The 2007-08 cotton leadership class has been chosen by the National Cotton Council’s Cotton Leadership Committee. The class, the 25th since the program was initiated in 1983, will begin their first training session Sept. 10-14.

The Cotton Leadership Program, which is administered by the NCC’s Member Services department, is intended to foster leadership skills in individuals who demonstrate the potential and desire to be U.S. cotton industry leaders.

The new class includes: Producers — Tim Mullek, Robertsdale, Ala.; Nathan Reed, Marianna, Ark.; Kent Dunn, Moscow, Kan.; and Charlie Meyer, III, Hanford, Calif.; Ginners — Dwayne Alford, Yuco Gin, Inc. II, Yuma, Ariz., and Gil Haskins, Worth Gin Co., Sylvester, Ga.; Warehouser — Hernand Koubratoff, Anderson Clayton, Fresno, Calif.; Merchant — Amy Ives, Cargill Cotton, Memphis, Tenn.; Cottonseed — Kelly Jack, PYCO Industries, Inc., Lubbock, Texas; and Marketing Cooperative — Carlos Garcia, Plains Cotton Coop Association, Lubbock.

During their Mid-South session on Sept. 11, the class will visit the Memphis headquarters of the NCC for an orientation to U.S. cotton’s central organization and overview of its policy development process and presentation, business etiquette and media skills training.

The following day, the group will visit Staplcotn and PYCO, Inc., in Greenwood, Miss., before seeing cotton production/harvesting in the area.

On Sept. 13, the class will visit another cotton operation and a gin before touring the USDA Agricultural Marketing Service office in Bartlett, Tenn., and Cargill Cotton Co. in Memphis.

They will conclude their session on the 14th with a visit to the Memphis offices of DuPont Crop Protection, which sponsors the program through a grant to The Cotton Foundation.

Over the next year, in addition to learning NCC’s role, the class will gain a thorough understanding of all the industry segments and the common goals they share. They will visit with industry leaders, tour production and processing operations, and observe cotton research activities.

They also will attend the NCC’s annual meeting, visit with lawmakers in Washington, D.C., and participate in orientation sessions with Cotton Incorporated, the New York Board of Trade and DuPont Crop Protection.

Nearly 250 industry members now have participated in the Cotton Leadership Program.