Leaders in Ag: John Gordon Campbell
Author: Vanessa Beeson
John Gordon Campbell, 2001 agricultural pest management graduate, was designated as the Deputy Commissioner of the Mississippi Department of Agriculture and Commerce in 2015.
He serves as deputy to Commissioner Cindy Hyde-Smith and helps oversee the management of the agency's divisions, including administrative services, development and implementation of policy and budgets, marketing of agricultural products, regulation of agricultural industries, and investigations of agricultural-related crimes.
"These functions are aimed at providing efficient and effective services to Mississippi's consumers, farmers, ranchers, and agribusinesses. In addition, I always strive to fulfill the Commissioner's vision of supporting and advancing agriculture in Mississippi," Campbell explained.
He says he looks forward to building on the Commissioner's successes since taking office in 2012 and credits his predecessor, Andy Prosser, former deputy commissioner and MSU alumnus, as laying a solid foundation of accomplishments that allowed for a smooth transition into his current role.
"As a personal challenge, I'll work to foster teamwork, encourage professional development, and provide career opportunities to our employees thus increasing our productivity, ensuring the best use of taxpayer dollars, and delivering better services to the citizens of our state," he said.
Specifically, he has set his sights on the Mississippi State Fairgrounds and the Mississippi Agriculture and Forestry Museum.
"Both of these facilities are invaluable because, whether it is for a 4-H or Future Farmers of America livestock show or one of the many other agricultural events, both venues attract thousands of children each year allowing our next generation of leaders to witness the story of agriculture and its impact on the state," he said.
From an overall agricultural perspective, he looks forward to continuing his work opening new markets for Mississippi's agricultural commodities as well as addressing the many issues producers currently face.
"In light of today's regulatory climate, I plan to dedicate significant time on issues impacting agriculture. I believe in order to be effective on policy issues, it is important for Mississippi to have a seat at the table ensuring our voice is heard when decisions are being made on agricultural policy," he said.
His advice to current students is to take advantage of a unique time in the agricultural industry.
"With a growing world population and fast-paced technological advancements, it is the ideal time to pursue a career in the agricultural industry. The opportunities are endless in traditional and non-traditional agricultural fields such as precision agriculture and incorporating unmanned aerial vehicles into the industry, which lead to other areas such as software development, law, and engineering just to name a few," he concluded.