A Message from the President – Mike McCormick
Our Family Is the Best
In an earlier column, I talked about the many ways Farm Bureau makes me proud. In this issue, I want to cast a special spotlight on our Mississippi Farm Bureau Federation family. Because of your tireless efforts, we are already exceling in so many different arenas this year.
One of the most important areas is membership growth.
I want to congratulate you on the work you did to help us reach our 2017 membership quota in early February. As of Feb. 9, we were 192,520 member families strong. This marks the first time since Hurricane Katrina ravaged our state and severely impacted our insurance operation in 2005 that we have had back-to-back years of membership growth.
Reaching quota this year makes Mississippi Farm Bureau Federation the 10th largest Farm Bureau among the 50 states and Puerto Rico that make up the membership of the American Farm Bureau Federation.
I’d like to thank all of the secretaries who worked tirelessly behind the scenes, the agency force who answered the call for help and the Federation staff members who assisted with our game plan. Without this team effort, we would not have been successful. Each and every one of you went above and beyond the call of duty.
I know without a doubt that a precedent has been set. In the years to come, we will continue achieving our membership quota annually as we work together to further grow and strengthen our organization.
Farm Bureau family members also helped ensure that the 2017 legislative session was one of our best. Because of the way the magazine is printed, I can’t give you a report on all we accomplished until the next issue. What I can do now is thank you for what you did to support the efforts of your Public Policy program.
I appreciate the calls you made to your lawmakers, the special events you organized to bring together legislators and members, and, most importantly, the visits you made to the State Capitol. Your presence there filled me with a deep pride.
We couldn’t do what we do each session without your help.
Sale of Junior Champions
Finally, so many of our dedicated Mississippi Farm Bureau family members participated in the Sale of Junior Champions in Jackson this year. The caliber of the livestock auctioned off at this annual showcase for 4-H and FFA youths is always outstanding. These animals never fail to reflect the attention and care that farm families shower on their livestock each and every day. The proceeds from the sale of the animals are used to fund scholarships for many deserving students.
This year, one of our family members, Carson Keene of Forrest County, made me especially proud. Carson informed the auctioneer that the proceeds from the sale of one of his champion Duroc hogs would go into a medical fund for a classmate who is battling cancer. When the crowd learned of Carson’s intentions, the bidding escalated. Carson’s hog was sold, but the bidding didn’t stop there. At last count, the figure totaled close to $20,000.
It is Carson’s special brand of kindness that is the hallmark of our organization. Since our beginnings almost 100 years ago, Mississippi Farm Bureau Federation has endeavored to give back to local communities, the state and the nation. Our members instill in their kids the importance of honoring God, family and country, and they emphasize a caring attitude in the form of an involvement in their churches, schools and local civic organizations.
Photos of the animals Farm Bureau purchased at the 2017 Sale of Junior Champions can be found inside this issue. Please note the names of all of the sponsors who helped to make these purchases possible.
You will also find an article about Carson inside.
I want to commend our Mississippi Farm Bureau Federation volunteer leaders and staff on all they have accomplished in the early months of 2017. I look forward to reaching even more goals in the year ahead as we continue our efforts to help Mississippi’s farmers and rural communities succeed. I appreciate your loyalty and dedication more than you will ever know.
You are the best.