By Jayci Cave
The coming year has the potential to be an important one in terms of farm policy. With Congress drafting a new farm bill, it is more important than ever to share your story and how farm policy could impact you and your family farm. More simply put, there is a greater need now for farmers to advocate for agriculture, or ‘agvocate’. Agvocate for a safety net that would help protect your farm during difficult years. You have a story worth telling. Don’t worry, you are not alone in this effort. Organizations throughout agriculture and the cotton industry are working toward the same goal with some of your fellow growers. A few of these organizations are Plains Cotton Growers, Inc., the Southwest Council of Agribusiness, and the National Cotton Council of America. Learn more about each organization here and what they do for growers.
Plains Cotton Growers, Inc.
This non-profit organization has been an advocating voice for cotton growers for more than 60 years. PCG is comprised of cotton growers on the Texas High Plains and includes a Board of Directors and full-time staff . Its advocacy efforts are focused on four different segments: legislation, research, promotion and service.
Legislation: Helps to develop legislative rules and programs at both the state and national level. Issues include Farm Bill, trade issues, State and Federal Agriculture Appropriations, crop insurance and conservation.
Research: Works with universities, Cotton Incorporated, Texas A&M AgriLife Extension and others to improve and advance cotton on the Texas High Plains. PCG also has a producer funded Plains Cotton Improvement Program to support these research efforts.
Promotion: Promotes cotton and participates in education opportunities and events to help people understand cotton and its importance to the Texas High Plains. One example of this is the Celebrate Cotton Football Game hosted by Texas Tech University each year. This also includes interaction with international cotton buyers in collaboration with other cotton organizations.
Service: Advocates on behalf of growers at every level of government. Building relationships not only with members of Congress, but others throughout the agriculture and cotton industries who could help them serve the growers they serve.
For more information visit plainscotton.org
National Cotton Council of America
The National Cotton Council is the central organization for the U.S. cotton industry. The Council’s mission and objectives are carried out with the help of democratically- developed policy. Policy for the organization is formulated by delegates who
serve on six program committees adopting resolutions that are then refined and approved by the 35-member board. The committees represent each major area of NCC operation and include:
- Farm Program and Economic Development Committee
- Health, Safety and Environmental Quality Committee
- International Trade Policy Committee
- Packaging and Distribution Committee
- Public Relations and International Marketing Development Committee
- Research and Education Committee
NCC’s Mission: To ensure the ability of all U.S. cotton industry segments to compete effectively and profitably in the raw cotton, oilseed and U.S. manufactured product markets at home and abroad.
Seven Industry Segments: Producers, ginners, warehousers, merchants, cottonseed, cooperatives, and manufacturers.
For more information visit cotton.org
Southwest Council of Agribusiness
The Southwest Council of Agribusiness (SWCA) is a collaboration of agricultural organizations and businesses formed to advocate for strong agricultural policy. SWCA’s area is in Texas, Oklahoma, Kansas, New Mexico and Colorado. One of the main goals of the organization is to educate the public and policy makers about the value and importance of agriculture in our economy. The SWCA is represented in Washington by former Congressman Larry Combest, and his business- partner Tom Sell.
SWCA’s Mission: To represent and promote broad-based agriculture and business interests and increase economic opportunity in the Southwest region of the U.S. both now and for the future through the pursuit of good and stable agricultural policy, through information sharing and the building of relations and alliances within the area, and through the promotion of value-added agribusiness and other enterprises that capture more of the wealth created from our land, water and other natural resources for the people and communities of the region.
For more information visit southwest-council.org
Help these organizations help you. Agriculture and cotton need a voice. Whether you are a grower, gin or other agribusiness, you have a story worth telling. Get out and tell it today!