MEMPHIS – The National Cotton Council Board of Directors elected Dr. Mark D. Lange president and chief executive officer, the NCC’s top staff position.
Lange, elected this month at the NCC’s annual meeting in Tampa, FL, succeeds Gaylon Booker, who retired after 41 years of service to the NCC and will serve as a consultant to the NCC in 2003.
Robert W. Greene, NCC chairman and a Courtland, AL, ginner, said, "Mark has been a key component of the Council’s policy analysis team and has worked on a wide range of cotton industry issues. We are fortunate to be able to bring someone from within the current staff to manage the Council and provide continuity in leadership."
Lange came to the NCC in 1990 and directed its Economic Services and Information Services before being named vice president, policy analysis and program coordinator in 2001.
Reflecting on the challenges confronting U.S. agriculture, Lange said, "the U.S. cotton industry is facing continued international pressures and uncertainty just like many other U.S. industries. The hallmark of the U.S. cotton industry has been the willingness of industry leaders to work closely together when addressing problems. I look forward to the opportunity to build on the Council’s record of success."
Before joining the NCC, Lange was an associate professor of agricultural economics at Louisiana State University. He holds bachelor’s and master’s degrees from Indiana State University and received a Ph.D. in Economics from Iowa State University. A native of Indiana, Lange and his wife, Janis, have two children.
The NCC was formed in 1938 at a meeting at the Peabody Hotel in Memphis. Besides Booker, others who have served in the NCC’s top staff position since that time include the late Rhea Blake, the late Albert Russell, Earl Sears and Phillip Burnett.
As the U.S. cotton industry’s unifying force, the Memphis-based NCC brings together industry representatives from the 17 cotton-producing states to establish policies reflecting the common interests and promoting mutual benefits for its broad membership and ancillary industries. The NCC’s mission is ensuring the ability of all industry segments to compete effectively and profitably in the raw cotton, oilseed and U.S.-manufactured product markets at home and abroad. The U.S. cotton industry provides employment for some 440,000 Americans and generates more than $120 billion in annual economic activity.