Increasing member awareness on key issues -- from farm policy to trade negotiations -- remained a NCC priority. The daily Cotton eNews, the Cotton’s Week newsletter, and the AgDay Cotton’s Week television spots and radio news lines were fully utilized. Those communications were widened through media outlets by using news releases, columns in trade publications and interviews arranged with NCC industry leaders and staff.
The NCC increased the use of its web site, www.cotton.org, to provide members with a wide range of timely information. The web postings ranged from rules and fact sheets of various USDA agencies to a new Weed Resistance Learning Module.
The web site also is an excellent conduit for soliciting input and feedback. For example, information gained from the NCC Agri-Business Database has enabled the NCC to mobilize cotton agri-businesses in contacting Cotton Belt Members of Congress and the Administration on key issues. Attendees at the 2007 Beltwide Cotton Conferences’ and NCC Annual Meeting also were able to register and make housing arrangements online as well as check updates on the forum’s events and programming.
The NCC continued to respond to Oxfam America’s unfounded campaign against the U.S. cotton program. Included was a letter from NCC President/CEO Mark Lange to the organizers of a speaking tour by West African cotton producers in the United States. Among key points noted in the letter was that “several independent analyses refute the claim that the U.S. cotton program is the cause of economic difficulties faced by West African farmers.”
Virginia Cotton Growers Association President Larry Darden reinforced the response to Oxfam’s misinformation campaign. His letter to the editor of a Virginia paper refuted comments that commodity programs came at the expense of smaller U.S. farms.
The NCC also coordinated with Georgia and southeastern regional cotton industry leadership on rebuttals to a series of derogatory articles in the Atlanta Journal-Constitution that put farm program payments in an unfavorable light and distorted the need for sound farm policy.
“It is always discomforting for the press to attack farm programs and payments to growers. We will address the misstatements and attempt to set the record straight.” ... NCC President/CEO Mark Lange
The NCC continued its support of America’s Heartland, a weekly public television show celebrating the marvel of American agriculture. That support included committee service with other commodity organizations to identify and develop ideas for specific episodes and ways to publicize them.
|China Cotton Association Secretary General Madam Gao Fang is interviewed following the signing of a MOU between the Chinese and U.S. cotton industries. |
A news briefing also was arranged by the NCC in conjunction with the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding between the NCC and the China Cotton Association. The MOU signing in Memphis, TN, signaled a mutual agreement on the promotion of cooperation between the United States and Chinese cotton industries.
The NCC also lent promotion and public relations support to Cotton Council International and other organizations. CCI support included work on their annual directory, buyer’s guide, calendar, quarterly newsletters, CCI-FAX, as well as various audiovisual reports.
Audiovisual work escalated this year, including projects for both the NCC and other industry organizations. Along with the 2006 NCC audiovisual report, efforts involved updates of the NCC’s “Field to Fabric” and the National Cottonseed Products Association’s “Cottonseed: The Inside Story,” videotapes. Videotape to DVD conversion also increased, including several of the National Cotton Ginners Association’s “Gin Safety” tape series.