Farmers from Idaho and North Dakota will be observing cotton and other agriculture-related operations in the Mid-South on October 14-17, as part of the National Cotton Council’s (NCC) Multi-Commodity Education Program (MCEP).
A Cotton Foundation education project launched in 2006, the MCEP is supported by a grant from John Deere and is coordinated by NCC’s Member Services and local leaders/organizations.
The MCEP is designed to provide its participants with a better understanding of production issues/concerns faced by their peers in another geographic region. The group will see that region’s agronomic practices, technology utilization, cropping patterns, marketing plans and operational structure; and tour some of the region’s research facilities, agricultural processing operations and related businesses relevant to the area economy.
Nine farmers are participating in the 2019 tour:
- Idaho – Jamie Kress, Rockland; Dan Lakey and Kyle Wangemann, both from Soda Springs; Pat Purdy, Boise; Steve Samowitz, Blackfoot; and Clark Tacke, Greencreek
- North Dakota – Dennis Haugen, Hannaford; Ed Kessel, Dickinson; and Jeff Mertz, Hurdsfield.
The tour begins October 14 at the NCC headquarters in Cordova, TN for an overview of the U.S. cotton industry and industry issues, plus a briefing on The Cotton Foundation. They also will visit the USDA Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) office in Bartlett, TN to see cotton classing; hear about agricultural research, education and agritourism during a visit to Agricenter International in Memphis; learn about cotton trait introgression at BASF’s greenhouse operation; and visit the Memphis Cotton Museum.
On October 15, the group will tour the Riverbend Warehouse in West Memphis, AR to learn about cotton warehousing and shipping, visit Reed Farms in Marianna, learn about John Deere cotton harvesting technology, and tour the W.G. Huxtable Pumping Station for a briefing on stormwater pumping.
On October 16, the groups will visit Planters Cotton Oil Mill in Pine Bluff, AR to learn about cottonseed oil and cottonseed products, see cotton ginning at McGehee Producers Gin, and tour farming operations in that area.
On October 17, the group moves to the Mississippi Delta to tour the Delta Research and Extension Center in Stoneville; see U.S. farm-raised catfish production; visit the USDA-AMS Cotton Ginning Laboratory; and learn about environmental stewardship and water sustainability in the Mississippi Delta from staff at Delta Farmers Advocating Resource Management (F.A.R.M.).
Based on information provided by the National Cotton Council