Enrollment Opens for
Texas International Cotton School
Registration is now open for the 35th session of the Texas International Cotton School, scheduled for August 3-13, 2015, 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," 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 curriculum not only includes the fundamentals of the cotton industry, but also examines the latest issues and advancements," Lubbock Cotton Exchange President Grady Martin said.
For more information, including tuition and curriculum, visit http://www.texasintlcottonschool.com or call Christi Chadwell, TICS coordinator, at (806) 834-8124.
U.S. Cotton Industry Leaders to Host
Thursday, April 30, 2015 From Cotton Council International
Key textile executives from 11 Pakistani companies will tour the U.S. Cotton Belt May 3-9 to observe U.S. cotton production, processing and marketing and to meet with U.S. cotton exporters.
The COTTON USA Pakistan Special Trade Mission is being conducted by Cotton Council International (CCI), the National Cotton Council's export promotions arm.
At this point in the 2014-15 marketing year (which ends on July 31, 2015), Pakistan ranks as the eighth largest U.S. cotton importer with current U.S. export commitments to Pakistan of 335,000 bales -- up from 169,000 bales in the 2013-14 marketing year.
This trade mission's 11 participating Pakistani companies collectively are expected to consume about 1.8 million bales in this marketing year of which 184,000 bales, or 10 percent, will be U.S. cotton.
CCI President Dahlen Hancock, a Ropesville, Texas, cotton producer, said, "We believe there is potential for even greater sales of U.S. cotton to this growing market. This event will enable CCI to provide some high level Pakistani textile manufacturing executives a better understanding of U.S. raw cotton's merits including our fiber's superior quality and our industry's outstanding reputation for timely delivery."
The Pakistani delegation will begin its tour in New York with a CCI briefing and an ICE Futures seminar. They will see cotton research in North Carolina, tour the USDA cotton classing office in Bartlett, Tenn., and visit a farm in California's San Joaquin Valley.
The group also will meet with exporters in the Cotton Belt's four major regions and with these industry organizations: the National Cotton Council, American Cotton Producers, Cotton Incorporated, American Cotton Shippers Association, Southern Cotton Growers Association, Texas Cotton Association, Plains Cotton Growers, Lubbock Cotton Exchange, AMCOT, Western Cotton Shippers Association and Supima.
NCC Announces Emerging Leaders Class
Thursday, April 23, 2015 From the National Cotton Council
Twelve U.S. cotton industry members have been chosen to participate in the National Cotton Council's Emerging Leaders Program for 2015-16.
Participants include: PRODUCERS -- Rafe Banks, Clarkedale, Ark.; Brandon Brooks, Phoenix, Ariz.; Matt Coley, Vienna, Ga.; Paul Minzenmayer, Rowena, Texas; Sutton Page, Avoca, Texas; and Brad Williams, Burlison, Tenn.; GINNERS -- Phillip Kidd, Edmonson, Texas; and Todd Waters, Pantego, N.C.; MERCHANTS -- Cory Barnes, Cordova, Tenn.; and Ken Burton, Montgomery, Ala.; WAREHOUSER -- Joe Cain, Bakersfield, Calif.; and MARKETING COOPERATIVE -- Vicki Dorris, Lubbock, Texas.
Now in its third year, the NCC's Emerging Leaders Program is supported by a grant to The Cotton Foundation from Monsanto.
NCC Chairman Sledge Taylor, a Como, Miss., producer and ginner, said, "The Council recognizes that sound leadership continuity is essential for U.S. cotton's health. We are grateful for Monsanto's ongoing support of this initiative that is helping to identify and equip industry members and encourage them to take on important leadership roles and duties."
Overall, the Emerging Leaders Program provides participants a better understanding of how the NCC carries out its mission of ensuring the U.S. cotton industry's seven segments can compete effectively and profitably in the raw cotton, oilseed and U.S.-manufactured product markets at home and abroad.
Specifically, participants get an in-depth look at: 1) the U.S. cotton industry infrastructure and the issues affecting the industry's economic well-being; 2) the U.S. political process; 3) the NCC's programs as well as its policy development and implementation process and 4) Cotton Council International's activities aimed at developing and maintaining export markets for U.S. cotton, manufactured cotton products and cottonseed products.
The Emerging Leaders Program also provides participants with professional development and communications training such as presentation and business etiquette, instruction for engaging with the news media, and utilizing social media tools and tactics.
Class members will participate in three sessions. The first session, set for the week of June 21, 2015, in Memphis and St. Louis, will provide an orientation to the NCC, professional development and communication skills training and an agribusiness briefing. Class members will see policy development at the NCC's 2016 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.
At a time when cotton's market share is threatened by man-made synthetic fabrics, Cotton Incorporated responds with authenticity. A new tagline reminds consumers "Cotton. It's Your Favorite for a Reason." The first commercial launched on April 20 with thirty- and fifteen-second spots; additional commercials will be rolled out over the course of the year.
David Grant, Cotton Board Chairman and North Carolina cotton producer, said, "I'm very proud of this new campaign, and it is just the beginning of a concentrated effort by the Cotton Research and Promotion Program to regain market share for cotton. The campaign does a nice job reminding consumers about the emotional connection that keeps them coming back to cotton."
"Cotton apparel has always been popular with most everyone but we may not be aware that the things we love are made with cotton," explained Ric Hendee, Senior Vice President, Consumer Marketing, Cotton Incorporated. "This new campaign will focus on many of our favorite clothing items and point out the reasons why we love them and keep on wearing them. The campaign uses real stories from real people."
"We conducted extensive consumer research to inform this campaign, and we wanted it to reflect what consumers are saying they like and want," said Kim Kitchings, Vice President Corporate Strategy & Program Metrics, Cotton Incorporated. "We learned that 69 percent of consumers say that their favorite piece of clothing is at least 60 percent cotton. This is particularly significant because it shows that even though cotton has experienced a contraction in market share, it is still something consumers want."
Cotton Incorporated research also suggests that while the majority of consumers prefer cotton, they don't always check garment labels for fiber content.
"Some garments may look and feel like cotton, but may not perform like cotton, especially over time," Kitchings added. This campaign includes a call-to-action message to "check the label" for fiber content.
Through the campaign, Cotton Incorporated aims to remind consumers of the versatility of cotton, and acknowledge the style, comfort, durability, and quality of cotton apparel. The commercials' storytellers are diverse in interests, style, and background, but each is passionate about telling their stories through their favorite piece of clothing. The new commercials will tell those stories with accompanying digital extensions and promotions, including social media.