|The Pine Belt region of Southeast Mississippi is found to the north of the fourth congressional district's coastal counties and includes the Pearl River, Hattiesburg and Laurel communities, among others. It gets its name from the abundance of longleaf pines. The largest city in the region, Hattiesburg, is home to two universities: The University of Southern Mississippi and William Carey University. Hattiesburg earned its nickname as "The Hub City" because of its central location for the lumber and railroad industries. The region is still known for timber harvesting.
Camp Shelby Joint Forces Training Center is located just south of Hattiesburg on U.S. Highway 49. It is the largest reserve component training site in the nation, covering more than 134,000 acres, and has been a mobilization center almost continually since it was first established in 1917 during World War I. Training is conducted for Reserve Components of the Army as well as Active Components of the Army, Navy, Marine Corps, and Air Force.
Each year, the Pine Belt region hosts the Pecan Festival in Beaumont, Mississippi. This festival hosts a variety of activities including bluegrass and Gospel music, good food, and even better company. Today, the Pine Belt region is a thriving and welcoming community of Mississippians providing service and strength to the state.