William T. Hawks, known as Bill Hawks (November 22, 1944 near Oxford, Mississippi), is an American politician, former civil servant, agricultural businessman, and founder and CEO of AgWorks Solutions, LLC..
William T. "Bill" Hawks
|State Senator from DeSoto County, Mississippi|
|Born||November 22, 1944|
|Alma mater||Mississippi State University|
|Branch/service||United States Army Reserve|
Mississippi Air National Guard
He graduated from Mississippi State University in 1968 with a Bachelor of Science degree in agricultural economics. In 1970, he procured a Master of Science in the same field from the same university.
From 1968 to 1970, Hawks served in the United States Army Reserve and from 1970 to 1972, he served in the Mississippi Army National Guard. Thereafter, Hawks was a member of the Mississippi Air National Guard from 1972 until 1980.
Hawks started farming after finishing graduate school by owning and operating a dairy in DeSoto County in far northwestern Mississippi. In the early 1970s, he began to lease land from neighbors to get started in a row crop operation, often doing custom work for others. Over the years, this evolved into a multi-faceted operation.
Hawks was the managing partner of Hawks Farming, which farmed approximately 12,000 acres of land in three counties in northern Mississippi. This operation consisted of soybeans, double-cropped winter wheat, corn, cotton, and cattle.
In the late 1980s, Hawks was a part owner in a professional farm management company, Sunbelt Land and Timber Company, Incorporated.
During the early 1990s, Hawks owned and managed Northwest Mississippi Flying Service, Incorporated, an agricultural aerial application service, and owned and operated a recreational airport. The Hawks family also owned DeSoto East, Incorporated, a residential development company.
In December 1994, Hawks was elected to the Mississippi State Senate, representing DeSoto County. During his five years as a state senator, he was a leader on the committees with jurisdiction over agriculture and the environment. In 1999, he was the Republican nominee for Lieutenant Governor of Mississippi.
On May 24, 2001, during the George W. Bush administration, Hawks was sworn in as the Undersecretary for Marketing and Regulatory Programs by United States Secretary of Agriculture Ann M. Veneman. Hawks resigned from the USDA position in June 2005.
In January 2006, Hawks formed AgWorks Solutions, a Washington, DC consulting and government relations firm that specializes in animal health and agriculture-related trade. Since 2010, Hawks has been a member of the American Lumber Standards Board of Review and has served as Chairman since 2015. In 2014, Hawks received the United States Animal Health Association Medal of Distinction.
Throughout his career, he has been active in many agricultural boards and committees such as American Farm Bureau Federation, American Soybean Association, the National Corn Growers Association, and many state and local organizations. He has three children and is married to the former Robin Desha Lucas.