4-H Youth Educator
This has been a busy and challenging summer for 4-H Competitions for Senior (ages 14-18) and Junior (ages 8-13) 4-H members in Claiborne County. The hot weather did not deter the 4-H members from competing. They remained focused and it paid off.
Seniors 4-H Members
The senior 4-H members participated in 4-H Club Congress on June 1-3, 2011 on the campus of Mississippi State University in Starkville, MS. Their ranking and ribbons are listed below:
· Brent Tolliver won a blue ribbon (2nd place) in the Engineering Visual Presentation Contest.
· Michael Wells, Jr won a red ribbon (4th place) in the Beef Visual Presentation Contest.
· Desiree’ Tolliver won a red ribbon (4th place) in the Engineering Visual Presentation Contest.
Junior 4-H Members
The junior 4-H members participated in the Southwest Region 4-H Project Achievement Day Competition which was held on June 15, 2011 at the Hinds Community College in Raymond, MS. Their ranking and ribbons are listed below:
· Mya L. Wells won a green rosette in the Clover Leaf Exhibit for her 4-H Project on Cows, “Cows Go Moo”.
· Laronda “Honey” Wilson won a blue ribbon and a trophy (overall 1st place) in the 10-11 year old Health Visual Presentation. Her presentation was on “Healthy Heart”.
· David Walker won a blue ribbon and a trophy (overall 1st place) in the 12-13 year old Engineering Visual Presentation. His presentation was on “Lawnmower Safety”.
· Mikayla Rankin won a blue ribbon and a trophy (overall 1st place) in the 10-11 year old Conservation Visual Presentation. Her presentation was on “Alligators Alive”.
· Justin Walker won a blue ribbon and trophy (overall 1st) in the 12-13 year old Conservation Visual Presentation. His presentation was on “Let’s Go Fishing”.
· Michele T. Wells won red ribbon (2nd place) in the 10-11 year old Beef Visual Presentation. Her presentation was on “Where’s The Beef”.
· Cardale Thomas-Davis won red ribbon (2nd place) in the 10-11 year old Conservation Visual Presentation. His presentation was on “The Biggest Snake Ever to Live: The Anaconda”.
Several Claiborne County 4-H members were selected to serve on the Mississippi 4-H Leadership Team and National 4-H Tours & Conferences. This group (senior age 4-H members) has shown outstanding leadership skills and is among the elite in their 4-H community-based clubs. Team members are involved in enhancing their leadership skills, communication skills, conducting promotional activities and providing programmatic input through committee and task force assignments. The Claiborne County 4-H members selected are listed below:
· Frankie Walker was selected to serve on the 4-H Leadership Team for a fourth year and earned a place to participate in the 4-H Cooperative Tour in July 2011.
· LaQuisha McGrew was selected to serve on the 4-H Leadership Team for a second year and earned a place to participate in the 4-H Cooperative Tour in July 2011. Also, LaQuisha will be attending and participating in the 2011 National 4-H Congress which will be held on Thursday, November 24 through Tuesday, November 29 at the Hyatt Regency Atlanta in Georgia. In addition, she was selected to attend and participate in the 2011 Citizenship Washington Focus (CWF) on July 10-16, 2011 at the National 4-H Conference Center, Chevy Chase, MD near Washington, D.C.
· Perliane Banks was also selected to attend and participate in the 2011 Citizenship Washington Focus (CWF) on July 10-16, 2011 at the National 4-H Conference Center, Chevy Chase, MD near Washington, D.C.
Congratulation goes out to all the Claiborne County 4-H Members and 4-H Volunteer Leaders for their hard work and great accomplishments in their 4-H competitions and tours.
If anyone is interested in becoming a 4-H member or volunteer leader in Claiborne County, please contact Shirley Middleton, ASUEP Area 4-H Youth Educator at the Claiborne County Extension Office in Port Gibson, MS at (601) 437-5011.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Pork Producer’s field day at the ASU Swine Development Center
Alcorn State University’s Swine Development Center will host its annual Pork Producer’s Field Day on Saturday, June 5th, at 10:00 a.m. in Churchill, MS. “Reinventing Sustainability in Pork Production”, is this year’s theme.
Center Director Dr. Michael Ezekwe coordinates the event every year and hopes farmers learn new techniques and modern practices in swine production.
“The purpose of this field day is to inform limited-resource farmers about outreach and research that will be relevant to their swine production needs,” said Ezekwe. “The objective is to demonstrate how genetically premium swine is the best alternative for farmers.”
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Small Farm Incubator in Preston Holds Spring Vegetable Field Day
For decades, Alcorn State University’s Ag Field Day has been an opportunity for members of the public to learn about and participate in agriculture programs. On Thursday May 13, 2010 Alcorn State University Extension Program (ASUEP) built on the continued vision and tradition of serving the community, at the Small Farm Incubator in Preston, MS.
“Approximately one-hundred and seventy people attended this great occasion. It was a great source of satisfaction of mine,” said Dr. Franklin Chukwuma, off-campus centers coordinator, who was, also, instrumental in the planning of the Ag Field Day activities. “This satisfaction reflects my belief that solving societal problems requires cooperation among many disciplines.”
The event was comprised of many lectures and informational demonstrations that were aimed at helping the small farmers be as efficient and effective with their crops as possible. There were a host of individuals in attendance from farmers to Mississippi state legislators. The Honorable Senator Sampson Jackson welcomed us to his district while Senator Giles Ward and Representatives Russ Nowell gave legislative greetings.
ASUEP works to facilitate the needs of Mississippi communities in many ways. The Ag Field Day activities are just a small part of what Alcorn hopes to do in order to help not only the small farmer, but the State of Mississippi flourish.
“Farmers and other citizens often complain that academic disciplinary research is too often an inch wide and a mile deep,” said Chukwuma.
“A broad perspective on our cropping system research and extension is geared toward sustainable production of alternative enterprise, he said. “Therefore, the emphasis on this field day was placed on sustainable vegetable production practices such as varieties, planting dates, cultural practices, and harvesting schedules.”
Information was provided on soil sampling techniques, different market outlets, farm and financial management, chemical pesticides, and the environment seasonal high tunnel cropping system. Also, alternative enterprise ventures such as pasture poultry production and USDA/NRCS programs were, also, discussed.
The field day was concluded with a farm tour and lunch.
Alcorn State University has a vested interest in the small farmers and communities in the State of Mississippi. The sponsored Ag Day activities are a means for ASU to insure that the future of so many Mississippians is bright and continues for generations to come, said Chukwuma.
Dr. Dalton McAfee, serves as Extension administrator. For more information about the Small Farm Incubator in Preston, contact Farm Manager Phil Luke at (662) 773-7128.
Article written by the Office of AREAS Communications, School of AREAS, Alcorn State University
Federation of Southern Cooperatives/
Land Assistance Fund
For Immediate Release: July 13, 2011
Contact: Heather Gray
404 765 0991 - firstname.lastname@example.org
Update on the Black Farmer Lawsuit Against the USDA
Case is now in the "Notice" Phase
ATLANTA... On May 13, 2011 Judge Paul Friedman in the US District Court issued an order to preliminarily approve the second phase of the Black farmer lawsuit against the U.S. Department of Agriculture, known as the Pigford II Settlement. This meant that the class action case could enter into the notice phase, which is where we are now. Judge Friedman also scheduled a "fairness hearing" for Pigford II on September 1, 2011. Not long after the hearing, we expect to move into the 180 day period for claims submissions.
Congress has approved $1.25 billion for this Settlement. It is expected that no monies for successful claimants will be distributed until, perhaps, sometime in late 2012. The reason for the delay in the distribution is that the amount of the awards for successful claimants cannot be determined until it is known how many total claimants are successful.
The Settlement is only for those persons who previously filed a petition to participate in the settlement of the original Pigford case after the original claim deadline in that case, which was October 12, 1999, and were denied the opportunity to participate.
Below is information that might be helpful to those of you interested in following the specifics of the case.
1) Class Definition for Pigford II from the Settlement
Class is defined as "all individuals:
(1) who submitted late-filing requests under Section 5(g) of the Pigford v. Glickman Consent Decree on or after October 13, 1999 and on or before June 18, 2008; but
(2) who have not obtained a determination on the merits of their discrimination complaints, as defined by Section 1(h) of the Consent Decree."
Please note that we were told originally that the class would be those who filed a petition late - up to the deadline of September 15, 2000 (there are some 58,000 in this group). The "late-late" filers, who filed after September 15, 2000 and up to June 18, 2008, are a separate group and there was uncertainty what would happen with them. In the Settlement they were included, although it is possible that they will receive a lower award than the class members who filed earlier. Whether these "late-late" filers receive the same amount as the earlier filers will not be known until the total number of successful claimants is determined.
The entire settlement can be found here at Black Farmer Settlement Agreement (PDF).
(2) Notice Phase
In this first phase of the notice, a postcard has gone to all those in Section 5(g) referred to above. It includes a toll free number for potential claimants to call which is 877 810 8110. This is the phone number for the claims administrator. By calling the 877 phone number individuals can receive information about the lawsuit and the availability of Class Counsel to assist potential claimants in filing claims, as well as sign up to receive the claims package. Information can also be found on the website at www.blackfarmercase.com.
This extensive notice around the country to late filers is being implemented by Kinsella Media. Their plan was approved by the court. The plan includes postcards to potential claimants; notices in newspapers; notices in magazines, such as Jet, and agriculture publications; public service announcements on radio stations, etc.
(3) Filing claims
As mentioned, we are not yet at the stage where individuals can file a claim in the lawsuit. The claims process will not begin until Judge Friedman approves the settlement, which we expect to take place sometime in September.
Once the judge approves the settlement there will be a 180 day period for individuals to file their claim.
It should be noted that class counsel plans to conduct a test run of the claims process this summer before the fairness hearing, involving several hundred claimants in Mississippi and Alabama. Claimants who are not contacted by class counsel to participate in this test run should not be concerned, because the actual claims process will not begin until early September or later. Also, there is no disadvantage to filing later than someone else, since no one will receive an award under the Settlement until all claims have been decided.
(4) Time Line
· A few months ago the attorneys in Pigford II submitted the settlement to Judge Paul Friedman in the US District Court. It included certain changes required by Congress as a condition for the $1.25 billion of funding that was approved.
· On May 13, 2011, Judge Paul Friedman”preliminarily" approved the settlement he received from the attorneys. This meant that the "notice" phase of the lawsuit could begin.
· September 1, 2011 - Judge Paul Friedman will hold the "Fairness Hearing" in his court in Washington DC to hear from anyone who wants to object to or comment on the Settlement.
· After Judge Friedman approves the settlement the 180 day (6 months) period for filing claims begins.
· No monies will go to claimants who prevail until the latter part of 2012 or perhaps later.
(Federation of Southern Cooperatives/Land Assistance Fund)