculptor Ben Watts. In the mid-1930s, two cowboys made this town the historic “Home of Mississippi rodeo.” In 1935, these brothers produced what is known as the world’s first outdoor electrically-lighted rodeo in the city park. The town later became home to Mississippi’s first permanent rodeo arena. 12

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The elevated frontier-style John Ford House and a bronze statue of Walter Payton are pictured on page 12. Pictured on page 13, from top to bottom, are the Gov. Huge White Mansion, the county courthouse, and Paynes Chapel Methodist Church.

Another point of interest, located ten miles northwest of this town, is red Bluff. Three miles of colorful canyon landscape, red Bluff was formed by the erosion of the west bank of the Pearl river. It is privately-owned but can be viewed from Highway 587. THIS TOWN TODAY Our mystery town today is home to Pioneer Aerospace, an industry that has designed and manufactured recovery systems for nASA. In 1999, Pioneer built the world’s largest para foil, at 7,500 square feet, for nASA’s X-38 Crew return Vehicle – and an emergency escape system for the internal Space Station. Our mystery town is home to many family-owned and/or longtime businesses, including Hill Hardware Company, The Back Door restaurant, the round Table restaurant, and Town and Country Feed Store. established in 1901, Hill Hardware Company sells a little of everything. Its motto is: “If we ain’t got it, you probably don’t need it.” The Back Door features old-timey Southern cuisine and is famous for its King Cake and its annual birthday party for the late Julia Child. This restaurant is located in the old Lampton Building, an historic building that dates back to 1888. Visit The Back Door’s Web site at www.backdoorrestaurant.com The round Table, which features a Lazy Susan table and Southern cuisine, has been praised as a “cultural experience in eating.” It is a popular place with local folk and tourists alike. Town and Country Feed Store is a farm store that sells feed, seed, fertilizer, livestock equipment and fencing supplies. When you’re in the area, stop by and say hello. You may also stop by and say hello to the staff of the Marion County Farm Bureau, located near the downtown area. Agriculture has always been an important part of the Marion County area. Today, it is home to dairy, poultry, hog and timber operations. Our mystery town is also located near Wilson Horse ranch in Sandy Hook, Wesley Bee Farm in Foxworth, and Strickland Deer ranch (european red Deer) in Foxworth. Our mystery town boasts a recreational railroad in honor of the important role the railroad played in its early development. The Marion County railroad Authority provides group rides for special events by appointment. This town is also home to a great water park adjacent to the Pearl river. near the water park, on Highway 35, are Griner Memorial Baseball Fields and an industrial park. name this town. A special thanks to Glenda Shivers, the mother of MFBF Safety Specialist Chris Shivers, for her help with this article.

CORRECT GUESSES Mail guesses to Solve the Mystery, Mississippi Farm Country, P. O. Box 1972, Jackson, MS 39215. You may also e-mail your guesses to FarmCountry@MSFB.com. Please remember to include your name and address on the entry. Visit our Mississippi Farm Bureau Federation Web site at www.msfb.com. 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 March 31. JANUARY/FEBRUARY The correct answer for the January/February Solve the Mystery is Olive Branch. MARCH/APRIL

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Hard work and a strong network of local and state forestry experts helped Julian Watson transform highly erodible Holmes County farmland into one of the best tracts of Conservation reserve Program land in the state. In recognition of his efforts, Julian was recently honored by the Mississippi Forestry Association with its 2009 Outstanding Tree Farmer of the Year award. Julian and his mother, Juanita Powers Watson, co-own the land, which consists of 600 acres of loblolly pines and 500 acres of a mixture of hardwoods and pines. It is family land, settled in 1872 by Julian’s great-grandparents, who migrated to Mississippi from Virginia. “I guess, my love of the land and farming is in my blood,” Julian explained. “I come from a long line of landowners who appreciate what the land can give back if only you take the time to nurture and care of it.” Julian’s park-like Tree Farm features multiple stands of tall, majestic pines. On a recent December morning, the tops of the trees were lit by golden sunlight. On the way to the farm, Julian excitedly pointed to a deer bounding across the blacktop and to a hawk resting regally on a tree limb. “My great-grandparents are buried on this land behind Franklin Presbyterian Church, a Civil War-era church they helped to found,” he said. “I’m not only farming the land that they farmed, I’m taking care of the church they established and the cemetery where they are buried. It’s all just like family to me.” Julian says he appreciates the Outstanding Tree Farmer of the Year recognition, but it’s just icing on the cake. His intent through the years has been to make money off family land while holding onto precious top soil and taking care of area wildlife. He thinks he’s been successful on all counts. THE BEGINNINGS In 1985, when Julian planted his first loblolly pines, the family land had been used primarily for pastureland and row crop production. experts had advised him to either plant pines or watch the topsoil slowly wash away. “The highest and best use for this silt loam soil is pasture, trees and hay,” Julian said. “The Soil Conservation Service did an analysis of the land back in 1984 and suggested that I plant pines through a cost-share program in which 50 percent of the cost of the trees would be paid by the government.”

By Glynda Phillips

From Highly Erodible Land to

MODEL TREE FARM 14

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Watson planted pine seedlings and was instantly hooked. Tree farming not only captured his interest, it became a lifelong passion. “My family thought I was crazy when I began planting pines,” Julian said with a smile. “But I can tell you now that it was one of the best decisions I ever made.” When Congress began to consider initiating a nationwide Conservation reserve Program (CrP) in the late 1980s, Sen. Thad Cochran sent a film crew to Julian’s farm. “The ASCS, now the natural resources Conservation Service, asked me if I would be interested in signing up for CrP,” he said. “I bid on a contract, was successful, and signed one of the first CrP contracts in Mississippi. That was the beginning.” Because he wanted to intensively manage his trees, Julian worked with the Mississippi Forestry Association as well as Mississippi State university (MSu) extension foresters and private forestry consultants to draw up a Forest Stewardship Plan. In simple terms, the plan lists ways Julian can grow high-quality timber while caring for area wildlife. Through the years, he has followed the plan meticulously. “It wasn’t hard to care for the wildlife, since anything you do for the trees also benefits any deer, turkey or other wildlife living there,” he said. In the beginning, Julian planted superior pine seedlings. He was able to thin his trees in 13 years as opposed to the standard 15 years. Over the years, he’s thinned his trees two times, and he’s conducted three cool burns to kill out sweet gums and other competition. He applied Arsenal with a skidder before the third burn and paid for that 100 percent out of his own pocket. “Some of the prescribed burns and all of the fire lanes qualified for government funds,” he explained. “I have been able to use government programs much of the time to underwrite my efforts, and I’ve managed to do all that I’ve done here without owning any equipment.” Julian earns money when he thins his trees. He also leases his land for hunting, and he has recently sold carbon credits.

“Tim Traugott, a retired MSu extension area forester, has been a great mentor to me through the years,” Julian added. “And Britton Hatcher, another MSu extension area forester, has become a valued advisor and friend. “Britton and Tim come down the week after Labor Day every year to measure the growth of some trees on a 1/10-acre test plot to determine the optimum time for thinning. until recently, I had the only Growth Study Plot in north Mississippi,” he said. “I believe that if you are serious about tree farming, it just makes sense to keep up with what your trees are doing. “When I started this, I knew nothing about growing trees and I was hungry for knowledge. All of my mentors and friends in the forest industry have helped me so much,” he said. “All of this has gone beyond my wildest dreams in that I can finally see the light at the end of the tunnel.” What Julian means by “the light at the end of the tunnel” is that his ultimate goal is to clear-cut his mature timberland. Julian intends to begin his clear-cutting efforts in five years. The land will be replanted in trees within 12 months, and the cycle will begin again. A SPOKESMAN not content to merely benefit from his efforts, Watson has become a spokesman for the Mississippi Tree Farm Program. He allows farmers and others to visit and observe what he’s doing with his own Tree Farm, and he speaks at field days held on other Tree Farms across the state. “A Tree Farm is a wonderful legacy to pass on to the next generation,” he said. “To take nonproductive land and put new life into it is just great. “Of course, with 30 years invested into this, it is not for the fainthearted,” he concluded. “You must put a lot of time, effort and funds into a productive Tree Farm. But it is a good long-term investment.” FC

HIS MENTORS Julian is a member of the Mississippi Forestry Association, American Tree Farm System, Forest Landowners Association and the forestry associations in Holmes, Hinds, rankin, Madison and Yazoo counties. He founded and served as president of the Holmes County Forestry Association and served as president of the Hinds County Forestry Association. He says he’s been a member of the Holmes County Farm Bureau since he was a kid. The award-winning tree farmer is quick to note that he’s accomplished all that he’s accomplished by relying upon the expertise of others. His mentors have included the late Dr. Terry Ozier of Brandon, who was a Mississippi and national Tree Farmer of the Year, and the late Paul Dillard, who worked with the uSDA natural resources Conservation Service. Dillard taught Julian his first forestry short course and became a good friend and advisor. Julian values the advice and friendship of rusty Williamson, Holmes County Service Forester, Mississippi Forestry Commission. (rusty also serves as chair of the northwest District Tree Farm Program.); Betsy Padgett, County extension Director, Holmes County extension Service; and Charles Dismukes, a private forestry consultant. 16

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AG IMAGE CAMPAIGN:PROMOTING THE INDUSTRY THAT FEEDS US ALL By Greg Gibson, Director, MFBF Member Services Department

Agriculture is Mississippi’s number one industry, employing more than a quarter of the state’s workforce, either directly or indirectly. There are more than 41,000 farms in the state, covering nearly 12 million acres, and state agriculture’s production value each year is $5.5 billion. Agriculture is the single most important industry in our state, but many people take it for granted because they’ve never gone to the store and seen the shelves empty. The efficiency and productivity of the American farmer has actually worked to his disadvantage. To help combat this problem of the public taking agriculture for granted, the Mississippi Farm Bureau Federation (MFBF) has spearheaded an effort to raise the level of appreciation of the work that farmers do and the benefits that agriculture provides to the general public. In early 2008, a nine-member MFBF Communications Committee, made up of producers from across the state, was formed to review and surface potential ideas of ways to improve the image of Mississippi agriculture among the state’s consumers. Throughout 2008, the committee met to participate in Media relations training and discuss possible alternatives to accomplish their mission. After reviewing similar efforts from other states, a Public relations consultant was hired to help with message development and audience targeting. The first order of business was to conduct a phone survey to find out what the public really thinks about agriculture. Overall, the results were very favorable, but there are areas where education and reinforcement are needed. The challenge of this effort is to develop and implement a promotional campaign that reinforces a positive image of agriculture. Based on the results of the survey, the specific issues that the organization will be working toward emphasizing first are: • The affordability of food in America • Buy American – read the label

March 5-7

State YF&R Conference Greenwood

March 11-12

Mississippi Women in Agriculture Conference MSU

March 15

Teacher Grant & Regional Coloring Contest Deadline

March 16

County Board Training Southern FB Life, Jackson

March 17

Ag Day at the Capitol Jackson

March 26

Women’s Leadership Conference, State Office Jackson

April 8

Magnolia Beef and Poultry Expo Smith County Ag Complex Raleigh

April 16-18

Super Bulldog Weekend MSU

April 20-21

Secretaries’ Conference Hilton Hotel Jackson

June 1

Application Deadline Farm Bureau Scholarships

June 8-10

AITC Workshops Verona, Jackson and Collins

June 14-17

Youth Safety Seminar Timber Creek Camp

• Farmers are good stewards of the land • Farmers take proper care of their animals

This will not be a one-year program. To influence public perception, a consistent, sustained communication program is required and should keep in focus the long-term goal of creating a positive public perception of agriculture in Mississippi. The key to the success of this initiative depends upon the collective involvement and support of all agricultural industry segments in Mississippi. A nonprofit organization has been formed as the fundraising and distribution group for this effort. Farm Families of Mississippi is made up of organizations that have joined together to help with this educational effort. Getting your message out in the media is an expensive undertaking. Our nine-week multimedia campaign in just one media market costs approximately $200,000. A statewide effort will cost more than half a million. So here’s what you can do to help with this effort. First, show your appreciation to the organizations that have already joined as partners of Farm Families of Mississippi. Second, help Farm Bureau identify other organizations that could become partners in this campaign. And third, consider becoming a partner yourself. All contributions are tax deductible and can be mailed to: MFB Foundation, PO Box 1972, Jackson, MS 39215-1972. Please put Ag Image Campaign on the check. Help the Farm Families of Mississippi promote agriculture here in our state. After all, the farmers of this state are actually “Growing Mississippi.” Visit our Web site at www.growingmississippi.org. MARCH/APRIL

CALENDAR OF EVENTS

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HOME AND GARDEN SHOW The union County Master Gardeners will sponsor their second annual Home and Garden Show on Sat., March 27, at the union County Fairgrounds in new Albany. The show will run from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. For more information, call 662.316.0088 or visit the Web site at www.newalbanygardening.com.

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COUNSEL’S CORNER

PROTECTING PRIVATE PROPERTY By Sam E. Scott, MFBF General Counsel

David Waide, MFBF president, is sponsoring a citizens’ initiative to amend the Mississippi Constitution for eminent domain reform – to keep individuals’ property from being taken by the government and turned over to other private parties. In order to do this, almost 90,000 Mississippi voters must sign a petition to put the reform measure on the next statewide ballot and let the voters decide whether Mississippi should do what most other states have done to protect private property. eminent domain is the inherent power of a governmental entity to take privately owned property, especially land, and convert it to public use, subject to reasonable compensation for the taking. The initiative is to prevent property taken by eminent domain to be immediately turned over to private persons or businesses. This would not include drainage and levee facilities, roads, bridges, ports, airports, common carriers, and utilities and would not apply in certain situations, including public nuisance, structures unfit for human habitation, or abandoned property. MFBF has established a Web site you can visit for further information: www.savingmyland.org. The rules for citizens’ initiatives are complicated, but this presently appears to be the best chance to get much needed reform. In 2009, the Legislature enacted eminent domain reform, but the governor vetoed it. This initiative follows, to the maximum extent possible, the Legislature’s action. The signatures must be obtained within the next 6 months or so in order to get them certified by the circuit clerks and filed with the secretary of state 90 days before the 2011 Legislative session. You may use the enclosed initiative petition to both sign and circulate to other registered Mississippi voters to sign. If you obtain the signatures of others, you should also sign the petition at the bottom as a circulator unless it is signed by someone else. The following instructions are important and should be carefully followed. If you need assistance in signing and completing the petition or in circulating it, call 1.800.227.8244 and ask for Petition Assistance. InStructIonS For SIGnInG PetItIonS each petitioner shall complete the following: 1. Sign the petition 2. Print name for positive identification 3. Complete residence address, street and number, city and zip code 4. County 5. Precinct (see note below) 6. Congressional District (prior to last redistricting). There is enclosed a map which shows what congressional districts were in effect at that time. use this to enter your district or call Petition Assistance at the toll-free number listed above. note: If you do not know your precinct or congressional district, MFBF will have 18

someone to fill it in for you once you send it back. Any person who signs the petition with any name other than his or her true name, knowingly signs more than one petition relating to the same initiative measure, signs the petition when he or she is not a qualified elector (voter) or makes any false statement on the petition may be punished by fine, imprisonment, or both. InStructIonS For cIrculatInG PetItIonS Petitions must be printed on legal paper (8 ½ x 14) of good writing quality and must have a full, true and correct copy of the proposed measure either printed on the reverse side of the petition or attached to the petition. The enclosed petition complies with that requirement. Only a person who is a qualified elector (voter) of this state may circulate a petition or obtain signatures on a petition. It is unlawful for a person to: a. Give or offer any consideration (bribe, money, etc.) to an elector (voter) to induce the elector (voter) to vote for or against a measure. b. Give or offer any consideration (bribe, money, etc.) to an elector (voter) to induce the elector (voter) to sign or not sign a petition. c. Pay or compensate another person for circulating a petition or for obtaining signatures to base the pay or compensation on the number of petitions circulated or the number of signatures obtained. d. Solicit signatures on a petition 150 feet of any polling place on any election day. e. Obtain or attempt to obtain a person’s signature (a) by intentionally misleading such person as to the substance or effect of the petition, or (b) by intentionally causing such person to be misled as to the substance or effect of the petition. You may use the enclosed petition to sign yourself and to obtain the signature of others. Signed petitions must be returned to MFBF Petitions, P.O. Box 1972, Jackson, Mississippi 39215 or to your county Farm Bureau office as soon as completed. It is important that you be a part of this historic effort to protect private property. This is your chance to make your voice heard and help make our government of the people, by the people, and for the people. Sam E. Scott is general counsel for Mississippi Farm Bureau Federation and practices law in the law firm of Samuel E. Scott, PLLC, in Jackson. The foregoing information is general in nature and is not intended as nor should be considered specific legal advice, nor to be considered as MFBF’s position or opinion.

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CONGRESSIONAL DISTRICTS PRIOR TO REDISTRICTING Use this map to fill out Eminent Domain Petition

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RECIPES SPICY CHEESE SOUP

HOLIDAY LOAF

1 lb. processed cheese, cubed 1 lb. ground beef, cooked and drained 1 (8 ¾-oz.) whole kernel corn, undrained 1 (15-oz.) kidney beans, undrained 1 (14 ½-oz.) diced tomatoes with green chilies, undrained 1 (14 ½-oz.) stewed tomatoes, undrained 1 envelope taco seasoning 1 jalapeno pepper, seeded and diced Corn chips

1 (20-inch) narrow French bread loaf 2 (8-oz.) cream cheese ½ c. mayonnaise, divided ½ c. fresh parsley, divided 1 (6-oz.) pkg. Italian salad dressing mix 1 (4-oz.) jar pimento, drained and chopped

Coat crockpot slow cooker with nonstick cooking spray. Add cheese, beef, corn, beans, tomatoes with chilies, tomatoes with juice, taco seasoning and jalapeno pepper, if desired. Mix well. Cover and cook on low 4-5 hours or on high 3 hours or until done. Serve with corn chips if desired. Yield: 6-8 servings. Allene Fitts Leflore County

1 c. pecans, chopped 1 pkg. ramen noodles, uncooked and broken up 4 T. unsalted butter 1 bunch broccoli, coarsely chopped 1 head romaine lettuce, broken up 4 green onions, chopped 1 c. sweet-and-sour dressing (see additional recipe below) Brown nuts and noodles in butter. Cool on paper towel. Combine with lettuce, onion and broccoli. Pour dressing over and toss. Can put dressing on side.

1 c. vegetable oil 1 c. sugar (or 1 c. Splenda) ½ c. red wine vinegar 3 tsp. soy sauce Salt and pepper

Peggy McKey Hinds County

GARLIC GRITS CASSEROLE

CRUNCHY ROMAINE SALAD

Sweet-and-Sour Dressing

Slice loaf into four segments. Hollow out each piece, leaving a ½-inch thick wall. Spread interior with ¼ cup mayonnaise. Sprinkle with ¼ cup parsley. Combine remaining ¼ cup parsley and ¼ cup mayonnaise with remaining ingredients and mix well. Stuff mixture into parsley-lined cavities. Wrap in plastic wrap and chill several hours. Cut into ½-inch slices.

3 ½ c. milk 1 c. grits (not instant) 1 tsp. salt ½ c. milk 1 stick butter 1 (6-oz.) roll garlic cheese 2 lg. eggs ½ c. cheddar cheese Bring milk to a boil. Add grits and cook over medium heat, stirring constantly until thickened (8-10 minutes). Then add butter, garlic cheese and salt. Stir until melted. Beat eggs and ½ cup milk. Add to grits mixture. Pour into well-buttered casserole dish. Bake 30 minutes at 350 degrees. Sprinkle ½ cup grated cheddar cheese on top and bake the last 10 minutes. Betty Kelly Hinds County these recipes were taken from “country cooking, Volume IV,” which is available at most county Farm Bureau offices. the cost is $15. If you order from the state office, it will cost you $15 plus postage. For more information, contact Women’s Program coordinator clara Bilbo at 1.800.227.8244, ext. 4245.

Mix in jar and shake well. Carolyn Turner Jones County

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2010 MISSISSIPPI FARM BUREAU FEDERATION BOARD OF DIRECTORS

Make The Connection Long-distance state-to-state rates are only 4.9¢ per minute Local in-state calls are only 6.9¢ per minute (Save even more wth the EZDIAL plan-4.9¢ per minute) Calling Cards are only 8.9¢ a minute state-to-state Monthly Fee is only $1.50 Incremental Billing at 6 seconds Fill out the form below and start saving TODAY!

Call toll-free 1-800-362-FARM Contact your state office or visit www.countryconnect.us for more information

Yes, please sign me up! Letter of Agency I choose Countryconnect, powered by IBFA, as my primary long-distance provider for the service(s) and telephone number(s) indicated below and I authorize Countryconnect to act as my agent by notifying my local telephone company of this choice. I am legally responsible for the payment of charges incurred on the telephone number(s) listed below and that I have the authority to change the prescribed 1+ long-distance carrier providing service to these numbers. Further, I recognize that I can have only one primary long-distance company for a given telephone number, that I will no longer be pre-subscribed to my current long-distance carrier’s service(s) and that my local telephone company may impose a charge for this and any later change. I understand that my long-distance service will be billed directly by and payable to Countryconnect. There will be a $1.50 monthly access fee on the bill. I understand that my signature on this form means the following services will be provided to me by Countryconnect: IntraLATA (in-state) and InterLATA (state-to-state).

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Mail to: Countryconnect 1850 Howard Street, Suite C Elk Grove Village, IL 60007 © 2008 Countryconnect ® All Rights Reserved. Powered by IBFA, a subsidiary of Telava Networks, Inc. MS0806#001

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MAKE THE CONNECTION 1-800-362-FARM 21


88TH ANNUAL MEETING

Newly-elected or reelected to the State Women’s Committee are Jody Bailey, Yalobusha County, Region 4 Chair; Joan Thompson, Neshoba County, Region 6 Chair; Shelby Williams, Covington County, State Vice Chair; Wanda Hill, Humphreys County, Region 8 Chair; Betty Mills, Montgomery County, State Chair; and Kay Perkins, Tishomingo County, Region 2 Chair.

Kelly Langford of Madison County was crowned 2010 Miss Farm Bureau - Mississippi and received a $2,000 scholarship. Kadie Turner of Webster County was selected Miss Farm Bureau Mississippi alternate and received a $1,000 scholarship.

C. Michael Massey, Massey, Higginbotham, Vise and Phillips, P.A., addressed the convention’s Land Program Seminar, entitled “Using Land for Profit.”

All regional Young Farmers and Ranchers Achievement Award winners received $500 from Federal Land Bank of North Mississippi and Southern Sen. Cindy Hyde-Smith received the Mississippi Farm Bureau AgCredit. Pictured with the state winners of the contest, Jason and Federation’s Ag Ambassador Award. Lindsey Ellzey of Ellisville, who represented Region 7, is Joe Hayman, CEO of Southern AgCredit. As state winners, the Ellzeys also received a cash award from Dodge. 22

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Carroll County Farm Bureau received the Gary Chittom Membership Award in the category of less than 1750 members. Accepting is Linda FouchĂŠ, federation secretary. Not pictured is Delbert Edwards, president.

Jason and Lindsey Ellzey of Ellisville, state winners of the Young Farmers and Ranchers Achievement Award contest, received a new pickup truck, compliments of Southern Farm Bureau Casualty Insurance Company.

Mississippi State University President Mark Keenum addressed the opening General Session.

Each year, Young Farmers and Ranchers (YF&R) State Committee members coordinate a Silent Auction to raise money for the YF&R Scholarship Foundation. MARCH/APRIL

Pennies for Mississippi were presented this year to the Mississippi National Guard Family Relief Fund. Accepting on behalf of the relief fund was Col. Robert Thomas, pictured with State Women’s Committee Chair Dott Arthur.

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Sen. Joey Fillingane of Sumrall, far left, and Rep. Johnny Stringer of Montrose, far right, received the Mississippi Farm Bureau Federation’s Friend of Agriculture Award.

Each year, Young Farmers and Ranchers (YF&R) State Committee members coordinate a Live Auction to raise money for the YF&R Scholarship Foundation. This toy John Deere Gator was one of the items auctioned off.

Santa Bag donations were presented to Blair E. Batson Hospital for Children by the State Women’s Committee. Jennifer Lott, Child Life Coordinator, accepted on behalf of the hospital.

Steve and Becky Carver entertained during the convention’s Worship Service and closing General Session.

Outstanding county Farm Bureau programs include, from far right, Region 1, Bolivar County; Region 2, Marshall County; Region 3, Smith County; Region 4, Montgomery County; Region 5, Walthall County; Region 6, Leake County; Region 7, Jackson County; and Region 8, Holmes County. 24

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Retiring are Dott Arthur of Leake County as State Women’s Jones County Farm Bureau received the Mike Blankenship Outstanding Committee Chair, Billie McCully of Winston County as Region 6 County Safety Award. Accepting the award are Martha McLemore, Women’s Committee Chair, and Peggy Palmer as Webster County federation secretary, and Wendell Gavin, president. Women’s Committee Chair.

Outstanding county women’s programs include, from left, Leake County-Region 6, Dott Arthur, vice chair (Nancy Jones, chair, not pictured); Montgomery County-Region 4, Georgia Caffey, chair (Becky Milner, vice chair, not pictured); Humphreys County-Region 8, Wanda Hill, chair; Amite County-Region 5, Betty Edwards, chair (Amy Bean, vice chair, not pictured); Bolivar CountyRegion 1, Lil Gant, chair; Marshall County-Region 2, Estelle Gadd, chair (Sue Wilkinson, vice chair, not pictured); Scott County-Region 3, Anita Webb, chair; and Jackson County-Region 7, Debbie Hackler, chair (Naomi Rouse, vice chair, not pictured).

Shea Whitfield of Humphreys County, winner of the Young Farmers and Ranchers State Discussion Meet, received a cash award from Federal Land Bank of North Mississippi and Southern AgCredit. Making the presentation was Joe Hayman, CEO of Southern AgCredit. Shea also received a cash award from Dodge. MARCH/APRIL

Linda “LJ” Johnson, Director of Policy Implementation with the American Farm Bureau Federation, encouraged members to become more involved in the policy development and implementation process.

Sam Gore, a noted Mississippi artist and Mississippi College adjunct professor of art, sculpted a beautiful piece entitled “Mother and Child’ during the Worship Service.

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Jason and Lindsey Ellzey of Ellisville, state winners of the Young Farmers and Ranchers Achievement Award contest, will receive 250 The late Joe Love of Lowndes County, a longtime Mississippi State University Extension Service employee, was honored posthumously with hours use of a Kubota tractor. the Mississippi Farm Bureau Federation Distinguished Service Award. His daughter, Melanie Beck, accepted on his behalf. Left: Receiving the Women’s Outstanding Achievement Awards for 2009 are, from left, Walthall County Farm Bureau Women’s Committee Chair Sheila Conerly - Information, Organization and Government Relations; Alcorn County Farm Bureau Women’s Committee Chair Sandy Mitchell - Youth Safety; Simpson County Farm Bureau Women’s Committee Chair Tammy Layton - Agriculture in the Classroom (Not pictured, Ann Layton, vice chair); and Pearl River County Farm Bureau Women’s Committee Chair Melba Smith - Community Service (Not pictured, Charline Smith, vice chair).

Jeff Davis County Farm Bureau won both the J.K. Simpson Walthall County Farm Bureau received the President’s Award, which Memorial Award as well as the Gary Chittom Membership Award recognizes the best overall county program in the state. Accepting is in the category of 1750 and above members. Accepting are Walthall County Farm Bureau President Bill Pigott. Reggie Magee, president, and Nevelene Cole, federation secretary. 26

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Shea Whitfield of Humphreys County, winner of the State Discussion Meet, received a 4-wheeler ATV, compliments of Southern Farm Bureau Life Insurance Company. Making the presentation was Randy Johns.

State talent winners are, front row, from left, Holly Brand, Lauderdale County, alternate in Talent Division I; Anna Kate McEllhiney, Tishomingo County, winner in Talent Division I; Jessica Harthcock, Holmes County, winner in Talent Division II; back row, from left, Belinda McNair, Harrison County, alternate in Talent Division III; Steve Abercrombie, Rankin County, winner in Talent Division III; and Kameron Jackson, Pearl River County, alternate in Talent Division II.

In recognition of his having been named Mississippi Sunbelt Farmer of the Year this past fall, veteran Delta row crop farmer Donald Gant of Bolivar County was the recipient of a resolution from the Mississippi Farm Bureau Federation (MFBF) Board of Directors. The resolution cites his many contributions to agriculture and the Farm Bureau organization. Gant is MFBF Vice President - North Mississippi. MARCH/APRIL

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WLBT Chief Meteorologist Barbie Bassett emceed and entertained during the Talent and Miss Farm Bureau Mississippi contests. Barbie is a past Miss Farm Bureau - Mississippi. 27


Jason and Lindsey Ellzey of Ellisville, state winners of the Young Farmers and Ranchers Achievement Award contest, will receive 100 hours use of a John Deere tractor. Making the presentation was Bob Dyar of John Deere.

Dott Arthur of Leake County recently retired after serving for ten years as State Women’s Committee Chair. During the Women’s Business Session, she was presented with a resolution citing her many accomplishments and contributions to Farm Bureau and the Mississippi Farm Bureau Federation Women’s Program. Making the presentation is newly-elected State Women’s Committee Chair Betty Mills of Montgomery County.

Staff Sgt. James Snyder, Mississippi Highway Patrol, addressed the convention’s Safety Conference with a presentation entitled “Defensive Driving.”

Dr. Bronson K. Strickland, Mississippi State University Department of Wildlife and Fisheries, talked about feral hogs during the convention’s Environmental Conference. 28

Kenneth Hood of Gunnison was presented the Mississippi Farm Bureau Federation’s Excellence in Leadership Award.

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

www.msfb.com

LANDS’ END DISCOUNT Members receive a 10% discount on all apparel and embroidery.

Farm Bureau members ®

save 10% at Lands’ End.

Lands’ End offers outfitting ideas that fit the way you work. And smart incentives or awards that last long after the event ends. We’ll add your Farm Bureau logo to the items you want. Or send you undecorated apparel. The choice is yours.You’ll always save 10 % on product & logo fees. Plus there’s no minimum to buy.

Shop online: ces.landsend.com/FB or call: 800.419.1097

Call 1.800.419.1097 or go to the special Mississippi Farm Bureau Federation Web site.

http://ces.landsend.com/MSFB

CHILD SAFETY SEAT PROGRAM Members can pick up order forms for $25 car seats and $15 booster seats at their local county Farm Bureau office.

IE TRACTOR AND INDUSTRIAL PARTS Members can receive a 15 percent discount on aftermarket replacement parts for agricultural and industrial uses. Call 601.731.9263 to order or check availability. Parts are shipped directly to you from the warehouse. Over 55,000 parts available. The parts you need at affordable prices with next-day delivery available on in-stock items.

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YOUTH SAFETY SEMINAR

BERRY NAMED RICE FARMER OF THE YEAR Curtis Berry of robinsonville was recently named rice Farmer of the Year by Rice Farming magazine, Syngenta and the uSA rice Federation. A second generation farmer, Berry farms 4,000 acres of minimum and/or no till rice. He was cited for his farming innovations, including incorporating zero-grade precision leveling on his fields. A former president of Tunica County Farm Bureau, Curtis was the 2008 region 1 Young Farmers and ranchers Achievement Award winner. He and his wife Lori also served on the Mississippi Farm Bureau Federation (MFBF) Young Farmers and ranchers State Committee, and Curtis has served as vice chair of the MFBF rice Advisory Committee. Curtis is a member of Delta Council, which also named him rice Farmer of the Year.

FACEBOOK & TWITTER Mississippi Farm Bureau Federation now has a Facebook page, where you can follow the happenings of Farm Bureau and agriculture. Just go to Farm Bureau's Web site and click on the Facebook icon or type in directly: www.facebook.com/pages/ Mississippi-Farm-Bureau-Federation/107840420210?ref=ts. You can also follow Farm Bureau on Twitter by going to: www.twitter.com/msfarmbureau. 30

Make plans to attend the 2010 Mississippi Farm Bureau Federation (MFBF) Youth Safety Seminar set for June 14-17 at Timber Creek Camp in Scott County. each year, this seminar offers young people an opportunity to receive safety training, enjoy recreational activities and develop friendships that will last a lifetime. In 2009, approximately 47 students from across the state participated in training sessions that included CPr, electrical Safety, ATV Safety, Fatal Vision, and Tractor Safety. Students also enjoyed the ropes Challenge Course and other fun activities. For more information about this summer’s event for students entering 7th through 12th grades, contact you county Farm Bureau office or call Angela Thompson at 1.800.227.8244, ext. 4242. OTHER SAFETY PROGRAMS In addition to the annual seminar, the Mississippi Farm Bureau Federation Safety Program offers safety education programs to county Farm Bureaus, churches, civic clubs and schools. These programs are very much in demand, especially during the school year. The Safety Program also sells work gloves, safety glasses and other safety equipment at special prices to Farm Bureau members. Infant safety seats and child booster seats are available at discounted prices. Deer alerts and SMV emblems are also available. For more information, call Angela Thompson at 1.800.227.8244, ext. 4242.

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FARM BUREAU SCHOLARSHIPS Mississippi Farm Bureau Federation (MFBF) offers scholarships to young people interested in furthering their education in agriculture. These include: YOUNG FARMERS AND RANCHERS SCHOLARSHIP FOUNDATION Four $2,000 scholarships are presented each year to Farm Bureau-member students already studying in an agricultural area. These scholarships are designed to provide opportunities to those students who demonstrate academic ability and leadership qualities and who show a need for financial assistance. Applicants must already have completed their college freshman year in an agricultural major at any Mississippi university or community college. Deadline is June 1. HUGH M. ARANT SCHOLARSHIP This $1,000 scholarship was established in 1995 following the death of Hugh M. Arant, the sixth president of the Mississippi Farm Bureau Federation. Applicants must apply through the Young Farmers and ranchers Scholarship Foundation and must have already completed their college freshman year in an agricultural major at Mississippi State university (MSu). Deadline for applying is June 1. BOSWELL STEVENS SCHOLARSHIP MSU AG ALUMNI – DAVID CRAIG SCHOLARSHIP Both of these scholarships are awarded annually to the deserving son or daughter of a Farm Bureau family who is enrolled or plans to enroll in the MSu College of Agriculture and Home economics. Application for these scholarships must be made through the Financial Aid Office at Mississippi State university. Applications must be submitted each year prior to April 1. DAVID WAIDE ENDOWED SCHOLARSHIP This scholarship has been established at Mississippi State university in honor of the eighth president of the Mississippi Farm Bureau Federation, David Waide. This scholarship is in recognition of Waide’s commitment to and efforts on behalf of agriculture. Candidates for this scholarship must be full-time undergraduate students in the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences or the College of Forest resources at MSu. Priority will be given to sons or daughters of Mississippi Farm Bureau members. For additional information about the Waide Scholarship, contact the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences Development Director at 662.325.0643. DON WALLER SCHOLARSHIP This $1,000 scholarship was established to honor the seventh president of the Mississippi Farm Bureau Federation, Don Waller. Applicants must apply through the Young Farmers and ranchers Scholarship Foundation and must have already completed their college freshman year in an agricultural major at any Mississippi university or community college. Deadline for applying is June 1. MARCH/APRIL

BERTA LEE WHITE SCHOLARSHIP The $2,000 Berta Lee White Scholarship was established in honor of the late Berta Lee “Bert” White, longtime AFBF and MFBF Women’s Committee Chair. This scholarship is presented annually to two deserving women who are seeking degrees in the field of agriculture. They must also attend a state institution of higher learning and must be Mississippi Farm Bureau Federation members. If you are interested in applying for the Berta Lee White Scholarship, contact Clara Bilbo at 1.800.227.8244, ext. 4245. Deadline is June 1. ADDITIONAL INFORMATION For more information about any of these scholarships, contact Young Farmers and ranchers Coordinator Greg Shows at 601.977.4277.

BILLY BRAKE JOINS STAFF AS LEGAL RESEARCH COORDINATOR Billy Brake of Brandon has joined the staff of the Mississippi Farm Bureau Federation (MFBF) as Legal research Coordinator in the Public Policy Department. A graduate of the university of Mississippi School of Law and a member of The Mississippi Bar, Billy was previously employed as an associate attorney with redfern Law Firm in richland. Billy also holds bachelor’s and master’s degrees in Ag economics from Mississippi State university. “Please join me in welcoming Billy into our Farm Bureau family,” said MFBF President David Waide. “His educational background and experience will be an asset to Farm Bureau and our Public Policy program.”

BRINSON FARMS RECEIVES ENVIRONMENTAL EXCELLENCE AWARD Brinson Farms, a diversified Jeff Davis County poultry, cattle and timber operation, recently received the national Family Farm environmental excellence Award from the u.S Poultry and egg Association. The farm was selected from among farms across the nation. John Logan Brinson Farms is owned by John and Bettye Logan of Prentiss. A dedicated environmentalist, John is the first farmer in the world to successfully convert broiler litter into methane gas then use the gas to power a portion of his farming operation. Active in Farm Bureau on both the county and state levels, John serves on the Jeff Davis County Farm Bureau Board of Directors and is the current chair of the Mississippi Farm Bureau Federation Poultry Advisory Committee.

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AFBF ANNUAL MEETING - SEATTLE

Mississippi attendees at the Women’s Leadership Recognition Luncheon show off their pink ballcaps in support of the “Don’t Cap Our Future” campaign.

Mississippi Farm Bureau Federation (MFBF) President David Waide participates in the Parade of Flags during the American Farm Bureau Federation (AFBF) Annual Meeting in Seattle, Washington.

MFBF President David Waide greets AFBF President Bob Stallman during the State Awards Program.

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State Women’s Committee Chair Betty Mills accepts recognition on behalf of the MFBF Women’s Program. She is pictured with AFBF President Bob Stallman and AFBF Women’s Leadership Committee Chair Terry Gilbert.

M I S S I S S I P P I FA R M C O U N T RY

MARCH/APRIL


WOMEN’S LEADERSHIP CONFERENCE The annual Mississippi Farm Bureau Federation (MFBF) Women’s Leadership Conference will be held March 26 at the State Office building in Jackson. A busy and productive day is planned, with speakers addressing issues of interest to women. For more information, contact MFBF Women’s Program Coordinator Clara Bilbo at 1-800-227-8244, ext. 4245.

MFBF PROGRAMS RECEIVE NATIONAL RECOGNITION Two Mississippi Farm Bureau Federation programs received Awards of excellence at the American Farm Bureau Federation Annual Meeting in Seattle, Washington. Public Policy and Public relations/Information were recognized for providing outstanding service to Farm Bureau members during the year 2009. The Public Policy program is administered by the Public Policy Department. The Public relations/Information program is administered by two departments – Member Services and Publications.

SOUTHERN BIOPRODUCTS AND RENEWABLE ENERGY CONFERENCE The ninth Annual Southern BioProducts and renewable energy Conference will be held April 13-14 at Harrah’s in Tunica. The conference agenda will feature relevant speakers from industry and academia at the national, state and local levels, as well as presentations on technology commercialization and entrepreneurship. There will also be numerous opportunities for networking, including two evening receptions and a luncheon. The conference is sponsored by the Mississippi Biomass and renewable energy Council, Inc. Be sure to watch the Mississippi Biomass Council’s Web site for updated conference information: http://ms-biomass.org.

HINDS COUNTY 4-H HORSE JUDGING GROUP FIRST IN NATION The Hinds County 4-H Horse Judging Team won top honors in the Western national 4-H Horse Classic Horse Judging Contest held during the Western national Stock Show in Denver, Colorado, in January. Team members – some of whom are from Farm Bureau-

MARCH/APRIL

member families – include Alison Guider of utica, JoAnna and Taylor King of Bentonia, and robyn Soignier of raymond. The team earned 4th High Team in Halter Placings; 2nd High Team in Total reasons; and 1st High Team in Performance Placings. The Overall High Point Individual for the entire contest was JoAnna King. The coach was Gregg Williams. Lurlinda Soignier is the 4-H Agent in Hinds County. The Western national Stock Show is the second largest stock show in the united States. This year, the contest even included contestants from Alaska and Alberta, Canada.

WOMEN IN AG STATE CONFERENCE The Mississippi Women in Agriculture State Conference will be held March 11-12 at Mississippi State university (MSu). This year’s event will feature tours of the MSu campus and a look at current issues challenging agriculture. Some of the topics will include groundwater rules, alternative fuels and climate change. For more information, call 662.325.3207. Or visit the Web site at www.msucares.com/womeninag.

CHARLIE BUSH IS COUNTY AGENT Charlie Bush, a recent Mississippi Farm Bureau Federation summer intern, began work in January as a county extension agent with the Bolivar County extension Service in Cleveland. Bush has a bachelor’s degree in agribusiness and a master’s degree in agribusiness management from Mississippi State university. His hometown is Pinola in Simpson County.

MEMBERSHIP DRAWING WINNERS eight Farm Bureau members, representing one winner from each of Farm Bureau’s eight regions, were selected in a random drawing to receive a $250 check. The drawing included the names of all members whose dues had been paid by the Oct. 31 deadline. Winners include: reg. 1- Billy Jo Ann Springer, Bolivar County; reg. 2 - Brenda Byrne, Itawamba County; reg. 3 - nancy Mason, rankin County; reg. 4 - James P. Crawford, Grenada County; reg. 5 - Mary L. Thames, Lawrence County; reg. 6 - John J. Watson, Kemper County; reg. 7 - Southern Livestock Producers, Inc., Pearl river County; and reg. 8 - LeeBeth Gilmore, Holmes County.

M I S S I S S I P P I FA R M C O U N T RY

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

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M I S S I S S I P P I FA R M C O U N T RY

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1/2 1 /2 PRICE PRICE SALE! SALE! TY LIBER

2010

HYBRID LILIES

Create C reate a d dazzling azzling spot spot of of beauty! beauty!

JERSEY KNIGHT ASPARAGUS M More ore p productive roductive – m more ore d delicious! elicious!

Stalks are up to 4″ around. Yield 3-4 times more top quality asparagus than older varieties. Vigorous grower and highly disease-resistant. Grow in poor, salty or alkaline soil. Hardy even in sub-zero weather. 1 year old, first quality plants sent.

N7307 N7307

Amazing A mazing one-tree one-tree orchard! orchard!

IT U R F F R DWA R EE COCKTAIL T

Pick 6 delicious varieties from this unusual tree! Plant our Dwar f Fruit Cocktail Tree when you don’t have room for an orchard. Pick nectarines, peaches, plums and apricots all from the same tree. Harvest bushels of fruit. Have plenty for jams, jellies, canning, eating fresh and freezing. Selfpollinating. Grows about 10′ tall in full sun. Reach fruit from this little one tree orchard standing right on the ground. The first bushel of fruit will pay for the tree. Blossoms in spring — fruit in fall. In spring your tree will be loaded with an abundance of blossoms. Pretty enough to plant as a specimen tree right in your front yard. We send 2-3′ trees. Sorry, cannot be shipped to California, Arizona and Washington.

ACH N5556 $19.99 E N5556 EACH 2 for for $37.50 3 ffor or $53.99

5 FOR FOR $4.95 + 5 FOR FOR 1¢ = 10 ROOTS ROOTS FOR FOR $4.96

GIANT QUINAULT EVERBEARING STRAWBERRIES Actually Actually g grow row b big ig ass ttea a ea ccups! ups! These firm, deep red berries make fancy “restaurant” desserts. Excellent for preserves, freezing and eating fresh, too. When planted in April, Quinaults will produce July through September — right up until frost!

N N6607 6607 25 FOR FOR $6.99 50 FOR FOR $12.99 100 FOR FOR $23.99 O ONE NE YEAR GU GUARANTEE AR ANTEE If any item you purchased from us does not live, for a one time free replacement just return the original shipping label along with your written request within 1 year of receipt. Replacement guarantee is void unless the original shipping label is returned. For a refund of the purchase price, return the item and the original shipping label with correct postage affixed within 14 days of receipt.

Hardy naturalizer that spreads quickly. Incredibly easy to grow! Produces bigger stems and more blooms each year. Plant 6-8″ deep and apart in full to partial sun. We send our choice of mixed colors. 10-12 cm bulbs.

B6492 B6492 10 for for $7.98 10 for for $3.99 20 ffor or $14.98 20 for for $7.49

H HOUSE OUSE O OF F WESLEY 1704 Morrissey Drive, DEPT DEPT.. 970-5055 Bloomington, Illinois 61704 Name____________________________________ Address __________________________________ City _______________________ State _________ Zip ______________ Phone __________________ Email ____________________________________

Please Please send the items items indica indicated ted below: below: HOW MANY

Item #

DESCRIPTION

N5556 N6607 N7307

Fruit Cocktail Tree Quinault Strawberry Jersey Knight Aspragus Hybrid Lilies

B6492

COST

3 .95 Shipping & Processing $_______ SUBTOTAL $_______ IL Residents add 6.25% Sales Tax $_______ TOTAL ENCLOSED OR CHARGED $_______ ❒ Check or Money Order enclosed. ❒ Mastercard ❒ VISA Credit Card # ______________________________ Expiration Date ____________________________ Signature ________________________________

O Order rder on-line a att w www.HouseofWesley.com/quickorder.asp ww.HouseofWesley.com/quickorder.asp


March/April 2010