PCG Finalizes 46th Annual Meeting Line-up

Friday,March 7, 2003                              By Shawn Wade

      PlainsCotton Growers, Inc. has finalized its speaker line-up for the organization’s46th Annual Meeting, Thursday, April 3, 2003 at the Lubbock MemorialCivic Center. The PCG Annual Meeting is being held in conjunction with theTexas Cotton Ginners’ Association Trade Show and Convention April 3-4 inLubbock.

      PCG’sline-up will include: Ross J. Davidson, Administrator of USDA’s Risk ManagementAgency (RMA); John Maguire, Vice President of Washington Operations for theNational Cotton Council from Washington, DC; and Dr. Mechel S. Paggi, Directorof the Center for Agricultural Business at California State University-Fresnoof Fresno, California.

      AsRMA Administrator, Mr. Davidson reports to the Under Secretary of Agriculturefor Farm and Foreign Agricultural Services, and is responsible for theadministration of the Federal Crop Insurance program. He is expected to discussthe future of the Federal Crop Insurance program, how the program operates andnew products that may soon be available.

      Mr.Maguire will discuss the Washington legislative scene and the environment inwhich cotton and agriculture will operate during the coming year.

      Globaltrade agreements and the potential impacts U.S. Trade policy will have oncotton and agriculture is expected to be the focus of the presentation by Dr.Paggi.

      ThePCG meeting will begin with registration at 8:30 a.m. and the program willstart promptly at 9:00 a.m. in the Banquet Hall of the Lubbock Memorial CivicCenter.

      ThePCG agenda will include remarks from PCG President Mark Williams of Farwell.There will also be reports from PCG Executive Vice President Steve Verett andPlains Cotton Improvement Committee Chairman Dale Swinburn of Tulia.


Lubbock Chamber of Commerce Makes Washington Trip

Friday,March 7, 2003                              By Shawn Wade

      A delegation of about 30 Lubbockbusiness leaders traveled to Washington March 4-6 for the 2003 Lubbock Chamberof Commerce Washington Fly-In sponsored by McDonald Transit, National CottonCouncil, National Grain Sorghum Producers, Xcel Energy, and Plains CottonGrowers.

      Highon the list of topics discussed during the trip were agriculture, cotton andrelated issues.

      TheLubbock contingent was scheduled to meet with area Congressmen Larry Combest,Charlie Stenholm and Mac Thornberry and Senators Kay Bailey Hutchison and JohnCornyn.

      PlainsCotton Growers Executive Vice President Steve Verett, who serves on the LubbockChamber’s Agriculture Committee, was a member of the contingent that traveledto Washington.

      Whilein Washington the group presented outgoing Congressman Larry Combest of Lubbockwith the Lubbock Chamber of Commerce’s Distinguished Service Award for hisefforts on behalf of the Lubbock business and agriculture community.


Permian Basin Growers To Vote On Program

Friday,March 7, 2003                              By Shawn Wade

      Cottonproducers in the Permian Basin Boll Weevil Eradication Zone will soon have theopportunity to decide whether or not to continue boll weevil eradicationefforts in that area according to an announcement by the Texas Department ofAgriculture.

      Ballotsfor the continuation referendum are scheduled to be mailed to eligible votersby the Texas Department of Agriculture March 14. Completed ballots must besigned and returned to TDA postmarked no later than April 7, 2003.

      Formore information about the referendum, or to request a ballot, contact theTexas Department of Agriculture by calling (512) 463-7476.

      Thefollowing items will be included on the referendum ballot:

•     Continuationof the current maximum assessment rates for the PB Zone of $6 per dryland acreand $12 per irrigated acre if producers vote to continue the program.

•     Opportunity tovote for one person to serve as PB Zone director to the Texas Boll WeevilEradication Board of Directors.

      Ifgrowers in the PB Zone vote to continue the program another election will beheld in four years. A simple majority of votes is required to continue theprogram.

      Votingto discontinue the program would have several effects. First, all programactivities would cease immediately and give boll weevil populations the chanceto rebound to pre-eradication levels.

      Second,assessments would continue to be collected each year until all current programdebt is repaid. The Zone would continue to be represented on the TBWEF Board bya director appointed by the Texas Commissioner of Agriculture.

      Andthird, State and federal cost-share funds currently available to the Zone wouldcease to be available.