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2015-16 Emerging Leaders Program Class Announced

MEMPHIS, Tenn. – Twelve U.S. cotton industry members have been chosen to participate in the National Cotton Council’s (NCC) Emerging Leaders Program for 2015-16.

Participants include: PRODUCERS — Rafe Banks, Clarkedale, Ark.; Brandon Brooks, Phoenix, Ariz.; Matt Coley, Vienna, Ga.; Paul Minzenmayer, Rowena, Texas; Sutton Page, Avoca, Texas; and Brad Williams, Burlison, Tenn.; GINNERS — Phillip Kidd, Edmonson, Texas; and Todd Waters, Pantego, N.C.; MERCHANTS — Cory Barnes, Cordova, Tenn.; and Ken Burton, Montgomery, Ala.; WAREHOUSER — Joe Cain, Bakersfield, Calif.; and MARKETING COOPERATIVE — Vicki Dorris, Lubbock, Texas.

Now in its third year, the NCC’s Emerging Leaders Program is supported by a grant to The Cotton Foundation from Monsanto.

NCC Chairman Sledge Taylor, a Como, Miss., producer and ginner, said, “The Council recognizes that sound leadership continuity is essential for U.S. cotton’s health. We are grateful for Monsanto’s ongoing support of this initiative that is helping to identify and equip industry members and encourage them to take on important leadership roles and duties.”

Overall, the Emerging Leaders Program provides participants a better understanding of how the NCC carries out its mission of ensuring the U.S. cotton industry’s seven segments can compete effectively and profitably in the raw cotton, oilseed and U.S.-manufactured product markets at home and abroad.

Specifically, participants get an in-depth look at: 1) the U.S. cotton industry infrastructure and the issues affecting the industry’s economic well-being; 2) the U.S. political process; 3) the NCC’s programs as well as its policy development and implementation process and 4) Cotton Council International’s activities aimed at developing and maintaining export markets for U.S. cotton, manufactured cotton products and cottonseed products.

The Emerging Leaders Program also provides participants with professional development and communications training such as presentation and business etiquette, instruction for engaging with the news media, and utilizing social media tools and tactics.

Class members will participate in three sessions. The first session, set for the week of June 21, 2015, in Memphis and St. Louis, will provide an orientation to the NCC, professional development and communication skills training and an agribusiness briefing. Class members will see policy development at the NCC’s 2016 Annual Meeting in February during the second session while the third session in Washington, D.C., will provide a focus on policy implementation and international market development.