Thursday, October 6, 2005
FSA assists hurricane victims
Help is available for farmers who suffered agricultural losses as a result of Hurricane Katrina, said Farm Service Agency State Executive Director Mickey L. Black.
We are doing everything we can to help farmers who were affected by the hurricanes, said Black. FSA employees are visiting farms, meeting with producers and teaming up with local officials to ensure that we address the needs of the agricultural community.
Florida FSA employees are an active leader in the Florida State Agricultural Response Team (SART)an interagency, coordinated effort dedicated to effectively communicate and plan for animal and agricultural related emergencies and disasters that affect Florida. That team traveled from Florida to south Mississippi immediately after Hurricane Katrina struck to help relieve FSA employees affected in those areas.
Sharing of information is critical when an emergency situation or disaster occurs, said Black. By working together with state and county agricultural organizations, we have been able to pool our resources to help get the right information and resources to the people who need it.
While some of our offices were without power, we had placed FSA personnel at Disaster Recovery Centers to help answer producer questions, said Black. Farmers need our immediate assistance, and we want to be sure producers are informed of the types of emergency benefits available and how to apply for our programs.
Effective immediately FSA will suspend regular payments coming due through December 31, 2006 for current borrowers who operate in affected counties. Meaning any scheduled loan payment on direct Farm Loan debt due between now and the close of business on December 31, 2006, does not have to be made until January 1, 2007. This does not affect those payments already delinquent or ongoing servicing actions. Interest will continue to accrue on these accounts.
The suspension does not apply to extra payments such as those that are derived from the sale of basic security. Regular payments not made during the suspension period will be due and payable on January 1, 2007.
Any borrower who wishes to continue making regularly scheduled payments to FSA during the period ending January 1, 2007, or needs to apply for restructuring of their loans before January 1, 2007, may do so by contacting their local office.
Producers may also contact local USDA Service Centers to sign-up for technical, financial and earth moving equipment assistance from the Natural Resources Conservation Service as well as technical loan assistance for housing from the USDAs Rural Development.
FSA Emergency Program Summary Fact Sheets are available at all local County FSA Offices and have also been shared with the Federal Emergency Management Agency to help inform Mississippi farmers of available FSA assistance. Additional disaster assistance information is available online at: http://disaster.fsa.usda.gov/fsa.asp.
Whie Oak Festival set for Saturday
Its finally time for the years biggest community event in Byhalia-the 24th annual White Oak Festival hosted by Byhalia Sports Association and the Byhalia Lions Club. The festival will take place on Saturday, October 8 from 10 a.m. until 4:30 p.m. with crafts, displays, food, games, a baby photo contest, a coloring contest for kids through age nine, activities for kids and adults, a motorcycle show sponsored by Steward Mechanical, raffles, live entertainment, and many prizes.
Entertainment includes Boswells ATA Karate, Byhalia High School choir, Henry Jr. High Pompom Squads, Joe Beavers as Elvis, and Playing With Fire. The Byhalia Fire Department will have their fire trucks on display and will hold a raffle featuring paintings by one of their firemen.
Weather permitting, local favorites including Walker Hurdle from Citizens Bank, Kerry Reid from Henry School, local police officers, Amy Burrow of Northeast Miss. Community Clinic, and local students have agreed to take their place in the dunk tank. Northcentral Electric Power Association, Citizens Bank, Byhalia Area Chamber of Commerce, Reeds Star Foods, Menasha Corporation, Byhalia Tire and Battery, Dars Smoke Shop, Byhalia Small Engines, Merchants and Farmers Bank, the sponsors of the festival encourage everyone to attend the festival located on Church Street from the corner of 309 to Senter Street. Admission is free.
A limited supply of White Oak Festival T-shirts is available for sale at the Byhalia Area Chamber of Commerce. Purchase yours in advance to wear to the festival or purchase one at the festival. Please refer questions to Janice at 838-2806, Brandy at 838-8147, or Ginger at 838-4289.
Dont Miss the Kiss a Pig Contest
There are some very nervous folks around Byhalia this week as the deadline draws near for the second annual White Oak Festival Kiss a Pig contest! The seven male and seven female candidates from the Byhalia area who agreed to participate are beginning to wonder what they have gotten themselves into.
Participants in the Gent Kiss a Pig are Terry Rodgers, William Rose, Mayor Scooter Dempsey, Alderman Phil Malone, Alderman Richard Minor, Alderman Mike Hamblin, and Police Chief Mike Novay. There seems to be quite a battle going between last years champion, William Rose, and Police Chief Mike Novay, and in the ladies division it seems that Ms. Shipp, Ms. Cross and Janice Wagg may be leading the race, but all candidates are still in the running so make sure to stop by any of the voting locations.
Participants in the Lady Kiss a Pig are Amy Burrow, Lena Shipp, Anna Marie Adkins, Janice Wagg, Sonya Cross, Lynette Nelson, and Sue Brents. Piggy banks have been placed at various locations around Byhalia including the following: Byhalia Area Chamber of Commerce, CLM Insurance, Town Hall, Northcentral, Dars Smoke Shop and the Hair Parlor. Donations can also be made until 3 p.m. the day of the festival.
The lady and gent whose piggy banks contain the most money at 3 p.m. the day of the festival have agreed to Kiss a Pig yes, a real, live pig.
Stop by one of the above locations and cast your vote by making a contribution in any amount to one or more of the banks. Then be sure and attend the festival on October 8 (rain date October 15) to cheer on the winner. Call Brandy at 838-8147 or Ginger at 838-4289 for further information.
The 24th annual White Oak Festival being held on October 8 will feature our second annual Motorcycle Show with classes for Cruiser-American and Metric, Touring-American and Metric, and Custom-American and Metric. Trophies will be awarded in all classes along with Best of Show. Entry fee is $10.
Registration will be held from 10:30 a.m. to 12 noon. Judging will be at 1 p.m. with trophies presented at the stage area at 2:15 p.m.
This years show is presented in memory of John David Steward and is being sponsored by Steward Mechanical. T-shirts will be available prior to and during the event. Call Brandy at 838-8147 or Janice at 838-2806 for further information.
Marshall County Humane Society News
Blessing of the Animals set for Sunday
The Marshall County Humane Society welcomed lots of new faces to last Tuesdays meeting on the patio behind the VFW in Holly Springs. That was a nice treat in this lovely fall weather.
We decided to distribute the funds from our Spaghetti Supper, designated to help pet rescue for the Coast, from here to either help pets of evacuees who have come to our area (weve already had some at the Spay/Neuter Clinic) or support folks from here who go to the Coast to help. Our Clinic vet, Dr. Isis Johnson, and her vet tech, Carmen Marlin, have made their second trip south, the first to help set up a clinic down there and this last one to deliver vet supplies and medicine and help out where theyre most needed. This promises to be a busy week for pet lovers. On Saturday, Oct. 8, the Humane Society is having a sale at our semi where we store what we cant cram into Second Time Around, our thrift store. They will be open for business at 7 a.m. and Sherry vows we wont close until the darn things empty.
The semi is at the back of the vacant lot at the corner of Old Hwy. 78 E. and E. Stewart St. in Holly Springs. If you are coming from the Square it will be just to your left as soon as you go under the railroad overpass, right before you get to the Spay/Neuter Clinic. Its directly across from the Oak Palace if all that just confused you.
On Sunday, Oct. 9, at 3 p.m., Rev. Bruce McMillan will be conducting the Blessing of the Animals at Christ Episcopal Church in Holly Springs. If you have a whole horde, choose a representative sample and come participate in the touching ceremony. Dress is casual, the service is short and its worth coming just to see how well the animals behave, or not.
Coincidence maybe, but, almost exactly six years ago on Oct. 7, 1999, Dr. Johnsons converted school bus hooked up behind that very church and we held our first Spay/Neuter Clinic in Marshall County. We celebrated the thousands of animals weve fixed in the six years since on Tuesday with cupcakes and cake. Too bad we cant do that every week but we cant persuade our baker.
One of the main reasons for Tuesdays meeting was election of officers. Our officers have done such a good job that we reelected them one and all: Sherry Janssen is President; Shelley Sharpe, Vice President; Lynn Pullen, Treasurer; and Melissa Chipman, Secretary. Thanks guys. Keep up the good work.
In the midst of all your activities, dont let getting your pet spayed or neutered slip your mind. For your appointment at the Humane Societys low-cost Spay/Neuter Clinic call 662-252-6196.
For information on adoptions, fostering or about the Humane Society in general, call 662-564-2900.
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