It’s not every day the ranking member of the U.S. House Agriculture Committee visits Mississippi. But, earlier this week, the Mississippi Farm Bureau Federation and the F.A.R.M. Fund PAC hosted Congressman Glenn “G.T.” Thompson for an agricultural tour.

Thompson, who serves the 15th District of Pennsylvania, spent two days visiting Mississippi agriculture industry stakeholders with the intention of learning about different sectors of agriculture.

“My goal is to be a voice for all agriculture,” said Thompson who is a Pennsylvania Farm Bureau member. “That means meeting with farmers and ranchers, visiting their fields, and talking with those working for agribusinesses who serve these farmers.”

Mississippi Farm Bureau Federation President Mike McCormick said Thompson will have an integral role in developing the 2023 Farm Bill, which is why MFBF jumped at the chance to show him around Mississippi.

“There are several sectors of agriculture in Mississippi that Congressmen Thompson is not accustomed to, so we used this tour as an opportunity to expose him to the things important to Mississippi farmers and ranchers,” McCormick said.

One way MFBF did this was by taking Thompson to Aguzzi Farms in Bolivar County to show him the process of growing and harvesting rice, and let him experience it by hopping on a combine. This visit also allowed Thompson to connect with Joe Aguzzi, the 95-year-old patriarch of the Aguzzi family who has been growing rice in the Mississippi Delta since 1954.

“Naturally, I’m interested in anything that involves agriculture,” Aguzzi said of hosting Thompson. “I’m really proud of our farm and family. My son and their sons work the farm. I’ve even got a couple of great-grandsons involved in the farm too.”

In addition to the farm tour, Thompson participated in several farm policy discussions and a Mississippi agriculture industry policy roundtable. Representatives from every major agriculture organization in Mississippi, a handful of state politicians and Mississippi Congressman Michael Guest also participated in the roundtable.

“As the ranking member of the House Agriculture Committee, G.T.’s visit to Mississippi is extremely important,” Guest said. “His participation in this roundtable with our farmers, ranchers and stakeholders in various parts of the agriculture industry will become increasingly beneficial as we get closer to developing policies for the 2023 Farm Bill.”

Guest will be following up with Thompson’s office after the tour to make sure the ranking member has all of the information needed to ensure Mississippi’s interests are being represented.

“We can’t make good decisions in Washington if we base those decisions on the information we receive while in the Washington bubble,” Thompson said. “That’s why I’m so pleased to have visited Mississippi. I made new friends and learned about the challenges farmers in this part of the country face.”