NCC/PCG Host Washington Legislative Aides
LUBBOCK, August 29, 2003 By Shawn Wade
A group of eight legislative aidesand USDA personnel from Washington, DC visited the Texas High Plains August25-26 to learn about cotton production and to increase their knowledge of thecotton industry.
Participating in the tour were:Russell Williams (Sen. Pete Domenic, D-NM); Andrew House (Rep. Devin Nunes,R-CA); Mike Holland (Rep. Bill Thomas, R-CA); Rodney Glassman (Rep. RaulGrijalva, D-AZ); Spencer Ritchie (Rep. Sam Johnson, R-TX); Deborah Shelby (Rep.Ernest Istook, R-OK); and William Hensley (Rep. Cal Dooley, D-CA).
Traveling with the group were SteveNeff, USDA Farm Service Agency-Washington, John Maguire and Robbie Minnich ofthe National Cotton CouncilÕs Washington office staff, and Jim Travis, Directorof Federal Affairs for Monsanto Company.
The NCCÕs Congressional StaffEducation/ Orientation Program, which is supported by a Monsanto Company grantto The Cotton Foundation, helps U.S. cotton build and strengthen importantworking relationships within the federal government.
Representatives from Plains CottonGrowers met the group upon their arrival in Lubbock, traveled with the group tothe various tour stops August 25, and answered questions pertaining to thecotton industry and the High Plains region.
While in Lubbock the contingentvisited the Texas Agricultural Experiment Station, where they toured greenhousefacilities and learned about the important role federal research money plays inthe development of new cotton cultivars.
The group then toured the USDAAgricultural Research Service Ginning Laboratory, where they discussed researchprojects and priorities.
After the presentation at the GinLab the group was given an overview of the High Pains production region byTexas Cooperative Extension Cotton Specialist Dr. Randy Boman. Boman discussedthe production systems and climate that exist on the Texas High Plains.
Following the tour of the TAES andUSDA facilities, the group toured the farm of Lubbock County farmer DavidJones. JonesÕ operation, which involves everything from dryland productionthrough pivot and drip irrigated cotton, provided the group an opportunity toview a typical family farming operation.
Representatives from the Texas BollWeevil Eradication Foundation, Rolling Plains Cotton Growers and SouthernRolling Plains Cotton Growers Association also spoke to the group about theirrespective programs and production areas.
The visitors concluded the day at areception and dinner with High Plains cotton industry leaders at the Texas TechUniversity Ranching Heritage Center. August 26activities included tours of the American Cotton Growers Denim Mill inLittlefield, PYCO Industries cottonseed oil mill, and the FarmerÕs CooperativeCompress in Lubbock.
Farmers Co-op Association of Sudanand manager Dennis Flowers hosted the group for a gin tour and lunch August 26.
Following the Lubbock tour, thegroup traveled to Arizona before returning to Washington August 28.
Sept. 2 HockleyCounty Drip Irrigation Turnrow
Meeting,Darrell Gresham Farm next to the
UnitedCotton Growers Gin at Arnett, 4.5
mileseast of Hwy 385 on FM 1585
Sept. 9 CastroCounty Crop Tour
Sept. 10 DawsonCounty Crop Tour
Sept. 11 YoakumCounty Crop Tour
Sept. 12 LubbockCounty Crop Tour
Sept. 16 FloydCounty Crop Tour
Sept. 16 WestTexas Agricultural
ChemicalsInstitute Annual Meeting,
LubbockMemorial Civic Center
Sept. 17 LynnCounty Crop Tour
Sept. 18 TerryCounty Crop Tour
Sept. 24 CrosbyCounty Crop Tour
Sept. 30 MitchellCounty Crop Tour