By Steve Verett
Executive Vice President
Plains Cotton Growers, Inc.
Quality is at the forefront of everything we strive for in the cotton industry here on the High Plains of Texas. Over the past decade, we’ve made tremendous strides in improving our product, and we’re proud that today textile mills around the world find our cotton to be exceptional in meeting their needs.
This commitment began with the Plains Cotton Improvement Program (PCIP), which launched in 1982. The PCIP directly addressed the perception that High Plains cotton wasn’t on par with other growing regions, and we renewed our focus on fiber quality. Our producers have supported this program from day one. They understand the importance of research and its role in the development of varieties that can stand up to our unique growing challenges, such as volatile weather patterns, and maintain quality.
Reaping The Benefits
As both a cotton producer and industry executive, I have the opportunity not only to work with our researchers directly, but to reap the benefits of their vision and hard work. Ultimately, we all reap those benefits as the customer who, for the most part, wants the best quality at the lowest price.
Mills are really no different in that regard. However, as cotton producers who know that quality is paramount, our goal is to deliver the most superior cotton as efficiently as possible. That’s why it’s important that we have organizations like Plains Cotton Growers at the regional level and Cotton Incorporated at the
national level who work together with other industry partners to select, fund and promote research efforts, especially in cotton genetics.
In order to achieve what customers want, all sectors of the industry must set themselves apart from the rest and operate at a higher level. Higher standards don’t always mean bottom dollar, but as a customer, service comes into play as well. I’ll pay a bit more if I know that what I buy is taken care of properly, and that any issues will be addressed promptly. We do that here in the United States, and as long as our industry continues to put quality first, we’ll keep producing the best cotton value in the world.