Sen. Roger F. Wicker, R-Miss., will be the opening guest speaker at the 11th annual National Conservation Systems Cotton & Rice Conference in Tunica, Miss., Jan. 21.

Wicker was appointed by Mississippi Gov. Haley Barbour to succeed Sen. Trent Lott who retired in December. Before his appointment, Wicker had served as congressman from Mississippi's first district, winning re-election six times.

During his tenure in the House, Wicker worked across party lines on important issues that impact commodity producers. He worked closely with the late Sen. Paul Wellstone, D-Minn., on health issues and was an opponent of the Kind amendment to the House farm bill.

Before retiring with the rank of lieutenant colonel in 2004, Wicker served in both the Air Force and the Air Force Reserve and has been a strong supporter of defense issues.

Also a guest speaker for the conference luncheon on Jan. 21 is Sen. Blanche Lambert Lincoln, D-Ark.. Lincoln was elected to Congress in January 1993 and re-elected for a second term in 1995. In 1998 she was elected to the United States Senate, and is serving her second six-year term, which will end Jan. 3, 2011.

Two other speakers are set for the conference — Kater Hake, vice-president of agricultural research for Cotton Incorporated and Dwight Roberts, CEO and president of the US Rice Producers Association.

The National Conservation Systems Cotton & Rice Conference is Jan. 21-22 at the Grand Casino Convention Center in Tunica. For further information or to register, visit the Web site at www.nctd.net or call Robin Moll at (573) 547-7212.