Mississippi’s farm, timber, livestock, and seafood producers are some of the most efficient and productive in the world. Among Mississippi’s greatest natural resources are its fertile soil, vast stands of timber, and abundant water resources.
Agriculture serves as the backbone of our state economy, directly or indirectly employing nearly 30 percent of Mississippi workers. In addition, farming plays an increasingly important role in our nation’s energy security. The Mississippi Department of Agriculture and Commerce estimates that agriculture provides an economic impact of approximately $6 billion annually, making it the state’s largest industry.
Agriculture is an energy-intensive business. On average, 65 percent of farmers' variable costs are comprised of fuel, electricity, fertilizer, and chemical expenses. An increase in these operating costs would devastate many family farms.
Over the past few years, our agricultural community has been threatened by climate change legislation and unreasonable new EPA regulations. The costs of these legislative and regulatory proposals would fall on producers and be passed down to consumers in the form of higher taxes, increased energy costs, and higher food prices, leading to more lost jobs and lower standards of living.
I will continue to oppose these arbitrary and onerous proposals and fight to preserve Mississippi’s great agricultural heritage.