Farm Bureau celebrates longest serving member

Published 12:00 pm Saturday, August 7, 2021

Mark Twain once said, “Find a job you enjoy doing, and you will never have to work a day in your life.”

Sam Laird, an active Lincoln County Farm Bureau member of more than 53 years, is a testament to that fact. Born and raised on a farm in Lincoln County, Laird devoted his life to raising cattle with his family. He enjoyed his job of providing the world with food, fiber and shelter so much, he’s still working at 91 years old.

“I watched my daddy farm when I was growing up,” Laird said. “I got married to a girl in the city, so we lived in town for five years before my daddy asked me to come work on the farm with him. His operation had gotten pretty big. Once I convinced Mrs. Sue to move to the country, we kept growing.”

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To support his wife and four children, Laird expanded his cow/calf operation to include hundreds of cows and hundreds of acres of land where he grew hay, rye grass and corn to feed his herd.

“I’m going to tell you, it was a full time job,” he said. “We had some cows in fields 22 miles from the house, so there was always something to do every day. We kept growing our operation until I hit retirement. But, I’m really not retired. I’ve still got cows. They’re just all right here at the house now. They’re close enough, I can get on my buggy and go check them.”

In addition to being a good farmer, Laird prides himself on being an active member of his community, serving as a Lincoln County Supervisor for eight years and a Lincoln County Farm Bureau Board of Directors member for more than 50 years.

“I had a good friend who was a (Lincoln County Farm Bureau) board member many years ago,” Laird said. “He was a real nice guy. One day, he came out to the house and asked me if I would be interested in serving. I thought a lot of him, so I agreed.”

Since agreeing to serve more than five decades ago, Laird has been committed to the growth of Lincoln County Farm Bureau and the resources the organization can provide farmers.

“When Sam got involved with Farm Bureau, Lincoln County was one of the smaller membership counties in the state,” Lincoln County Farm Bureau President Robert Earl McGehee said. “Now, it’s grown into one of the largest membership counties, and Sam had a hand in that.”

Laird stands with the mission of Farm Bureau to create an environment in which Mississippi farmers, ranchers and Farm Bureau members can have a better life and make a better living.

“Farming is tough, but Farm Bureau is a good resource,” Laird said. “In all my years, they have stood with us. Being a part of Farm Bureau gave me the opportunity to learn something from other farmers and teach other farmers how I did something.”

“Sam enjoys people,” McGehee said. “He loves to talk to people and swap ideas on how to implement different farming practices to do better. Since I’ve been on the board, I don’t think I can count on one hand the number of meetings he has not attended. He is an inspiration to many farmers and has given so much to Lincoln County.”

Lincoln County Farm Bureau will celebrate its 100-year anniversary in September 2021, making Laird the oldest member of the organization.

“I’ve seen a lot of things change in my time, but one thing is still the same — Farm Bureau stands with the farmer,” Laird said. “I’m proud to be a part of this organization.”