Former Mississippi state Sen. Bill Hawks is under consideration to fill the position of deputy agriculture secretary in the Bush administration.

Hawks, a soybean and corn producer from Hernando, interviewed at USDA and at the White House on Feb. 9. Sen. Thad Cochran, R-Miss., nominated Hawks for the number 2 position at the Agriculture Department.

Hawks was an unsuccessful candidate for Mississippi lieutenant governor in 2000, narrowly losing to attorney Amy Tuck. Sens. Cochran and Trent Lott, R-Miss. recently nominated his wife, Diane, to chair the statewide farmer advisory committee for the USDA Farm Service Agency in Mississippi.

Speaking at the Mississippi Farm Bureau Winter Commodity Conference in Jackson, Hawks said he expected to hear whether he would be named to the deputy secretary post in the next few days.