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U.S. Sen. Kerry Moran of Kansas will keynote the 81st annual Delta Council meeting at Delta State on May 20 at 10:30 a.m.

Senator Jerry Moran to keynote Delta Council

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Delta Council President Al Rankins, of Greenville, announced today that U.S. Senator Jerry Moran of Kansas will be the featured guest and keynote speaker for the 81st annual meeting of Delta Council, to be held on the Delta State University campus at 10:30 a.m, May 20, at the Bologna Performing Arts Center.

“We are so pleased that our friend from Kansas, Jerry Moran, will be the featured speaker for this year’s Delta Council Annual Meeting,” said Rankins, a retired businessman and elected official. “Senator Moran has been to the Delta several times to meet with us over the years and has a passion for rural development and job creation issues.”

Moran was elected to the U.S. Senate in 2010 and serves on the Senate Appropriations Committee and a member of the Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee. Additionally, he serves as chairman of the Agricultural Appropriations Subcommittee. Since joining the Senate, Moran has been a leading advocate for issues related to entrepreneurship, job creation and innovation. 

“We have known Senator Moran since he was a leader in the U.S. House of Representatives on the Agriculture Committee, and after moving to the Senate, he has ascended into an extremely prominent position, chairing the Agricultural Appropriations Subcommittee,” said Gibb Steele, chairman of the Delta Council Rice and Small Grains Committee. “Chairman Moran has been to the Delta many times in his capacity as Agricultural Appropriations Subcommittee Chairman, and he has weighed in heavily on our behalf on several matters since passage of the 2014 Farm Bill.”

Prior to his service in the Senate, Moran served Kansas in the “Big First” Congressional District for seven terms in the U.S. House of Representatives, as well as eight years in the Kansas State Senate, spending the last two as Majority Leader.

Moran attended Fort Hays State University and later, the University of Kansas, where he received both an undergraduate degree and a juris doctorate. 

In addition to the keynote by Moran, Delta Council will honor more than 140 high school seniors as Delta Honor Graduates with the ceremony beginning at 9 a.m., located under the tent next to the BPAC. Dignitaries will welcome the Honor Graduates, their families and school officials, to the annual meeting and present them with engraved certificates recognizing them as 2016 Honor Graduates. The top Honor Graduate will be selected by higher education officials and be presented a $2,500 scholarship during the 10:30 a.m. business session.

“The Delta Honor Graduate event is designed to raise the level of awareness of parents, teachers,and our local communities of the importance of bringing these bright young minds back to the Delta after they have completed their formal and advanced education,” said Cass Pennington of Indianola, who serves as chairman of the Delta Council Education and Health Policy Committee.

The tradition of a fried catfish luncheon on the quad will conclude the program.

Sponsors for the meeting include: BankPlus, Catfish Farmers of Mississippi, Cotton, Inc., Sanders, Inc., Mississippi Corn Promotion Board, Mississippi Rice Promotion Board, Mississippi Soybean Promotion Board, and Southern Ag Credit/Mississippi Land Bank.

Myrtis Tabb, associate vice president of finance and administration at Delta State, was recently appointed to the board of directors for Delta Council.

Tabb appointed to Delta Council board

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Longtime Delta State leader Myrtis Tabb, associate vice president of finance and administration, was recently appointed to serve on the board of directors for the Delta Council.

The Delta Council Annual Meeting, held at Delta State each May, is a political happening and social event attended by several thousand members and guests each year.

“Delta Council plays an extremely important role in development for the entire Mississippi Delta region, and its influence reaches state and national levels,” said Tabb. “While much of the work is known to the public, much of it also goes on behind the scenes to effectively bring improvement to the region. I hope to contribute to that work as part of the board of directors.”

Each year, those who attend the meeting have the opportunity to hear nationally known speakers, review the results of Delta Council programs, enjoy a top-notch cotton fashion show sponsored by local talent, and enjoy a hot catfish and hush puppy lunch.

“Hosting Delta Council Day on our campus is an important event for Delta State University in late spring each year,” added Tabb. “I work with our Delta State team to ensure that we do our part to have a successful day each year.”

Delta Council President Walton Gresham, who selected Tabb as one of his presidential appointees, recognized her commitment to the proud traditions of Delta Council and the region as a whole.

“It is a great pleasure to have Myrtis Tabb on the board of directors of Delta Council. She is not only a recognized leader in regional higher education circles, but she is a strong proponent of community and economic development, cultural and heritage tourism, and other opportunities that have a big impact on the Delta region which Delta Council focuses its efforts on,” said Gresham. “She makes good things happen, not only for Delta State University but for the entire region.”

Delta Council is an area economic development organization representing the 18 Delta and part-Delta counties of Northwest Mississippi. For more information, visit http://www.deltacouncil.org.

Agriculture Deputy Secretary Krysta Harden will keynote Delta Council May 30 at Delta State University.

Deputy Secretary of Agriculture to keynote Delta Council

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Deputy Secretary of Agriculture Krysta Harden will be the keynote speaker for the 79th annual Delta Council meeting to be held at the Bologna Performing Arts Center on Delta State’s campus May 30 at 10:30 a.m.

The tradition of a fried catfish luncheon will conclude the yearly event on the grounds of Delta State’s quadrangle.

Mytis Tabb, associate vice president at Delta State, is thrilled to continue the proud tradition of Delta Council on the university’s vibrant campus.

“Delta State University is always pleased to host Delta Council Day on our campus,” said Tabb. “It takes many hands to insure a successful event and we have a great Delta State team to make it happen. We look forward to welcoming visitors from several states.”

Harden, who was raised in South Georgia in a farming family, was sworn in last year as deputy secretary after a distinguished career in agricultural policy.

“We are so pleased that our friend Krysta Harden will be the featured speaker for this year’s Delta Council Annual Meeting,” said Delta Council president Gibb Steele, a farmer from Greenville. “We have worked with Krysta in a number of different capacities during her career, including her distinguished tenure as CEO of the National Association of Conservation Districts, the American Soybean Association and as staff person on Capitol Hill concentrating on agricultural issues.

“Since being nominated as Deputy Secretary, she has already been charged with implementation of the 2014 Farm Bill over the coming months, and we look forward to her talking to our members and guests about the future of rural America.”

Harden was instrumental in implementing programs under the 2008 Farm Bill that have resulted in record investments in America’s farms and rural communities, record agricultural exports and record conservation efforts. She worked to pass and implement the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010, ensuring the availability of nutrition assistance to struggling Americans.

A chief advocate of conservation, she continues leading efforts to build close stakeholder relationships with an ultimate goal of enhancing land and water conservation, improving economic opportunities through increased outdoor activities and expanding modern forest management.

From 2004-09, Harden was the CEO of the National Association of Conservation Districts. She also served 12 years on Capitol Hill as staff director for the House subcommittee on peanuts and tobacco and as chief of staff and press secretary for former Congressman Charles Hatcher. Harden received her degree in journalism from the University of Georgia.

Mississippi Governor Phil Bryant will introduce Harden to the Delta Council audience.

In addition to Harden, the Delta Council will honor more than 140 high school seniors as Delta Honor Graduates, with the ceremony beginning at 9 a.m. The top Honor Graduate will be selected by higher education officials and be presented a $2,500 scholarship during the council business session.

“The Delta Honor Graduate event is designed to raise the level of awareness of parents, teachers and our local communities of the importance of bringing these bright young minds back to the Delta after they have completed their formal and advanced education,” said Cass Pennington of Indianola, chairman of the Delta Council Education and Health Policy Committee.

Also at 9 a.m. in the BPAC Recital Hall, noted Washington political commentator Stu Rothenberg — a favorite of past Delta Council audiences — will address the members of Delta 1000 on the upcoming midterm national elections.

Sponsors of this year’s meeting include: BankPlus; Catfish Farmers of Mississippi; Cotton, Inc.; Jimmy Sanders, Inc.; Mississippi Corn Promotion Board; Mississippi Rice Promotion Board; Mississippi Soybean Promotion Board; and Southern Ag Credit/Mississippi Land Bank.

The Delta Council Annual Meeting, held at Delta State each May, is a “combination of political happening, social event and old-fashioned dinner on the ground.” It is attended by several thousand members and guests who are provided the opportunity to hear nationally known speakers, review the results of Delta Council programs, enjoy a top-notch cotton fashion show sponsored by local talent and enjoy a hot catfish and hushpuppy dinner.

Delta Council is an area economic development organization representing the 18 Delta and part-Delta counties of Northwest Mississippi. For more information, visit http://www.deltacouncil.org.