Southern AgCredit, a Rural Cooperative Lender, Announces Seven Promotions

Southern AgCredit recently promoted seven associates. 

Ted Murkerson was promoted to chief strategy officer.  He began his Farm Credit career in 1992 working for Northwest Florida Farm Credit and later joined Southwest Georgia Farm Credit, both within the AgFirst District. He was formerly a relationship manager at Farm Credit Bank of Texas and joined Southern AgCredit in 2008 where he was chief credit officer for 16 years.  Murkerson served on the Farm Credit Chief Credit Officer Workgroup as well as several FCC Services steering committees. He is a graduate of Troy State University with bachelor’s and master’s degrees in business administration and lives in Jackson, Mississippi.

Brent Barry was promoted to chief credit officer.  Barry holds a bachelor’s degree in forest management from Mississippi State University. He joined Southern AgCredit as a loan officer in May 2003.  Since then, he has served the Association as Hattiesburg’s branch manager, regional vice president and regional president.  He currently resides in Flora, Mississippi with his wife, Dana, and their 3 children.  

Clayton Davis was promoted to vice president of operations.  Davis earned a bachelor’s degree in business administration from Mississippi State University.  He joined Southern AgCredit in January 2006 as a loan officer trainee.  Davis was promoted to loan officer and then branch manager of the Greenville branch of Southern AgCredit before becoming a regional vice president then regional president, his most recent position at Southern AgCredit.  Davis lives in Avon, Mississippi with his wife, Kelli, and their 3 children.    

Justin Morris was promoted to regional president.  Morris began his Farm Credit career working for the Farm Credit Administration as a bank examiner.  In 2011, he joined Southern AgCredit as branch manager of the Shreveport branch office and was later promoted to senior vice president of lending. He holds a bachelor of science degree from Southern Arkansas University and master of science degree from the University of Arkansas. He is a member of numerous organizations including Farm Bureau, Ducks Unlimited, National Wild Turkey Federation, the Louisiana Cattlemen’s Association, the Louisiana Cotton and Grain Association, and the Shreveport Club. He currently serves on the board of directors for the Louisiana Council of Farmer Cooperatives, Caddo Parish 4-H Foundation, and the Cypress Bayou Corporation. He and his family reside in Benton, Louisiana.

Pate DeMuth was promoted to vice president/relationship manager.  He joined Southern AgCredit in 2018 as a loan officer in the Ridgeland branch office. DeMuth holds a bachelor’s degree in agricultural engineering, technology, and business as well as a master’s degree in agribusiness management from Mississippi State University.  He and his wife, Nora Grace, live in Raymond with their daughter.

Nathan Taylor was promoted to branch manager of the Gulfport branch office.  He was a summer intern at Southern AgCredit in 2014 and was hired as a relationship manager in the Brookhaven branch office in August 2016. He transferred to the Gulfport branch in January of 2021. He holds a bachelor of science in business administration and a master of business administration from The University of Southern Mississippi.  He is a member of Coast Young Professionals, serves as a board member for the Harrison/Hancock County Forestry and Wildlife Association, and as a Deputy Commissioner for the Harrison County Soil and Water Conservation District.  Taylor, a McComb native, now resides in Gulfport with his wife, Mindy, and their two children. 

Jeff Williams was appointed to legislative officer.  He also serves the Association as general counsel in the Ridgeland, Mississippi, administrative office. Before joining Southern AgCredit, he was a partner at a local law firm, Hubbard, Mitchell, Williams & Strain, which he helped start. Williams also is a lieutenant colonel in the Mississippi Air National Guard and a veteran of the U.S. Air Force and Air Force Reserves. He received his Juris Doctor, cum laude, from the University of Mississippi and his bachelor’s degree from the U.S. Air Force Academy. A Jackson native, he now resides in Brandon, Mississippi.

Southern AgCredit Stockholders Re-Elect Directors Bell and Eubanks

Stockholders of Southern AgCredit recently re-elected Bryan “Scott” Bell of Lena, Mississippi, and Charles “Allen” Eubanks of Lucedale, Mississippi, to the lending cooperative’s board of directors. They will each serve three-year terms.

Bell is the owner/operator of Bell Livestock, Inc., and serves on the board of directors of Bell Farms, Inc.  Both corporations are cattle, poultry, and row crop operations in Scott and Leake counties, Mississippi. Bell is a contract grower with Koch Foods of Mississippi and has been in farming for over 25 years.  He serves on the Farm Credit Council, Tenth District Stockholder’s Advisory Committee, Farm Credit Bank of Texas’ Tenth District Farm Credit Council and is also an alderman for the town of Lena, Mississippi. He graduated from Mississippi State University with a degree in poultry science.

Eubanks is the owner/operator of Eubanks Produce, Inc., Melon Acres, LLC, Eubanks Land Company, LLC, Double AJ Packers, LLC, Charlie’s U-Pik, LLC and Eubanks Family Ranch.  He started Eubanks Produce, Inc. in 1992 upon graduation from Mississippi State University, where he majored in agribusiness. He is on the board of directors of George County Co-op and the Gulf Coast Watermelon Association.

Southern AgCredit’s 2025 Nominating Committee consists of the following stockholders: Timothy Clements, Delta Region; Alan Ezelle, Central Region; Kati Crager, Southern Region; Thomas Wade and J. Blake McCartney, Louisiana Region.          

“We’re grateful to have tenured directors at Southern AgCredit who truly care about the success of our Association and the success of agriculture in Mississippi and Louisiana.  Scott and Allen have done an excellent job of serving the members that they represent, and I am excited to continue our working relationship for another three years,” said Phillip Morgan, Southern AgCredit chief executive officer.

The complete Southern AgCredit 10-member board includes Mississippi directors Reggie Allen of Brookhaven, Bryan “Scott” Bell of Lena, Lonnie “Gene” Boykin of Rolling Fork, Steven “Steve” Dockens of Ocean Springs, Charles “Allen” Eubanks of Lucedale, Jonathan Hollingshead of Flora, Larry W. Killebrew of Lexington, and Kevin Rhodes of Pelahatchie; and Louisiana directors Loyd Dodson of Haughton and John “Paul” Johns, Jr. of Jonesboro. 

Southern AgCredit Welcomes Three Summer Interns

Southern AgCredit recently hired three summer interns: Cole Harris, Tori Hinshaw and Brock Tullos.  These students will work an 8-week rotation through the rural lending cooperative which began June 6 and will conclude on July 28.  They will spend time working in Southern AgCredit branches and different departments at the Ridgeland administrative office.

Cole Harris is from Jackson, Mississippi. He is currently a senior at Jackson State University majoring in business management with a concentration in human resources. He’s a student leader on his campus as he has served as a member of JSU Royal Court, Men of Excellence, and a current active member of Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity, Incorporated.      

Tori Hinshaw was raised on a small farm in Aylett, Virginia.  She is a senior agribusiness management major at Mississippi State and will graduate in December 2024. She enjoys rodeo and livestock management. 

Brock Tullos is from Pelahatchie, Mississippi.  He is a senior at Mississippi State and is majoring in agriculture business with a minor in agronomy.  In his spare time, he enjoys hunting and fishing.

Cole Harris – Jackson State University
Tori Hinshaw – Mississippi State University
Brock Tullos – Mississippi State University

Whitney Watts Joins Southern AgCredit as Insurance Representative

Southern AgCredit recently hired Whitney Watts as an insurance representative. 

Watts is from Wesson, Mississippi where she grew up showing and judging livestock.  She and her family run a cow-calf operation. 

Watts recently graduated from Kansas State University with a bachelor’s degree in agricultural business.  Watts was a member of Kansas State’s Collegiate Livestock Judging Team, Meat Evaluation Team, and National Agri-Marketing Association and Sales Team.  She was an intern at Southern AgCredit during the summer of 2023.

Southern AgCredit Promotes Two Associates

Southern AgCredit recently promoted Pam Vitteck to business systems administrator I and Shera Sivley to business administrator II. 

Vitteck holds a bachelor’s degree from the University of Southern Mississippi and a Master of Business Management from the University of Maryland Global Campus. She is also a proud veteran of the US Navy. Vitteck joined Southern AgCredit in 2013 as a loan administrator.

Sivley earned a bachelor’s degree in accounting from Delta State University and a Master of Business Administration degree from the University of Phoenix. Before joining Southern AgCredit in 2008 as a credit analyst, Sivley worked at a commercial bank for 15 years. 

Southern AgCredit Awards $33,000 in Scholarships to Local Students

The following high school and college students received agriculture scholarships of varying amounts to use in continuing their education in agrigulture.

Jimmie Dick Carter Scholarship ($2500) must attend MSU and major in Ag related field
Georgia Neill                      McCarley, MS

Emery Skelton Scholarship ($2500) must attend MSU and major in Ag related field – preference to be given in the Delta
Jacob Rutherford             Rolling Fork, MS      

Grand Achievement Recipients ($1000) must attend MS/LA based institution and major in Ag related field
Cole Tadlock                     Decatur, MS
Emma Rutherford            Rolling Fork, MS
Francesca Pham                Conehatta, MS 
Hannah Jones                    Flora, MS
Jessica Fulgham                Itta Bena, MS
Kyle Middleton                 Magnolia, MS
Madison Eickhoff             Philadelphia, MS
Max Murrell                       Madison, MS
Sabra Hubbard                  Mount Olive, MS
Victoria Evans                    Lake, MS             

High School Recipients ($1000) any college of their choice/any field of study
Alexis Smyly                       Hollandale, MS
Ashby Hefner                    Hazlehurst, MS
Breelynn Cloy                    Wesson, MS
Carli McCurdy                    Poplarville, MS
Colin Edwards                    Waynesboro, MS
Emily Fulgham                   Itta Bena, MS
Grace Windham                Vicksburg, MS
Hallie Hamlin                     Rolling Fork, MS
Jase Fratesi                         Leland, MS
Jenna Flint                          Union, MS
John Boykin                       Rolling Fork, MS
Julia Mason                        Madison, MS
Laken Bryant                      New Hebron, MS
Mary Sartin                        Pelahatchie, MS
Mary Hutlas                       Shreveport, LA
Mason McCallum             Tylertown, MS
Walter Gibbes, IV             Summit, MS
Wyatt Gautreau                 Tylertown, MS

Southern AgCredit’s Annual Stockholders’ Meeting

You are cordially invited to attend the Annual Stockholders’ Meeting of Southern AgCredit which will be held:

Tuesday, May 7th, 2024
Embassy Suites
200 Township Place
Ridgeland, MS 39157
Registration: 2:30 p.m. – 3:00 p.m.
Business Meeting: 3:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m.

Customer Appreciation Dinner

5:00 p.m. – 7:00 p.m.
Southern AgCredit
306 Commerce Center Drive
Ridgeland, MS 39157

RSVP

Please call us toll free at (800) 449-5742 or email Madeline.Twilbeck@SouthernAgCredit.com by April 30th and let us know if you can make it.

Southern AgCredit Hires New Staff Member in Hattiesburg Branch Office

Southern AgCredit recently hired Brittney Cooper as a customer service representative in its Hattiesburg branch office.

Cooper graduated from Jones College.  She brings experience in banking, entrepreneurship, and agriculture.  Cooper is also a customer-owner at Southern AgCredit. 

Cooper and her husband, Eric, have two children and live on their farm in Sumrall, Mississippi.     

Southern AgCredit Hires Customer Service Representative in Gulfport 

Southern AgCredit, a rural lending cooperative, recently hired Dru Brakefield as a customer service representative in its Gulfport, Mississippi branch office.  

Brakefield attended Pearl River Community College and plans to pursue a degree in communications. Before joining Southern AgCredit, she worked at Palmetto Veterinary Medicine and Surgery for four years.

A native of McConnells, South Carolina, Brakefield now lives in Carriere, Mississippi. 

Southern AgCredit Contributes to Wildfire Relief Efforts for Texas Panhandle

In response to recent devastating wildfire outbreaks impacting much of the Texas Panhandle and parts of Oklahoma, Southern AgCredit along with several Farm Credit System organizations have joined forces to contribute funds to support extensive recovery and relief efforts.

Several wildfires across the region, including the Smokehouse Creek Fire — the largest wildfire ever recorded in Texas — have burned nearly 1.3 million acres north of Amarillo. Two people have lost their lives and many others have been displaced from their homes. While the full scope of damage will take time to assess, losses include livestock, homes and other structures, equipment, fencing, fodder and infrastructure.

To support agricultural producers and communities stricken by the deadly fires, 10 Texas Farm Credit District lending cooperatives, along with Farm Credit Bank of Texas, CoBank, Farmer Mac and other System organizations, have pledged a combined $380,000 for fire relief efforts. Contributors include: AgTexas Farm Credit Services, AgTrust Farm Credit, Alabama Ag Credit, Capital Farm Credit, Central Texas Farm Credit, Heritage Land Bank, Mississippi Land Bank, Plains Land Bank, Southern AgCredit, Texas Farm Credit, American AgCredit, Farm Credit Services of America and Farm Credit Mid-America.

Pledges will benefit the Texas and Southwestern Cattle Raisers Association Disaster Relief Fund and county-level efforts compiled by Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service.


Southern AgCredit Returns Record $12.4 Million in Cash Patronage to Customer-Owners 

The board of directors at Southern AgCredit, a rural lending cooperative, returned a record-breaking $12.4 million in cash patronage to its customer-owners in late February.         

The customer-owned cooperative shares its surplus earnings with borrowers once capital requirements for future lending are met. The patronage dividend returned to customers has effectively reduced the interest rate paid by each borrower, on average, by 1 percentage point.

“Patronage is a substantial benefit of being a customer-owner at Southern AgCredit,” said Scott Bell, Southern AgCredit’s board chairman. “The success of our co-op translates to the success of our borrowers and the board is proud to put money back into the pockets of the customer-owners we serve.”

Southern AgCredit Promotes Brooks Hall to Ruston Branch Manager

Southern AgCredit recently promoted Brooks Hall to branch manager of the Ruston branch office. 

Hall joined Southern AgCredit in 2021 as a loan officer in its branch office in Brookhaven, Mississippi. He started his career as an examiner in the Mississippi Department of Banking and Consumer Finance, a position he held for three years. Then Hall worked as a lender at Bank of Brookhaven for 8.5 years before joining Southern AgCredit. He attended Copiah-Lincoln Community College and earned a bachelor’s degree in business administration from Mississippi State University.

He and his wife, Summer have one daughter and are expecting their second daughter in March.  The Hall family is in the process of relocating to Ruston and plan to be there by the end of April 2024.       

Southern AgCredit Promotes Joseph Linton to Senior Credit Administrator

Southern AgCredit, a rural lending cooperative, recently promoted Joseph Linton to senior credit administrator.    

Linton joined Southern AgCredit in November 2013 as a credit analyst, then he was promoted to senior credit analyst in 2018. Before joining Southern AgCredit, he was an economic analyst with the Strategic Biomass Solutions program at Innovate Mississippi. 

Linton holds a bachelor’s degree in agricultural engineering technology and business and a master’s degree in agricultural economics, both from Mississippi State University. 

He and his wife, Regan, have one daughter and reside in Hattiesburg.        

Southern AgCredit Supports Children’s of Mississippi Center for Cancer and Blood Disorders

Southern AgCredit held the Jingle Bell Jog in December 2023. The race featured a half marathon, 10K, 5K and Kids Run. It started and ended at our new headquarters in Ridgeland, Mississippi. Race proceeds benefitted Children’s of Mississippi Center for Cancer and Blood Disorders. Today, Southern AgCredit presented Children’s of Mississippi with a check for $40,000!

Always do business with a lender that keeps things local! At Southern AgCredit, we are proud to support the children of Mississippi who need it most.

Jingle Bell Jog – turn by turn directions for all races

Jingle Bell Jog Turn By Turn 5k, 10k, Half Marathon
*Subject to change*

5K and 10K:

Leave Southern AgCredit’s parking lot onto E Parkway Place
Turn left on Highland Colony Parkway traveling south
Go halfway through the roundabout and take a right onto the Multi-purpose Trail (MPT)
MPT at Greenwood Crossing is 5K turn around and water station located here. 5k turns around and goes back on the same course.  *Portable toilet is available here.*
10k stays straight on MPT.
MPT at Patterson Crossing is 10K turn around and goes back on the same course. Water station located here.
Finish at Southern AgCredit. (You will pass the first entrance of Southern AgCredit and enter the second entrance).

Half Marathon:

Leave Southern AgCredit’s parking lot onto E Parkway Place.
Turn left on Highland Colony Parkway traveling south.
Turn left on Steed Road traveling east.
Cross over East and West Frontage Roads traveling east.
Turn right at Sunnybrook Road traveling south.
Cross over West Jackson Street and make a right onto MPT.
Exit MPT onto Greenwood Crossing turning left headed south. Water station available here.
Take left to Old Agency Pkwy.
Take right onto Brame Road.
Take right onto Highland Colony Pkwy (running in left lane).
Water station available here Location: Median across from Ridgeland Fire Station.
Take left onto Marketridge Dr.
Take right onto Cole Rd.
Take right onto Highland Colony (running in left lane).
Take left on Highland Park Blvd / Wrenfield Way in Wrenfield Subdivision.
Take right on Old Agency.
Take left onto Patterson’s Crossing (hit waterstation again) / GU available here.
Take right onto MPT.
Take left onto Greenwood Crossing to exit MPT.
Take left onto Old Agency Road – then Old Agency becomes Richardson Road.
Water station available here Location: Corner of Richardson Road and Steed Road.
Turn right onto Steed Road.
Take left on South Lake Ave.
Right on Colony Park Blvd.
Right on Commerce Center Blvd.
Left to turn into first entrance and finish at Southern AgCredit.

Southern AgCredit Hires Loan Administrator in Ruston Branch Office

Southern AgCredit, a rural lending cooperative, recently hired Morgan Ritter as loan administrator in its Ruston branch office.

Ritter holds a bachelor’s degree in finance from Louisiana Tech University.  She began her career in the banking industry in 2014.  Ritter is married to her husband, Paul, and together they have one daughter, Harper. 

Rural Lending Co-op Hires Customer Service Representative in Hattiesburg  

Southern AgCredit recently hired Haley Herring as a customer service representative in its Hattiesburg branch office. 

Herring was raised on a family-owned and operated cattle farm in Perry County, Mississippi.  She is a graduate of Pearl River Community College and holds an associate degree in office systems technology.  Herring started her career in the accounting and legal fields and has been a real estate paralegal for the past three years. 

Southern AgCredit is a full-service co-op lender that specializes in financing rural land and agricultural operations in Mississippi and Louisiana. It is a member of the nationwide Farm Credit System, the nation’s largest source of loans for agriculture, agribusiness, rural real estate and country homes. For more information, visit www.southernagcredit.com.

Director Appointed to Southern AgCredit Board

The board of directors of Southern AgCredit recently appointed Jonathan Hollingshead of Flora, Mississippi, to the lending cooperative’s board.  Hollingshead will serve a three-year term.

Hollingshead is the CEO and sole owner of Business Communications, Inc. (BCI).  BCI is a technology and security firm headquartered in Ridgeland, Mississippi. 

Southern AgCredit’s Board consists of eight stockholder-elected board members and two director-appointed board members based on their individual expertise.  The board’s governance committee completed an extensive search and interview process for the specific role. 

“Jonathan will make a great addition to Southern AgCredit’s Board of Directors,”  said Phillip Morgan, Southern AgCredit CEO.  “His expertise in technology and cybersecurity will bring a special enhancement to our board oversight and ultimately the continued success of Southern AgCredit.”

Southern AgCredit’s Board also includes Reggie Allen of Brookhaven, Mississippi; Scott Bell of Lena, Mississippi; Gene Boykin of Rolling Fork, Mississippi; Steve Dockens of Ocean Springs, Mississippi; Loyd Dodson of Haughton, Louisiana; Allen Eubanks of Lucedale, Mississippi; Larry W. Killebrew of Lexington, Mississippi; John “Paul” Johns, Jr. of Jonesboro, Louisiana; and Kevin Rhodes of Pelahatchie, Mississippi. 

Southern AgCredit Hires Loan Administrator in Ruston    

Southern AgCredit recently hired MaKayla Sadler as a loan administrator in its Ruston branch office. 

Sadler graduated from West Monroe High School and attended the University of Louisiana at Monroe.  She began her professional career with BAFS in Monroe where she was a commercial loan assistant who assisted underwriting staff with the loan origination process.  Sadler also has previous experience in retail sales, marketing and human resources.    

Southern AgCredit is a member of the Farm Credit System, a nationwide network of lending cooperatives that finance agriculture, agribusiness, rural real estate and country homes. For more information, visit www.southernagcredit.com.

Director Elected to Southern AgCredit Board

Loyd Dodson of Southern AgCredit Board

Stockholders of Southern AgCredit recently elected Loyd Dodson of Haughton, Louisiana, to the lending cooperative’s board of directors. He replaces retired director Thomas C. “T.C.” Hall of Gloster, Louisiana.  Dodson will serve a three-year term.

Dodson is the owner and operator of Dodson Ranch, a cow-calf and hay operation that has been in his family since 1872. Additionally, he is the co-owner of a commercial rental property company and storage facility. Dodson is married and has one daughter.

Southern AgCredit’s Nominating Committee consists of the following: Tim Clements, Delta Region; Alan Ezelle, Central Region; Kati Krager, Southern Region; J. Blake McCartney and Thomas Wade, Louisiana Region.

“We are thankful to have such a talented group of individuals to serve as directors.  We welcome Loyd to this group, and I look forward to working alongside him as we serve our borrower-owners,” said Phillip Morgan, chief executive officer.

The Southern AgCredit board also includes Reggie Allen of Brookhaven, Mississippi; Scott Bell of Lena, Mississippi; Gene Boykin of Rolling Fork, Mississippi; Steve Dockens of Ocean Springs, Mississippi; Allen Eubanks of Lucedale, Mississippi; Larry W. Killebrew of Lexington, Mississippi; John “Paul” Johns, Jr. of Jonesboro, Louisiana; and Kevin Rhodes of Pelahatchie, Mississippi. 

Southern AgCredit Hires New Office Administrator in Greenville Branch Office

Southern AgCredit recently hired Lenoir Andrus as an office administrator in its Greenville branch office.

new office administrator in Greenville

Andrus was previously a loan assistant at a local commercial bank in Greenville.  Prior to that, she was a commercial and consumer loan assistant in Belzoni. 

Andrus is a Greenville native and comes from a farming family.  She attended the University of Mississippi.  Andrus resides in Greenville with her son.

Southern AgCredit Welcomes Three Summer Interns

Southern AgCredit recently hired three summer interns: Hayden Kilgore, Coltin Taylor and Whitney Watts. These students will work an 8-week rotation through the rural lending cooperative beginning June 5 and concluding July 28.  They will spend time working in Southern AgCredit branches as well as in different departments at the Ridgeland administrative office.

summer intern Hayden Kilgore

Hayden Kilgore is from Taylorsville, Mississippi.  Kilgore spent the past two years at Jones College. He will be transferring to Mississippi State University in the fall to pursue a degree in poultry science.

summer intern Coltin Taylor

Coltin Taylor is a Buckatunna, Mississippi native.  He recently graduated from East Central Community College with an associate degree in business administration and art.  He will attend the University of Southern Mississippi this fall to pursue a degree in business administration. 

summer intern Whitney Watts

Whitney Watts is from Wesson, Mississippi where she grew up showing and judging livestock.  She and her family run a cow-calf operation as well as feeder cattle.  Watts is a senior at Kansas State University and pursuing a bachelor’s degree in agricultural business.  She is a member of Kansas State’s Collegiate Livestock Judging Team and Meat Evaluation Team.

Rural Lending Co-op Hires New Employee in Ruston

new rural lending employee in Ruston

Southern AgCredit, a rural lending cooperative, recently hired Walker Burchfield as a loan officer in its Ruston, Louisiana branch office.    

Burchfield holds a business management degree and is currently pursuing a master’s degree in business administration from Louisiana Tech.    

A native of Clinton, Mississippi, Burchfield was a baseball player at Hinds Community College, Tulane University and Louisiana Tech. 

Southern AgCredit Hires Alicia Ledbetter as Human Resource Manager

Southern AgCredit Human Resource Manager

Alicia Ledbetter joins Southern AgCredit as Human Resource Manager in its Ridgeland administrative office.  Ledbetter holds an associate’s degree from Hinds Community College.  She comes to Southern AgCredit with 8 years of human resource experience and earned her SHRM-CP in June 2020.  She is a member of the Society of Human Resource Management and the Capital Area Human Resource Association.  She is also a graduate of the University of Mississippi School of Banking. 

Ledbetter is a native of Terry, Mississippi, and now resides in Vaughan with her husband, Kinch and their two daughters.  She was most recently an Assistant Vice President of HR with a commercial bank. 

Southern AgCredit CEO Phillip Morgan Testifies Before U.S. Senate in Support of the 2023 Farm Bill

CEO testifies in support of farm bill

Phillip Morgan, President and Chief Executive Officer of Southern AgCredit, a rural lender serving Mississippi and Louisiana, recently testified before the U.S. Senate Subcommittee hearing on Commodity Programs, Credit, and Crop Insurance in support of a 2023 Farm Bill.

Cindy Hyde-Smith (R-Miss), ranking member of the Commodities, Risk Management, and Trade Subcommittee, helped lead the two-part hearing. Part One of the hearing was earlier last week, focusing on the perspective of ag producers and the need for a farm safety net.  Part Two of the hearing, held last Thursday, featured a panel of rural lenders, crop insurance agents and providers. Both hearings were conducted in part to assist the Senate Agriculture Committee as it works on the new five-year farm bill. The 2018 Farm Bill expires on Sept. 30, 2023.

Morgan provided testimony on behalf of the Farm Credit Council in support of a strong farm bill. 

“Agricultural producers in Mississippi and Louisiana need a strong farm bill, including a robust farm safety net, to manage the ongoing risks presented by weather, markets, supply chain pressures, rising input prices and declining profit margins,” said Morgan. 

For complete coverage of the hearing and to download Morgan’s testimony, visit https://www.agriculture.senate.gov/hearings

Southern AgCredit Awards $23,000 in Ag Scholarships to Mississippi and Louisiana Students

Southern AgCredit, a rural financing cooperative, is pleased to announce its 2023 scholarship recipients. The co-op awarded a total of $23,000 in ag scholarships to 20 students.   

To qualify, each applicant had to be a current Southern AgCredit borrower, or a current borrower’s child, grandchild or spouse. Selection criteria included academics, leadership, extracurricular activities and an essay by the student.

A total of 18 students each received a $1,000 scholarship.

In addition, Southern AgCredit awarded two recipients with $2,500 scholarships. These special ag scholarships honor two former longtime Southern AgCredit board members — Jimmie Dick Carter and Emery Skelton. They are awarded to deserving students who attend or are planning to attend Mississippi State University and major in agriculture or a related field.

Following are the recipients and the colleges they plan to attend or are currently attending.  

$2500 – Jimmie Dick Carter Scholarship
Emma Grace Koger
Indianola, Mississippi
Mississippi State University

$2500 – Emery Skelton Scholarship
Georgia Neil
McCarley, Mississippi
Mississippi State University

$1000 – Scholarship recipients
Allison Claire Amis
Conehatta, Mississippi
East Central Community College

Aquinnah Claire Boerner
Brookhaven, Mississippi
University of Mississippi

Kerri S. Champagne
New Hebron, Mississippi
Colorado Christian University

Jaylynn Cloy
Wesson, Mississippi
Copiah Lincoln Community College  

Amy Grace Estes
Wesson, Mississippi
Mississippi State University

Gianna Rose Galdino
Summit, Mississippi
Mississippi State University

Tate William Galey
Greenwood, Mississippi
Mississippi State University

Tristen Herrington
Lucedale, Mississippi
Mississippi State University

Sabra Hubbard
Mt. Olive, Mississippi
Mississippi State University

Jackson Parke Lewis
Natchez, Mississippi
Mississippi State University

Luke McKenzie
Clinton, Mississippi
Hinds Community College

Kyle S. Middleton
Magnolia, Mississippi
Mississippi State University

Max Murrell
Madison, Mississippi
Mississippi State University

Emma Jane Reeves
Simsboro, Louisiana
Louisiana Tech University

Bella Parker Roberts
Winona, Mississippi
Holmes Community College

Keleigh Jo Stigall
Anguilla, Mississippi
Mississippi Delta Community College

Madalyn Stringer
Bay Springs, Mississippi
Mississippi State University

Beau Williams
Osyka, Mississippi
Southwest Mississippi Community College

Congratulations to all of our recipients and we wish you the best of luck!

Southern AgCredit Provides Meals in Tornado-Stricken Rolling Fork, Mississippi

On Friday, March 24, 2023, tornadoes ripped through a small farming community in the Mississippi delta. Rolling Fork, a town in our servicing territory, was devastated.

Saturday morning, the team at Southern AgCredit began making plans to provide relief to those affected by the deadly storms. They planned to provide hot meals to locals, first responders, or whoever needed them. They pulled the large Southern AgCredit grill to Rolling Fork and cooked hamburgers, hot dogs, or chicken with side items and cold drinks.

This relief effort went on for 11 days, and the team served approximately 2,750 hot meals to those who needed them.

Southern AgCredit would like to thank Bobbie and Angie Casavechia, Tripp Cain with Taylor Rental and First South Farm Credit for helping in this relief effort.

Rolling Fork tornado relief effort

Moseley Meadows

Benton and Kate Moseley are the owners and operators of Moseley Meadows, an agricultural-focused, family-friendly, agritourism farm in Madison County, Mississippi. The farm features a pumpkin patch, hayride, petting zoo, hay castles, corn pit, and other farm-related attractions.  Currently, they are open every weekend in the month of October, and their operation has become quite a popular place for families in the area to visit.

Benton grew up working on his family’s Christmas tree farm, Santa’s Choice, in Florence. The tree farm was a community favorite, and Benton attributes his current success to learning the importance of hard work at an early age. 

“I loved working on the Christmas tree farm. When I was 15 years old, my family expanded the farm, and I was able to help them run the operation”, said Benton. “It’s been my lifelong dream to own my own land and run an operation of my own.” 

Benton and Kate began Moseley Meadows in Florence and operated the farm on rented land. “We really wanted ownership of the land and also more of it to add more attractions”, said Kate. “Unfortunately, we couldn’t find a piece of land in Florence that would suit our goals for Moseley Meadows, so we started looking at other locations.” 

The Moseleys found the perfect farm in Madison County and quickly jumped on the opportunity of owning it. 

“There were other financing options, but we were not interested in any other lender besides Southern AgCredit,” said Kate. “It just made sense because Southern AgCredit understands agricultural financing, so it was a natural fit with our business”. 

Benton knew Pate DeMuth, their loan officer at Southern AgCredit, through prior connections and reached out to Pate when they found the land that they wanted to purchase. “Pate has an ag background, and he understood our business model and our unique financing needs. He’s been amazing to work with,” said Benton. 

The Moseleys have lofty goals and aspirations for Moseley Meadows. Their current focus is during the fall when pumpkins are in season. However, they plan to add other activities that can be enjoyed year-round. 

“We want to offer more family-oriented, fun, safe, community events like farm-to-table dinners, farmers markets, and events tailored to educating the younger generation on how to grow food and fiber,” said Benton. “Also, I would love to have Christmas trees at the farm during December.”

Kate’s favorite part of the whole aspect is getting to watch Benton’s dreams and goals become a reality.  She also gets to take part in something that brings families together. Not just families in their local community, but their own as well. 

“When it’s pumpkin season, we all pitch in to help run the farm”, said Kate. “My parents are out on the farm working alongside us, and my sister is helping by running our social media. Benton’s family helps us, too. I love that this farm has brought our families so much closer.”

Benton and Kate have been borrower-owners of Southern AgCredit since buying their Madison County farm in May of 2022.