The Pass-On Project and Ceremony

Wednesday 17 April 2024

By: Jonathan Evans

What is community? Community is family; people within it help each other and build each other up. The Winston County Self-Help Cooperative is a community-based organization. We have the great responsibility of building the rural community and creating sustainability. One of the many ways we take on this responsibility is through our Pass-On Project.

The Pass-On Project, a cornerstone of the Winston County Self-Help Cooperative’s efforts, was established in 2001. WCHSC provides a family with up to five heifers to keep for 36 months. During this period, the farmer must ensure these heifers calf. The families are allowed to keep the calves these heifers produce, which not only grows their cattle operation and creates more revenue but also establishes landownership and fosters sustainability. Since the Pass-On Project’s inception, the WCSHC has given more than 250 heifers to various families across Mississippi, significantly impacting the rural community.

On February 19, 2024, WCSHC’s Allen McReynolds and I set out to Chester Bradley’s farm in Rosehill, MS. We conducted a pass-on ceremony there. Three years ago, we gave Mr. Bradley five heifers; last year, he returned two, and this year, he returned the remaining three. Throughout having the heifers, he was able to get eight cows from those five heifers. He sold five of his eight cows, helping him gain revenue. “I have really enjoyed the program and told many people about it… If they are interested, they should get in line to get them some,” Mr. Bradley said joyfully.

After leaving Mr. Bradley’s farm, we drove to Chris Mayberry’s farm in Shuqualak, MS, to deliver the three heifers. A few years ago, he received two heifers to start his cattle operation. Today, he received the remaining three. Mr. Mayberry says, “This program has helped me and my family tremendously by bringing in more money, expanding our cattle operation, and bringing the family closer together.” Mr. Mayberry is now expanding his farm and cattle operation with the help of his son, Ian Mayberry.

Watch Mr. Bradley’s Pass-on Ceremony:

Watch the Mayberry’s Pass-on Ceremony:

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