Randy Knight, a third generation dairy farmer at Pelahatchie, Miss., has been elected president of the Mississippi Farm Bureau Federation, succeeding 14-year veteran David Waide, who is retiring at the end of December.

 Knight, 48, served a three-year term as president of the Rankin County Farm Bureau, served on the Mississippi Farm Bureau Federation’s board of directors for two years, and is currently serving his fourth year as the organization’s central Mississippi vice president.

 He is a graduate of Hinds Junior College with a degree in farm management, and attended Mississippi State University, where he studied dairy science. In addition to his dairy operation, he has 400 head of stocker calves and manages several hundred acres of pasture and timberland.

Knight is continuing a farming tradition begun by his grandfather in the early 1900s.

“He established the dairy in 1932,” Knight says. “At that time, dairymen were milking by hand. Our operation was unique in that people from town would come out, milk a cow, and take the milk home with them.”

The dairy purchased its first milking machine in the early 1950s and Knight and his father, Lee, constructed a second flat barn and a milking parlor in 1974. Today, the dairy uses the latest technology, including computer feeders.