SWCA, Texas Ag Forum to Host Southwest Ag

Issues Summit in September

The Southwest Council of Agribusiness and the Texas Ag Forum will host the Southwest Ag Issues Summit on September 8-10 at the Skirvin Hilton in Oklahoma City.

The Summit is an opportunity for agricultural leaders to discuss key issues facing agriculture. The event also provides the opportunity to network with fellow agricultural influencers in the industry and is an effort to help unite the voices of agricultural leaders.

Keynote speaker for the dinner event on September 9 will be cowboy poet Waddie Mitchell. Find out more about Waddie at http://www.waddiemitchell.com.

Platinum sponsor for the event is Farm Credit. Additional sponsorship opportunities are available; please contact Mitchell Harris at mitchell.harris@agtexas.com.

Registration, which includes all meals and programs, is $325/attendee or $450 for an attendee and a spouse through July 31; prices increase after that. Optional networking opportunities, including wine tasting, golf, and poker tournament packages are available as well.

More information about the Southwest Ag Issues Summit, including how to register and a tentative agenda, is at http://www.agissuessummit.com.


Far West Cotton Producers to See

Texas Operations

Thursday, July 25, 2013    From the National Cotton Council

      Nine cotton producers from Arizona and California will see cotton and other agriculture-related operations in Texas on August 5-8 as part of the 2013 National Cotton Council's Producer Information Exchange.

      Sponsored by Bayer CropScience through a grant to The Cotton Foundation, the P.I.E. program is in its 25th year of helping its U.S. producer participants improve yields and fiber quality.  The program aims to help cotton producers boost their overall operation's efficiency by gaining new perspectives in such fundamental practices as land preparation, planting, fertilization, pest control, irrigation and harvesting, and observing the unique ways in which their innovative peers are using current technology.

      Upon completion of this final of the four 2013 tours, the P.I.E. will have exposed more than 1,050 U.S. cotton producers to innovative production practices in regions different than their own since the program was initiated 25 years ago.

      The Southwest tour participants are: Arizona – Don England, Jr., and Jonathan Cockrill, both from Casa Grande; Phillip Garcia, Eloy; and Kelci Morrow, Coolidge; California – Jake and Aric Barcellos, both from Los Banos; Tim Gomes, Gustine; Adam Mendes, Fresno; and Matthew Watte, Tulare.

      The Southwest tour will begin on August 5 in Lubbock at the Plains Cotton Growers office for updates on Texas cotton production, Texas A&M University's Texas Cotton Improvement Program and Bayer CropScience's research/development. The group will visit PYCO Industries and tour Vardeman Farms in nearby Slaton before concluding the day with a visit to the Caprock Winery.

      The next day in Lubbock the group will tour Farmers Cooperative Compress and then get a presentation on electronic marketing at Plains Cotton Cooperative Association before touring the Lubbock Feedlot and the Back to Earth Resources for a look at turning gin trash into a value-added product. They also will tour Mimms Farm in Acuff.

      The next two days, the group will be in the state's Coastal Bend area. On the 7th while in Corpus Christi, they will visit Stover Equipment Company, the Gulf Compress, the Port of Corpus Christi and Gatefront, LLC. They also will visit Edcot Gin Coop in Odem, the Gregory Gin in Gregory and then participate in individual farm tours in the Coastal Bend area. The tour concludes on August 8 with a visit to Kingsville for a tour of the King Ranch and Farms and a look at algae biodiesel and gossypol free shrimp feeding projects conducted by Texas AgriLife Extension at the AgriLife Mariculture Laboratory in Corpus Christi.

      This season, Mid-South producers observed operations in Georgia on June 23-28; Southeast producers traveled to Louisiana and Mississippi on July 7-12; and Southwest producers visited California on July 21-25.


FSA County Committee Nomination

Deadline is August 1

      Juan M. Garcia, Administrator of USDA's Farm Service Agency, reminds farmers, ranchers and other agricultural producers that they have until Aug. 1, 2013, to nominate eligible candidates to serve on local FSA county committees.

      FSA county committees help local farmers through their decisions on commodity price support loans, conservation programs and disaster programs, and by working closely with county executive directors.

      To be eligible to hold office as a county committee member, individuals must participate or cooperate in a program administered by FSA, be eligible to vote in a county committee election and live in the local administrative area where they are running. A complete list of eligibility requirements, more information and nomination forms are available at http://www.fsa.usda.gov/elections.

      All nominees must sign the nomination form FSA-669A. All nomination forms for the 2013 election must be postmarked or received in the local USDA Service Center by close of business on Aug. 1, 2013. Ballots will be mailed to eligible voters by Nov. 4 and are due back to the local USDA Service Centers on Dec. 2. The newly elected county committee members will take office Jan. 1, 2014.

      For more information about county committees, please contact your local FSA office or visit http://www.fsa.usda.gov.