The National Cotton Council (NCC) has selected the first class of its new Emerging Leaders Program, an effort aimed at ensuring the U.S. cotton industry benefits from sound leadership.
Sponsored by a grant to The Cotton Foundation from Monsanto, the Emerging Leaders Program will provide class participants an in-depth look at the U.S. cotton industry infrastructure and the business and political arenas in which it operates, as well as intensive professional development and communication skills training.
The 11-member 2013/14 class is comprised of Marvin Beyer, Jr., producer from Taft, TX; Lee Cromley, producer from Brooklet, GA; Ben Evans, ginner with Coffee County Gin & Four Corners Gin, Douglas, GA; Matt Hyneman, producer from Jonesboro, AR; Jeff Johnson, merchant with Allenberg Cotton Company, Cordova, TN; Jon Jones, producer from Floydada, TX; Erin Langston, ginner with Langston Enterprises, Blytheville, AR; Johnie Reed, producer from Kress, TX; Matt Simpkins, warehouseman with Lov-Cot Warehouse, Lubbock, TX; Kent Smith, producer from Rocky Mount, NC; and Davis Warlick, Jr., manufacturer with Parkdale Mills, Los Angeles, CA.
Goals of the Emerging Leaders Program are to help participants know and understand NCC’s role, including its programs, policy development and implementation process; Cotton Council International’s central mission of developing and maintaining export markets for U.S. cotton, manufactured cotton products and cottonseed products; the spectrum of issues affecting U.S. cotton’s economic well-being; and the U.S. political process. The program also will encourage participants to increase their involvement in these and other NCC activities.
Class members will participate in three sessions. The first session in early June will provide a NCC orientation, professional development/communication skills training and an agribusiness briefing. In the second session, class members will see policy development at the NCC’s 2014 Annual Meeting in February, and the third session in Washington, D.C. will focus on policy implementation and international market development.
“We are very pleased with the quality of this first Emerging Leaders class, as many of them already are involved in leadership roles at the state and regional level, ” said NCC Chairman Jimmy Dodson, a Robstown, TX, producer. “It is essential that the U.S. cotton industry have effective leadership, and we applaud these class members for taking the time to equip themselves with the tools, information and training they must have to help guide this great industry.
“The National Cotton Council relies on qualified industry members to communicate cotton policy and issues to Congress, the media and other agricultural groups,” he added. “Our desire is that these individuals will be recognized by their peers as emerging leaders and will be given opportunities to assume greater leadership roles within their industry segments and in the Council.”