Wasserman to Keynote PCG Annual Meeting

Friday, March 4, 2016                   By Mary Jane Buerkle

      Plains Cotton Growers, Inc., will host their 59th Annual Meeting on Friday, April 8, 2016 in the Banquet Hall of the Lubbock Memorial Civic Center.

      Registration begins 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 7-8, 2016, in Lubbock. For more information on the TCGA Annual Meeting and Trade Show, visit http://www.tcga.org/.

      Farmers Cooperative Compress will present keynote speaker David Wasserman, House Editor for The Cook Political Report. Wasserman is responsible for handicapping and analyzing U.S. House Races for that publication. The title of his presentation will be "An Insider's Guide to the 2016 Election."

      Wasserman has served as an analyst for the NBC News Election Night Decision Desk in 2014, 2012, 2010, and 2008, and has appeared on NBC Nightly News, ABC World News, C-SPAN Washington Journal, CNN, and NPR. He is a frequent contributor to FiveThirtyEight.com and his commentary on House races has been cited in numerous print and online publications including Politico, The New York Times, The Washington Post, USA Today, The Wall Street Journal, The Economist, and RealClearPolitics.com.

      Reece Langley, Vice President of Washington Operations at the National Cotton Council, also is scheduled to update attendees on the NCC's activities. Langley is responsible for coordinating the Washington activities of the Council, including working with Congress and the Administration, with the overall mission of helping each of the U.S. cotton industry's seven segments compete effectively and profitably in a global market.

      The program will feature an update on the Plains Cotton Growers, Inc. PAC and an announcement about the 2016 Celebrate Cotton Game. In addition, both candidates for U.S. House District 19, Jodey Arrington and Glen Robertson, have been invited to speak briefly at the meeting.

      Current PCG president Shawn Holladay will preside over the meeting and PCG Executive Vice President Steve Verett will report on the status of PCG operations and activities. Lubbock Cotton Exchange President Darren Newton will discuss the Texas International Cotton School. PCG will present the 2015 High Plains Cotton Agent of the Year award.    

      Additional information about PCG can be found at http://www.plainscotton.org.


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PCG Staff, Cotton Producers

Discuss Cotton in Washington, DC

Friday, March 4, 2016                         By Mary Jane Buerkle

      Cotton was at the forefront for many in Washington, DC, this week as a delegation from Plains Cotton Growers traveled to Capitol Hill to advocate on behalf of the industry and its needs.

      PCG staff members Steve Verett and Kody Bessent, along with board chairman Craig Heinrich and president Shawn Holladay made several visits to key Congressional representatives and their staff. At each visit, the group stressed the importance of finding relief for struggling producers, whether in the form of a cottonseed program or another solution.

      "Visits like these are essential to helping ensure that we stay in constant communication with Members of Congress, agency leaders, and others who need to remain aware of the cotton industry and its importance to not only our region, but the state and the nation," Verett said. "We must continue to build these relationships, always keeping in mind that even though we have many friends in Washington, DC, face-to-face conversations are always the best way to make new friends and secure the support of key allies as we work toward our goals."

      The Southwest Council of Agribusiness also will send a delegation to Washington, DC in mid-March.


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The Cotton Board Launches New Ad Campaign

Friday, March 4, 2016                         From The Cotton Board

      As the Cotton Research and Promotion Program enters its fiftieth year, The Cotton Board is launching a new campaign directed at producers that will give them the confidence needed to renew their faith in cotton. The new campaign is a forward looking rally-cry for the cotton industry, letting the cotton-growing community know that the Program is pressing on and the possibilities are limitless.

      Cotton's future is renewable. Cotton prices have risen and fallen many times, but the demand for this natural, sustainable resource always returns with new possibilities and advances from research and promotion. The Renew Your Faith in Cotton campaign tells the story of research and promotion being done by Cotton Incorporated and introduces the cotton industry to exciting projects, such as innovations in cottonseed for food production and breakthroughs in fiber technology.

      The campaign will be executed through a variety of channels, including print advertising, radio features, and digital platforms. The print campaign will have six ads--three focused on cotton as the food of the future and three focused on cotton as the fiber of the future.

      The campaign was launched at the Mid-South Farm and Gin Show in Memphis and print advertising, radio, and digital advertising will continue to be executed throughout the year.

      The campaign ads ultimately drive users to the Renew Your Faith In Cotton Web site where they can learn more about the research behind each specific project. This site will be the designated place where growers can go to see how their Program funds are being used.

      As we enter cotton's next 50 years, The Cotton Research and Promotion Program has a renewed commitment to the hard work and dedication required to make cotton the preferred fiber for the world. It's time to Renew Your Faith in Cotton. Find out more about the campaign at renew.cottonboard.org.



CCI Executive Director Conducts Industry

Meetings in Southeast Asia

Friday, February 26, 2016  From Cotton Council International

      Cotton Council International Executive Director Bruce Atherley traveled to Thailand, Indonesia and Korea to meet with local industry leadership and USDA's Foreign Agricultural Service (FAS) officers in order to gain better insight into (1) the dynamics of each country's cotton markets and (2) CCI's COTTON USA promotion and market development activities. 

      In Thailand, Atherley met with Chartchai Singhadeja, executive director of Thai Garment Manufacturers Association, and Thavorn Kanokvaleewong, president of Thai Garment Manufacturers Association (pictured above with CCI). Atherley also met with Phongsak Assakul, owner of Bangkok Weaving Mills Group, and FAS Bangkok's agricultural counselor, Bobby Richey. Discussion highlights included an update on recent domestic and offshore investments, the Thai industry's plans to develop more value-added textiles for global markets, Thailand's raw cotton imports and discussions about the future development of Myanmar. Atherley also saw COTTON USA-labeled products and met with licensee representatives to discuss sales promotion efforts at retail. 

      Atherley's meetings in Indonesia included a briefing by Ade Sudjarat, Chairman of the Indonesian Textile Industry (pictured above, top left). Sudjarat discussed the new bonded warehouse project, which will allow exporters to ship cotton to Indonesia for storage and sale to local mills. This is expected to increase U.S. cotton sales to Indonesia, as spinners will be able to buy the cotton and use it immediately instead of having to wait until delivery weeks later.  Atherley also met with Lily Tamin, owner of PT Lucky Abadi Textile Factory; Ali Abdi, FAS Jakarta's agricultural counselor; Nicolas The, owner of Argo Pantes Group; and Benny Soestrino, owner and chairman of PT Apac Inti Corpora.

      Lastly, Atherley traveled to Korea to join marketing meetings, discuss potential areas of cooperation with industry organizations and conduct a retail audit. Atherley reviewed CCI's activities in Korea with Kevin Sage-El of the U.S. Agricultural Trade Office (ATO) and Ross Kreamer of the Agricultural Affairs Office (AAO) of the American Embassy in Seoul. He then met with representatives of the Spinners and Weavers Association of Korea. Atherley met representatives of the Spinners and Weavers Association of Korea including Joon Kim, chairman, Kyungbang Ltd. and Jung-Soo Kim, president, Ilshin Spinning Co., Ltd, among others. Atherley also visited a Uniqlo store and other retailers at Emall, a popular shopping venue in Seoul, to assess the retail market for COTTON USA.



"POWER of COTTON" Project Launches in Japan

Friday, March 4, 2016       From Cotton Council International

      COTTON USA partnered with an up-and-coming Japanese fashion designer, Kunihiko Morinaga, to develop innovative U.S. cotton workwear for traditional Japanese artisans as part of a "POWER of COTTON" project with VOGUE JAPAN.

      Although there are numerous famous traditional craft techniques in Japan, the number of artisans has significantly decreased in the past 30 years. This COTTON USA project aims to use the "power of cotton" to stop the trend of dying Japanese traditions and renew the conventional image of artisans into a futuristic one.

      With the cooperation of VOGUE JAPAN, COTTON USA selected Kunihiko Morinaga, the designer of the Japanese fashion brand ANREALAGE, for this project. Morinaga created U.S. cotton workwear for "Momentum Factory Orii," a company that uses traditional techniques in an innovative way to process copper. 

      The workwear's printed pattern is designed to emulate copper stains at the studio and on the clothes of the artisan. When the pure white workwear is exposed to light, a vivid pattern appears (shown above). Fusing tradition and innovation, U.S. cotton satisfies both practical and fashionable aspects for this collection.

      ANREALAGE, Kunihiko Morinaga's fashion brand, will sell COTTON USA labeled products, including the innovative workwear, at pop-up stores in Japanese department stores. VOGUE JAPAN featured the "POWER of COTTON" in its April issue which hit newsstands on February 27.

      Morinaga presented his first women's collection during Paris Fashion Week in 2014. His "ANREALAGE" brand is a combination of words of ''A REAL, UNREAL and AGE."