Scott, Miss.-based Delta and Pine Land Co. announced a commitment of up to $100,000 for disaster relief for victims of Hurricane Katrina, many of whom are without homes, food, water or electricity.

The company has made initial commitments of $20,000 to the Salvation Army Hurricane Katrina Disaster Relief Fund and an additional $20,000 to the American Red Cross Hurricane Katrina Disaster Relief Fund. The Company also announced matching programs for employees and customers that will raise the total financial commitment by D&PL to a maximum of $100,000. "In the last couple of days, we have all seen the devastation and suffering that Hurricane Katrina caused," Tom Jagodinski, president and CEO said. "This storm will affect people's lives forever. We find ourselves wondering how we can help in a meaningful way. After talking to several people at D&PL, we decided to kick off an immediate campaign to respond to the needs of Katrina's victims."

The Company expects a matching program being offered to employees, customers and business partners that will result in a total donation by the company of $100,000. "We are hopeful that by encouraging participation by our employees and our business associates, we can reach this goal,” Jagodinski said. “We are also hopeful that other companies with far more resources than we have will choose to participate in similar ways.

"This is an exceptional donation for our company, which has 600 employees. But these are certainly unusual circumstances. The devastation is so much deeper and widespread than any natural disaster that we as a nation have recently experienced.”

He said Delta and Pine Land has learned from Red Cross officials that up to 10,000 people will be relocated to the region with thousands of victims already in the West Mississippi Delta. “Therefore the company chose to dig deeper when deciding upon our contribution level. We will direct our donations to the Red Cross to those local chapters who will serve these locally placed victims."

The donation to the Salvation Army will be directed to the region responsible for providing relief in Mississippi, Alabama, and Louisiana. Officials in that office are focusing on feeding and sheltering people within the areas most impacted, citing on-site work in all the major cities as well as rural areas.

While none of D&PL's employees were in the direct line of this storm's greatest intensity, its headquarters in the Mississippi Delta has experienced natural disasters in the 95 years since D&PL was founded, said Jagodinski. Many of the company's employees have family, friends, or business partners along the Gulf Coast who have been impacted by Katrina. And of course there is the impact on many farms as the storm came in-land causing crop losses or leaving growers to wonder what harvest will look like.

D&PL will be posting details on the matching plan, its offering customers and partners on the Company's website as soon as some of the region's communications problems are solved. In the meantime, to receive details via fax call 662-742-4156.

For more information, please refer to the Company's website at http://www.deltaandpine.com.

e-mail: flaws@primediabusiness.com