Texas Cotton Association to Host 101st Annual

Convention in San Antonio in April

      The Texas Cotton Association will host their 101st Annual Convention at the JW Marriott Hill Country Resort on April 11-13. TCA is celebrating 101 years of trade as the oldest cotton merchant association in the nation.

      The general session, which will be the morning of Friday, April 13, features Scott Rasmussen, founder and president of Rasmussen Reports. He is a political analyst, author, speaker and, since 1994, an independent public opinion pollster. Rasmussen is a frequent guest on Fox News, CNBC, BBC and other major media outlets. His work has appeared in USA Today, The Washington Post, The Los Angeles Times, The Boston Globe, Investor's Business Daily, The Christian Science Monitor and other major publications. Accuracy and stability are hallmarks of the Rasmussen tracking polls. In 2008, Rasmussen projected Obama would win by a 52% to 46% margin and the final results were 53% to 46%. In 2004, Rasmussen was within half a percentage point of the actual vote totals earned by both Bush and Kerry.

      In addition to the general session, participants will enjoy a full agenda of events, including policy meetings, a golf scramble, a skeet shoot, and a special lawn party extravaganza honoring TCA President and Mrs. Alan Underwood. Ladies can shop until they drop in the Gruene Historic District and have lunch at The Gristmill on Thursday, April 12.

      Early registration is due March 23. The convention registration fee is $295 for each member firm representative. Spouse registration is complimentary unless your spouse is a firm representative. Discounted group rates, for members only, start at four or more people from the firm at $195. Non-member rate is $325. Registrations received after the March 23, 2012, deadline will be $350.00 per registered guest.

      For more information on the 101st Annual TCA Convention, visit http://ow.ly/9Gu1g (link has been shortened for your convenience), or call TCA at (972) 283-2822. You also can find TCA on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn.


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PCG Announces 55th Annual Meeting; U.S. Rep.

Conaway, NCC's Lange, CI's Earley to Speak

Friday, March 16, 2012                     By Mary Jane Buerkle

      U.S. Rep. Mike Conaway (R-Texas) will be the keynote speaker at the 55th Annual Meeting of Plains Cotton Growers, Inc., scheduled for Friday, March 30, in the Banquet Hall of the Lubbock Memorial Civic Center.

      PCG's Annual Meeting will begin at 8:30 a.m. with registration, and the program will start promptly at 9 a.m. The meeting is held in conjunction with the Texas Cotton Ginners' Association Annual Meeting and Trade Show, March 29-30, 2012, in Lubbock.


      Serving in his fourth term in the U.S. House of Representatives, Rep. Conaway represents the 11th Congressional District of Texas consisting of 36 counties in Central and West Texas including Midland, Odessa and San Angelo. He currently serves on the House Agriculture Committee, where he is chairman of the General Farm Commodities and Risk Management subcommittee. Rep. Conaway also serves on the Intelligence, Armed Services, and Ethics Committees.

      Joining Rep. Conaway on the PCG program are Mark Lange, President and CEO of the National Cotton Council of America, and David Earley, Senior Director, Supply Chain Marketing with Cotton Incorporated, who will share the story of the newly formed relationship between Under Armour and the cotton industry, resulting in the creation of their "Charged Cotton" line of apparel.

      Lange will update the PCG membership on the current legislative climate in Washington, including farm policy and the development of the 2012 Farm Bill.

      Current PCG president Brad Heffington of Littlefield, Texas, will preside over the meeting and PCG Executive Vice President Steve Verett will report on the status of PCG operations and activities.

      During the PCG meeting, awards recognizing the 2011 High Plains Cotton Agent of the Year and the winners of the recently completed FFA West Texas Cotton Video Contest sponsored by Deltapine will be presented. Cash attendance prizes will be given.

      In addition, a Buffet Breakfast will be served from 7:00-8:30 a.m. in the Civic Center Banquet Hall sponsored by Monsanto and Deltapine. Breakfast will be provided free to all PCG Annual Meeting participants. Immediately following the PCG Annual Meeting will be the annual FiberMax Cottonseed Luncheon for PCG Annual Meeting participants and members of the FiberMax "One Ton Club." Lunch will be served in the Civic Center Banquet Hall.

      Additional information about PCG and the Annual Meeting can be found at http://www.plainscotton.org.


Cotton Incorporated to Host Price Risk

Management Seminar in Lubbock

      Why are options on cotton futures critical to your business? What can options do for you and how?

      Learn the answers to these questions, along with actionable hedging strategies based on variable price scenarios, at the Cotton Price Risk Management Seminar, sponsored by Cotton Incorporated in cooperation with Plains Cotton Growers, Inc.

      The workshop will be held in Lubbock on Wednesday, March 28, from 8:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. at the Overton Hotel & Conference Center, 2322 Mac Davis Lane.

      This seminar will address topics such as market-based strategies for how to manage price risk for the 2012 crop season and tactics for integrating crop and revenue insurance. Instructors Dr. Carl Anderson and Dr. John Robinson will discuss when and how to use a variety of option strategies including: fences, 3-ways and calendar back spreads. Mike Stevens will serve as discussion leader.

      No attendance fees are required to attend the seminars and lunch will be provided. To register, contact Kay Wriedt at Cotton Incorporated by phone 919-678-2271 or email kwriedt@cottoninc.com. Space is limited so please register as soon as possible.


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Cotton Board Holds March Meeting

      The Cotton Board recently held its March Board Meeting in Austin, Texas. The purpose of the meeting was to allow The Cotton Board to review Cotton Incorporated's plan for 2013 and develop strategic recommendations. The meeting was well attended by both producer and importer board members.

      During the meeting's general session, The Cotton Board heard thought-provoking presentations from several keynote speakers. The Texas Commissioner of Agriculture, the Honorable Todd Staples, addressed the Board and spoke about the importance of agriculture in the United States. Specifically about cotton production, he said, "The key to our many successes has been our innovation in areas such as yield increase due to new seed varieties, water and drought management techniques and the boll weevil eradication program."

      Also addressing the Board was Wally Darneille, President and CEO of Lubbock-based Plains Cotton Cooperative Association (PCCA). "I don't think the absolute level of prices is as important - if everyone can make some money - as stability in prices. Volatility has killed us over the last couple of years," explained Darneille. Mr. Darneille's presentation focused on helping both producers and importers make sense of cotton's extensive supply chain, which ranges from producers to spinning mills and cotton marketing.

      Information about consumer attitudes and trends was presented by The Cotton Board's new consumer advisor, Marshal Cohen, who is the Chief Industry Analyst for the NPD group. He highlighted the need for renovation, communication and invigoration saying, "We really need to use technology to rewrite the rules in order to engage today's consumer." The general session ended with a presentation from Cotton Incorporated's senior staff giving an update on the Vision 21 project, focusing on results from the recently completed life cycle analysis. All four presentations can be found on the Cotton Board Web site at www.cottonboard.org.

      Also attending the meeting were four past chairmen of The Cotton Board. They included: Nancy Marino, an importer from New York who served as chairman from 2006-07; Bob McGinnis, a producer from Arkansas who served as chairman from 2008-09; Larkin Martin, a producer from Alabama who served as chairman from 2009-10; Craig Shook, a producer from Texas who served as chairman from 2010-11.

      The next full Board meeting for The Cotton Board will take place in August 2012. During the August meeting The Cotton Board will review and decide whether or not to recommend approval of Cotton Incorporated's proposed 2013 plan and budget to the U.S. Department of Agriculture for approval.


Area Ag Conferences Scheduled

The following area ag conferences have been scheduled for March:

March 23 Forage Mini-Workshop, Texas AgriLife Extension Service Office, Andrews Contact Joshua Blanek, County Extension Agent-AG, 432-524-1421

      March 27 Hockley County Ag Exposition, Mallet Event Center, Levelland Contact Robert Scott, County Extension Agent-AG, 806-894-3159.

      March 29 Turf Management, Wellington Contact Josh Brooks, County Extension Agent-AG, 806-259-3015.

      March 29 Range Sustainability Workshop, Lipscomb Contact J.R. Sprague, County Extension Agent-AG, 806-862-4601.

      A complete conference list can be found on PCG's website at http://www.plainscotton.org/agconferences.html.