2007 Regular Session
By: Representative Stringer
A CONCURRENT RESOLUTION COMMENDING THE LIFE AND LEGACY OF CHESTER A. THIGPEN, FORMER NATIONAL AND MISSISSIPPI OUTSTANDING TREE FARMER OF THE YEAR, AND EXPRESSING THE SYMPATHY OF THE LEGISLATURE.
WHEREAS, the State of Mississippi has lost a leading spokesman for the tree-farming community with the passing of Chester A. Thigpen, 95, of Bay Springs, Mississippi, formerly of Montrose, on January 8, 2007; and
WHEREAS, spokesman, pioneer and community-minded describe the philosophy of this outstanding Mississippi citizen; and
WHEREAS, on March 21, 1996, the Mississippi Legislature honored Chester and Rosett Thigpen as National Outstanding Tree Farmers of the Year with a resolution; and
WHEREAS, after receiving the resolution, Chester Thigpen spoke before both houses and entertained members with stories of his 30 years of tree farming because he considered himself an ambassador for forestry in Mississippi, and spent a lifetime practicing and promoting forestry; and
WHEREAS, the Thigpens were Mississippi's 1994 Outstanding Tree Farmers of the Year and after facing stiff competition from 73,000 other tree farmers across the nation, they received the national award November 4, 1995, at the National Tree Farmer Convention in St. Louis, Missouri; and
WHEREAS, as National Outstanding Tree Farmer, Chester Thigpen served for two years on the National Tree Farm Operating Committee, which oversees the tree farm program, served as a spokesman for the American Tree Farm System and served on the Editorial Board of Tree Farmer Magazine; and
WHEREAS, both Chester and Rosett Thigpen were born on portions of the land that now make up the tree farm; and
WHEREAS, with the help of their county forester, they developed a written forestry land management plan when they became tree farmers, and the land remained under a written land management plan for 45 years; and
WHEREAS, the tree farm income provided college educations for the five Thigpen children; and
WHEREAS, Chester Thigpen served on the Mississippi Forestry Commission, on the Board of Directors of the Mississippi Forestry Association, as President of the Jasper County Forestry Association and he traveled to Washington, D.C., in February 1995 to testify before the United States House of Representatives Ways and Means Committee in support of estate tax reform; and
WHEREAS, promoting forestry field days and county forestry associations allowed Thigpen to share his knowledge of good stewardship with his community; and
WHEREAS, in 1966, Chester Thigpen served on the Mississippi Agricultural Stabilization and Conservation Service's Advisory Committee which took him to Washington, D.C., where he advised the national organization on erosion control and cost-share programs; and
WHEREAS, Thigpen was appointed by Governor Winter to serve a seven-year term on the Mississippi Forestry Commission before being entered into the Mississippi Agriculture and Forestry Museum's Hall of Fame; and
WHEREAS, he was also instrumental in organizing the Jasper County Forestry Association; and
WHEREAS, Chester Thigpen was always philosophical when speaking about the long-term benefits of tree farming and was quoted as saying, "It could reduce crime and welfare. It helps keep your mind off things"; and
WHEREAS, he also recommended tree farming for those getting on in years. "If you can't handle the cattle and hay anymore, move over to trees totally. The trees grow while I sleep"; and
WHEREAS, he was preceded in death by his wife, Rosett Thigpen; daughter, Inez Pride; father, Frank Thigpen; and mother, Pinkie Tenort Thigpen; and is survived by two sons, Roy (Julia) Thigpen and Lonnie (Doris) Thigpen, all of Montrose; two daughters, Doris Williams of Irvine, California, and Hester (Phield III) Parish of Greenville, Louisiana; 15 grandchildren; and a host of great-grandchildren; and
WHEREAS, Chester Thigpen and his late wife, Rosett, represented what is best about forestry in Mississippi, and the forestry community and the State of Mississippi are very proud of them and will miss their service and their friendship:
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 life and legacy, to the forestry community of our state, of Chester A. Thigpen of Bay Springs, Mississippi, former National and Mississippi Outstanding Tree Farmer of the Year, and express deepest sympathy to his family and friends upon his passing.
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, That copies of this resolution be furnished to the family of Chester Thigpen, the Mississippi Forestry Association and to the members of the Capitol Press Corps.