The Mississippi Farm Bureau Federation is seeking nominations for its Farm Woman of the Year and Ambassador Scholarship program. Winners will be honored at the organization's annual membership meeting in December.
RITA SEWARD was chosen as the Mississippi Farm Bureau Federation's first Farm Woman of the Year at the organization's 2013 annual membership meeting. Seward Farms, located in Jackson County, grows cotton, corn, peanuts, oats, wheat, and ryegrass. They also have a stocker herd, quarter horses, and a thriving agritourism business that attracts 20,000 visitors yearly.
Nominations are now being sought for the Mississippi Farm Bureau Federation’s annual Farm Woman of the Year program and for its Ambassador Scholarship Award.
“The Farm Woman of the Year program was started in 2013,” says Clara Bilbo, MFBF coordinator for women’s programs and Ag in the Classroom. “Rita Seward of Jackson County was chosen for the honor.
“We’re pleased to have this program to recognize women who are not only outstanding contributors to Farm Bureau, but to their communities and to the business of agriculture.”
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Nominees for Farm Woman of the Year will be judged on (1) demonstrated support of the goals of Mississippi Farm Bureau Federation and unselfish assistance on its behalf, (2) service to farming/agricultural operations, (3) service to the community, and (4) initiative and creativity to enhance the strength of farming/agricultural operations.
Nominees must be actively involved in farming on an agriculture-related operation. Applications must be submitted to a county Farm Bureau, which will then submit a chosen application from that county to the region. Deadlines are set by individual counties. A letter of recommendation signed by the county Farm Bureau president must accompany the application.
The winner of the 2013 MFBF Ambassador Scholarship was Collin Hutcheson, who farms with his father in Lee County, and is a student at Mississippi State University majoring in agriculture.
The $4,000 scholarship is awarded to a student attending any Mississippi college/university or community college. Nominees must have completed at least one full year of college courses and maintain at least a 2.5 grade point average out of a possible 4.0. A completed application form and an essay, not to exceed 300 words on an agriculture-related subject, are required.
“The aim of the scholarship is to identify young leaders who can use their experiences to tell the farm story, and to enlighten and inform the public about agriculture,” says Betty Mills, state chair for the MFBF Women’s Committee.
Complete rules and application forms for the Farm Woman of the Year and the Ambassador Scholarship may be obtained at any Mississippi Farm Bureau Federation county office, or by phoning the MFBF Women’s Department, 1-800-227-8244.