Vardaman's history as a sweet potato growing area began in 1915 when a few farm families moved to the area from Martin, Tennessee. The newcomers brought with them the beginnings of the Vardaman, Mississippi sweet potato industry. Their knowledge coupled with the county's quality soil and climate led to the production of the world's finest sweet potatoes. Fourth and fifth generation growers from those original farm families, along with others, make up the majority of the sweet potato grower families farming near the town of Vardaman today. Some of the same families continue growing Vardaman Sweet Potatoes today. The sweet potato industry has grown by including sons or daughters who have grown up in sweet potato production. Other farmers have decided to diversify by adding sweet potatoes to their crop rotations. The typical 20-30 acre farm of the 1940's has grown to several hundred acres in most local farm family operations.
The main Vardaman thoroughfare, MS Hwy 8, bustles with sweet potato activity during all seasons, especially during the fall harvest. There are several sweet potato packing sheds located along Hwy 8 within the city limits. Many other family-run packing sheds are also located on the outskirts of town, including two of the largest grower/shipper operations. The specialty bakery in Vardaman, Sweet Potato Sweets, uses only local Vardaman Sweet Potatoes. The bakery ships its delicious products nationwide daily. Sweet potato production remains a mainstay in the Vardaman, MS area. The economic impact of the sweet potato industry as a whole has put Vardaman, MS on the map. The impact of the sweet potato industry helps keep agriculture the Number 1 industry in Calhoun County, MS. Vardaman sweet potatoes find their way to Atlanta and up the eastern seaboard, to Texas and up to Colorado and Idaho, down to Florida and all across the USA and Europe.