Cotton Incorporated Survey Deadline
Approaching; Growers Asked to Participate
Cotton Incorporated is encouraging cotton producers to complete the 2015 Natural Resource Survey by June 30.
"Textile consumers have an emotional attachment to their favorite garments, and 'the touch, the feel, the fabric of our lives' has served the cotton industry well," said Dr. Kater Hake, Vice President of Agricultural and Environmental Research at Cotton Incorporated. "They do have alternatives, such as polyester, so it is critical that we build upon that emotional appeal of cotton by fully addressing the consumers desire to purchase items that are responsibly grown or produced. They want to see that cotton farmers care about the environment, about their employees, and about their products."
The 2015 Natural Resource Survey was initiated prior to the planting season, and the goal is to get more than 1,000 respondents (and more than 1,000,000 acres) before the survey closes on June 30, since the number of growers engaged shows U.S. cotton's commitment to continual improvement and to robust metrics. The average time to fill out the survey is just over 25 minutes.
Growers who haven't yet participated are asked to complete this anonymous survey by going to http://www.cottoninc.com/ag-esurvey. The data garnered from this survey will be used in multiple ways: provide robust data to support claims made by Cotton LEADS, facilitate cotton's participation in the Field to Market Alliance for Sustainable Agriculture, update data for a global cotton Life Cycle Assessment, and evaluate research needs and priorities funded by Cotton Incorporated. Survey respondents up to the 1,000th response will receive a T-shirt, and there are about 100 T-shirts left.
Again, the survey deadline is June 30. Those with questions should email firstname.lastname@example.org.
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.
Cotton Industry Seeks Volunteer Leaders
Friday, June 19, 2015 By Shawn Wade
The success of the High Plains cotton industry, like any group effort, is directly tied to the willingness of qualified individuals to volunteer to serve in various leadership positions. To identify these volunteers, the High Plains cotton industry caucuses each year with other cotton groups within Texas to identify producers interested in serving as a volunteer leader.
PCG encourages all qualified individuals interested in representing the High Plains as a representative to the Cotton Board, National Cotton Council, or Cotton Incorporated to contact PCG Executive Vice President Steve Verett for more information.
Each year, a variety of volunteer positions within the NCC and Cotton Incorporated are filled directly through the industry's caucus process. In addition to naming representatives to the NCC and Cotton Incorporated, PCG and the Texas cotton industry also work together to identify and nominate qualified individuals to the U.S. Secretary of Agriculture for possible appointment as a Member or Alternate on the Cotton Board.
Qualified individuals interested in serving on the Cotton Board, which oversees the highly successful U.S. Cotton Research & Promotion Program, also are encouraged to contact Verett at the PCG office in Lubbock to request additional information. PCG's telephone number is 806-792-4904.
To be a qualified producer nominee for the Cotton Board, an individual should be actively engaged in cotton production at the time of nomination, be committed to the mission of the Cotton Board and the Cotton Research and Promotion Program, and have demonstrated leadership skills and experience.
"Whether it is a nomination to serve on the Cotton Board or appointment to a leadership position within the National Cotton Council or Cotton Incorporated, the membership of Plains Cotton Growers has proven to be fertile ground for leaders within our industry," Verett said. "Our industry owes much to the dedicated men and women who step forward to serve their fellow producers. We look forward to extending that tradition of leadership in the years ahead."
Editor's Note: The Cotton Board seeks to promote diversity and ensure equal opportunity and inclusion for all those who qualify for nomination and appointment to the Cotton Board regardless of race, ethnicity, sex, disability, socio-economic status, religion or sexual orientation.
Lubbock Chamber of Commerce to Host
Legislative Appreciation Luncheon July 2
The Lubbock Chamber of Commerce will host a Legislative Appreciation Luncheon honoring U.S. Senator John Cornyn on Thursday, July 2, at 11:45 a.m. at the Overton Hotel and Conference Center. Presenting sponsor is StarCare Specialty Health System.
Representatives of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce will also be on hand to take part in recognizing Senator Cornyn with the U.S. Chamber's Spirit of Enterprise Award.
The cost of the luncheon is $45. Chamber members get a discounted price of $35. Reservations can be made by clicking here or calling (806) 761-7000. Deadline for reservations is noon on Friday, June 26.
Gold level table sponsorships are available for a reserved table of eight for $400 and silver level tables are available for $300. Other sponsorships are also available. Contact Stevie Poole at email@example.com or (806) 761-7000 for more information.
Monday, June 15, 2015 From the USDA Farm Service Agency
U.S. Department of Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack today announced that eligible producers may now formally enroll in the Agriculture Risk Coverage (ARC) and Price Loss Coverage (PLC) programs for 2014 and 2015. The enrollment period begins June 17, 2015, and will end Sept. 30, 2015.
"The extensive outreach campaign conducted by USDA since the 2014 Farm Bill was enacted, along with extending deadlines, is central to achieving an expected high level of participation," said Vilsack. "We worked with universities to simplify these complex programs by providing online tools so producers could explore how program election options would affect their operation in different market conditions; these tools were presented to almost 3,000 organizations across the country. The Farm Service Agency also sent more than 5 million educational notices to producers nationwide and participated in over 4,880 educational events with more than 447,000 attendees. I am proud of the many committed USDA employees who worked hard over the last several months to provide producers support to help them make these important decisions."
The new programs, established by the 2014 Farm Bill, trigger financial protections for agricultural producers when market forces cause substantial drops in crop prices or revenues. More than 1.76 million farmers have elected ARC or PLC. Previously, 1.7 million producers had enrolled to receive direct payments (the program replaced with ARC and PLC by the 2014 Farm Bill). This means more farms have elected ARC or PLC than previously enrolled under previously administered programs.
Nationwide, 96 percent of soybean farms, 91 percent of corn farms, and 66 percent of wheat farms elected ARC. 99 percent of long grain rice farms, 99 percent of peanut farms, and 94 percent of medium grain rice farms elected PLC. For data about other crops and state-by-state program election results go to http://www.fsa.usda.gov/arc-plc.
Covered commodities under ARC and PLC include barley, canola, large and small chickpeas, corn, crambe, flaxseed, grain sorghum, lentils, mustard seed, oats, peanuts, dry peas, rapeseed, long grain rice, medium grain rice (which includes short grain and sweet rice), safflower seed, sesame, soybeans, sunflower seed and wheat. Upland cotton is no longer a covered commodity.