MEMPHIS -- National Cotton Council of America delegates will be asked to develop policy that will steer the U.S. cotton industry toward profitability at the National Cotton Council's Annual Meeting 2001, Jan. 28-31 in San Diego.
"Today's Vision, Tomorrow's Challenge" is the theme of the meeting, which is expected to attract more than 1,000 leaders from the industry's seven segments as well as industry stakeholders from across the Cotton Belt.
"A chronic absence of profitability across the industry poses a serious challenge, but one that Council leadership and delegates will address at this meeting," Council President Robert McLendon said. "Restoration of profitability hinges on our being successful in maintaining a healthy policy partnership with the federal government; on the progress we make in reducing production, processing and distribution costs throughout the industry; and on our ability to expand markets for U.S. cotton."
During the meeting at the Hyatt Regency San Diego, delegates will develop and adopt specific resolutions for Council action in farm and economic policy, international trade, public relations and international market development, research, education, packaging, distribution, and health, safety and the environment.
McLendon, a Leary, GA, cotton producer, said while Council delegates will deal with numerous issues, a major focus remains U.S. agricultural policy. The farm program may need to be enhanced this year or when current law expires after the 2002 crop season in order to improve the industry's economic health in the near term, he noted.
McLendon will cover the state of the U.S. cotton industry in his address during the meeting's general session Jan. 31. Also addressing that session will be William Kristol, a Washington political analyst and commentator, and J. Berrye Worsham, III, president and chief executive officer of Cotton Incorporated, who will report on that organization's research and promotion programs.
Kicking off the annual meeting Jan. 28 will be the Council's Policy Advisory Committee on Trade, the Cotton Council International Board of Directors and the American Cotton Producers, the Council's producer policy development group.
On Jan. 29, the Council's Economic Outlook will be presented to a joint session of the Council's six program committees prior to their convening. Senator Blanche Lincoln (D-AR), a member of the Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition and Forestry of the U.S. Senate, will be the guest speaker at a luncheon. The National Cotton Ginners Association also will conduct its annual meeting that day.
As the unifying force of the U.S. cotton industry, the Memphis-based National Cotton Council brings together industry representatives from the 17 cotton-producing states to work out common problems and establish programs of mutual benefit for its 25,000 members. The Council's mission is ensuring the ability of all industry segments to compete effectively and profitably in the raw cotton, oilseed and U.S.-manufactured product markets at home and abroad.