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The conference, titled “The Arkansas Delta: Why It Still Matters,” is designed to help government, business and civic leaders network with each other and discuss how communities can be managed in the face of a declining population base. 

The conference will begin at 9 a.m. and conclude at 4 p.m. A catered lunch will be served at noon. There’s no registration fee, but those planning to attend are required to register in advance by sending an email to Tabitha Doddridge at 

Members of the agriculture panel will be: 

  • Randy Veach, a Manila farmer and the president of the Arkansas Farm Bureau 
  • Freddie Black, a Lake Village farmer and the chairman of the Arkansas region of Simmons Bank 
  • Andrew Grobmyer, the executive vice president of the Agricultural Council of Arkansas 
  • Cynthia Edwards, the deputy agriculture secretary for the state of Arkansas 

There also will be panels on education, economic development and health care that will include state leaders in each of those areas. 
Other speakers will include: 

  • Dr. John Kirk, the director of the University of Arkansas at Little Rock’s Institute on Race and Ethnicity and the school’s Donaghey Distinguished Professor of History. Kirk will speak on the history of race relations in the Arkansas Delta. 
  • Mike Preston, the executive director of the Arkansas Economic Development Commission, who will speak on economic development opportunities in the Delta. 
  • Dr. Greg Hamilton, a senior research economist, demographer and director of research at the Institute for Economic Advancement at UALR. Hamilton will speak on outmigration in the Delta. 

About Simmons First National Corporation 

Simmons First National Corp. is a financial holding company headquartered in Pine Bluff, Ark., with total assets of almost $7.6 billion. The company conducts financial operations in Arkansas, Kansas, Missouri and Tennessee. The company’s wholly owned subsidiary, Simmons Bank, offers comprehensive financial solutions delivered with a client-centric approach. The company’s common stock trades on the NASDAQ Global Select Market under the symbol “SFNC.” 


Rex Nelson Senior Vice President
Director of Corporate Communications Simmons Bank
(501) 377-7606