Saturday, April 20, 2024

Trust Protocol Expands Regional Field-Level Grower Support System

Regional, Field-Level Team to Aid Growers Ahead of April 30 Enrollment and Climate Smart Cotton Program Application Deadline

The U.S. Cotton Trust Protocol is introducing an expanded field-level team dedicated to providing regional support for U.S. cotton growers participating in the voluntary sustainability initiative. This includes aiding producers with finalizing Trust Protocol enrollment and data entry as well as applications for the Climate Smart Cotton Program by the April 30 midnight deadline.

Charles “Chaz” Holt is serving as director of field programs and will lead the team, which also includes Tillman White serving as Program Manager.

Field-level grower enrollment specialists have also been added to the team, which will provide not only cotton industry resources and networks, but also the ability to tailor their services to the unique needs of the Cotton Belt region they serve. Grower enrollment specialists include Bailey Nesmith serving the High Plains & West Region, Willis Frazer in the Mid-South and Maryn Findley for the Southeast.

“Each region of the Cotton Belt presents its own distinct set of opportunities and challenges, with no one-size-fits all approach to production,” said Daren Abney, executive director of the U.S. Cotton Trust Protocol.

“In 2023, we experienced our largest enrollment of planted U.S. cotton acres yet, which further underscores our producers’ commitment to sustainability and progress. As we move forward, our field-level team is available to offer regionally relevant support to growers as they make continuous improvements. This momentum builds upon the growth in our global supply chain membership, which now includes 40+ companies and their brands, alongside more than 2,000 mill and manufacturer members.”

For the 2023 crop year, more than 1.7 million planted cotton acres were enrolled in the Trust Protocol, representing almost a quarter (23%) of the Cotton Belt. Growers who completed their enrollment during either period in 2023 need to re-enroll for the 2024 crop year.

During enrollment, growers can also apply for the Climate Smart Cotton Program, which provides producers with financial and technical support to de-risk the implementation and adoption of Climate Smart Agriculture practices while potentially reducing costs and boosting efficiencies. For brands and retailers, the program aims to help support efforts to improve their greenhouse gas emissions reductions and reporting.

The Climate Smart Cotton program began less than one year ago and has already approved applications for 778 farming entities in Level 1 of the 1,650 available, including 330 from historically underserved communities. Growers are encouraged to get started today as applications are reviewed on a first-come-first-serve basis.

To complete enrollment in the Trust Protocol and apply for the Climate Smart Cotton Program ahead of the April 30 midnight deadline, visit TrustUSCotton.org.


This article is provided by the U.S. Cotton Trust Protocol.

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