Mississippi Farm Bureau Federation
Agricultural News and Information
State of Mississippi Young Farmer Winners
Hinds County row crop, cattle and timber farmers Scott and Lesley Cannada
were recently named state winners of the 2012 Mississippi Farm Bureau
Federation (MFBF) Young Farmers & Ranchers State Achievement Award.
They were recognized for their farming innovations, leadership skills
and involvement in Farm Bureau and their community.
The Cannadas received a new Ford pickup truck, the use of John Deere and
Kubota tractors, $500 from Watson Quality Ford and $1800 toward the purchase
of technology from Mississippi Farm Bureau Federation. They will represent
Mississippi in national competition in Nashville, Tennessee, in January.
Scott carries on a tradition begun by his great-great-great-great-grandfather
in 1827, when he started Cannada Farms after acquiring farmland from his
uncle. Scott is the eighth generation of his family to work the family
When Scott’s grandfather retired in the fall of 1998, he gave Scott
230 head of beef cattle, two tractors and some hay equipment. Scott was
still in college, but he was planning to return to the farm in May 2000.
“My father, mother and I put my cattle and equipment with their
established farming operation and formed a three-way partnership. I had
worked on my parents’ farm all of my life during summers and any
other time I was not at school.”
Cannada Farms currently grows corn and soybeans. The operation includes
timberland and a cow/calf operation. In addition, Scott helps manage family
A talented innovator, Scott has built many structures designed to ease
the handling of cattle on his farm. In addition, he built a pasture and
hay field spray boom; a 20,500-bushel grain bin that holds about 30 to
40 percent of his normal corn production; and a 40- by 75-foot equipment
shed to store equipment that is too big for his old shed. In 2010, he
built a new 30- by 40-foot warehouse to store chemicals, feed and seed.
Scott is also a good steward of the land. He is very proactive with conservation
efforts on his farm.
“My operation is located along a major watershed area that has been
targeted to reduce erosion and sedimentation. Since I have been on the
farm full-time, I have placed about 100 acres in the Continuous CRP program,”
he said. “This program gives us an annual income off of marginal
land, while providing wildlife habitat and helping control erosion.
“The cost-share portion of this program has allowed me to build
new fences out away from the banks, which were continually caving off
and destroying the existing fences,” he said. “The trees also
help to protect the fences from the current during floods.”
Scott has placed nine water control structures along creek banks to slow
runoff and stop erosion.
Like other young farmers across the nation, Scott must deal with urban
sprawl and steadily rising land values. He says it has become difficult
to obtain a long-term lease on the farmland that is still available.
“In the last seven years, we have lost over 1,100 acres of rented
land that has been planted in trees for recreational use,” he said.
“To combat this, we have begun purchasing additional land to reduce
our dependence on rented land.”
Scott’s future goals include to produce high- quality hay more economically;
to continue to increase row crop yields (his three-year average for corn
is 116.5 bushels per acre and for soybeans, 45 bushels per acre); to reduce
labor and equipment costs per acre; to own enough land to sustain his
operation; and to install more grain bins as acreage increases. As GPS
guidance gets better in his area, he hopes to use this to move to more
strip tillage instead of conventional tillage to reduce fuel costs and
erosion. He recently purchased a litter spreader and has started using
chicken litter on his hay and crop fields for his fertility needs.
Scott serves on the Hinds County Farm Bureau Board of Directors as vice
president and as chair of the Hinds County YF&R Committee. He will
serve as county president in 2014. He is a county voting delegate to state
convention. Lesley is vice chair of the Hinds County Farm Bureau Women’s
Committee and has served as an alternate voting delegate to state convention.
Scott and Lesley served on the YF&R State Committee, where he served
as chair, and she served as secretary. As the YF&R State Committee
chair, he served on the state board of directors and the state executive
committee. He was a voting delegate to the American Farm Bureau Federation
Annual Meeting and chair of the state resolutions ag subcommittee. He
currently serves on the state communications committee.
He was named Mississippi Farmer of the Year for the Sunbelt Ag Expo in
2011; starred in one of the first commercials for the Farm Families of
Mississippi Ag Promotion Campaign; and received the Hinds County Farm
Bureau Distinguished Service Award for 2011.
He is active in many county and state ag organizations, serving as a board
member, officer and/or voting delegate for several. He is chairman of
deacons for his church, a Sunday School teacher and serves on various
He and Lesley have two children, ages 7 and 3.
For more information about the Mississippi Farm Bureau Federation Young
Farmers & Ranchers Program, contact YF&R Coordinator Kirsten Johnson
at (601) 977-4277.
Farm Bureau Federation is the state's largest general farm
organization with more than 197,000 member-families statewide. There
are Farm Bureaus in all 82 counties in Mississippi
where agriculture comprises a fundamental part of
Mississippi 's economy.
Headquartered in Jackson
, the federation is an independent, non-profit agricultural
organization and is not associated with any arm of the government.
For more information about Farm Bureau, visit our website at www.msfb.org.