A Message from the President – Mike McCormick
The Finest People on Earth
Farmers are the finest people on earth. Working closely with God’s creation every day just seems to build a stronger work ethic and better moral character. Not only do our nation’s farmers work hard to provide American consumers access to an abundant supply of food, fiber and fuel, they take excellent care of our nation’s natural resources. Farmers have always been good stewards of our land, water and air, and we don’t ever want to forget that.
Mississippi Farm Bureau Federation volunteer leaders also take the time in the midst of their busy schedules to grow and strengthen our organization. It has been my privilege and joy as your president to get to know many of these leaders across the state. Because you have very graciously invited me into your homes and shown me around your farms, I have not only made good friends for life, I have gained an in-depth understanding of our state’s large and diverse agriculture industry.
All of this has proven to be an invaluable learning experience for someone who helms the largest general farm organization in the state. Sure, I’m a lifelong Jefferson County cattle and timber farmer, but Mississippi Farm Bureau Federation represents many different types of farming interests, from row crops, poultry and cattle to forestry, aquaculture, honey bees and sweet potatoes, just to name a few.
I’ve also had an opportunity to meet farmers from across the nation through my years of service on the American Farm Bureau Federation Board of Directors. What I have discovered is that all farmers share similar concerns, even as we face challenges that are specific to our own areas of the country. It is nice to know that when it is necessary we can join together and speak with one strong and effective voice on those issues that matter most to all of us.
Thank Our Farmers
This issue of our membership magazine features two outstanding Farm Bureau volunteer leaders. Clifton McGowan, a lifelong Pike County farmer, excels in all that he does for our organization. Whenever we need him, he is always there. The same holds true for Josh Miller, a Delta row crop farmer who never fails to help with issues that affect not only cotton, peanuts and soybeans, but the farming industry as a whole. I encourage you to let Clifton and Josh know how much we appreciate them.
And speaking of outstanding farmer leaders, Chris and Missy McGlawn of Belzoni were recently named the Catfish Farmers of America’s 2017 Catfish Farmers of the Year for the state of Mississippi. Cala Tabb of Webster County was selected as the 2017 Monsanto Farm Mom of the Year for the Southeast Region. If you remember, William and Cala Tabb were our state and national Young Farmers & Ranchers Achievement Award winners two years ago. I encourage you to make a point of congratulating all of these farmers on their great honors.
Farm Bureau’s policy development process begins at the county level, with our volunteer leaders voicing their opinions and concerns about issues that affect their lives and livelihoods. If you haven’t already participated, I encourage you to do so. This year’s meetings will be held in our state vice president regions in southern, central and northern Mississippi. For more information, contact our Public Policy staff or your regional manager.
Each year, Farm Bureau works hard to represent the interests of our members in the Mississippi Legislature. I invite you to read the recap of this year’s activities inside this issue of our membership magazine. Also inside, you will find an article about a Cuba trade mission I participated in led by Governor Phil Bryant. I invite you to learn more about this most important endeavor.
In conclusion, I think it is remarkable that in the early years of the 21st century, Farm Bureau remains a dynamic, growing organization dedicated to its original mission of providing an environment in which our members can have a better life and make a better living. For this, I give our farmer volunteer leaders all of the credit.
You truly are the finest people on earth.