Cindy Hyde-Smith Guest Speaker at FFA Banquet
LOYD STAR – “I’m an ole Lawrence County girl, so this area is my home”, said Cindy Hyde-Smith who now lives in Brookhaven. Hyde-Smith was recently elected as Commissioner of Agriculture for the State of Mississippi. Loyd Star Future Farmers of America (FFA) held their banquet on Tuesday night (April 24th) in the school’s cafetorium. While guests ‘chowed down’ on a delicious meal, Loyd Star members and alumni conversed with one another and received a chance to hear Cindy Hyde-Smith tell a few stories.
“The Department of Agriculture does a lot that people do not even realize”, said Hyde-Smith and the first woman to be elected to a statewide position in Mississippi. Cindy Hyde went on describe some of the jobs that the Department of Agriculture performs on a daily basis. “We calibrate all of the fuel pumps in the state. This gives you, the consumer, a peace of mind knowing you’re getting the right amount that you’re paying for.” Unexpectedly, the audience probably didn’t know the Department of Agriculture has their own investigative unit.
Cindy Hyde-Smith went on to describe an event that took place right here in Brookhaven. “I remember one night a man came in Lincoln County’s livestock barn to sell cattle and another gentlemen said the cattle was stolen. So, we sent one of our guys there and waiting for the man to come pick up his check. Now, this guy was huge and the investigator a lot smaller. I thought to myself, how is this investigator going to match up?” The crowd laughed. “Well, the guy came in and picked up his check and that investigator had him against the wall in handcuffs before I knew it!”.
After concluding the story, Cindy Hyde gave a few facts, including that Mississippi’s recovery percentage rate is roughly 35 percent above the national average. “With only 9 investigators throughout the state, that’s speaks well for Mississippi. Our guys work really hard and we’re proud of them”, said Hyde-Smith.
“When people drive up to get that hamburger, people don’t realize what it takes to make all of that happen.” said Hyde-Smith. “I call it From The Gate To The Plate”, referencing raising cattle on the farm to providing the same product to restaurants for consumer consumption. Cindy Hyde-Smith also promoted agri-tourism in her speech. “Some of you may have been to a corn maze. Well, I promoted and the governor signed into law that if you want to promote an agri-tourism business on your farm, then you can’t be sued if something bad happens that is natural. Horses will kick, of course and that is the kind of legal protection we want to provide”, she said.
“We operate the state fairgrounds in Jackson and even the Coliseum. We now have the ability, through legislature, to place a name on the Coliseum to receive private funds for enhancing the coliseum. Everyone knows the Mercedes-Benz Superdome in New Orleans. Well, there’s no reason why Mississippi can’t do the same thing. These private dollars will help repair and update the coliseum without having to tax Mississippians. The coliseum is Mississippi’s first impression and when cattle and horse owners from all over the nation come to show their animals, we want to give them a great experience” Hyde-Smith said.
Cindy Hyde ended on a personal story and received a gift by the FFA for their appreciation.
During the course of the banquet, students received FFA awards presented by Billy Sumrall (Loyd Star FFA Sponsor) and Mollie Ritchie (Student Teacher).
Discovery Award: Will Watts, Whitney Watts, Claire Posey, Justin Posey, Harrison Hux, Jacob Case, Jeffrey Kramer, Jordan Kramer, Kirstin Scroggs, Lauren Smith.
Presentation of Certificates: Will Watts, Whitney Watts, Lauren Smith, Claire Posey, Justin Posey, Jeffrey Kramer, Jordan Kramer, Harrison Hux, Kirstin Scroggs, Jacob Case.
Chapter Award: Cody Sumrall, Sawyer Cox, Lane Smith, Teri Smith, Jake Case, Ken Keller, JD Sones, Scott Barras, Taylor Callender, Ben Delaney, Cody McCullough, Reason Chandler, Sawyer Watts, Dustin Britt, Samantha Smith, Clifton Barlow, Hunter Hooge.
Greenhand Award: Austin Smith, Caitlin Cade, Colby Cade, Tyler Cade, Haley Britt, Colton Bob Smith, Haleigh Hux, Anna Hollis.
Goat Production: Gold – Teri Smith, Samantha Smith, JD Sones. Silver – Lane Smith, Ken Keller. Bronze – Anna Hollis, Austin Smith, Clifton Barlow, Colton Bob Smith.
Small Animal Production and Care: Gold – Teri Smitt. Silver – Taylor Callender. Bronze – Austin Smith.
Equine Production (2 silver): Haley Britt, Jake Case.
Beef Production: Gold – Cody Sumrall. Silver – Lane Smith.
Poultry Production (Silver): Ken Keller
Swine Production (Bronze): Anna Hollis
Music-Talent (Silver): Taylor Callender
Forage Production (Gold): Cody Sumrall
Landscape Management (Silver): Reason Chandler
Agricultural Sales (Silver): Lane Smith
Small Engine Repair (Silver): Scott Barras
Ag Mechanical Technical (Gold): cody McCullough
Chapter Scholarship: Taylor Callender
Chapter Leadership: Teri Smith
Star Greenhand Award: Colby Cade
FFA Alumni of the Year Award: Lanny Dickey