Hannah Lowe, an assistant trader at Plexus Cotton, Ltd., won this year’s Cotton International Essay Contest, held annually in conjunction with the ACSA International Cotton Institute.
Lowe was one of 31 students, representing 13 different countries, to take part in the comprehensive eight-week ACSA program, which is designed to educate young professionals working in the cotton industry. Each year, ACSA hosts the Institute in the summer months, on campus at the University of Memphis.
“I’ve learned a lot during my time here,” Lowe said. “We have seen so many speakers with so much knowledge, and it is invaluable that we could learn from their experiences.”
In addition to spending time listening to lectures on campus at the University of Memphis, Lowe and her classmates ventured out into the city itself, and around the American Mid-South, to learn about cotton production, classing and trading in the United States.
“Not only did we learn a lot, but we made a lot of friends, and it’s good to have this network of people who we can call upon,” Lowe said. “It’s been an invaluable eight weeks that we’ve spent at this course.”
This year’s class was challenged with providing an essay that outlined the major factors that will impact the cotton industry in the coming months. Lowe’s winning entry convincingly builds the case that the future of cotton will largely be shaped by two movements: sustainability and government intervention in free trade.
“Her ideas were explored fully, presented succinctly and written with a clear and convincing voice,” said Mike McCue, editor of Cotton International magazine.
As part of her award for winning the essay contest, Lowe’s essay will be published in a coming issue of Cotton International magazine.