Tradition has it that it nevers rains on Delta Council Day, the day the Mississippi Delta's "Chamber of Commerce holds it annual meeting. This year's 79th annual meeting was a near miss as rain fell when most of the Delta Council members, guests and 140 Delta area high school honor graduates and their parents arrived at the Bologna Performing Arts Center on the Delta State University Campus.
Inside members of the Delta 1000, a group of donors who support the Council, heard political analyst Stu Rothernberg call Mississippi "Ground Zero" for the battle between "establishment" and Tea Party Republicans for the parties seats in Congress. Others attended the recognition cermony for the 140 honor graduates recognized for being the top students in their classes.
Following those events, participants heard Deputy Secretary of Agriculture Krysta Harden talk about the role farmers play in feeding America and participating in conservation activities. She also outlined the progress being made by the working group she chairs in USDA's implementation of the Agriculture Act of 2014, the new farm bill.
Delta Council members and guests also gave Sen. Thad Cochran, R-Miss., a standing ovation when Delta Council President Gibb Steele recognized the senator for his many years of service to the Delta and the state of Mississippi.
When the annual meeting concluded, the audience stepped outside to see that the rain had stopped, and the lines were forming for the catfish lunch. Instead of on the Quadrangle where the lunch is usually served, tables were set up in a parking lot. But few were complaining about the solid footing, the catfish or the 79th annual Delta Council Day.