Cotton Board Okays 2019 Cotton Inc. Budget; Elects New Officers
During its recent annual meeting, The Cotton Board voted to recommend Cotton Incorporated’s proposed 2019 budget of $82 million to the U.S. Secretary of Agriculture, and elected new officers for the 2018/2019 Program year, including Peter McGrath as chairman of the Board.
The $82 million 2019 proposed budget represents an increase of approximately $8 million compared with the 2018 budget, marking the second consecutive year that Cotton Incorporated’s annual budget has increased, based on assessment collections. Revenue for the Cotton Research and Promotion Program is determined by cotton prices, upland cotton production, and imports of cotton textiles and apparel.
The 2019 plan and budget provides the opportunity for Cotton Incorporated to increase cottonseed marketing efforts and address threats to U.S. cotton such as plastic contamination, FOV4 and weed resistance. Funds for planning for future technologies such as robotics and artificial intelligence are also included. Funding for Consumer Marketing is increased by 13%.
“It is important for us to invest in consumer marketing to continue cotton’s forward momentum and to influence demand,” says Kim Kitchings, senior vice president of Consumer Marketing, Cotton Incorporated. “The Consumer Marketing department’s activities and programs are created and implemented with the purpose of motivating consumers and the supply chain to buy cotton items and to affirm cotton as the first choice among fibers.”
McGrath, an importer from Snowmass Village, CO, owns a consulting business for major brands and retailers. He spent 37 years with J.C. Penney, serving as executive vice president and director of Product Development and Sourcing before retiring from the company in 2010. He also serves as chairman of the Human Rights Center at the University of Dayton.
Other newly-elected Cotton Board officers are:
- Vice Chairman – Jeff Posey, producer from Roby, TX
- Secretary – Jimmy Webb, producer from Leary, GA
- Treasurer – Sonja Chapman, importer from Boonton, NJ.
“I am honored to be given this opportunity to help lead the industry, and work on behalf of the cotton producers and importers who invest in the Cotton Research and Promotion Program,” said McGrath. “In 2019, we are going to focus on cotton’s sustainability, new products and innovation, farm profitability, cottonseed research and marketing, contamination, and fiber competition.”
Based on information from The Cotton Board.