The Sunflower County Branch #5333 of the NAACP is hosting its annual Freedom Fund Banquet on Nov. 23 at 7 p.m. at the Herman Thigpen Cafeteria on the campus of Mississippi Delta Community College.
The keynote speaker will be former U.S. Secretary of Agriculture and U.S. Rep. Mike Espy. This year’s theme is “When we fight, We win” and tickets are $35 each. Please contact Charles Modley (662-934-3463) or Emma Golden (662-347-4761) for more information.
Mike Espy (Alphonso Michael Espy) is the former Secretary of the United States Department of Agriculture and a former U.S. Representative from the 2nd District of Mississippi. He currently works as a private sector attorney, counselor and agricultural advisor, having his own law and consulting firms: Mike Espy, PLLC and AE Agritrade, Inc.
As the 25th Secretary of Agriculture, Mike is credited with reorganizing the $65 billion agency, negotiating multilateral treaties for the trade of American agricultural commodities, and instituting reforms in the national food inspection system to eradicate food borne illnesses. He also brought new emphasis to the important nutrition and anti-hunger programs at the USDA, and distinguished himself as an expert in rural business, economic development and infrastructure policy.
Prior to his appointment as USDA Secretary, Mike Espy served for seven years as a member of Congress, becoming the first African-American member of that body from the State of Mississippi since the Reconstruction era. While there, he served his bi-racial district as a member of the Budget and Agriculture Committees. Mike also authored a bill that was signed into law by President Ronald Reagan, called “The Lower Mississippi Delta Development Act.” This law serves today as a precursor for a multitude of federal grants focusing on the improvement of economic life within the Mississippi Delta. While in Congress, he also served as national Vice-Chairman of the Democratic Leadership Council and as a member of the Democratic Caucus’ whips organization.