Two U.S. cotton producers were recently elected by their respective boards of directors to serve as chairmen. Ted Sheely, California producer, replaces Louie Perry, Georgia producer, outgoing Cotton Incorporated Chairman. Bob McGinnis, Arkansas producer, replaces Nancy Marino, outgoing Cotton Board Chairman.

Sheely brings more than 40 years of cotton industry experience to the Cotton Incorporated board. Sheely grew his first cotton crop as part of a Future Farmers of America project and has since expanded his operation to almost 9,000 acres. Growing both Upland and Pima cotton, Sheely's truly diversified farming operation includes tomatoes, wheat, pistachios, garlic, grapes, safflower, barley, and triticale. Sheely has long been known for his innovative thinking and testing of cutting-edge precision agricultural technology. He has been a leading figure in the USDA/NASA Ag 20/20 Program, studying the integration of remote sensing-based tools and technology to increase production efficiency and improve the quality of his farming operation while decreasing its overall environmental footprint.

McGinnis is a 20-year veteran of the Arkansas House of Representatives and while serving in this role was instrumental in the establishment of Arkansas' Boll Weevil Eradication Program and the Soil Testing Review Board. He also served as an advisor to the National Cotton Council on federal regulatory issues and is a past director on the board of Cotton Incorporated where he served as chairman of the Marketing Committee.

He is responsible for the vision behind the development of COTVAR — a Web-based tool created cooperatively by Cotton Incorporated and the University of Arkansas that's now used to compare varieties tested in the Mid-South. McGinnis also served as the co-chair of the Arkansas Blue Ribbon Commission on Education and is now the chairman of the Health Policy Board for the Arkansas Center for Health Improvement. He was elected to the Arkansas Agricultural Hall of Fame in 2007.

Both McGinnis and Sheely will serve two-year terms.

About the Cotton Board: The Cotton Board administers and oversees the Cotton Research & Promotion Program conducted by Cotton Incorporated and funded by America's cotton producers and importers. The Program works to increase the demand for and improve the market position of cotton. For more information about the Cotton Board, visit www.cottonboard.org.