1998 Regular Session

To: Rules

By: Representative Horne

House Concurrent Resolution 84

(As Adopted by House and Senate)


WHEREAS, Mr. James Huston Neal, affectionately known as "Farmer Jim," was born on November 6, 1922, in Columbia, Mississippi, and has been serving the public through the airwaves since 1947; and

WHEREAS, after Mr. Neal graduated from Columbia High School in 1940, he attended the Jackson School of Law and passed the Mississippi State Bar in 1952; and

WHEREAS, applying for a sales job with WCJU in Columbia, Mr. Neal was hired as a radio announcer instead of a sales person; and

WHEREAS, Mr. Neal spent four months working at WCJU before deciding to move to bigger markets, which brought his family to Jackson, Mississippi, where searching for a job with all the big radio stations including WRBC, WJDX and WSLI, Mr. Neal found that WSLI was the only station with an opening for an announcer in 1947; and

WHEREAS, Mr. Neal's time at WSLI was spent in the early morning time slot that no one wanted from 5:30 a.m. to 9:00 a.m., and because of the early time slot and reading of the farm reports, the station gave Mr. Neal the nickname "Farmer Jim," claiming he woke up with the chickens each morning; and

WHEREAS, Farmer Jim's formula has been successful by including a little down home humor, a little news, a little music and some ad-libbed commercials; and

WHEREAS, earning several awards and honors, Farmer Jim's show was the No. 1 rated radio show for decades, as well as the Most Popular Radio Personality in Mississippi, and featured in a national published magazine, "Radio/TV Mirror" on two occasions; and

WHEREAS, dedicated to community service, Farmer Jim has received numerous plaques expressing appreciation for service from groups including the Boy Scouts of America, Mississippi College Booster Club, Hinds County Easter Seal Association, International Ballet Competition, Hinds County Water and Soil Conservation, Mississippi Wildlife Federation, Jackson Touchdown Club, Mississippi Animal Rescue League, Mississippi Broadcasters Association and the U.S. Department of Agriculture; and

WHEREAS, Farmer Jim has served in leadership roles in local community service organizations such as Chairman of Easter Seals and Christmas Seals programs and President of the Jackson Touchdown Club; and

WHEREAS, along with his radio show and community service, Farmer Jim also served the public in the Mississippi House of Representatives from 1960-1968 and from 1972-1984; and

WHEREAS, Mr. Neal has been lovingly supported in all his endeavors by his wife of fifty years, "Miss Anne," three children, four grandchildren, one great grandchild and another on the way; and

WHEREAS, the Legislature of the State of Mississippi finds it most appropriate to pay special tribute to such an outstanding Mississippian as Mr. James Huston Neal, for his many years of service to his community and listeners by being fresh, entertaining and genuine:

NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED BY THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES OF THE STATE OF MISSISSIPPI, THE SENATE CONCURRING THEREIN, That we do hereby commend the accomplishments of Mr. James Huston Neal, "Farmer Jim," for his example of a remarkable and dedicated citizen whose long and distinguished career epitomizes a life rich in achievement and service to his fellowman.

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, That we do hereby express our heartfelt appreciation to Farmer Jim for all the lives he has touched through his radio show and community service. Further, we hereby extend our heartiest wishes for success in all his future endeavors and pray that he will be blessed with many more years of good health, peace and joy.

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, That copies of this resolution be furnished to Mr. James Huston Neal and the Capitol Press Corps.