Texas Tech, Western Peanut Growers to Host

Farm Bill Educational Sessions This Week

Friday, March 21, 2014                          By Mary Jane Buerkle

      Those interested in learning more about the Agricultural Act of 2014 have a couple of additional opportunities this week in Lubbock and in Seminole.

      The Texas Tech University Center for Technology Transfer, PCG and Texas A&M AgriLife Extension-Lubbock County will host "The 2014 Farm Bill: Changes in Crops and Conservation" issues forum at 2 p.m. Monday, March 24, at the TTU International Cultural Center, 601 Indiana Avenue. Speakers include Darren Richardson, USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service; Darren Hudson, Ph.D., Texas Tech University Department of Agricultural and Applied Economics; and Jay Yates, Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service. Those unable to attend may keep up through the event's Facebook page, http://www.facebook.com/2014farmbill or Twitter feed, @TTUAgIssueForum. The event's hashtag is #farmbillttu. For more information, call Erica Irlbeck at (806) 834-6708 or email erica.irlbeck@ttu.edu.

      Western Peanut Growers Association, Inc., will host a Farm Bill Meeting at 10 a.m. Wednesday, March 26, at the Gaines County Civic Building, 402 NW 5th Street. Presenters include Kathy Sayers, USDA Agricultural Program Specialist for Peanut Loans and LDPs; Steve Verett, Plains Cotton Growers; and Tom Sell, Combest, Sell & Associates.

      Over the past week, the National Cotton Council and the Southwest Council of Agribusiness hosted educational sessions across the PCG service area. Attendance was very good, with about 250 people at both the NCC and SWCA meetings in Lubbock, and meeting organizers reported packed houses in other communities. Dr. Joe Outlaw's presentation is available on the PCG website at http://www.plainscotton.org.

      Future meetings will be listed on the PCG website.


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Agriculture Advocate Bruce Vincent to

Keynote PCG Annual Meeting April 4

Friday, March 21, 2014                          By Mary Jane Buerkle

      Plains Cotton Growers, Inc., will host their 57th Annual Meeting on Friday, April 4, 2014 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, April 3-4, 2014, in Lubbock.

      Current PCG president Craig Heinrich of Slaton, Texas, will preside over the meeting and PCG Executive Vice President Steve Verett will report on the status of PCG operations and activities. An award recognizing the 2013 High Plains Cotton Agent of the Year also will be presented at the meeting.

      Farmers Cooperative Compress will present keynote speaker Bruce Vincent, a third generation logger from Libby, Montana. During the past 20 years, he has given motivational speeches throughout the United States and the world, has testified on natural resource issues before Congress and has appeared on several news programs such as "60 Minutes." Bruce has been named Timberman of the Year in Montana, National Forest Activist of the Year, the Agri-Women's 2007 Veritas Award Winner, and in 2004 received the inaugural Presidential Preserve America Award from President Bush. His current activities represent a family commitment to responsible environmentalism. His program is titled, "With Vision, There is Hope." For more information on Bruce Vincent, visit http://www.brucevincentspeaking.com.

      John Maguire, Vice President-Washington Operations for the National Cotton Council, will update attendees on the 2014 Farm Bill and other Washington activities. Steve Uryasz with the Texas Tech Red Raider Club will discuss the 2014 Celebrate Cotton game, and reveal details about this year's event. Brandon Willis, administrator for the Risk Management Agency, will discuss the 2014 Farm Bill implementation process from both an RMA and FSA perspective.

      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 online at http://www.plainscotton.org.


CCI's Hancock Delivers Responsible Fiber

Message to Influential Brands and Retailers

Friday, March 21, 2014          From Cotton Council International

      Cotton Council International First Vice President Dahlen Hancock of Ropesville emphasized the U.S. cotton industry's responsible production practices through a presentation at the COTTON USA Retail and Marketing Leadership Summit, held in Berlin on March 11-12.

      The invitation-only event offered an exclusive forum for the world's top brands and retailers to discuss critical issues in apparel sourcing and examine the latest developments in the highly competitive and volatile apparel industry.

      Hancock detailed the technological advances and the environmental safeguards and regulations that govern production in the United States and discussed their affect on the future and the importance to the apparel supply chain.

      "Responsibility along the apparel supply chain starts with the fiber, and as a fourth generation farmer from Texas, I'm particularly sensitive to the importance of being kind to the earth and to our land," Hancock said. "I followed in the farming footsteps of my father, grandfather and great-grandfather, and I farm my land responsibly so that my two sons will have that same opportunity."

      Additional industry experts outlined topics including: the latest world economic developments, the changing retail landscape, connecting with consumers, paradigm shifts in sourcing, customer and supplier relationships, and creating responsible and transparent supply chains.

      The event concluded with a round table discussion with experts from each segment of the supply chain (field to retail) on the future of apparel and home textile production. With ever-increasing production costs and heightened awareness of the social, environmental and economic impacts of sourcing decisions, current supply channels have seen unprecedented shifts in recent years.


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Commissioner Staples to Salute Farmers,

Ranchers During National Ag Week

Thursday, March 20, 2014       From Texas Dept. of Agriculture

       Recognizing the critical role farmers and ranchers play in nourishing today's population and future generations, Agriculture Commissioner Todd Staples encourages Texans to join him in celebrating National Agriculture Week, March 23-29, and National Agriculture Day on March 25. This year's National Ag Week theme is "Agriculture: 365 Sunrises and 7 Billion Mouths to Feed."

      "Agriculture is important to Texans 52 weeks a year," Commissioner Staples said. "Next week, during National Agriculture Week, I ask all Texans to take the time to honor our dedicated farmers and ranchers. It's critical to remember, food doesn't grow on grocery store shelves. It takes hard work, sacrifice and perseverance to feed Texans, Americans and the world."

      Agriculture contributes more than $100 billion to the Texas economy each year and supports approximately 1.8 million agriculture-related jobs, ranging from commodity trading to journalism and advertising.

      "More than just food and clothing, agriculture contributes to our homes, health, lifestyle and the prosperity of this country," Commissioner Staples said. "Today's farmers and ranchers are more productive and efficient than ever before, and as our population grows, there will be an even greater demand for food and fiber. Without our incredible farmers and ranchers, Texas wouldn't be the powerhouse of agricultural productivity that it is today." 

      To learn more about Texas farmers and ranchers, and the everyday ways in which they improve our lives, visit the Agriculture is Your Culture webpage at http://texasagriculture.gov/culture/.

      As the saying goes: If you ate today, thank a farmer. Join the Texas Department of Agriculture as they thank their farmers and ranchers throughout this special week on their Facebook page and follow #AgDay to keep up with the conversation on social media.


Upcoming Farm Bill Meetings

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Cotton Incorporated's Messura to Speak

in Lubbock April 1

      Cotton Incorporated's Mark Messura will be a keynote speaker at the Retail Symposium 2014, an event hosted by the Texas Tech College of Human Sciences' Department of Nutrition, Hospitality and Retailing.

      The Symposium will be held Tuesday, April 1, at Skyviews, located on the 6th floor of the Texas Tech Plaza located at 1901 University. Messura's presentation is scheduled to begin at 10 a.m.

      The Symposium will begin at 9:30 a.m. and end at 3 p.m. For more information about the Symposium, or to register, visit http://www.depts.ttu.edu/hs/nhr/RET/retail_symposium1.php.

      There is no cost to attend the Symposium unless you plan to stay for lunch, which is $15.

      Messura, senior vice president for global supply chain marketing at Cotton Incorporated, is responsible for the company's global product marketing programs. Messura currently serves as Chairman of the International Forum for Cotton Promotion. He is a member of the Industry Advisory Board to the Textile Development and Marketing Department at the Fashion Institute of Technology and Chairman of the Industry Advisory Board, Fashion and Textile Management Program at North Carolina State University. Messura serves as an adjunct associate professor in the College of Textiles at North Carolina State University. He serves on the Washington State University Extension National Board of Advisors.

      Prior to joining Cotton Incorporated in 1994, Messura served as the Director of Policy and Programs for the North Carolina Rural Economic Development Center, and as Associate Director of the North Carolina Board of Science and Technology. He earned a B.A. from the University of Michigan in Economics and an M.A. in Policy Analysis from Duke University.