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Industry News for April 2022

Ted Schneider To Lead National Cotton Council 

Ted Schneider, a Lake Providence, Louisiana, producer, was elected National Cotton Council chairman for 2022 during the organization’s annual meeting in Houston, Texas.

Shawn Holladay, a Lubbock producer, was elected to the position of vice chairman for 2022.

Ted Schneider

Since 1984, Schneider has been the owner/operator of a Lake Providence-based 3,600-acre diversified farming operation in northeast Louisiana and southeast Arkansas. Dedicated to sustainable, responsible agricultural production, his primary crops are cotton, corn, soybeans, rice, wheat and grain sorghum. Schneider earned a B.S. in Business Administration from Louisiana State University. He and his wife, Renee, have three children.

Elected as an NCC vice president was Sammy Wright, a Tifton, Georgia, cottonseed processor.

Re-elected as NCC vice presidents were: Jordan Lea, a Greenville, South Carolina, merchant; Robin Perkins, a Sanford, North Carolina, textile manufacturer; Kirk Gilkey, a Corcoran, California, ginner; Jay Cowart, an Altus, Oklahoma, warehouser; and Kevin Brinkley, marketing cooperative executive, Lubbock, Texas. Elected as secretary-treasurer is Mark McKean, a producer from Riverdale, California.

Re-elected as NCC staff officers were: Gary Adams, president and chief executive officer; Marjory Walker, vice president, Operations; Jody Campiche, vice president, Economics and Policy Analysis; Reece Langley, vice president, Washington Operations; John Gibson, vice president, Member Services; Don Parker, vice president, Technical Services; Tas Smith, vice president, Producer Affairs; and Harrison Ashley, vice president, Ginner Services.

Cotton Service Award Honors Arizonan Ron Rayner

Ron Rayner, a third-generation Arizona cotton producer, received the 2021 Harry S. Baker Distinguished Service Award. He was recognized during the National Cotton Council’s 2022 annual meeting held in Houston, Texas.

The award, named for the late California industry leader and past NCC President Harry S. Baker, is presented annually to a deserving individual who has provided extraordinary service, leadership and dedication to the U.S. cotton industry.

In presenting the award, outgoing NCC Chairman Kent Fountain said Rayner has long been an industry leader and very active in the Council, serving in numerous Council leadership positions, including as a director, treasurer and as its 1999 president.

Rayner, who is a partner in A Tumbling T Ranches with his two brothers and two nephews, produces cotton, alfalfa and grains on about 6,000 acres. The partners own another 3,200 acres of farmland in California of which they lease a portion to other producers. Ron also is a former president of Farmer’s Gin, Inc., in Buckeye.

Rayner has been very involved in industry affairs. He currently serves as vice chairman of the Council’s Operations Committee and as an advisor to the Council’s Board of Directors.

A past Council Producer Information Exchange participant, Rayner always made his farm available for Council-coordinated activities such as a tour for the news media to showcase Cotton Foundation research projects and cutting-edge technology and production.

He has received numerous awards including Cotton Farming magazine’s “Cotton Farmer of the Year” in 1989, Arizona Farm Bureau’s Farmer of the Year in 1998 and was honored as a Farm Press Publications’ 2018 High Cotton Award recipient.

Good Cotton Stands Critical During Texas Drought

As dry conditions continue to grip much of Texas’ Cotton Belt, there are factors producers can control that will improve the chances of establishing a good cotton stand, according to Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service experts.

On an episode of the AgriLife Online Crop Production Podcast, Jourdan Bell, Ph.D., AgriLife Extension agronomist, Amarillo, and Emi Kimura, Ph.D., AgriLife Extension agronomist, Vernon, joined other AgriLife Extension experts to discuss cotton production. Both noted that drought conditions will make crop establishment a challenge.

According to the U.S. Drought Monitor, Texas’ Cotton Belt, which includes much of the Panhandle, Rolling Plains and South Plains, is experiencing severe to extreme drought, with large swaths of the regions entering exceptional drought status as of March 10.

Drought conditions make establishing cotton stands a challenge, even in irrigated fields. Bell and Kimura said weather is out of producers’ control, but that by improving cotton seeds’ chance of germination and establishment they can improve yield potential at harvest.

Cotton is more drought hardy than other crops like corn and sorghum, especially after a good stand is established, Bell said. This makes establishing good stands critical when conditions are not ideal for planting.

“Mistakes at planting can haunt you all season,” she said. “Cotton is a plant that can adapt, but we are looking for a good, uniform stand at the start.”

Arkansan Elected American Cotton Producers Chair

Ray Nathan Reed, a Marianna, Arkansas, cotton producer, was elected chairman of the American Cotton Producers of the National Cotton Council for 2022, during the NCC’s recent 2022 Annual Meeting.

He has served as an ACP vice chairman and on multiple ACP committees. He also is a past NCC director and has served on various NCC committees and task forces. He currently serves on the NCC’s Farm Policy Task Force and its Farm Program and Economic Policy Committee.

Elected as ACP vice chairmen were: Adam Hatley, Mesa, Arizona; Jon Whatley, Odem, Texas; and Matt Coley, Vienna, Georgia. Elected as ACP producer directors were David Dunlow, Gaston, North Carolina, representing the Southeast; Patrick Johnson, Tunica, Mississippi, representing the Mid-South; and Gary Martin, Firebaugh, California, representing the West. Doyle Schniers of San Angelo, Texas, was re-elected as a director representing the Southwest. Nathan Reed will serve as the ACP’s at-large director.

Mid-South Agricultural And Environmental Law Conference Set For June 10

Pesticide use, foreign ownership of farmland and the 2023 Farm Bill are among the hot topics on the agenda for the ninth annual Mid-South Agricultural and Environmental Law Conference on June 10 in Memphis, Tennessee.

The conference is hosted by the National Agricultural Law Center and will be held in-person at the Cecil C. Humphreys University of Memphis School of Law. A livestreamed option will also be available.

The event kicks off on June 9 with a barbecue reception and networking event at the Rendezvous. The next day, attendees will hear from a variety of different experts in the agricultural and environmental law field.

“After two years of being virtual, we couldn’t be more excited to be returning to our in-person format,” said Harrison Pittman, director of the National Agricultural Law Center, part of the University of Arkansas System Division of Agriculture.

“This year, our ninth annual event includes some of the biggest issues facing the Mid-South, including the future of dicamba and other crop protection products, as well as a look at the upcoming Farm Bill,” he said. “We will also have Judge Stephen Vaden of the United States Court of International Trade kick off the program as our keynote speaker.”

Topics and speakers include:

Keynote Speaker — Judge Stephen Vaden, United States Court of International Trade and former USDA General Counsel.

Mid-South Ag Lending and Market Outlook: Recent Trends — Greg Cole, president and CEO of AgHeritage Farm Credit, Arkansas.

Update from the Potomac: 2023 Farm Bill and Related Issues — Hunt Shipman, principal and director, Cornerstone Government Affairs, Washington, D.C.

The Future of Dicamba, Enlist Duo, and Other Crop Protection Products — Alexandra Dunn, partner, at Baker Botts L.L.P., former assistant administrator for the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Office of Chemical Safety and Pollution Prevention.

Estate Planning and Taxation: Latest Updates, Pitfalls and Pointers — Lucas M. Haley, The Limbaugh Firm, Cape Girardeau, Missouri.

Ethics: Attorney Wellness and Diversity in the Legal Profession — Sherie Edwards, President, Tennessee Bar Association; Vice President of Corporate and Legal for State Volunteer Mutual Insurance Co.

Foreign Ownership of Agricultural Land in the Mid-South: Legal and Legislative Update — Harrison Pittman, director, National Agricultural Law Center.

Continuing education will be available. Learn more and register for the conference at

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