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Preparing for the Future

Van MayAn old cliché has it that the only way to have any control of the future is to help create it. Humorist Will Rogers suggested that the problem with the future is that it always gets here before we are ready for it.

Those statements might paint a pretty accurate picture of where we are at PCCA right now. We are busy trying to reinvent ourselves in several areas to be sure that we are creating the future environment in which we can succeed for you.

I suspect when the numbers are in we will show record profits this year in our Textile Division and possibly record margins for the entire company. We should meet our earnings and cash payout targets under our 20/20 vision equity plan this time around. I also believe next year is going to get off to a fast start and likely be a good year as well.

Why, then, are we trying to reinvent our textile product line and marketing structure? That seems to be a legitimate question. Articles elsewhere in this issue of Commentator deal with how that process is already taking shape.

These changes are not about where we are right now, rather they are intended to put us in a position to continue to succeed in the textile business two years out and following. We are fine this year and next, but we are changing to be sure that the future is as bright as the past and as the present.

The environment in which our Textile Division operates is changing rapidly, and we must likewise change or be left behind. I am very excited about the direction we are taking and the results that are already beginning to show as we move into new relationships, new products, and more value-added processing. As we share more synergies between our American Cotton Growers and Mission Valley Fabrics divisions, the future we are attempting to create could be very bright. That is certainly the goal.

On the raw cotton side of the business, we are seeing record increases in the size of our marketing pools in both the West Texas/Oklahoma area and in South Texas. The marketing of these blocks of cotton in an oversupplied world market situation (with little export help until Congress finds a way to refund the Step 2 competitiveness program) will present the greatest challenge that we have faced since the l960s. This upcoming season will be tough from a marketing standpoint, and the market appears to offer little relief. There is not much we can do about this one except try to take advantage of what opportunities present themselves the best we can and hope for a breakthrough down the line. We desperately need Congress to fund the Step 2 competitiveness program again.

The other side of the coin of increasing pool participation is that fewer of our members are utilizing the TELCOT marketing alternative. To keep that system viable and cost effective we will continue to search out new and more efficient ways to deliver this electronic service to our customer base. Changes implemented a couple of years ago have allowed us to deliver the service under a web-browser, Internet-friendly platform. Hopefully, we can continue this trend in an effort to keep TELCOT viable and ensure that it is always the best spot market alternative available to you.

In short, in all areas of our business we cannot and will not rest on what we have done or accomplished before. We will move forward proactively to attempt to create the right environment for a successful future. Time will judge how well we do and so will you—exactly as it should be.

Van May