2004 Southwestern
Producer Information Exchange Tour

PIE Tour Provides CA/AZ Producers Up Close
View of High Plains Production Practices
LUBBOCK, July 16, 2004
By Shawn Wade

Eight California, Arizona and New Mexico cotton producers arrived on the Texas High Plains July 10 as part in the 2004 Producer Information Exchange Program's Southwest Tour.

By the time they were through they made new friends, learned about production techniques unique to the High Plains and gathered new ideas to take back to their own operations.

The group leaves the area with a better understanding of how their High Plains counterparts go about the business of growing a crop they are familiar with using, in many cases, completely unfamiliar techniques.

Participating in the 2004 tour were: Daniel W. Burns (Dan) Dos Palos, CA; Andrew Clark, Tranquility, CA; Nathan Jurva, Carlsbad, NM; Vincent Marshall, Fresno, CA; Bob Prys, Riverdale, CA; Rodney Swan, Cibola, AZ; Ryan Torgiani, Bakersville, CA; and. Rene Verdusco, Casa Grande, AZ.

The group interacted with High Plains cotton producers and past PIE Tour participants. The 2004 group toured farms around the Lubbock area, observed irrigation and production practices common to the area and met with the leadership of Plains Cotton Growers, Inc.
PCG Executive Vice President Steve Verett officially welcomed the group to the area during a dinner and reception July 10. During his presentation Verett went over the role that PCG and other regional producer organizations serve within the industry as well as background information about the region's cotton industry.
Highlights of the High Plains portion of the tour were visits to: United Cotton Growers Cooperative Gin in Hockley county; the American Cotton Growers denim mill at Littlefield, Texas; Plains Cotton Cooperative Association; Farmers Cooperative Compress; and PYCO Industries.

From Lubbock the group traveled to Lamesa to tour the AG-Cares research facility and on to the Rolling Plains region where they met with current National Cotton Council Chairman Woody Anderson and growers from the Abilene and San Angelo area.