|William T. "Bill" Hawks|
|State Senator from DeSoto County, Mississippi|
November 22, 1944 |
|Alma mater||Mississippi State University|
|Service/branch||United States Army Reserve
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 has evolved into the multi-faceted operation in place today.
Hawks is currently the managing partner of Hawks Farming, which farms approximately 7,700 acres (31 km²) of land in three counties in northern Mississippi. This operation consists of 5,200 acres (21 km²) of soybeans, 3,000 acres (12 km²) of double-cropped winter wheat, and 2,500 acres (10 km²) of corn.
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 also owned and operated a recreational airport. The Hawks family owns 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.
Throughout his career, he has been active in many agricultural boards and committees such as American Farm Bureau Federation, American Soybean Association, and many active state and local organizations. He has two children.