Twelve U.S. cotton industry members were chosen for the National Cotton Council’s 2023 Emerging Leaders Program.
Representing many of the industry’s segments were: PRODUCERS – Trey Beyer, Portland, Texas; Ryan Johnson, Wilmot, Ark.; Nick Marshall, Baker, Fla.; John Newby, Athens, Ala.; Ross Rayner, Goodyear, Ariz.; Will Sanford, Prattville, Ala.; and Blake Wilbur, Tulare, Calif.; GINNER – David Hardin, Yuma, Ariz.; and Steve Sterling, Tuscumbia, Ala.; MERCHANT – Paula Price, Cordova, Tenn.; WAREHOUSER – Randy Squires, Hobart, Okla.; COOPERATIVE – Kevin Madding, Bakersfield, California.
Supported by a grant to The Cotton Foundation from Bayer, the Emerging Leaders Program provides participants with a better understanding of how the NCC carries out its mission of ensuring the U.S. cotton industry 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 4) Cotton Council International’s activities aimed at developing and maintaining export markets for U.S. cotton, manufactured cotton products and cottonseed products and 5) the role that Cotton Foundation members play in fostering a healthy U.S. cotton industry.
The Emerging Leaders Program, now in its eleventh year, 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.
The 2023 program members participated in sessions from June 18-22, in Memphis and St. Louis. They received an orientation to the NCC, media training, communication skills training, and an agribusiness briefing.