The Mississippi Farm Bureau recently presented awards at its annual meeting. Longtime cattle and row crop farmer from Clay County and eighth president of the Mississippi Farm Bureau David Waide was named the winner of Farm Bureau’s Distinguished Service Award for 2010. Waide served 14 years as Farm Bureau president and led the organization through many challenging periods including the recovery from Hurricane Katrina.
During his tenure as Farm Bureau president, Waide helped with the writing of three Farm Bills.
The Distinguished Service Award is the highest honor Farm Bureau bestows on an individual and it is reserved for someone who has truly made a difference in the lives of Mississippi farmers.
Eddie Myrtle Moore of Pelahatchie was awarded Farm Bureau’s Excellence in Leadership Award. She has been involved in the Women’s program with Farm Bureau for more than 40 years. Moore has served as her county Farm Bureau Women’s Chair and also on the Farm Bureau State Women’s Committee.
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.
The Mississippi Farm Bureau Federation presented its Friend of Agriculture Award to Sen. Buck Clarke of Hollandale. Clarke is the chairman of the Senate Insurance Committee, vice chairman of the Senate Finance Committee and a member of the Senate Agriculture Committee. He represents District 22.
Clarke is a CPA in Washington County, a Rotary Club member, and the Mississippi Society of Certified Public Accountants.
The Mississippi Farm Bureau Federation also presented its Friend of Agriculture Award to Rep. Greg Ward of Ripley. Ward is the chairman of the House Agriculture Committee, and represents District 4.
Ward is the owner of Quality Glass in Ripley, and is affiliated with the Tippah County Development Foundation, the National Federation of Independent Business and the National Association of Home Builders.
Pepper and Crystal Roberts of Belzoni were selected as Farm Bureau’s Young Farmer Achievement Award winner and will travel to Atlanta to represent Mississippi in the National Young Farmer Achievement Award competition.
Daniel Martin of Water Valley 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. He will also compete in the national competition in Atlanta in January.
Hembree Brandon of Starkville was given the Ag Ambassador Award for his work in promoting agriculture and Mississippi. Brandon is the editorial director for the Delta Farm Press and has been writing about agriculture in the mid-South since 1973.
Mattie Carter from Rolling Fork was chosen as Farm Bureau Ambassador. This contest is to identify young leaders who can use their advantages to tell the farm story. It is also designed to enlighten and inform the public that interest in agriculture, as a career, is alive and productive.
The organization also elected a new president and directors during the annual meeting. Randy Knight, a beef and dairy farmer from Pelahatchie, was elected as the ninth president of the state’s largest general agricultural organization. Knight is a graduate of Hinds Junior College with a degree in farm management, and attended Mississippi State University, where he studied dairy science. He operates a dairy in Pelahatchie and also runs 400 head of stocker calves and manages several hundred acres of pasture and timberland.
Knight, 48, served a three-year term as president of Rankin County Farm Bureau. He also served on the Mississippi Farm Bureau Federation (MFBF) board of directors for two years and just concluded serving his fourth year as MFBF Central Mississippi vice president. He is a member of Dairy Farmers of America and the Mississippi Cattleman’s Association. He serves on the boards of Grazing Land Management for the Natural Resource Conservation Service, the Southeastern United Dairy Association, and the Neshoba County Gin Association.
He and his wife, Mary, have two daughters.
Newly elected or re-elected directors on the MFBF board include Mike Graves, Ripley; Bill Ryan Tabb, Cleveland; Neal Huskison, Pontotoc; Bobby Moody, Louisville; James Foy, Canton; James Brewer, Shubuta; Lonnie Fortner, Port Gibson; Mike McCormick, Union Church: Gerald Moore, Petal; and Ken Mallette, Van Cleave.
Noble Guedon of Natchez will sit on the board due to his election as Young Farmer & Rancher Committee chairman.
Betty Mills of Winona was elected State Women’s Committee Chair and will represent the committee on the board.