The Delta Council, one of the oldest and best-known regional “chamber of commerce” organizations in the United States, will celebrate its 75th annual meeting with a featured address by Mississippi Sen. Thad Cochran May 28.
The diamond anniversary meeting of the Council, which predates and was instrumental in the formation of the National Cotton Council of America, will be held on the campus of Delta State University in Cleveland, Miss.
The university has been the setting of a number of memorable Delta Council Days, including the announcement of the Marshall Plan for revitalizing Europe that was unveiled by Secretary of State Dean Acheson in 1947 and a storied address by Mississippi author William Faulkner in 1952.
Delta Council leaders said they felt Cochran was the natural choice for the 75th annual meeting, which once again will be held at the Bologna Performing Arts Center just off the Delta State University Quadrangle.
“It is supremely fitting that Thad Cochran is the featured speaker as we celebrate 75 years of progress in the Mississippi Delta region through the work of Delta Council,” said Travis Satterfield, Delta Council president. “No one has impacted the landscape of the Delta region more than Thad Cochran during this generation and perhaps in our current history.
“If a person is from the Mississippi Delta and he is interested in higher education, they should thank Thad Cochran; if you are a Delta citizen who is interested in recreational hunting, fishing, clean lakes, and national parks in the Delta, you are indebted to Thad Cochran; if you are a veteran or if you currently are part of the American Armed Services, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, or even the space programs of this country, and you are from the Delta, you need to be proud of the fact that Thad Cochran is your friend;
“If you believe that cultural and heritage tourism is an important part of the rich story of the Mississippi Delta, you should know that he is the primary Congressional advocate of the arts, the history, the culture and literature; and, if you grow sweet potatoes, catfish, make farm loans, or sell seed, equipment, or fertilizer in the Mississippi Delta, you can thank your lucky stars that Thad Cochran has placed a priority on agriculture since the day he arrived in Washington, in 1972.”
Satterfield said the “footprint” of Thad Cochran can be seen in Delta and part-Delta counties and beyond.
“More than anything else, on behalf of Delta Council and all of the citizens of this 18-county region who call the Delta their home, we want to thank him for all that he means to us, our communities, and our livelihoods.”
Cochran’s keynote address will follow a full morning’s activities, including a salute to Delta Honor Graduates by Lt. Gov. Phil Bryant, and an annual report on the region’s activities and priorities. Delta Council will also recognize those who have made significant contributions in other critical areas of Delta life.
Washington political pundit Stu Rothenberg will speak in the Quadrangle earlier that morning to members of Delta 1000 about the outlook for the Senate and House races in this watershed election year.
Cochran’s address is scheduled to conclude at noon, when the Delta Council members and guests will move to the University Quadrangle for a fried catfish luncheon.
The 75th Delta Council Annual Meeting will begin at 10:30 a.m. This year’s meeting is sponsored by BankPlus, Land Banks of Mississippi, Jimmy Sanders., Inc., WABG, and five organizations representing Voices of Mississippi Agriculture: Catfish Farmers of Mississippi, Corn Promotion Board, Cotton, Inc., Rice Promotion Board, and Soybean Promotion Board.