A picture of Representative Bennie G. Thompson
Bennie T.
Democrat MS 2

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  • Honoring John T. Hart

    by Representative Bennie G. Thompson

    Posted on 2014-01-07

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    THOMPSON of mississippi in the house of representatives Tuesday, January 7, 2014 Mr. THOMPSON of Mississippi. Mr. Speaker, I rise today to honor a hardworking and self motivated 65 year old black farmer, John T. Hart, who just keeps on going.

    Mr. John T. Hart, a native of Holmes County, Mississippi, has been a farmer most of his life, with the exception of some years that he lived in Chicago. He left Mississippi, a farmer and relocated back to Mississippi approximately four decades ago. If it was possible, one might say that farming is in his DNA. He is just that passionate about the farming industry. His heart for farming stems from his late father, Harrison B. (HB) Hart, who was one of the largest African-American farmers in Holmes County, even during struggling times for farmers. John Hart and several of his siblings helped their father to build the legacy.

    Today, Mr. Hart still carries on his father's legacy through a successful farming business of his own. One of his brothers also has a thriving farming business. To work from before sun up to pitch black dark is the norm for this hill farmer, who has also farmed hundreds of acres in the Mississippi Delta. Cotton, corn and soybeans have mainly been his crops of choice over the years. This year, just for fun, he has added 20 acres of ``delicious'' watermelons that have become in popular demand by local and area consumers and grocery businesses.

    Just like other industries, the farming business for Mr. Hart and others have had its share of blows. In a November 22, 2009 New York Times article by Shaila Dewan titled, ``In Mississippi Delta, a Promising Summer Washed Away by the Fall,'' Mr. Hart was one of the featured farmers interviewed for the article about continuous rain that had damaged farm crops that year for farmers in Mississippi, Alabama, Georgia, eastern Arkansas, and parts of Louisiana. ``You just keep going,'' Hart is quoted saying in the article.

    Mr. Hart is also a cattle rancher. Yes, the man who has turned dirt for decades also raises cattle. He owns a herd of cattle from good stock. How does he do it all with only the help of two farm hands? Only God knows.

    Although the Mississippi farming business has seen its share of ups and downs, Mr. Hart still remains steadfast to his passion even though at 65 he could be sitting on the beautiful front porch of their ranch house with his wife, Prince Ella Edwards Hart, of 44 years, looking out over the horizon of land God has blessed them with.

    Mr. Hart is a graduate of Tchula Attendance Center (now, S.V. Marshall High School). He and his wife, a retiree in the medical arena, have three adult children and three grandchildren.

    Will this be the year Mr. Hart brings all of his farm's heavy equipment out of the fields for good, recline in that chair beside his devoted wife and friends on that front porch? Who knows? Mr. Speaker, I ask my colleagues to join me in recognizing Mr. John T. Hart for his impeccable dedication and endurance of successful farming.


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