School of Agriculture and Applied Sciences presents awards at annual Legislative Luncheon

The School of Agriculture and Applied Sciences at Alcorn State University held its annual legislative awards luncheon on Tuesday, Jan. 29 at the Old Capitol Inn in Jackson, Mississippi to honor and recognize state legislators, staff, and representatives for their efforts and support in supplying the School with funds for its federal and state programs. 

Presiding over the affair was Marcus Ward, vice president for Institutional Advancement and executive director for the ASU Foundation. “Our legislators play a uniquely important role in making decisions for the state of Mississippi and Alcorn State University,” said Ward, as he expressed gratitude to members of the legislature for their “investment in the knowledge and character of our students, faculty, staff, and alumni.”

The invocation was given by Reverend C. Edwards Rhodes, II, director of Student Religious Life. 

Interim President Dr. Donzell Lee welcomed the opportunity to greet and express gratitude to those officials who have served and contributed to the University. “The support that you give us help to keep tuition down,” said Lee. “We know that you work hard and we appreciate the hard choices that you make on behalf of Alcorn State University. Continue to make a difference in this great state and around the world.”

After a fine meal, the program continued with special presentations presented by Lee, Ward, and Dr. Edmund R. Buckner, dean, and director of Land-Grant Programs, School of Agriculture and Applied Sciences. Designated representatives received awards in the form of an engraved plaque for their efforts and tireless support to the University.  

The Braves Spirit Award was presented to legislative or staff members who have exemplified the Alcorn State University spirit through their professional and personal commitment to Alcorn's legislative agenda, as well as their efforts with the Mississippi legislature. 

The Braves Pioneer Award was presented to Mike McCormick, president of the Mississippi Farm Bureau Federation, for exemplifying the Alcorn spirit through his and his organization’s professional commitment, support, and assistance. 

McCormick was elected as the 10th president of the Mississippi Farm Bureau Federation (MFBF) and began serving his term in 2015. MFBF serves as the largest and strongest general farm organization in Mississippi, with more than 192,000 members in 82 county Farm Bureaus. The organization seeks solutions to problems affecting the lives of farmers and their families, both socially and economically.

Since its initiation in 1922, the purpose of MFBF has been to provide a voice for Mississippi agriculture in the legislative arena, promote farm markets and serve as a leader in the state’s agricultural community on local, state, national and international levels. 

“I am humbled by this honor,” said McCormick. “Being from southwest Mississippi I understand how important the university is to our economy as well as to the future of the agriculture industry. Farm Bureau has a long-standing partnership with Alcorn and I am committed to making it even stronger. I look forward to working more closely with the University in the future,” he said. 

After presentations, Buckner provided closing remarks. “On behalf of all of the hardworking faculty and staff within the School of Agriculture and Applied Sciences, thank you. We appreciate all of the work that you do on behalf of Alcorn State University. We will continue to work with other land-grant institutions to make sure that we move the interest of our state forward. Congratulations to the award recipients. We thank you for your continuous support.” 

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