COLEY LITTLE BAILEY JR., a 29-year-old Coffeeville, Miss., cotton farmer, has been selected as the Mississippi Farm Bureau Federation's Young Farmer and Rancher Achievement Award winner for 2001.

Bailey and his wife, Jody, were honored, along with six other district winners, at the farm organization's 80th annual meeting in Jackson. The Baileys will represent Mississippi in national competition at the American Farm Bureau Federation's annual meeting in Reno, Nev., competing against 35 to 40 other state winners.

David Waide, president of the Mississippi Farm Bureau, called Bailey an extremely successful young farmer, who should do well in the national contest.

“We couldn't be represented any better, by any farmer, of any age,” he noted. “Coley Bailey is truly outstanding in his farming abilities and in his leadership efforts within the agricultural industry and his community.”

As the state winner in the Young Farmer and Rancher Achievement Award, Bailey won a new Dodge truck, compliments of Southern Farm Bureau Life Insurance Co.; the use of a new Caterpillar tractor from Caterpillar; a cash award from Dodge Trucks; and other awards from the Mississippi Farm Bureau Federation.

Bailey farms 2,400 acres of no-till cotton. He is going against the grain by planting only cotton, but the young farmer is quick to stress the advantages of that action. He is a partner in the farming operation with his parents.

The Baileys are members of the Yalobusha County Farm Bureau, where Coley is the organizational vice president and Jody is chairperson of the Women's Committee. They have been active in the state Young Farmer and Rancher program, traveling to Washington, D.C., Orlando and other locations to participate in Farm Bureau meetings.

Coley served as chairman of the Young Farmer and Rancher Committee during 2000, representing the group on the Farm Bureau state board of directors.