Tuesday, Commissioner of Agriculture and Commerce Andy Gipson recognized hard working farmers and ranchers in celebration of National Ag Day. To coincide with National Ag Day, he kicked-off the 2020 Spring Commissioner’s Wild Hog Challenge to help protect Mississippi agriculture from nuisance wild hogs.
“There is no better time than the present to take a moment to recognize our farmers and ranchers for their hard work and to thank them for supplying food, fiber, and shelter, not only for our families right here at home but also for the entire world,” said Commissioner Gipson. “Farmers are critical to our food supply chain. Simply put, without farmers, we don’t have food. Up until the last few weeks, we have taken for granted seeing full shelves at the grocery stores. The good news during the COVID-19 emergency is that our food supply is plentiful – all thanks to our American farmers and ranchers.”
In addition to recognizing the importance of farmers and ranchers, Commissioner Gipson took the opportunity to invite the public to participate in the second Commissioner’s Wild Hog Challenge. In 2019, the Commissioner’s Wild Hog Challenge was initiated to raise awareness regarding these destructive animals. It proved to be successful with 730 wild hogs trapped or harvested in 36 counties across Mississippi.
Commissioner Gipson is issuing the Challenge once again to coincide with the spring 2020 row crop planting season. Wild hogs are non-native, nuisance animals that cause more than $60 million in property damage in Mississippi each year, with substantial damage caused to row crops, pastures and forestlands. Wild hogs cause significant damage to corn, soybeans, peanuts and other row crops.
Commissioner Gipson wants to see results of the public’s efforts in protecting crops from these nuisance animals. The winner of the 2020 Spring Commissioner’s Wild Hog Challenge will receive a wild hog trapping system donated by HogEye and the Mississippi Farm Bureau Federation. To participate in the Challenge, simply upload photos of wild hogs that you harvest and/or trap between March 24 and May 31 to https://www.mdac.ms.gov/wildhogchallenge and supply the required information related to the harvest. The harvest must take place on Mississippi agricultural lands such as row crops, pasture and working timberland.
Click https://youtu.be/4Q-hurZzSGc to view Commissioner Gipson’s National Ag Day message.