As the COVID-19 fog begins to lift across Mississippi and the nation, the Mississippi Farm Bureau Federation returned to business under the new normal. Presidents and secretaries from all 82 County Farm Bureaus recently met in person for the first time in over a year in Jackson. The meeting focused on discussing ways to protect and grow the County Farm Bureau offices with the organization’s 100 anniversary just around the corner in 2022.
“Getting young people motivated to participate is my focus,” Grenada County Farm Bureau President Jacob Bennett said. “If can get young people involved in agriculture, then that’ll make our county bigger and better.”
Oktibbeha County Farm Bureau President William White agreed with Bennett sentiment.
“Investing in our young people and kids is something we really need to do,” White said. “They are our future. We are reliant on them to keep feeding the world.”
While emphasizing the importance of agriculture’s next generation, today’s county leadership is also focused on the MFBF’s mission – creating an environment in which Mississippi farmers, ranchers, and Farm Bureau members can have a better life and make a better living.
“It’s very important that we understand these decisions come from the counties,” said Jones County Farm Bureau President Larry Jefcoat, referring to how MFBF decides which policies to advocate for on the state and national levels. “They come from the state level and go to national level. So, it’s very, very important for our farmers to get involved in it and understand that we’re doing what we can to help the farmer to make a better living and have a better life.”
Because the number of farms in Pike County is dwindling, Pike County Farm Bureau President Mark Wallace believes it’s important for the remaining farmers to be involved in Farm Bureau.
“Agriculture is very important to our county, so it’s important for us to be involved and stand with people who stand up for us,” Wallace said.
This type of involvement is what makes MFBF members a fixture among policy makers and drivers of the state’s economy.
“Nobody does grassroots like Farm Bureau,” MFBF President Mike McCormick said. “If they want to know what the people back home are saying, Farm Bureau’s the best people to call. We’ve got to maintain that, so it’s important we encourage our County Farm Bureau board members to stay active so the right voices are being heard at the Capitol.”
Our strength in numbers is what keeps us relevant and will continue to help us grow, McCormick said.
“Farm Bureau is a pretty good strong organization,” Greene County Farm Bureau President Hayden West said. “It’s held on for 100 years and I think it’ll hold for another 100.”