The Cotton Board is recommending Cotton Incorporated’s proposed 2018 budget of $74 million to the U.S. Secretary of Agriculture.
The Board’s decision came during its annual meeting in Durham, NC. In other actions, Louisiana cotton producer George LaCour, Jr. was elected Chairman of the Board, and new officers were named for the 2017/2018 Program Year.
The $74 million proposed budget for 2018 represents an increase of $4 million compared with the 2017 budget, and marks the first increase in Cotton Incorporated’s annual budget since 2013.
The Cotton Research and Promotion Plan for 2018 continues the strategic direction set by Cotton Incorporated in 2017 and includes a focus on four major initiatives that cross all departments of Cotton Incorporated: Performance Cotton (activewear market); Sustainability; Comparative Marketing; and Message Amplification. The 2018 budget also contains initiatives focused on production costs and producer margins.
The budget and plan, along with The Cotton Board’s recommendation of approval, will be forwarded to the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) for final approval.
LaCour, from Morganza, LA, is general manager of the farming partnership GNG Farms, where he oversees production on over 5,000 acres in Pointe Coupee Parish. In addition to cotton, farming operation includes corn, soybeans, wheat, sugar cane, pecans, crawfish and timber. LaCour has served in leadership positions throughout the cotton industry and has been honored with various awards for his efforts in cotton production, ginning, and conservation.
“I am honored to be given this opportunity to help lead this industry, and I will work hard on behalf of the cotton producers and importers who invest in the Cotton Research and Promotion Program,” said LaCour. “Producers are facing significant challenges this marketing year, and the Program is responding with initiatives intended to help margins in the short-term while staying focused on long-term demand.”
Before passing the gavel to LaCour, outgoing Chairman Janet Ydavoy, an importer from Portsmouth, NH, said, “We have made great progress for the stakeholders of the Cotton Research and Promotion Program this year, and I know George will continue to lead the charge. His passion for his work and the cotton industry will serve us well.”
Other newly-elected Cotton Board officers for 2017/2018 are:
- Vice Chairman – Peter McGrath, importer from Dallas, TX,
- Secretary – Jeff Posey, producer from Roby, TX,
- Treasurer – Jimmy Webb, producer from Leary, GA.
Source – The Cotton Board