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Roger Wicker

Salute to Delta Honor Graduates held in conjunction with Delta Council Day

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The 14th annual Salute to Delta Honor Graduates will be held in conjunction with Delta Council Day on June 9. Senator Roger Wicker (left), the keynote speaker for the event, will be joined by co-host Archie Tucker, senior executive with the Department of Agriculture.

Delta Council will hold its 14th Salute to Delta Honor Graduates Event during the 82nd annual meeting of the regional organization at Delta State University on June 9.

The Honor Graduate event is slated for 9 a.m. in a tent on the parking lot outside the east entrance of the Bologna Performing Arts Center.

U.S. Senator Roger Wicker will be the keynote speaker for the event, and United States Department of Agriculture senior executive Archie Tucker will serve as co-host for the event.

“We are pleased that two exceptional Mississippi leaders — Senator Wicker and Mr. Tucker — will be there to underscore the importance of continuing their educational and professional pursuits to these top young men and women of the Delta,” said Cass Pennington of Indianola, Delta Council Educational Policy chairman. “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.”

Wicker, a native of Pontotoc and resident of Tupelo, has represented Mississippi in the United States Senate since December 2007. Wicker serves as a member of the Senate Armed Services Committee, and he chairs the Subcommittee on Seapower. He is a member of the Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee, serving as chairman of the Subcommittee on Communications, Technology, Innovation and the Internet; Environment and Public Works Committee; and the Rules Committee.  Wicker is also a member of the U.S. Merchant Marine Academy Congressional Board of Visitors.

Co-hosting the event will be Archie Tucker of Greenville, who is the deputy administrator of USDA’s largest Agricultural Research Service regional location in the country. Tucker’s extensive professional and civic activities have led to personal recognition including the Distinguished Alumni Award in 2005 and the Herbert White Preeminence Award for Achievement in Excellence from Mississippi Valley State University, a resolution from the Mississippi House of Representatives and Parent of the Year for the 1999-2000 school year from the Mississippi State Board of Education. Additionally, Tucker is a member of several organizations including the Advisory Board of the National Society for Minorities in Agriculture, Executive Board of Alcorn State University and the National Alumni Association for MVSU.

The Honor Graduate Event is designed to bestow special honor upon two exemplary students from each of the high schools throughout the Mississippi Delta Region, including public, parochial and private schools. Students are selected by school administrators based on grade point average, extracurricular activities and community service.

In addition, a $2,500 scholarship will be awarded to the top Delta Honor Graduate as selected by higher education officials in the Delta, to help defray tuition and expenses as the student’s college of choice sees fit. The top Delta Honor Graduate will be recognized on stage at the Delta Council annual meeting during the Business Session, which begins at 10:30 a.m. Wicker will also be on hand to introduce the keynote speaker for the 82nd Annual Meeting, United States Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue.

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

Perdue and Cochran

Secretary Perdue to keynote 82nd Delta Council

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Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue (right) meets with U.S. Senator Thad Cochran of Mississippi before his confirmation.

 

Delta Council President Harry Simmons, of Yazoo City, announced today that U.S. Secretary of Agriculture George Ervin “Sonny” Perdue will be the featured guest and keynote speaker for the 82nd annual meeting of Delta Council, to be held on the Delta State University campus at 10:30 a.m on June 9 at the Bologna Performing Arts Center.

“We are so pleased that agriculture’s friend from Georgia, Sonny Perdue, will be the featured speaker for this year’s Delta Council annual meeting,” said Simmons, an aquaculture and row crop farmer and catfish processor. “Secretary Perdue has an impressive background as an agribusiness man and two-term successful governor of Georgia, and we look forward to the opportunity to meet with him and hear his thoughts on the future of America’s agricultural industry.”

Perdue, a native of Perry, Georgia, earned a doctorate in veterinary medicine from the University of Georgia. While still in school, Perdue volunteered to serve his country in the U.S. Air Force, receiving an honorable discharge in 1974 with the rank of captain. Following a brief tenure as a practicing veterinarian, Perdue started two businesses from the ground up, concentrating in agribusiness and transportation.

His public service began in the 1980s when he served on the Houston County Planning and Zoning Board. He then successfully ran for the state senate, becoming majority leader in just four years, followed by his election as president pro tempore.

In January 2003, Perdue was elected to serve as Georgia’s governor and he won reelection by an overwhelming margin in November 2006. As governor, Perdue focused on improving education, providing better access to health care, creating quality jobs for Georgians, and increasing resources for stronger, safer communities. He was appointed by President Trump to be the 31st Secretary of Agriculture and was confirmed in late May by the United States Senate.

In addition to the keynote address by Perdue, 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 graduates, their families and school officials to main event and present them with engraved certificates recognizing them as 2017 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 will conclude the program for the 82nd annual event on the grounds of the quadrangle on the Delta State campus.

Sponsors for event 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.

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.