Farm Bureau’s highest award, the Distinguished Service Award, was presented to Louis Breaux, Kiln, Miss. He has worked closely with Farm Bureau for more than half a century in various county and state positions and is currently an honorary vice president on the organization’s board of directors.

“This award is reserved for someone who has truly made a difference in the lives of Mississippi farmers,” said Randy Knight.

When Breaux moved to Mississippi in 1956, Hancock County didn’t have an active Farm Bureau.  He was asked by the county Extension agent a if he would like to serve on a board that was trying to get a Farm Bureau program started, and he said he would. 

“Thus, he became part of the process of growing a county Farm Bureau during a time when the organization was essentially in its infancy, especially in the coastal area of the state,” Knight says. “Under his leadership, Hancock County Farm Bureau soon hit its stride — meeting and often exceeding its quota each year – and plans went on the drawing board for a county office building. During that time, he served as county vice president, and then was president for 17 years. 

Breaux recalls, “We had finally found an acre of land to purchase to build our office when Hurricane Camille hit.”

The response and efficiency of Farm Bureau claims adjusters in the wake of the storm so impressed the locals that membership doubled in the year following the storm, as did the size of the proposed building.        

Breaux began serving on the MFBF board of directors in 1971, and has served continuously ever since.  He was vice president of the southern region for many years and is now a lifetime honorary vice president. He started and headed the very popular Farm Bureau Gumbo Festival in Washington, D.C., for many years, attracting lawmakers and other Washington dignitaries.    

Breaux and his wife Jeannette, who celebrated their 65th anniversary this year, have had cattle, timber, and a dairy on their farm and founded a municipal biosolvent business that is still in operation. 

Among his many honors, he received the Merchant Marine Veterans highest award, the Distinguished Service Medal. Following Hurricane Katrina, he organized food drops for families who had lost everything. 

“Farm Bureau is a family organization with good conservative values,” Breaux says, “and it has done a lot for the farmers of Mississippi. I am so glad I had the opportunity to work with volunteer leaders and staff to build such an impressive organization. I hope to continue serving the organization in any way I can for as long as I am able.”