MEMPHIS, Tenn. – Twelve U.S. cotton industry members have been chosen to participate in the National Cotton Council’s (NCC) Emerging Leaders Program for 2016-17.
Participants, by industry segment, include: PRODUCERS – Brian Adamek, El Campo, Texas; Andrew Clark, Clovis, Calif.; Scott Flowers, Clarksdale, Miss.; Nick McMichen, Centre, Ala.; Steven Meeks, Screven, Ga.; Russ Ratcliff, St. Joseph, La.; Jerry Rovey, Buckeye, Ariz.; and Rich Vinson, Sikeston, Mo.; GINNER – Wes Morgan, New London, N.C.; COTTONSEED – Jerrod Drinnon, Lubbock, Texas; WAREHOUSER – Kent Ballard, Lubbock, Texas; and MARKETING COOPERATIVE – David Mullins, Rotan, Texas.
Since being initiated in 2013, the Emerging Leaders Program has been supported by a grant to The Cotton Foundation from Monsanto.
NCC Chairman Shane Stephens, a Greenwood, Miss., warehouseman, said U.S. cotton’s central organization needs leaders who are willing to embrace the responsibilities that come with working to ensure a healthy future for the U.S. cotton industry.
“One of those duties is being able to help facilitate unity among our seven industry segments,” Stephens said. “That unity is vital, for example, in shaping sound cotton policy and then communicating that policy to Congress, government agencies, the media and others.”
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 and 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.
Class members will participate in three sessions. The first, set for the week of June 12 in Memphis and St. Louis, will provide an orientation to the NCC, professional development/communication skills training and an agribusiness briefing. During the second session in February, class members will see policy development at the NCC’s 2017 Annual Meeting in Dallas while the third session in Washington, D.C., will focus on policy implementation and international market development.