Tom Robertson, Jr., a cotton/corn grower from Indianola, Miss., has been selected as the 2007 Swisher Sweets/Sunbelt Expo Southeastern Farmer of the Year for Mississippi.

He leased his first 800 acres near Lake Washington in 1967 and combined it into his father and uncle’s operation that was located nearby.

The operation has swelled to more than 10,000 acres today leading to his selection as the 2007 Swisher Sweets/Sunbelt Expo Southeastern Farmer of the Year for Mississippi. He was selected for the honor in judging conducted by the Mississippi State University Extension Service and was nominated by Tommy Baird.

Cotton, corn and soybeans remain as the backbone of today’s vast 10,000-acre operation. Cotton is grown on 6,000 acres and yields 1,000 pounds per acre while 4,000 acres of corn produces 170 bushels per acre.

There are also 100 head of Angus cattle, and catfish ponds cover 1,500 acres, yielding more than 4 million pounds of fish per year.

“I market all of my grains myself through Delta Western and Farmers Grain Terminal,” says Robertson. “We let StaplCotn handle the sales of all of my cotton.

“We are also involved in many other companies, all of which are related to the agriculture industry. Plus, I’m very fortunate to have my son Ben farming with me and carrying on the family tradition.”

Robertson and his wife Lois also have another son, Bill, who lives in Jackson, and a daughter Mary Pillow, who lives in Atlanta.

Previous state winners from Mississippi include: Hugh Arant, Sr., of Ruleville, 1990; Bill Hawks of Hernando, 1991; Kenneth Hood of Gunnison, 1992; Tol Thomas of Cruger, 1993; Rick Parsons of Vance, 1994; Ed Hester of Benoit, 1995; Bill Harris of Benton, 1996; Robert Miller of Greenwood, 1997; Ted Kendall, III of Bolton, 1998; Wayne Bush of Schlater, 1999; William Tackett of Schlater, 2000; Willard Jack of Belzoni, 2001; Hugh Arant, Jr. of Ruleville, 2002; Rick Parsons of Vance, 2003; Sledge Taylor of Como, 2004; Laurance Carter of Rollins Fork, 2005; and Brooks Aycock of Belzoni, 2006.

Mississippi has had three overall winners with Kenneth Hood of Gunnison, 1993, Ed Hester of Benoit, 1995, and Willard Jack of Belzoni, 2001.