Deputy Secretary of Agriculture Krysta Harden – the official in charge of leading the government’s implementation of the new Farm Bill — will be the keynote speaker for the 79th Annual Meeting of Delta Council May 30 in Cleveland.
Harden’s talk will be at 10:30 a.m in Delta State University’s Bologna Performing Arts Center. Gov. Phil Bryant will introduce Deputy Secretary Harden to the Delta Council audience.
Harden, who was raised in South Georgia in a farming family, took over as deputy secretary last year, having served previously as chief of staff to the Secretary and Assistant Secretary for Congressional Relations.
Delta Council President Gibb Steele, a Greenville farmer, said the Delta Council has worked with Harden in a number of capacities during her career, including her tenure as CEO of the National Association of Conservation Districts, the American Soybean Association, and as staff person on Capitol Hill concentrating on agricultural issues. “Since being nominated as deputy secretary, she has already been charged with implementation of the 2014 Farm Bill over the coming months, and we look forward to her talking to our members and guests about the future of rural America,” Steele said.
Harden was instrumental in implementing programs under the 2008 Farm Bill that have resulted in record investments in America’s farms and rural communities, record agricultural exports and record conservation efforts. Harden worked to pass and implement the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010, ensuring the availability of nutrition assistance to struggling Americans. A chief advocate of conservation, Harden continues leading efforts to build close stakeholder relationships with an ultimate goal of enhancing land and water conservation, improving economic opportunities through increased outdoor activities and expanding modern forest management, the Delta Council said.
From 2004 to 2009, Harden was the CEO of the National Association of Conservation Districts.
Also May 30, Delta Council will honor more than 140 high school seniors as Delta Honor Graduates with the ceremony beginning at 9 a.m., located ‘under the tent in the parking lot’ next to the Bologna Performing Arts Center.
The tradition of a fried catfish luncheon will conclude the 79th annual event on the grounds of the Quadrangle on the Delta State campus.