Registration is now open for the 34th session of the Texas International Cotton School, scheduled for August 4-15, 2014, in Lubbock.
The intensive two-week program covers all aspects of cotton, from the field to the fabric. Since its inception, the school has been a collaboration between the Texas cotton merchants who make up the Lubbock Cotton Exchange and the faculty and staff of the Fiber and Biopolymer Research Institute of Texas Tech University.
“Those interested should register early, because the class size is limited and last year’s class was near the maximum that can be handled in our facilities,” said Dean Ethridge, managing director of the Fiber and Biopolymer Research Institute. “The size and diversity of the class stimulates learning and results in friendships that may extend years into the future.”
During the two weeks of the school, more than 30 experts from across the United States teach the students, who learn about the cotton marketing chain – including seed breeding, farm production, harvesting, ginning, warehousing, merchandising, and textile manufacturing. All aspects of U.S. and global trade of cotton are covered, so the students obtain an understanding of what is required to successfully participate in the U.S. cotton market and to deliver the cottons needed in diverse export markets. They learn about the important quality attributes of cotton fibers and how these translate into processing efficiency and textile product quality. Throughout the program, they have repeated opportunities to interact with the cotton merchants of the Lubbock Cotton Exchange and the fiber and textile experts of Texas Tech University.
“Our planning committee has worked to update our curriculum to not only include the fundamentals of the cotton industry, but also to examine the latest issues and advancements,” Lubbock Cotton Exchange President Brady Raindl said.
For more information, including tuition and curriculum, visit http://www.texasintlcottonschool.com or call Christi Chadwell, TICS coordinator, at (806) 834-8124.
NCC Chooses 2014-15 Emerging Leaders
Thursday, May 1, 2014 From the National Cotton Council
The National Cotton Council's Emerging Leaders Program class for 2014-15 has been selected.
Sponsored by a grant to The Cotton Foundation from Monsanto, the program not only provides class participants with an in-depth look at the U.S. cotton industry infrastructure and the business and political arenas in which it operates but also gives them intensive professional development training.
NCC Chairman Wally Darneille said the Emerging Leaders Program "is designed to encourage and equip industry members so they are better prepared to handle the responsibilities of being a U.S. cotton industry leader."
The Texas marketing cooperative official said the program helps participants gain a better understanding of the NCC's role, including its programs, policy development and implementation process; 2) Cotton Council International's central mission of developing and maintaining export markets for U.S. cotton, manufactured cotton products and cottonseed products; 3) the broad spectrum of issues that affect U.S. cotton's economic well-being; and 4) the U.S. political process.
The Emerging Leaders Program, initiated with the 2013-14 class, encourages participants to increase their involvement in these and other NCC activities. The program also helps them enhance their communications skills, including presentation and business etiquette, instruction for engaging with the news media, and utilizing social media tools and tactics.
Those chosen for the 2014-15 class are: Christopher Alphin, a ginner with Commonwealth Gin, Windsor, VA; Jon Bibb, a Tunica, MS, producer; Scott Gunn, a manufacturer with Swift Spinning, Inc., Columbus, GA; Bradley Harrison, a Yuma, AZ, producer; Chad Mathis, Jr., an Arlington, GA, producer; Travis Mires, an O'Donnell, TX, producer; John Romines, a merchant with Cargill Cotton, Memphis, TN; Stacy Smith, a Wilson, TX, producer; Brett Underwood, a warehouseman with The Trinity Company, and Steven White, an executive with Plains Cotton Cooperative Association, both in Lubbock, TX.
Class members will participate in three sessions. The first session, set for the week of June 15 in Memphis and St. Louis, will provide an orientation to the NCC, professional development/communication skills training and an agribusiness briefing. Class members will see policy development at the NCC's 2015 Annual Meeting in February during the second session while the third session in Washington, D.C., will provide a focus on policy implementation and international market development.
As the U.S. cotton industry's unifying force, the Memphis-based National Cotton Council carries out a mission of ensuring the seven industry segments' ability to compete effectively and profitably in the raw cotton, oilseed and U.S.-manufactured product markets at home and abroad.
Friday, April 25, 2014 From the National Cotton Council
The American Cotton Producers, chaired by Bowen Flowers, a Clarksdale, MS, producer, recently convened to discuss several critical industry issues.
NCC Chairman Wally Darneille, a Texas cooperative official, reported on farm bill implementation, Cotton LEADS™ (the U.S./Australian cotton sustainability initiative), key regulatory issues and cotton flow.
Jimmy Dodson, Texas producer and former NCC chairman who chairs the NCC's Crop Insurance Implementation Working Group, reported on that panel's deliberations. He reported that the group reviewed and made recommendations regarding several implementation issues for the Stacked Income Protection Plan (STAX). He said the group also discussed implementation status of other crop insurance enhancements in the 2014 farm bill and plans for further NCC education efforts on new crop insurance provisions.
John Maguire, the NCC's senior vice president, Washington Operations, provided a detailed report on Washington issues including farm bill implementation timelines, FY15 appropriations, trade and environmental issues, immigration, and tax reform.
Gary Adams, the NCC's vice president, Economic and Policy Analysis, provided an update on the US and world economic situation that included a discussion of the latest policy changes in China and potential impacts on China's cotton imports.
Bill Norman, the NCC's vice president, Technical Services, provided a cotton sustainability issues update. He reviewed the status of Cotton LEADS™ and provided background on its development beginning with the Vision 21 project and the NCC's involvement in Field to Market. He, along with Bill Robertson, the NCC's manager of Cotton Agronomy, Soils and Physiology, explained how the Field Print Calculator surveys that producers were requested to fill out on typical cotton fields, tied into this sustainability effort. Norman also provided a series of reports regarding the newly proposed changes in the Worker Protection Standards, industry issues on precision agriculture data and pollinator protection developments.
Bobby Greene, Alabama ginner and chairman of the Committee for the Advancement of Cotton's Steering Committee, reported on the fundraising progress for the 2014 campaign and some of the Steering Committee's new initiatives being implemented for this year.
Darryl Earnest, deputy administrator of the USDA/AMS Cotton Program, provided an update on cotton classing activities including the 2014 Cotton Classing User Fee, current technology initiatives, energy conservation initiatives, module averaging, and status/plans for classing facilities.
2014 P.I.E. Program Tour Dates Set
Friday, April 25, 2014 From the National Cotton Council
The National Cotton Council has scheduled tour dates and locations for the 2014 Producer Information Exchange Program.
The P.I.E. program provides cotton producers with the opportunity to maximize production efficiency and improve yields and fiber quality by: 1) gaining new perspectives in such fundamental practices as land preparation, planting, fertilization, pest control, irrigation and harvesting; and 2) observing firsthand diverse farming practices and the unique ways in which their innovative peers have adopted new and existing technology.
This season, Mid-South producers will see operations in California on July 13-17; Far West producers will travel to Arkansas, Missouri and Tennessee on July 27-August 1; Southwest producers will visit North Carolina and Virginia on August 3-8; and Southeast producers will tour Texas on August 19-24.
Sponsored by Bayer CropScience through a grant to The Cotton Foundation, the P.I.E. is now in its 26th year and has exposed more than 1,000 U.S. cotton producers to innovative production practices in regions different than their own. The NCC’s Member Services staff, in conjunction with local producer interest organizations, conducts the program, including participant selection.