In this episode, Mississippi Senator Tyler McCaughn sits down with the Farm Families of Mississippi team to discuss why it's important to have people with knowledge of the agriculture industry serving at the Mississippi Capitol.
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think joining us for our farm. Your life. Mississippi. Our guest today. Uh, interesting guy Locks, wears lots of hats. A farmer. He's an attorney businessman in does. He didn't have enough time. I guess now he's state senator is how we present you Appreciate the invitation to come visit with everybody. And so what was? Let's just jump off right there. What was your thought process with everything you've got going on, run for state. Some might say that I wasn't thinking whenever I did that, but but it's been quite a challenge. You know, Mississippi is in a good position right now, and we really need good, strong people. Navigate, Frag a swell, as are other sides, like the legal side in which that I bring to the table. So I felt like I was a good mix of the two for the state. Your district district 31 I believe, is, is right there for a country. Talk about the number one poultry producing district in the state. Newton's got Northwest Lauderdale. I was born and bred in the poultry industry there, back when it was Beastly Rogers we raised. And, of course, whenever they sold out and my mother still worked in the poultry industry over the accounting department at Cook long days with poultry that made you go to law school. Well, now, if you throw that in there, we had chickens and we had hogs, and we've always had cattle. So the three of those they're still my heart. I can tell you outright right now that I can't let go of my farm, and my dad would tell you that I'm very fortunate that my dad's still able to help and and he runs the farms, usually most most of week while I'm over here and then I go and help on the weekends. As far as going to law school. They just he was a good opportunity. I had a good thing going from from the high school setting all the way into college, and I kept pretty good grades. And it just when you get that law degree, you can do just about anything, and that's kind of how I looked at it. I took that law degree and I've got a small breakfast there in Newton. And the reality is, I do a lot of land work and I worked with a lot of row crops. So it's just been a good fit for May.
No, launched in the world operation with current operation looks like and what your dad's running
what Dad's running and that's that's the key, a key phrase right now. So we've always had a commercial cattle and and we still have our commercial cattle. Now the family has about 100 feet of commercial mama cows that we run, but we've expanded and we've built up a registered Charlotte heard eso were 100 head of Richard Charlie that we hold owns. Even then, my nephew shows cattle, so we've got CNN of the registered Herford so that he's got some good pickings for a showcase. Eso. That's kind of our operation. Now, we've always been partial to the Charlotte. I know you're gonna have some Angus guys out there is perfect guys out there, But But we've always been partial to Charlotte, and and that's why we built up our registered heart of us. What, you're oration. And are you the future? I mean, if you really want to know, the future of farming is the question. And are we going more commercialized where, as you used to have the small farms scattered across the state, those guys are generally, I mean, honestly, they're dying out of the retiring. And the question is whether you're gonna have generations like mine to come back in here to take over those farms. You know, my dad's always been he's always encouraged the farm side. Ah,
little more than I wanted sometimes, you know, even as a within the last 10 years, it got me one day and said, I want to get some bees. So then we go from from our cattle and toe, adding onto the bees on, you know, you look up, you got 85 5 setting out there and you think it. Where do we have time for this? Um, but you don't have the people that just go in. You'll have the young kids that are gonna go in there and do that and tackle that. You know, additionally question where they can make a living. Just farming. Now I've got a friend who he and I graduated high school together and he's going back into the row proper. And I'm glad that he's doing that because it encourages me to see that we do have people out there still looking that
riled How What are you gonna do to hell? Younger farmers today,
any young kid in an ag program that comes to the capital. I want to say, you know, and I know that coming up the next couple weeks, we've got the bag. Teachers are bringing their kids over for the breakfast, 6 30 in the morning. You know, I think we've got to continue to encourage them and remind them that you can still do this. I mean, this is still a viable option. We still need a good, safe food source out there for our people, and that's not gonna change whether they poultry, whether the cattle, whether it be row cropping, we've got to continue to sustain that, say food source in and they're not going. We're not going to get it from from overseas. I mean, that's not our goal. Here are going to be the producer that ships it overseas, you know, to feed the world. Did you say fellow lawmakers put into that mess? We think so. Stay like Mrs. That's what we're talking to. You get your farmer in there. You think I think we're in a good spot in Mississippi, where most of our lawmakers know that state doesn't just come from a grocery store that has got to be produced somewhere, and we've got to continue to encourage those people to do it. You know, I was encouraged recently. Arrogance. It was last night when the Appropriations Committee met with with Foreign Bureau and talked about the future of a bag here in the state, and I felt comfortable with the group. I think this year in the Legislature you're going to see that that we have a good working relationship. So far, hopefully it's going to continue, and I think that everybody there is there for the right reason to encourage the growth here in Mississippi of forming to keep the continued growth of poultry course in my area. I hope that continue. He's I feel pretty optimistic, to be honest with you
about the future. One of those issues. God is great. This session coming up,
uh, you know, being a freshman and I was asked are you actually going to try to do anything? Well, you know, you're only promised four years, so you know, as far as I'm concerned, you know, we're 25% in, we've got a we've got to do something for our folks is far as my my goals. A lot of my goals are not going to grammar schools because they're probably gonna involve some of the legalese and in the back side of what's going on the law profession with me, some land land deals we're working on dealing with. I believe electronic notary is gonna be a big deal again this year. Anything of that nature is more where I'm gonna have my expertise in the farm side. And of course, being vice chair wildlife, I'm definitely out there looking to see what's gonna happen with that. Got a good chairman ahead of us there with Neil wailing, and I feel pretty comfortable where we're headed with that committee here were you definitely AG was much up. The judiciary's very fortunately on both judiciaries. Pretty heavy workload, but But I was very fortunate through that wildlife. We've got some good state barks. Roosevelt is in my district, you know, I've spent a lot of time. There's a kid on. I hope that we can continue to make that a viable option for for all of our all of Mississippi. Enjoy. And that was from out of state together. Camping and Joe are state parks as well. Was there anything that surprise one In your first day, I think everybody bills being our 1st 1st year of the term. I guess the only only thing I would like to maybe sped it up a little bit that first month, But with the lieutenant governor that we've got and being, we've got a smaller house there with Senate being 52 people, Hey is really pushed. It's pretty quick with our committee assignments coming out rather quickly, and any expects a lot of us. You know what she wants? You were signed your committee. You were expected to get to work today. And I know that your listeners will hear this. Who knows when? But today will be essential The first day that we really take up real legislation, the committee process. And then, you know, once that happens and the deadlines start with the drafting deadlines, you know, it's gonna it's really going to start moving. But the first month got a surprise me and I hope that we've got our new government established and were able to move forward here for the rest of the four years.
We kind of now wanting to encourage to AC three. What advice? A young AG leader who wants to also step other.
I would encourage them to get the education. Even if you want to go back and you just want to run a road car row crop operation or you want to run the cattle operation, you're never gonna rip getting that education. And once you open that door, it's open for you to go and do whatever you want to do. You want to go to law school, and you want to take that degree and you want to go work Performed Europe advocating drag are for any number of other companies out there. You can go do it. But if you back out and you wait too long, I'm afraid you too many people for yet but that they can go back and they can do that. So I would encourage anybody to go and get that education. If you're interested in it, you'll get that education. And then you start looking at how you want to your farm. You can always continue to build that farm on the side. I think, you know, forming today like 10 years ago. There's different aspects of thinking. No, it is pretty adjusted. Whatever degree, Absolutely nowadays. And you've got the GPS on the on the tractors and the combines that's helping you. You know, steer and make sure you're in the past that you need to be, whether it be spring. And, you know, I've seen the guys come out spraying the fields now, and they've got their GPS set up on there. It's gonna take, you know, highly trained individuals to work on this machinery nowadays, and, you know, those are good jobs. Good jobs out there, so you don't have to go in the policy side. The legislative side. You know, you can look at the engineering side. As you say. It's almost like some of the kids out there nowadays. That air during the video games I wanna have you may be the ones that are step ahead when they're out there on these combines.
Read so about, you know, other states trying to encourage that, you know, maybe instead, no, that do not have no Okay job. Is that something you thought about maybe bringing up for?
I think this year. In a matter of fact, I'm sure you all kept up with it. But, you know, you're seeing a push from the vocational side on on a national and state level, and you're also seeing a push for for continued computer science in the secondary schools. Those kind of go together, to be honest with you. Nowadays, you think about vocation when you think about the plumbers and the construction. And my dad was a contractor, so I grew up build houses. It's weird. I tell Jack about right that day, you know? Very fortunate, though, Um, you know you look at those trades, but then you've got to remember that on the other side of that spectrum in the vocational is the training on these machines. I mean, even a mechanic nowadays got to have the computer skills to run this equipment back experiences. Been a professor, And you just Hey, your, uh no one called hickory a city or town. It's Metropolis. But you, the importance towns, colleges, the heartbeat, It is the heartbeat. And that's something that we're fighting on the judicial side. I mean, the law on your side is that too many people come out and they think that they just have to go to the Ivory Towers and Jackson in Atlanta. And, you know, Knoxville, Nashville to go and get the jobs. The truth is coming back to a small town and setting up your practice. It's one of most worthwhile endeavors ever, and those jobs are out there. You know, the hickories and the Newtons and the Mortons. And these towns have to have counts. You know, the housing authorities that air set out there. They've gotta have counsel the jobs air there. It's not glamour's. It's in the ditches. You know you're doing everything from your wheels to your loan closings to going to Justice Court. But they're there. And, you know, I'd love to encourage not on ag side, but to encourage people to look it coming back to the smaller towns. Your lawyers, your number of lawyers in the small towns are diminishing when they're down, out retiring. And then there's very few people like me to come back in there.
It's it's more lawyers every what? You know what? Just in your own area, how you incurred
well in District 31. We've been very fortunate with the industry that's been there, right beyond their expansion to the bureau lumber company and, you know, on their potential for expansions in the future having a good, solid job opportunities there. I think that speaks volumes whether they choose to live in the small towns. I mean, that's a personal preference, and it takes a lot. It took a lot for me to come back in, you know, unmarried with Children and come back to a small town and say This is where I want to make my life. But, you know, I was lead. Good Lord told me and lead me that way, and I don't regret it. They've been good to me. It's been good to me. Newton County's been good to me. Scott County got to have a lot of the county pretty good during the campaign. But I don't regret it one bit. I believe it is where I'm supposed to be
West. So small town girl, too. They make fun of me. They laugh there like you drive me in every day. But I I so
like your take somebody restaurant this. Oh, goodness. You gonna get me in
trouble that I have to
choose one and two and we've got we've got good folks there. If you go to the Morton area, you've gotta you know, the rib cage is always a good place to go, and you come over and you stretch across the 20 corridor and you hit the back 40. And you know, you make it up this basketball yet lays and you come to Newton and you've got Zach Garvin's. So you know, we got T places to come visiting eat, so you'll come on over
Now, is there anything clean up your paper? You know why don't we not living that far from Jackson? Uh, you know, we would come over here and have dinner pretty often. Be honest with you. I really enjoyed going back home and having Mama's good because, you know, you eaten out all the time. Does does packet only a little bit here in your clothes. I have a place over here. I have a room with a guy that I lost school with the he one and I want and we decided room together. But I am fortunate that I can drive back over for events that close. Yeah, if they want to contact me, my email is out there. It's to Yuma Gonnet senate dot gov and you can always calm office 601 60
3 to 3 18 anytime. If you're interested in anything that we talked about, they have. You've been listening to our farm, your life podcast brought to you by the farm families of Mississippi to replay this episode or listen to any of our our farm your life podcast. Visit our website at Farm Families M s dot org and while you're there, you can find out more about the farm families of Mississippi AG image campaign plus read about farmers and ranchers we've highlighted from across the state