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Officials break ground on massive agricultural market complex in Rankin County

State and local officials broke ground on the Genuine Mississippi Agricultural Market Complex in Brandon last week (Photo courtesy of MDAC)

Ground has been broken on a first-of-its-kind agricultural complex in Rankin County.

Last week, state and local officials joined on 153 acres of undeveloped land off Highway 18 in Brandon to put shovels in the dirt of what will eventually become the Genuine Mississippi Agricultural Market Complex. The project will be centered around a retail component based on a town square while including supply, storage, and distribution options.

With these components allowing the Market Complex to safely store and process food for distribution to other retail locations such as grocery stores, restaurants, and farmers’ markets, Agriculture Commissioner Andy Gipson told attendees that the Market Complex is the first step in attaining long-term and widespread food security.

“Today is a day we will always remember as a state and as a country when we had the vision to plan ahead for our local food supply. Food security is national security,” Gipson said. “This vision is about growing markets for our local farmers, making new opportunities for our local farmers at the same time as we bring new opportunities for local consumers who want fresh local food.”

Brandon Mayor Butch Lee is hopeful that the project will not only expand the number one industry in Mississippi – agriculture – but also help further develop the area while giving residents a healthier option for food.

“We are encouraged by the continued growth and development of the Highway 18 corridor in the city of Brandon,” Lee said. “Commissioner Gipson’s vision and dedication to locate the Genuine Mississippi Agricultural Complex closer to Rankin County consumers is appreciated. Along with benefitting our area farmers, the benefits of convenient access to farm fresh foods positively affects the health and wellness of all residents in Brandon and Rankin County.”

Plans for the Market Complex feature workforce development opportunities and training for youth interested in pursuing a career in agriculture and commerce. On top of the job opportunities, leaders will look for a tourism boost out of the project set to include the full farm-to-table experience.

“It will be a wonderful addition to our county and spur additional economic and tourism development,” Noel Daniels, president of Rankin First, said. “We look forward to welcoming visitors from all over our great state and the United States as they come to this unique, one-of-a-kind marketplace complex.”

While a tentative completion date for the Market Complex in Brandon is scheduled for 2027 or 2028, Gipson is already envisioning a positive effect and plans to build similar projects in other parts of the state.

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