U.S. Cotton Trust Protocol 2021 Grower Enrollment Webinars
The U.S. Cotton Trust Protocol is holding live enrollment webinars focusing on how the program helps U.S. growers meet the changing demands from their end customer. It also assists in better documenting and verifying the sustainability practices and advances already incorporated into their farms.
Launched in 2020, the Trust Protocol is a farm-level, science-based program that sets a new standard for more sustainably grown cotton. It brings quantifiable and verifiable goals and measurement to sustainable cotton production. It also drives continuous improvement in six key sustainability metrics — land use, soil carbon, water management, soil loss, greenhouse gas emissions and energy efficiency.
In the first year, more than 300 U.S. cotton growers enrolled in the program and secured 1.5 million bales of cotton into the system. The Trust Protocol also welcomed more than 450 brand, retailer, mill and manufacturer members.
“As members of the Trust Protocol, we will be able to demonstrate to brands and retailers that our cotton is more responsibly grown, which provides them the critical assurances needed to confidently source more U.S. cotton,” says Kellon Lee, an enrolled Trust Protocol grower. “But the Trust Protocol isn’t just designed to help brands and retailers. It also helps us document our sustainability progress and compare it anonymously as we work to improve each year.”
Enrollment for the 2021 crop is open. For growers not yet participating, the webinars will provide an opportunity to learn about program benefits and ask questions. Speakers include Trust Protocol representatives and grower members. Growers may join any of the following webinars and can register at https://trustuscotton.org/enrollment-webinar-live-sessions/.
• Tuesday, Nov. 2, 8 a.m. CST.
• Tuesday, Nov. 16, 8 a.m. CST.
•Thursday, Dec. 9, 8 a.m. CST.
• Tuesday, Dec. 14, 8 a.m. CST.
To learn more about the U.S. Cotton Trust Protocol, visit TrustUSCotton.org.
Texas AgriLife Extension Offers New Leasing Handbook
If you are leasing land in Texas whether as a landowner or a tenant, “Ranchers Agricultural Leasing Handbook: Grazing, Hunting & Livestock Leases” is a good resource for you.
The handbook focuses on legal and economic issues related to grazing, hunting and livestock leases. Some of the topics include:
• Why is a written lease necessary?
• Setting payments for your lease.
• When can a landowner/lessee be liable for injuries to a third party?
• Drafting a viable liability waiver.
• Hunting lease checklist.
The authors point out that the handbook is for educational purposes only, does not create an attorney-client relationship, and is not a substitute for competent legal advice by an attorney licensed in your state. The checklists and forms are provided only as general guidance and are not exhaustive.
Louisiana Master Farmer Program Gets A New ‘Toolbox’
Twenty years ago, the Louisiana State University AgCenter partnered with several agricultural organizations to develop a voluntary initiative that helped ag producers address environmental issues, such as water quality, best management practices and improving productivity on their farms.
“We have had nearly 4,000 people participate in at least Phase I of the program,” says Master Farmer Program coordinator Donna Gentry. “We have had 358 farmers certified and recertified.”
Three phases of the program must be completed to be certified. Phase I involves classroom instruction focusing on how agriculture affects the environment and ways to reduce it or improve environmental conditions. The Phase II component is participation in a conservation-based field day or workshop.
Phase III requires working with the U.S. Department of Agriculture National Resources Conservation Service to develop a comprehensive conservation plan for the farming operation. This phase is the largest and most daunting task for program graduates.
“This trailer will allow us to take some of our outreach activities directly to remote areas,” Gentry says. “The trailer will house a TV monitor, generator and a PA system, which will help facilitate field days at locations that are more convenient for farmers.”
The trailer’s first use was at a cotton and grain best management practices field day held this past summer near Newellton in Tensas Parish.
“The trailer will be useful in helping us to demonstrate and present some of our cover crop research trials,” Gentry says.
As program coordinator, she updates the website with new research findings and promotes upcoming events through social media. To become recertified, farmers must update their conservation plan and implement any changes every five years. To learn more, visit https://bit.ly/3s9n5TC or email firstname.lastname@example.org.