Gov. Phil Bryant announced today that he will appoint Rep. Andy Gipson, R-Braxton, Mississippi Commissioner of Agriculture and Commerce. Gipson will replace Cindy Hyde-Smith, who Gov. Bryant appointed to the U.S. Senate
Gipson’s appointment will be effective April 2. He will serve the remainder of the term.
“I am delighted that Andy has accepted the appointment as Mississippi’s next Commissioner of Agriculture and Commerce,” Gov. Bryant said. “As a farmer and attorney, he is uniquely qualified to immediately assume the responsibilities of the agency and continue to grow Mississippi’s agricultural economy. Agri-business is our state’s largest industry and Chairman Gipson’s professional and public experience makes him well-suited for this opportunity.”
Gipson has represented House District 77, which encompasses parts of Simpson and Rankin counties, in the Mississippi House of Representatives since 2008. He has served as chairman of the House Judiciary B Committee since 2012 and as chairman of the Ethics Committee since 2016.
“Thank you, Governor Bryant, for this unique opportunity to serve all Mississippians,” Gipson said. “I’m eager to build upon the excellent work Cindy Hyde-Smith has accomplished for Mississippi farmers, and I’ll be actively exploring ways to further strengthen agriculture as the largest industry of our state. I want to see Mississippi agriculture and commerce grow and thrive for the next generation, and you can bet I’ll work hard to reach that goal.”
During his legislative service, Gipson served on the House Agriculture, Appropriations, Ways and Means, County Affairs, Insurance, Municipalities, and Transportation committees, among others. He was treasurer for the Mississippi Legislative Conservation Coalition from 2010-17 and treasurer for the Mississippi House Republican Conference from 2012-16. He was selected this week as the Mississippi Legislative Conservative Coalition’s 2018 Conservative Legislator of the Year.
Mothers Against Drunk Driving named him Legislator of the Year in 2014
, 2015 and 2016. In 2014, Pro-Life Mississippi named him Pro-Life Legislator of the Year. The National Rifle Association bestowed its Defender of Freedom Award on Gipson in 2013. That same year, the Central Mississippi Friends of NRA selected him for the Kirk Fordice Freedom Award, named after the former governor.
Gipson has owned and managed a cattle operation in Simpson County for more than 20 years and a tree farm since 2004. He is a member of the Mississippi Cattlemen’s Association and the Simpson County Development Foundation.
Gipson received a bachelor of arts in political science in 1999 from Mississippi College and a juris doctorate from Mississippi College School of Law in 2002, graduating first in his class of 113 students. He was active in the Christian Law Students Association and was editor-in-chief of the Mississippi College Law Review. He has been in private law practice since 2002.
Gipson is a Baptist minister and has served as pastor of Gum Springs Baptist Church since 2011. He and his wife, Leslie, have been married since 2001. They have four children — Joseph, Benjamin, Abigail and Sarah. They reside on their small working farm in Simpson County.
Gov. Phil Bryant Press Release