cultivated widely spaced corn in the direction of the rows, then
came back and cultivated again across the rows. By the early
1970s, urban growth from Chicago suburbs reached near his
farm at Valparaiso, Ind., so he started looking south for farming
opportunities. He liked what he found in Mississippi, grew his first
crops there in 1973, and moved to the Magnolia State in 1974.
Marketing is a year-round process. He likes to start selling his
crops early in the season. As a member of a marketing group
during the 1980s and 1990s, he learned to appreciate diversity
in marketing opportunities. He sells grain to several poultry
companies, has used commodity futures and options, and
has occasionally exported crops by shipping them down the
In past years, Good grew crops for seed. He owned and
operated Good Seeds, a certified seed operation that cleaned and
marketed seeds. During this time, he was also dealer for Pioneer
and Northrup King grain varieties.
Good has been active in a number of organizations. In Indiana,
he served on a county agricultural advisory board and as a Land
Bank director and on a soil and water conservation board. He was
also active in Farm Bureau and in his local church.
In Mississippi, he has also served on a soil and water
conservation district board, a Farm Bureau advisory board, and a
local Extension advisory board.
Paul and his wife, Joyce, married 39 years ago after each had
been widowed. They have been active members of Cornerstone
Community Church in Macon, Miss., where Joyce taught Sunday
school classes to teens. As the daughter of a coal miner, Joyce
is no stranger to hard work. Starting early in their marriage, she
worked alongside Paul doing various farm tasks. Now, she focuses
on her ministry to nursing home patients.
S TRONG WORK E THIC
Paul and Joyce have four adult children, Gail Atkinson, Steven
Good, Philip Good, and Janice Weaver. They take great pride that
all of their children and several grandchildren are involved in
farming. Joyce says, “Our children have a strong work ethic, and as
a family we’ve always prayed about our major financial decisions.”
Since 1984, Paul has farmed in partnership with Janice’s
husband, Dale Weaver. Dale and Janice also own and farm land in
Noxubee County. Steven, their oldest son, has farmed since 1973;
he owns land in the Mississippi Delta and also rents and owns
land in Noxubee County. Steven’s son, Benjamin, also farms in
Noxubee County and helps Steven with his farm.
The Goods’ youngest son, Philip, owns and rents farmland in
Noxubee County, and operates a real estate company. Philip’s son,
Christian, is a recent Mississippi State University graduate and
will be farming with Philip. Their daughter, Gail, lives out of state,
but owns Noxubee County farmland that she rents to her brother,
Steve Martin with the Mississippi Extension Service coordinates
the Farmer of the Year award in the state. Good was nominated
for the honor by Dennis Reginelli, agronomic regional Extension
specialist. Reginelli says he admires how Good speaks to the news
media about farming, and notes that Good has hosted visitors
from Poland, Brazil, Russia, Germany, and elsewhere for tours of
his farm. “Mr. Paul spends quality time with all the people who
come by to see him,” says Reginelli. “He has made me a better
person and a better Extension agent.”
As the Mississippi state winner of the Swisher Sweets/Sunbelt
Expo award, Good will receive a $2,500 cash award and an
expense paid trip to the Sunbelt Expo from Swisher International
of Jacksonville, Fla., a $500 gift certificate from the Southern
States cooperative, and a Columbia vest from Ivey’s Outdoor and
He is now eligible for the $15,000 cash award that will go to
the overall winner. Other prizes for the overall winner include the
use of a Massey Ferguson tractor for a year from Massey Ferguson
North America, another $500 gift certificate from the Southern
States cooperative, a Columbia jacket from Ivey’s Outdoor and
Farm Supply, and a smoker-grill from Hays LTI.
Swisher International, through its Swisher Sweets cigar brand,
and the Sunbelt Expo are sponsoring the Southeastern Farmer
of the Year awards for the 27th consecutive year. Swisher has
contributed $1.04 million in cash awards and other honors to
southeastern farmers since the award was initiated in 1990.
Previous state winners from Mississippi include Hugh Arant, Sr.
of Ruleville, 1990; Bill Hawks of Hernando, 1991; Kenneth Hood
of Gunnison, 1992; Tol Thomas of Cruger, 1993; Rick Parsons of
Vance, 1994; Ed Hester of Benoit, 1995; Bill Harris of Benton, 1996;
Robert Miller of Greenwood, 1997; Ted Kendall, III of Bolton, 1998;
Wayne Bush of Schlater, 1999; William Tackett of Schlater, 2000.
Willard Jack of Belzoni, 2001; Hugh Arant, Jr. of Ruleville,
2002; Rick Parsons of Vance, 2003; Sledge Taylor of Como, 2004;
Laurance Carter of Rollins Fork, 2005; Brooks Aycock of Belzoni,
2006; Tom Robertson of Indianola, 2007; Gibb Steele III of
Hollandale, 2008; Donald Gant of Merigold, 2009; Dan Batson of
Perkinston, 2010; Scott Cannada of Edwards, 2011; Bill Spain of
Booneville, 2012; Abbott Myers of Dundee, 2013; Danny Murphy
of Canton, 2014; and Allen Eubanks of Lucedale, 2015.
Mississippi has had three overall winners, Kenneth Hood of
Gunnison in 1993, Ed Hester of Benoit in 1995, and Willard Jack of
Belzoni in 2001.
Mary Ann Cupero
Winner of the 2015 Expo Photo Contest
I love to attend the Expo, where everyone may not know
your name but they make you feel like you are part of the
This photo of the local FFA group working hard at their
food booth – showcases the meaning of Expo.
They are the future of farming!
The Expo photo contest is open to amateur photographers of
all ages. Email your best photos captured at the 2015 show to
firstname.lastname@example.org include “photo contest” in the subject
line. Give a brief description of how your picture highlights the
best of Sunbelt Expo. Be sure to include your name, address
and phone number. Winners agree to allow Expo the rights to
Enter the 2016 Expo Photo Contest
1st Place $200
2nd Place $100
2nd Place Stephanie Mills
After a long day of walking, Josey hitched a ride on
her daddy’s shoulders