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Sen. Hyde-Smith to headline 86th annual Delta Council meeting

Delta Council President, Paul Hollis of Rolling Fork, and Chairman Tom Gresham of Indianola are pleased to announce the 86th Annual Meeting of Delta Council to be held in-person Friday, June 4, 2021, at Delta State University’s Bologna Performing Arts Center (BPAC) in Cleveland, Mississippi.

Keynoting the business session of the meeting will be U.S. Senator Cindy Hyde-Smith.

“We are very grateful to be able to gather safely once again to continue this long-standing regional tradition of Delta Council Day on the Delta State University campus,” said Paul Hollis, a producer from Sharkey County who serves as President. “Delta Council is also grateful that Senator Hyde-Smith will be joining us as the keynote speaker for the business session of the meeting. Her dedication to fundamental legislative issues in the Delta is remarkable, and we look forward to and hope you will join us in welcoming her.”

Senator Hyde-Smith was elected to a six-year term in November 2020, following her 2018 appointment to fill U.S. Senator Thad Cochran’s long-term seat. As the first woman elected to represent Mississippi in Washington, D.C., Hyde-Smith serves on four key standing committees in the 117th Congress – Agriculture, Appropriations, Energy & Natural Resources, and Rules.

She serves on six Appropriations Subcommittees, including:  Agriculture, Rural Development, Food and Drug Administration, and Related Agencies; Energy and Water Development; Homeland Security; Interior, Environment, and Related Agencies; Labor, Health and Human Services, Education, and Related Agencies; and Financial Services and General Government, on which she serves as Ranking Member.

On the Agriculture Committee, Hyde-Smith serves on three subcommittees, including:  Commodities, Risk Management, and Trade; Conservation, Forestry, and Natural Resources; and Livestock, Dairy, Poultry, Local Food Systems, and Food Safety and Security, on which she serves as Ranking Member. On the Energy and Natural Resources Committee, Hyde-Smith also serves on three subcommittees, including:  Energy; Public Lands, Forests, and Mining; and Water and Power, on which she serves as Ranking Member.

“Senator Hyde-Smith has been a strong advocate for the Delta, engaged and effective in the legislative process, working diligently to improve flood control, economic growth, infrastructure, agriculture and public health in our region,” said Gresham, an Indianola businessman serving as Chairman of the organization. “Following the devastation caused by the historical 2019 Yazoo Backwater Flood, Senator Hyde-Smith has shown her unwavering support of the completion of the pumps for the South Delta by helping secure commitments from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and the Environmental Protection Agency. She has also championed policies to support and protect all facets of our largest industry in the Delta – agriculture.”

As a U.S. Senator, Hyde-Smith has received the Award for Conservative Achievement from the American Conservative Union Foundation and the Spirit of Enterprise Award from the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.  Hyde-Smith also received numerous awards and honors for her work as a state legislator and champion of agriculture, including the highest grade for a strong pro-business and fiscally conservative voting record from the Business and Industry Political Education Committee.

Prior to becoming a U.S. Senator for Mississippi, Hyde-Smith served as the Mississippi Commissioner of Agriculture and Commerce, elected in 2011 and reelected in 2015.

Hyde-Smith and her husband Mike have a daughter, Anna-Michael.  They reside in Brookhaven and are active members of Macedonia Baptist Church.  A fifth-generation farming family, the Senator’s family raises beef cattle and are partners in a local stockyard auction market in Brookhaven.

The 2021 Delta Council Day will commence with the 18th annual Salute to Delta Honor Graduates Event at 9:15 a.m., held outside of the BPAC on the lawn. Lt. Governor Delbert Hosemann will welcome the graduates, their families and school officials and present the graduates with certificates.

The Delta Honor Graduate event is designed to bestow special honor upon exemplary students from each of the high schools throughout the Mississippi Delta region, including public, parochial and private schools. In addition, a $2,500 scholarship will be awarded to the top Delta Honor Graduate as selected by higher education officials in the Delta. The top Delta Honor Graduate will be recognized on stage at the Delta Council Annual Meeting during the Business Session.

At 10:30 a.m. in the auditorium of the BPAC, after the inaugural presentation of the colors, and God and Country, the Business Session will proceed into the recognition of the 2020-2021 Good Middling Community Service Award and the tradition of the Wear Cotton contest, followed by a special message from Senator Cindy Hyde-Smith and an introduction of her by Hollis.

The tradition of a fried catfish luncheon and Achievement Awards Ceremony will wrap-up Delta Council Day on the grounds of the Quadrangle on the Delta State University campus. Delta Council invites and encourages all of you to attend and participate in this 86-year-old Delta “red-letter” day. Safety precautions will be taken due to COVID-19 and will follow university policy. Delta State University policy currently allows for 75 percent capacity and requires patrons to wear a mask inside the Bologna Performing Arts Center.

Sponsors for the meeting are BankPlus, Catfish Farmers of Mississippi, Cotton, Inc., Delta State University, Mississippi Corn Promotion Board, Mississippi Land Bank, Mississippi Rice Promotion Board, Mississippi Soybean Promotion Board, Simplot, and Southern Ag Credit.