Issues of Origin
When Delta Council was organized in 1935, members focused on three main areas of activity. These areas were:
1) The promotion of agriculture, including agricultural research and legislation relating to agricultural programs of special significance to area farmers.
2) Flood control and drainage which are imperative to the area's welfare.
3) The promotion and development of transportation facilities and services with special attention to the development of a modern highway system throughout the entire Delta.
The work of Delta Council is carried on through a comprehensive committee system that represents all phases of the economy of the area. Every member is provided with the opportunity to serve on one or more committees. These committees study problems, develop alternatives, propose solutions and present their recommendations to the Board of Directors for review and action. Policy statements approved by the Board are made a part of the organization's program of work. Many of the policies relating to agriculture have been incorporated into legislation at the national level. This is especially true of cotton, rice, and soybean programs; however, Delta Council also promotes the interests of new crops and enterprises that offer potentials for a profit. An example of this is catfish production which had a value of approximately five hundred million in 1998.
The people of the area concider the annual membership meeting of Delta Council as a "red-letter day". Held at Delta State University in May of each year, the Council's annual meeting is, in the words of local print media sources, "a combination political happening, social event and old-fashioned dinner on the ground." It is attended by several thousand members and guests who are provided the opportunity to hear nationally known speakers, review the results of Delta Council programs, enjoy a top-notch cotton fashion show sponsored by local talent and enjoy a hot catfish and hushpuppy dinner.
Speakers at the Council's annual meeting have included nationally recognized leaders including Senators, Congressmen, White House officials, Cabinet members, Generals, Admirals, scientists, business leaders, writers and astronauts. On Delta Council Day in 1947, Dean Acheson, then under the Secretary of State, substituted for President Truman and unveiled the outline of The Marshall Plan. In 1952, William Faulkner, Mississippi's Nobel Prize-winning author, lectured the audience on the connection between independence, freedom and responsibility. Other noted speakers have included David Rockefeller, Dr. Werner von Braun, Admiral Alan B. Shepard, Apollo 14 Commander, former Vice-President George Bush, Governor Bill Clinton and many other notables.