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Cotton News

March 17, 2023

By March 24th, 2023No Comments

Welcome to the March 17, 2023 issue of Cotton News, a service provided by Plains Cotton Growers Inc. for the cotton industry in the Texas High Plains and beyond.

SSG John Kriesel to Deliver Keynote Address at Plains Cotton Growers Annual Meeting

If Dr. Norman Vincent Peale was writing his incredibly popular book, “The Power of Positive Thinking,” today he would need to add a separate chapter on John Kriesel.

In 2006 Kriesel was nearly blown to shreds by a 200-pound roadside bomb in the parched sands of Iraq, but battlefield angels in army uniforms kept him breathing long enough to reach a field hospital. He died three times and was shocked back to life. Somehow he survived through four hospitals, 35 surgeries and months of recovery. He lost both legs and suffered numerous other major injuries, but it was the loss of two close friends that hurt the most.

The guy who wasn’t supposed to survive and was told he probably would be in a wheelchair the rest of his life walked out of Walter Reed Army Medical Center after nine months. Working with author Jim Kosmo, Kriesel reveals his motivational story in “STILL STANDING: The Story of SSG John Kriesel,” winner of eight national book awards.

Four years after his near-death experience in Iraq Kriesel became a civilian marketing employee with the Minnesota Army National Guard and in 2012 was named Director of Veterans Services for Anoka County. He also is a part time host on KFAN Sports Radio and former member of the Minnesota House of Representatives. He was elected to the House in 2010 after a vigorous campaign where he was told he could not win in his district. He personally visited several thousand homes in all weather conditions and literally wore out the socket in one of his prosthetic legs. He won.

After tours of duty in Kosovo and Iraq and a lengthy medical recovery Kriesel’s family wanted to spend more time with him and he chose not to run for re-election in 2012.

As a legislator he was anything but a quiet freshman challenging even his own party and frequently speaking his mind. “Kriesel’s honesty is a breath of fresh air at the Capitol,” declared the Minneapolis Star-Tribune. In addition to serving veterans in the Twin Cities and being a frequent voice on KFAN’s Power Trip Morning Show, he continues to share his upbeat, motivational message with businesses and organizations throughout the United States. 

Using humorous storytelling, Kriesel addresses the choices we can make when facing adversity. We are excited to have him as the keynote speaker for this year’s annual meeting. 

The 66th annual meeting of Plains Cotton Growers is March 28, 2023, at the Overton Hotel and Conference Center. 

Walk-in registration and a buffet breakfast will begin at 7:30 a.m. followed by the annual meeting program at 9 a.m. Afternoon workshops on cotton marketing and hedging, weed control, sustainability and the upcoming Farm Bill will take place from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. For questions or more information, you may call the office at 806-792-4904 or visit our website: 

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Farm Bill Listening Session in Texas

House Ag Committee Chair Glenn “GT” Thompson, (R-Pa.) hosted a farm bill listening session in Waco, Texas, Wednesday, March 15.

Shawn Holladay, chair of the National Cotton Council and past president of Plains Cotton Growers Inc., addresses the House Ag Committee at the Farm Bill Listening Session in Waco, Texas, March 15, 2023. Photo credit: Texas Farm Bureau.

He, along with bipartisan Members of the committee — Rep. Pete Sessions (R-Texas), Rep. Austin Scott, (R-Ga.), Rep. Kat Cammack (R-Fla.), Rep. Ronny Jackson (R-Texas), Rep. Tracey Mann (R-Kan.), and Rep. Jasmine Crockett (R-Texas) — listened to farmers, ranchers, producers, agribusiness owners, etc., as they provided feedback on the 2018 Farm Bill and highlighted issues the 2023 Farm Bill should address.

Shawn Holladay, chair of the National Cotton Council and past president of Plains Cotton Growers was one of the attendees who gave comments.

“The 2018 Farm Bill has served the industry well,” he stated to the committee. “However, the significant increase in input costs and disruptions in the global cotton market is undermining the effectiveness of the cotton safety net. Since the finalization of the 2018 Farm Bill, a majority of producer assistance has come through ad hoc funding from Congress. While this has been valuable due to untimely disasters, trade disputes and demand disruptions due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the 2023 Farm Bill should shore up the grower safety net and risk management tools…”

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Deadlines and Reminders

Conservation Reserve Program Sign-up Dates

General sign up for the Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) will begin February 27 and end April 7.

U.S. Cotton Trust Protocol 

March 31, 2023, is the deadline for U.S. cotton producers to enroll their 2023 crop in the U.S. Cotton Trust Protocol.

PCG Annual Meeting

PCG’s 66th annual meeting is on March 28 at the Overton Hotel and Conference Center. Register online today! 

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400 Groups Stand United on Farm Bill Budget Needs

Plains Cotton Growers Inc. is among 400 farm and industry groups that signed onto a letter shared with congressional leadership on agriculture’s budgetary needs in the 2023 Farm Bill. That letter, sent to the chairmen and ranking members of both the House and Senate Budget Committees, is a strong example of “united, we stand,” a phrase popular amongst the country’s founding fathers. 

Signees are hopeful modern leaders in the nation’s capital understand the value of agriculture and will take their needs into consideration when developing the fiscal year 2024 budget. 

“We write to express our strong support for providing (…) sufficient budgetary resources to write a new bipartisan, multi-year, comprehensive, and meaningful piece of legislation,” the groups convey in the letter, continuing, “Just as there are many pressures on the federal budget, there are many pressures on U.S. farmers and others throughout the agricultural supply chain who provide food, feed, fuel, fiber, and other products to consumers across the United States and abroad.” 

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