Melanie is a sixth generation member of Oakwood Plantation
located in southeastern Adams County. Oakwood has been in
the Sojourner family since 1814, making it one of Mississippi’s
oldest family farms. Today, Melanie runs a commercial cow-
calf operation and is the founder and manager of a marketing
and public relations firm. She also manages the books for an
earth moving construction company operated by her father, a
former Navy Seabee and Vietnam Veteran.
Melanie’s family ties across Senate District 37 run deep. Her
mother’s family has roots to the Crosby, Gloster, and
Centreville areas going back six generations. Her paternal
grandmothers family both originated in the Franklin County
communities of Monroe and McCall Creek going back eight
Melanie became the first Republican to represent Senate District 37 in 150 years when she was elected in 2011. Melanie served in the State Senate from 2012 – 2015. In her first year in office, Melanie’s appointment as Chairman of the Senate Forestry Committee made her one of the first freshman senators in Mississippi history to serve as a committee chairman.
Melanie was a founding member and secretary of the Mississippi Senate Conservative Coalition and was chosen by her Senate peers to serve as the spokesperson for a coalition of Mississippi legislators working on economic development efforts for South Mississippi.
Melanie was instrumental in authoring and working to pass several key pieces of legislation while in office, several of which were signed into law. Including the Student Religious Liberties Act, Small Business and Regulatory Flexibility Act, Oil and Gas Severance Tax Reduction Bill, Domestic Violence Task Force Creation Bill, and the Mississippi Tourism Marketing
EDUCATION & PROFESSIONAL
Melanie has spent most of her life serving rural and agriculture communities through various professional and volunteer leadership roles, including working for the Mississippi Cattlemen’s Association, serving as Director of the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association’s member services department and as a 4-H Associate with the Mississippi State University Extension Service.
She is a graduate of Copiah-Lincoln Community College and Louisiana State University. Melanie has been a small business owner of several businesses in the food service, automotive, personal fitness, and tourism industries.
PERSONAL & COMMUNITY INVOLVMENT
Melanie is a devoted mother of two children, Kaelin, age 24,
and Dayne, age 19. She has served as a volunteer youth
basketball coach, Dixie Youth team mom, as a coordinator for
youth shooting sports and hunter safety programs, as well as a
coach and judge for numerous junior livestock programs.
Throughout her life, Melanie has been an active member of
both Calvary Baptist and First Baptist Church in Natchez where
she was a former member of the Sanctuary Choir and a
Vacation Bible School activity leader.
Melanie is a Past-President of the Adams County Christian
School PTL, Past-President of the Healthcare Foundation of
Natchez Regional Medical Center, former Area Vice President
of the Mississippi Cattlemen’s Association, Secretary of the
Adams County Farm Bureau and a voting delegate to the state
Board of Directors of the Mississippi Farm Bureau Federation.