Kenneth Hood of Gunnison, Miss., was awarded Mississippi Farm Bureau’s Excellence in Leadership Award at the organization’s annual meeting in Jackson, Miss., in early December.

Hood operates a 12,000-acre family farm that has historically been 100 percent cotton, but with the downturn in the economy, other crop scenarios, and technology changes he has started raising corn, soybeans, rice, and wheat in addition to his cotton crop.

He just finished harvesting his 50th crop and says that there have been a lot of changes in farming since he started.

“In the last 10 to 12 years, I’ve seen more changes than I saw in the first 40 put together,” said Hood. “Look at how much equipment has changed. Bigger machines, more efficient machines, and then you add the precision ag concept — things like variable rate technology — it’s really change the face of agriculture.”

Hood’s involvement with Farm Bureau has been extensive. He has served in many capacities at the county level since 1980 and he has held state and national leadership roles in the cotton commodity area.

Farm Bureau President David Waide said of Hood, “He is one of the finest and most dedicated leaders that Farm Bureau has. He has provided Farm Bureau with a vision of the future while maintaining the foundation of the past.”

The Excellence in Leadership Award was established to recognize volunteer leaders of Farm Bureau who have made a significant contribution to Farm Bureau and agriculture in Mississippi. Their contributions have been performed as a result of unselfish effort to strengthen Farm Bureau and to enhance rural life in Mississippi.