Lubbock Hosts COTTON USA Special

Trade Mission from Latin America

      Textile executives from Columbia, Peru, Ecuador, El Salvador and Mexico visited Lubbock this week as part of the COTTON USA Special Trade Mission, a program of Cotton Council International.

      The goal of the mission is to enhance trading ties between the U.S. cotton industry and key overseas textile manufacturing, with an overall goal of helping U.S. cotton capture additional market share.

      The Lubbock Cotton Exchange, AMCOT, Texas Cotton Association, and PCG hosted a dinner for the group on Wednesday evening, June 13, and a breakfast and seminar on Thursday morning, June 14. At the seminar, the executives heard from PCG's Steve Verett, who spoke about Texas cotton production systems; Carlos Garcia, representing AMCOT, who discussed Texas cotton supply and quality; Cliff White, representing the Texas Cotton Association, who talked about reliability of service, demand and logistics; and Dr. Jane Dever with Texas AgriLife Research, who briefed the group on cotton quality in developmental research.

      Other stops were in New York City, where the group received a briefing on CCI and participated in an ICE Futures Seminar; North Carolina, where they observed cotton research and toured Cotton Incorporated; Tennessee, where they toured the USDA Classing Office; and California, where they visited a farm and gin in California's San Joaquin Valley.

      The group met with exporters in the four major Cotton Belt regions along with the following industry organizations: National Cotton Council, American Cotton Producers, Cotton Incorporated, American Cotton Shippers Association, Southern Cotton Growers Association, Texas Cotton Association, Plains Cotton Growers Association, Lubbock Cotton Exchange, AMCOT, Western Cotton Shippers Association, San Joaquin Valley Quality Cotton Growers Association and Supima.


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FSA County Committee Nominations

Begin Today

      Farmers, ranchers and landowners are encouraged to nominate farmer and rancher candidates to serve on their local FSA county committee by the August 1, 2012 deadline. Nominations begin today.

      Elected county committee members serve a three-year term and are responsible for making decisions on FSA disaster, conservation, commodity, and price support programs, as well as other important federal farm program issues.

      "County Committees are unique to FSA and are a valuable resource that gives locally elected farmers and ranchers who participate in FSA programs the opportunity to impact farm programs at the local level," Texas FSA Acting Executive Director James B. Douglass said. "I hope to see a high level of participation during the nomination and election process," he said. 

      Producers may nominate themselves or others as candidates. Organizations that represent minority and women farmers and ranchers may also nominate candidates. Nominees must participate in a program administered by FSA, be eligible to vote in a county committee election and reside in the local administrative area (LAA) in which the person is a candidate. To become a nominee, eligible individuals must sign form FSA-669A. The form and more information about county committee elections are available online at:

      "In order to have fair representation of the demographics and agricultural interests in the community, I encourage all producers, including women, minority and beginning farmers and ranchers to participate in the nomination and election process," said Douglass.

      County committees are comprised of three to five members elected by local producers. All newly elected county committee members and alternates will take office January 1, 2013.

      Nomination forms must be postmarked or received in the local USDA Service Center by close of business on August 1, 2012.

      For more information about county committees, please contact your local FSA office or visit


Farmers Are Reminded to Sign Up for the

2012 Census of Agriculture

      The U.S. Department of Agriculture is preparing to mail the 2012 Census of Agriculture to millions of U.S. farmers and ranchers in late December. Producers are reminded not to miss their opportunity to be counted by signing up for the Census before July 1. The Census of Agriculture is a complete count of U.S. farms and ranches and the people who operate them. A farm is defined as any place that produced and sold, or normally would have sold, $1,000 or more of agricultural products during the Census year (2012).

      "The Census is the leading source of facts about American agriculture," said Renee Picanso, Census and Survey Division Director at USDA's National Agricultural Statistics Service. "The wealth of data available from the Census includes statistics on small, family farms to large, corporate farms; information on young, beginning farmers to older, experienced farmers; and insight into traditional, rural farming versus trends in areas such as lifestyle and urban farming."

      The sign-up period for the 2012 Census of Agriculture ends in a few weeks and is especially important for those individuals involved in agriculture who did not realize they qualify as a farm

or have not previously participated in a Census. All farmers and ranchers are reminded to sign up and be counted.

      "The Census provides the only source of uniform, comprehensive and impartial agricultural data for every county in the nation," Picanso said. "Through the Census, producers can show the nation the value and importance of agriculture, and they can help influence the decisions that will shape the future of American agriculture for years to come. By signing up and then responding to the Census, producers are helping themselves, their communities and all of U.S. agriculture."

      To learn more and sign up for the Census of Agriculture, visit All information will be kept confidential guaranteed by law (Title 7, U.S. Code, and CIPSEA, Public Law 107-347). The 2012 Census of Agriculture is your voice, your future, your responsibility.


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COTTON USA Tour Leads Largest Retailer in Japan

to Increase its U.S. Cotton Consumption

Friday, June 15, 2012  From Cotton Council International

      Japanese retailer AEON tripled the amount of its COTTON USA labeling of premium apparel in 2011. As a result, AEON's U.S. cotton consumption increased to 2,353 bales in calendar year 2011, valued at $1.8 million, from 547 bales in 2010. Expanded U.S. cotton use resulted from AEON sourcing leaders participating in the COTTON USA Fiber Education Tour. The U.S. sourcing visits have been so compelling that AEON is now funding similar trips for an expanded group of buyers, with the first in Fall 2011.

      After AEON joined the COTTON USA Fiber Education Tour they shifted the cotton content of their innerwear to 100 percent U.S. cotton, increasing their COTTON USA labeled units to 3.1 million in calendar year 2011 from 650,000 for calendar year 2010. This sourcing shift added men's innerwear in 2010 and children's in 2011. All AEON licensed COTTON USA products, including T-shirts, underwear and polo shirts, boast 100 percent U.S. cotton.

      Apparel and home furnishing products made in China increasingly dominate the Japanese retail market. COTTON USA has responded by providing AEON and their supply chain professionals an opportunity to distinguish themselves through better quality and traceability, increased input into their supply chain, and specifying fiber content and origin.

      The COTTON USA funded Fiber Education Tours bring foreign retailers and trading companies to the U.S. Cotton Belt to showcase the technology, quality and cost advantages of U.S. cotton's types and qualities, demonstrate U.S. cotton sustainability practices, and further deepen the U.S. cotton industry's relationships with foreign customers. These tours bridge the knowledge gap for buyers sourcing cotton apparel and aim to instill a preference for U.S. cotton fiber.

      The COTTON USA Fiber Education Tours are part of a comprehensive market development plan that enhances U.S. exports, increases U.S. farm income and expands U.S. jobs. Like all CCI programs, the Fiber Education Tours are the result of detailed market assessments, strategic program development, and ongoing evaluations. The COTTON USA Fiber Education Tours are funded in part by the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Foreign Market Development (FMD) Program.

      Consistent with this public-private partnership, the promotion programs are closely monitored by USDA for compliance with U.S. laws and regulations. The cotton industry believes CCI's programs are so effective that they are a catalyst for private sector contributions. The cotton industry contributes $2.02 for every dollar of Market Access Program (MAP) funds and $1.31 for every dollar of FMD funds.

      Independent studies reveal that for every dollar spent by USDA cooperators, including CCI, U.S. exports increase $35, a 35-to-1 return on investment. For the cotton industry, this represents over a billion dollars in export value or an additional 7,000 jobs to the U.S. economy. The U.S. cotton industry represents more than $27 billion to the U.S. economy and employs more than 190,000 people.