Mississippi farm family

Farm families, like that of Gary Tanner of Tanner Farm in Shuqualak, Miss., drive the state’s agriculture industry.

There is no greater display of hospitality than sharing food around the table with family and friends. Mississippi’s hardworking farm families know this and live up to the state’s nickname by feeding the world. Whether impacting the state’s economy by raising its top commodity – broilers – or working with local schools to incorporate fresh produce into students’ lunches, the Hospitality State’s farmers are providing food for families not only in Mississippi, but across the nation and the globe. Mississippi agriculture, representing $7.4 billion, is the top industry in the state, directly and indirectly employing approximately 29 percent of the workforce. More than 38,000 farms cover approximately 11 million acres of farmland, plus Mississippi boasts 19.7 million acres of forestland, 14,000 miles of streams, and 640,000 acres of ponds and lakes. About 75 percent of the state’s land is privately owned, most of which is family owned and has been passed down through many generations. This is another reason why Mississippi farmers take their calling seriously. Mississippi agriculture is truly a family tradition. From poultry and beef to sweet potatoes, peanuts and grain sorghum, Mississippi farmers grow and raise a variety of commodities. The state’s producers are committed to more than just crops. They are focused on growing safe and affordable foods. Understanding the importance of environmental care through soil conservation, irrigation practices and more, while raising the state’s food in the most sustainable way possible, helps them accomplish this goal. Mississippians rely on agriculture daily, from what’s on the dinner table to the clothes they wear to fuel for the cars they drive. While the industry continues to grow and adapt to changing technologies, Mississippi’s farmers always remember their roots. The importance of safe food, fuel and fiber for families never changes.

See Also:  High Tunnels Help Farmers' Products, Profits

Mississippi farmland [INFOGRAPHIC]

Ag In The Park

The impact of Mississippi’s agriculture industry, evidenced by its signature flavors, reaches as far as the Big Apple and Washington, D.C. New Yorkers experience this firsthand at the annual Mississippi Picnic, held each year in Central Park by the New York Mississippi Society. Hungry guests are treated to authentic Mississippi cuisine, including farm-raised catfish, sweet tea and pecan pie. Residents of the nation’s capital get a taste of the South, too, at the Mississippi on the Mall picnic, where some of the same traditional fare is served. 2014 marked the 24th year for the event, which also features live music. Even when they’re thousands of miles away, Mississippians are the perfect example of true Southern hospitality.


Fields Of Gold

Along with cotton and soybeans, corn is a key row crop in the Hospitality State, taking the No. 4 spot in the state’s top 10 commodities. In 2013, total corn production was valued at $631 million from 860,000 acres planted. Corn yields averaged 180 bushels per acre, a record level for the state. The crop is grown both for grain and silage, and Mississippi ranks No. 17 in the nation in production of corn for grain. Washington County was the top producing county in the state in 2013.


There’s An App For That

Want to learn more about all Mississippi agriculture has to offer? There’s an app for that. A couple of apps, actually. The Mississippi Department of Agriculture and Commerce (MDAC) developed several smartphone apps for consumers. The list includes a Mississippi Farmers Market app, a Mississippi agritourism app, one for the Mississippi State Fair, and another for the Dixie National Livestock Show and Rodeo. The farmers market app allows consumers to locate markets throughout the state and provides turn-by-turn directions. It also provides notifications about market news, locates restaurants using local produce and more. State fair app users can check updated information on concerts and events, view the fair schedule and fun guide, and receive help locating their cars after the festivities. Learn more about all four apps available through MDAC at mdac.ms.gov/online-services-mobile-apps.

See Also:  Therapeutic Riding in Mississippi


In 2013, Mississippi growers produced 385,000 acres of winter wheat. How does that translate to your pantry? Mississippi Wheat [INFOGRAPHIC]


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