MEMPHIS, Tenn. – Thirteen U.S. cotton industry members have been chosen for the National Cotton Council’s 2019-2020 Emerging Leaders Program.
Representing the industry’s seven segments are: PRODUCERS – Philip Edwards, III, Smithfield, Va.; Jaclyn Ford, Alapaha, Ga.; Ben Good, Starkville, Miss.; Kellon Lee, St. Joseph, La.; Dean Rovey, Buckeye, Ariz.; and Jake Sheely, Lemoore, Calif.; GINNER – Burch Pierce, Jonesville, La.; MERCHANT – Bob Champion, Prattville, Ala.; WAREHOUSER – Kyle Taubert, Seminole, Texas; MARKETING COOPERATIVE – Jeremy Speis, Corpus Christi, Texas; and Josh Warren, Garner, N.C.; COTTONSEED – Joe Gribble, Altus, Okla.; and MANUFACTURER – Ellis Fisher, Inman, South Carolina.
Supported by a grant to The Cotton Foundation from Bayer, the Emerging Leaders Program provides participants with a better understanding of how the NCC carries out its mission of ensuring the U.S. cotton industry 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 as well as its policy development and implementation process 4) Cotton Council International’s activities aimed at developing and maintaining export markets for U.S. cotton, manufactured cotton products and cottonseed products and 5) the role that Cotton Foundation members play in fostering a healthy U.S. cotton industry.
The Emerging Leaders Program, now in its seventh year, also provides participants with professional development and communications training such as presentation and business etiquette, instruction for engaging with the news media, and utilizing social media tools and tactics.
The 2019-20 program members will participate in three sessions. The first session, set for the week of June 16, 2019, 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 2020 Annual Meeting in New Orleans. The last session will be in Washington, D.C., where the group will learn about the NCC’s policy implementation and international market development activities.