Mississippi Commissioner of Agriculture and Commerce Cindy Hyde-Smith has been appointed by Gov. Phil Bryant to the United States Senate, replacing Thad Cochran, who is retiring after nearly a half century of service to the Magnolia State. Commissioner Hyde-Smith’s appointment will become effective on April 2.
“Commissioner Hyde-Smith has worked tirelessly on behalf of the men and women in agriculture, Mississippi’s largest industry and a treasured way of life in our state,” says Gov. Bryant. “Her intellect, compassion, toughness, and determination to get things done exemplify everything Mississippi needs in the U.S. Senate. I know she will continue to faithfully serve every Mississippian in her new role.”
Following a 12-year career as a state senator representing District 39, Hyde-Smith became commissioner of agriculture and commerce after the November 2011 election and now makes history as the first woman to ever be elected to the state-wide position.
“I am truly humbled and honored that Gov. Phil Bryant has asked me to serve as your next U.S. Senator. I am eager and excited to get to Washington and begin working on issues that are important to every Mississippian,” says Commission Hyde-Smith. “I am extremely grateful for the work and invaluable contributions Senator Thad Cochran has made to Mississippi.”
Elected to the Mississippi State Senate in 1999, Commissioner Hyde-Smith quickly became known as a passionate advocate of Mississippi farmers and ranchers, serving as chairwoman of the Agriculture Committee for eight years and was an influential member of several other committees.
She has authored legislation and supported efforts to promote and protect all facets of Mississippi’s agricultural industry, defending private property rights, endorsing right-to-farm legislation, and working to increase country-of-origin labeling requirements.
A successful advocate for USDA inspection of catfish to ensure food safety and equity in the marketplace, she secured funding for infrastructure investments generating economic activity. Through her roles as President of the Southern Association of States Departments of Agriculture and the Southern U.S. Trade Association, she has been on the forefront of national and regional issues impacting agriculture.
Hyde-Smith and her husband Mike are parents of Anna-Michael who is the family’s fifth generation farmer. They raise beef cattle and are partners in Lincoln County Livestock, a local stockyard auction market where they live in Brookhaven, Miss.