The rolling countryside covering Mississippi Senator Lydia Chassaniol’s district are perfect for two things – growing cotton and raising cattle. After serving in the Mississippi Senate for 13 years, this fact is not lost on Chassaniol, especially as she continues to make the trip to Jackson.
“I have parts of eight counties in my district,” Chassaniol says. “That’s a lot of territory that is involved in agriculture. Hopefully, I’m helpful to the people that are actively engaged in ranching and farming.”
Although Chassaniol does not farm herself, she has plenty of agriculture consultants on both sides of her family helping her stay in touch with the Mississippi farmer.
“I frequently hear from a lot of farmers, especially those in my family,” she says. “My brother is involved in the beef cattle business and my husband sells cotton. He has been doing that since the early ‘60s. Since they are directly involved, I get input, if you will, from the farming community and the ranchers.”
Chassaniol says the Mississippi Farm Bureau Federation has been a huge asset to her especially at the State Capitol.
“Many times, if we didn’t hear directly from your Farm Bureau governmental affairs consultants, we wouldn’t know some of the hot button issues that’ll be coming up,” Chassaniol says. “It helps us when legislation is brought forward. It gives us an informed opinion and I’ve grateful for that.”
Chassaniol strives to help Mississippi’s farmers and ranchers any way she can in her position. Recently, she assisted in making sure members of the Mississippi governments and agriculture community, including MFBF President Mike McCormick and staff, gained approval to complete a Taiwan delegation trade trip. She feels the trip provided Mississippi with huge dividends after the Taiwan and Mississippi government signed the corn and soybean trade agreement.
Closer to home, Chassaniol seeks to promoted agriculture education in Mississippi’s schools in order to benefit the economy.
“Making students aware of what goes into taking our natural resources and converting them into the food we eat, the clothes we wear, and the timber we use to construct our homes is an important part of who we are and how we live in Mississippi.”