Thanks to a well-trained, skilled and productive workforce, agriculture and forestry is Mississippi’s number one industry, employing 29 percent of workers in the state. In 2014, Mississippi had more than 35,000 farms covering 10 million acres. From cattle to catfish, poultry to pecans, and horses to horticulture, farms help Mississippi remain a leading economy in agribusiness.
Mississippi forests cover 19.6 million acres, which constitutes 65 percent of the state. Forestry-related jobs employ 20 percent of Mississippi’s manufacturing workforce. The value of production for Mississippi’s number three commodity was more than $1 billion in 2012.
January 7, 2015 – “On behalf of the team at Raybern Foods, we are thrilled to join the thriving Mississippi business community,” said Rob Leibowitz, CEO, Raybern Foods. The company announced a $10 million investment in Tupelo where they will manufacture specialty heat-and-serve sandwiches. Read the full story >>
October 21, 2014 – “This investment will modernize our Greenville facility, increase our site’s capacity and allow us to build a state-of-the-art Research and Development Application Center that will serve our global efforts.” – Apu Mody, President, Mars Food North America. Read the full story >>
Mississippi’s skilled workforce is its greatest treasure. Mississippians have a “can-do” attitude and are driven by pride to do things right. Robust workforce training programs offered throughout the state equip Mississippi’s people with the necessary skills to get the job done. A right-to-work state, Mississippi’s affordable cost of living, low overall cost of doing business, and tax and financing incentives make it an attractive economic option for companies of all sizes — from start-ups to established multinational corporations. An enterprise is only as good as its people — that’s why more industry leaders are choosing a Mississippi location to compete in today’s global marketplace.
Mississippi’s 15 community colleges offer 26,403 training classes and serve more than 550 companies with customized training solutions.
In 2014, Mississippi State University spent $102.8 million in research and development expenditures in agricultural sciences, ranking the university sixth in the nation for its R&D initiatives.
The Division of Agriculture, Forestry and Veterinary Medicine at Mississippi State University operates 16 branch experiment stations and research units throughout the state. Each center focuses on a specific field of study, ranging from cattle production, to exploratory seafood processing, to truck crops. These extensions serve to conduct research and education programs aimed at developing a better understanding and use of renewable and nonrenewable resources in the state.
The Jamie Whitten Delta States Research Center in Leland, Mississippi, is one of the major research establishments of the Agricultural Research Service. The center conducts research in many areas including genetics and basic physiology, control of principal crops enemies, production systems and techniques, equipment innovation and development, safety and human health, and technology of pesticide application. The center serves five Mississippi Delta region states including Mississippi, Louisiana, Tennessee, Alabama and Kentucky.
The School of Agriculture, Research, Extension and Applied Sciences at Alcorn State University is a land-grant entity that prepares graduate and undergraduate students for advanced learning and addressing existing needs of agriculture and applied sciences. The school is composed of the departments of Agriculture, Human Sciences, Advanced Technologies, Research and Extension Programs, and has a strong partnership in agribusiness research with Mississippi State University.
Mississippi is centrally located between the East and West coasts and provides easy access to major U.S. markets including Mobile, Alabama; New Orleans, Louisiana; Atlanta, Georgia; Nashville, Tennessee; Dallas, Texas; Houston, Texas; and St. Louis, Missouri. The U.S. distribution hub of Memphis, Tennessee, is just across Mississippi’s northern state line, and the Gulf of Mexico forms the state’s southern border. The state’s transportation infrastructure provides unparalleled distribution and delivery for manufacturer
The Agribusiness Enterprise Loan Program (ABE) provides loans through financial institutions to encourage job creation and the development of the state’s agricultural industry. Eligible agribusinesses include manufacturers, and aquaculture and horticulture businesses.
The Advantage Jobs Program provides for a rebate of a percentage of Mississippi payroll to qualified manufacturers for a period of up to 10 years. Jobs must meet or exceed the average annual wage of the state or the county in which the company locates, whichever is lower.
Companies receive a corporate income tax credit equal to a percentage of eligible payroll for each newly created job. These credits are available for a five-year period, or the company can opt for job training grants that cover up to 75 percent of the cost of training employees and range from $1,000 to $2,000 per worker. View a detailed pdf.
OJT reimbursements can help offset training costs for new employees, depending on their wages and the length of training. The community college and/or WIN Job Center will work with the company to develop and negotiate a training and service plan and funding agreement. View a detailed pdf.
Mississippi offers manufacturers and other eligible businesses that construct a new facility or expand an existing facility in the state a sales and use tax exemption on component building materials, machinery and equipment. View a detailed pdf.
For companies that locate or expand in the state, subject to the discretion of the county and city government, this exemption is available for up to 10 years and may be granted on real and tangible property being used in the state. View a detailed pdf.
For a full list of incentives available from the state, visit the incentives page.