Skip to content
Bill of the Day: How much do you love...

Bill of the Day: How much do you love the sweet potato?

By: Sarah Ulmer - February 13, 2024

  • Magnolia Tribune brings you a Bill of the Day for the 2024 Mississippi Legislative Session that just may pique your interest.

This may come as a surprise, but Mississippi has never designated a “state vegetable.”

But don’t fret. According to House Bill 989, Mississippians could soon celebrate the sweet potato as its main vegetable of choice.

State Rep. Sam Creekmore

The bill, authored by Representative Sam Creekmore (R), was recommended to him in a letter by a third-grade class at East Union. He said the students suggested the sweet potato as the state vegetable.

“I hope Mississippi will get behind it. I think it’s important for tourism to recognize things like this because it brings a good light to Mississippi. You never know what sweet potato lovers out there will hear about it,” said Rep. Creekmore.

He went on to say he thought the students’ suggestion was a unique and novel idea that would also honor the state’s sweet potato farmers.

According to the Mississippi State University Extension Service, sweet potato growers in the Magnolia State plant more than 20,000 acres of the crop each year. This ranks Mississippi second in the U.S. for sweet potato acreage and third in production.

If lawmakers choose to move forward in designating the vegetable with the state title, it will follow the blueberry, which was declared the state fruit in 2023 after another elementary class petitioned lawmakers to make the proclamation.

“Mississippi sweet potato growers are committed to growing the safest, most nutritious, and affordable sweet potatoes. We are excited about this opportunity to elevate the states largest specialty crop,” said Caleb Englert Mississippi Sweet Potato Council President.

Sweet potatoes are most often planted in the spring from roots produced the prior year. When the shoots reach 8 to 10 inches in length they are cut and transplanted into ridged planting beds throughout production fields.

It takes three to four months for the vegetable to grow before harvest. The resulting produce is great as a stand-alone dish, but can also be cooked for casseroles, fries and even tater tots.

If approved, the sweet potato will join the long list of other state symbols like the honeybee (the state insect), petrified wood (the state stone), the teddy bear (state toy), and the state beverage (milk).

About the Author(s)
author profile image

Sarah Ulmer

Sarah is a Mississippi native, born and raised in Madison. She is a graduate of Mississippi State University, where she studied Communications, with an emphasis in Broadcasting and Journalism. Sarah’s experience spans multiple mediums, including extensive videography with both at home and overseas, broadcasting daily news, and hosting a live radio show. In 2017, Sarah became a member of the Capitol Press Corp in Mississippi and has faithfully covered the decisions being made by leaders on some of the most important issues facing our state. Email Sarah: