Not many people can say they are a century old, but Marion County Farm Bureau board member Dan Ford can.
Marion County Farm Bureau recently celebrated Ford’s 100th birthday with a party at their office. Mississippi Farm Bureau Federation President Mike McCormick, MFBF staff, Marion County Farm Bureau members, Ford and a few of his loved ones were in attendance.
“Mr. Dan was born the same year our national organization, American Farm Bureau, was incorporated,” McCormick said. “They’ve both seen a tremendous amount of change over the years and I think we’ve got to honor the history of the people like Mr. Dan, all that he knows about the organization and about farming and how it has evolved over the last century is important to keep.”
Ford, an Army Air Corps veteran, was raised during the trying years of the Great Depression.
“I believe that being raised during the Great Depression is the reason dad is as determined, hardworking, and resourceful as he is today,” said Mary Sears, Ford’s daughter.
“Mr. Dan has been a faithful Farm Bureau member for close to 70 years and he has maintained a position on the board for 40 of those years,” added Donald Lowery, Marion County Farm Bureau President.
For over 50 years, Ford preserved his family’s business of making and selling sugarcane syrup.
“Farm Bureau has been there to educate and support him throughout his entire career,” Sears said.
Ford is seen as an inspiration to many because of the dedication, strength, and wisdom he exhibits.
“We look up to him for his guidance and his strength. His wisdom is a lot wiser than ours,” Lowery said.
“When I was growing up, if we wanted milk, we had to milk a cow. If we wanted to eat eggs, we had to have laying hens. When we wanted pork, we had to grow hogs. When we wanted vegetables, we had to pick them from the garden,” Ford said.
Due to his upbringing, Ford developed a passion for educating younger generations on the significance of preserving the agriculture industry.
Ford’s passion and dedication to agriculture continues today, even at the age of 100, as an active Farm Bureau member.
“Farm Bureau has always been good to me, and I enjoy getting to visit with everyone at the meetings,” Ford said.
“Mr. Dan, if health permits, is still active and in attendance of all the monthly Marion County Farm Bureau meetings,” Lowery said.
“I’m going to continue doing just what I’m doing now for as long as I’m able,” Ford added, “I’ve got to keep moving, or I’m going to die.”
When asked what the secret to living to the age of 100 was, Ford said, “That’s the Lord’s secret. I don’t know how I got here. Just the Lord leading me all my life.”