David Waide, a row-crop and cattle producer from West Point, Miss., was re-elected to his seventh term as president of the Mississippi Farm Bureau Federation at the organization’s recent annual meeting in Jackson, Miss.
Donald Gant from Merigold, Miss., was re-elected as vice president for north Mississippi; Randy Knight from Pelahatchie, Miss., was re-elected as vice president for central Mississippi; and Reggie Magee from Mt. Olive, Miss., was re-elected as vice president for south Mississippi.
Nearly 750 members, representing Mississippi’s 82 county Farm Bureaus, took part in the three-day meeting where, in addition to the election of officers and directors, the delegates adopted policies to guide the organization’s efforts during 2009. Policies relating to national issues will be forwarded to the American Farm Bureau Federation for consideration at its mid-January annual meeting in San Antonio, Texas.
The Mississippi delegate body identified several priority issues for the upcoming year including eminent domain, the right to farm, and animal welfare.
Newly elected or re-elected directors on the MFBF board include Kevin Simpson, Ashland, Miss.; Bill Ryan Tabb, Cleveland, Miss.; Danny Bishop, Baldwyn, Miss.; Doss Brodnax, Starkville, Miss.; Weldon Harris, Kosciusko, Miss.; Max Anderson, Decatur, Miss.; Mark Cheney, Vicksburg, Miss.; Bill Pigott, Tylertown, Miss.; Wendell Gavin, Laurel, Miss.; and Tom Daniels, Gulfport, Miss. Brad Woods of Columbia, Miss., will sit on the board due to his election as Young Farmer & Rancher Committee chairman.
Preston and Amy Arrington of Inverness, Miss., were selected as Farm Bureau’s Young Farmer Achievement Award winners and will travel to San Antonio to represent Mississippi in the National Young Farmer Achievement Award competition.
Amanda Edwards of Starkville, Miss., won the Young Farmer Discussion Meet, an event that challenges contestants’ discussion skills and their ability to persuade others to see their side of an issue. She will also compete in the national competition in San Antonio in January.
Farm Bureau’s highest award, the MFBF Distinguished Service Award, was presented to Will McCarty, retired cotton specialist with the Cooperative Extension Service. McCarty has worked closely with Farm Bureau over the years to develop cotton policy that has been beneficial to producers.
The Excellence in Leadership Award went to Maurice Layton of Simpson County, Miss., for many years of dedicated service to agriculture in Mississippi.
Monty Ladner of Leake County, Miss., was given the Ag Ambassador Award for his work in promoting agriculture and Mississippi.
There were two recipients of the Friend of Agriculture Award. Sen. Doug Davis of DeSoto County, Miss., and Rep. David Norquist of Bolivar County, Miss., received the award for their support of agriculture and Farm Bureau in the Mississippi legislature.
In other meeting activities, Katie Vanderslice of Jones County, Miss., a junior poultry science major at Mississippi State University, was selected as Miss Farm Bureau for Mississippi in a competition with six other contestants from around the state. Vanderslice will serve as a spokesperson for Farm Bureau during the next year.