Meeting someone face-to-face and talking about the issues facing agriculture in Mississippi, especially when it comes to meeting with the person representing you in Washington D.C., cannot be overvalued. Mississippi Farm Bureau Federation recently hosted United States Congressman Michael Guest and his staff on a three-day agricultural tour of the third congressional district.
The tour consisted of stops in Rankin, Franklin, Adams, Wilkinson, Amite and Lincoln counties where Guest met with local farmers, ranchers and citizens.
Guests’ goals for the three-day tour consisted of acquiring knowledge about the agricultural members of his district and the issues they are facing in order to be well versed when returning to Washington DC.
“We wanted to kind of get an overall snapshot of where we are and what we can do to make the lives of our farmers better,” Guest said.
For the former district attorney, learning on the job has been a must, especially when it comes to agriculture. MFBF President Mike McCormick believes voters made a good choice in electing Guest.
“He is a very quick learner,” McCormick said of Guest. “You can talk to him one time about an issue that you might have. He will remember and understand it the next time you’re talking to him. I’m very impressed with Congressman Guest.”
Evident in many of the meetings Guest attended, farmers along the Mississippi River are continuously facing tough times between flooding and dropping commodity prices. The farmers participated in all of the stops Guest made in hopes he could help.
“It’s been a rough year,” Dempsey White, a farmer in Adams County, said. “We’ve had a lot of sleepless nights. And it’s not over yet. I really do appreciate the things the government is doing to help us with trade, but they need to quit dragging their feet because we’re not going to be able to stay in it this long.”
In addition to farmer specific issues, Guest also heard of other problems affecting rural Mississippi.
“We have so many needs outside of those directly related to agriculture, including infrastructure and rural broadband, that rural Mississippi needs Congressman Guest working on in Washington D.C.,” McCormick said.
“We’re a single hospital county,” Adams County District 2 Supervisors David Carter said. “We’re kind of stuck. We’re an hour from any major hospital, so any serious medical situation we have has to be med-evacuated out of here. We need help stabilizing rural healthcare.”
During his visit Guest reassured voters he is ready to listen and do all he can to help as Congress reconvenes.
“We want to make sure that we are passing legislation that positively affects our farm community in Mississippi, and we also want to see what we can do on a regulation side that is going to help make things more efficient,” Guest said.
To view Guests’ entire tour, click here.