Candidates for Commissioner of Agriculture and Commerce recognize how the rich soil of Mississippi Delta and thickets of Pine Belt trees are as integral to the state’s economy as manufacturing plants and retail centers. It is an $8.6 billion industry for Mississippi, the state Department of Agriculture reports.
Republicans Cindy Hyde-Smith, Max Phillips and Dannie Reed are vying to succeed Lester Spell. The trio will meet in the GOP primary is on Aug. 2.
A runoff, if necessary, would be Aug. 23.
The candidates each say agriculture has long been the lifeblood of the state’s economy and must find new ways to grow while continuing to emphasize what the industry has traditionally done best.