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Being a cattleman is a world Sammy Blossom has always known.
Leaders in ag: sammy blossom
The animal science alumnus who grew up on a small cattle and sheep farm in Scott County, Mississippi, would end up serving the state's cattlemen for 16 years as executive director of the Mississippi Cattlemen's Association. As executive director, Blossom was in charge of the day-to-day operations of both the Mississippi Cattlemen's Association and the Mississippi Beef Council.
The association addresses local, state, and federal issues that impact the long-term viability of Mississippi cattlemen while the council administers programs of beef promotion, education, research, and consumer and industry information.
I loved visiting farms and seeing what the operations were like," he said.
Blossom's work included lobbying for issues important to cattlemen at the state and federal level and helping the plus county cattlemen's associations be successful. The team organized annual meetings and events, published a monthly magazine, and ran the Beef Barn concession stand at the Dixie National Livestock Show and Rodeo and the Mississippi State Fair.
Blossom retired in and received the Distinguished Service Award from the Mississippi Farm Bureau Federation, the organization's highest honor, that same year. He considers his work with the Mississippi Cattlemen's Foundation as one of his proudest accomplishments. InBlossom helped the organization fund a scholarship for the children and grandchildren of the state's cattlemen and women.
Prior to his time with the Mississippi Cattlemen's Association, Blossom managed cooperative supply stores in Louisiana and Mississippi for 22 years, spending 11 of those years at the Lowndes County Co-op in Columbus.
It was there that his journey to executive director began when he volunteered to reenergize his local county cattlemen's association in the late s. I went on to stay involved and was an area vice president and then served as state president. InI ed the staff.
Blossom, who managed cattle operations in Mississippi and Kentucky early in his career, has always kept cows. The friends I made there and the trip to the national judging contest in Chicago are my best memories of college," he said.
I got a lot out of it and I still have friends today that I met during my time on the team. Both FFA and livestock judging left such an impression on Blossom, that he continues to pay it forward, mentoring youth throughout his life, serving on the 4-H Foundation Board during his tenure with the Mississippi Cattlemen's Association, and still helping with FFA to this day. They build a lot of life and leadership skills and gain a knowledge of hard work and dedication.
With livestock programs they have to be responsible every day for the care, feeding, and grooming of those animals. It does something to build skills you can carry throughout your whole life," he said.
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Blossom said his favorite part of the role was the chance to meet with cattle farmers regularly.