JACKSON, Miss. (WJTV) – The race for Commissioner of Agriculture and Commerce in Mississippi pits incumbent Andy Gipson (R) against fourth generation Mississippi farmer Robert Bradford (D).

One of the biggest issues facing Mississippi farmers and ranchers is the record drought the state is experiencing.

With little water for crops and cattle, Mississippi farmers have been put under stress while low water levels in the Mississippi River disrupt supply chains.

“We have to have those mitigation things in place, say these things far in advance to make sure we offset that. You know, having a plan in place that if we can’t get grain on the Mississippi River, we need to make sure that grain gets on carts. And a lot of farmers don’t have to pay out of the pocket to try to get their grain down to the Gulf Coast down there,” said Bradford.

“We’ve got to get through this drought, and my job is to try to encourage farmers to keep farming. We already have fewer farmers in America than we’ve had ever, and we can’t afford to lose any farmers. And what we need to be doing is encouraging these younger young folks, young kids, children, youth to get involved in agriculture and to keep these farms going,” said Gipson.

The General Election will be held on November 7, 2023.