The ambitious goal was $50,000 to create an endowed scholarship fund in Rick Parsons' memory. At the Aug. 12 banquet to honor and remember Parsons, it was announced that just under $52,000 was put into the fund that will provide $2,000 a year in scholarships to students at Mississippi State University, Parsons' alma mater. The large endowment fund allows for the perpetual giving of scholarships.

About 100 people attended the $100-a-plate dinner at the new Hunter Henry Alumni building. Another 96 played in the Aug. 13 College of Agriculture and Life Science's golf tournament, which also raised money for the endowment.

Parsons, a prominent Delta row crop farmer from Vance, Miss., died in February. He farmed about 9,000 acres of cotton, corn and soybeans and was well-recognized for his leadership in various agricultural organizations.

His wife, Carlisle; son, Scott; mother, Kathryn; and other family members attended the banquet, as did representatives of many of the state's agricultural industries and several of Parsons' farming peers, including Kenneth Hood, Terry Dulaney, Sykes Sturdivant, Ted Kendall IV, and Edwin Dulaney.

U.S. Congressman Chip Pickering, the keynote speaker, spoke of Parsons' contributions as a farmer and as a husband and father. He was remembered as a man of his word, an innovator and a true leader.

Kenneth Hood of Gunnison, Miss., a long-time and close friend of Parsons, presented Carlisle and Scott with a framed Jack Deloney painting of a cotton landscape on behalf of InTime Inc. to recognize Parsons' advanced work in precision agriculture.

Jim Newsome, recently appointed head of the New York Mercantile Exchange, was there among other elected and appointed officials including FSA director Mickey Black, Melissa Mixon, associate vice president for MSU's Division of Agriculture and Marty Fuller, MSU's director of federal relations and vice president for research.

For more information on the endowment, contact Skelton at jskelton@foundation.msstate.edu or 662-325-2110.