Delta Council is an organization formed in 1935 by local citizens to, “provide a medium through which the agricultural, business, and professional leadership of the area could work together. Delta Council now pioneers the effort to solve common problems and promote the development of the economy in the Mississippi Delta.”
Delta Council President George King began by thanking the 2017-2018 officers for their service over the past year.
He also congratulated the incoming officers for 2018-2019.
Next to speak was Delta Council Arrangements Committee Chair Irene Long.
"We cannot overemphasize the importance of the single largest industrial employer in our Delta job center. That industry is Delta agriculture. The economic activity generated by a three-million-acre farm, commonly known as the Mississippi Delta stimulates job creation, generates payroll in every community in our region and accounts for the vast majority of our total Delta economic activity," said Long.
Chip Morgan, Delta Council executive vice president, recognized former Sen. Thad Cochran for his long-time commitment to Mississippi and the Delta Council. "My heart is a bit heavy as I look at the empty chair. It's empty because one of the Delta's greatest friends is not here with us today. He is at home in Oxford and for the first time in a half a century, he is taking care of himself instead of the people in this room. We spoke last Friday and he assured me he is with us and wishes he could be here as he has been so many times since 1972," said Morgan.
Dick Flowers, former Delta Council President, paid tribute to Morgan, who is retiring, for his years of service to Delta Council. "He has never wanted praise but so many things have been touched by Chip Morgan and his leadership. Delta Council has been fortunate to have him as our leader over the past four decades. Chip has had hundred of tributes paid to him. They may not be in writing or a frame but they are out there," Flowers said."Delta Council will be forming a special endowment for the B.F. Smith foundation in Chip's honor to help the region continue to identify opportunities and meet the challenges we face," continued Flowers.
Morgan returned to the stage to ensure the guests and audience that while he is retiring at the end of the year, he will still be around and thanked his family for their years of support.
He also announced that Frank Howell would be replacing him as executive vice president of the organization.
Howell is currently serving as the director of development department for Delta Council.
Finally Mississippi Sen. Roger Wicker spoke and introduced the special guest speaker for the event, Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency, Scott Pruitt. “Scott Pruitt is President Trump’s most consequential cabinet official. He is a competitor and he has always known what he believes in. In only a short amount of time, he has shaped the EPA into an agency that works effectively to protect the environment without hurting American jobs and livelihoods in the process. These actions are being recognized for their real, tangible impact on the success of job creators including our farmers and small business owners,” said Wicker.