College student seeking Ag Commissioner seat

Published 10:22 am Wednesday, June 28, 2023

A 19-year-old Mississippi college student is defying expectations and challenging the status quo in his bid for the role of the state’s Commissioner of Agriculture.

Terry Rogers II, a Democrat from Quitman, could face incumbent Republican Andy Gipson in the November elections. Despite his youth, Rogers is already proving to be a formidable contender, having campaigned in 74 counties across the state.

“I’m running for the Democratic nomination for commissioner of agriculture,” Rogers said. “I’m running as an American and I’m running as a Mississippian. Don’t let party confuse me with anything that’s going on in Washington, because whenever I’m elected, I am going to bring a broom to Jackson, because it’s a mess.”

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Rogers, a student at Jones College, has made agriculture a key focus of his campaign, promising to lobby for land grants from the U.S. Department of Agriculture to support local farmers. “There’s a significant amount of Mississippi farmers who don’t even own their own land,” he noted.

He has also pledged to eliminate the state’s 7% grocery tax, the highest in the U.S., and aims to dramatically lower the prices of dairy, meat, and eggs. He’s advocating for more opportunities for young farmers, including the reintroduction of the Future Farmers of America program in schools and more scholarships for young students​.

Rogers’s decision to run for office was spurred by a chance conversation with farmers at Jones College. “I told them, I said I’d pray about it, and if God gives me an answer that I will run. On Feb. 1, God gave me that answer, and when God gave me that answer, I ran,” he shared​.

Despite the challenges that come with being the youngest candidate, Rogers remains confident and committed to his cause. He has earned the support of several members of the Mississippi legislative black caucus and the Mississippi Democratic Party, and is steadfast in his intention to serve his state, regardless of the election outcome​.