Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack announced the appointment of 19 members and 19 alternates and one consumer advisor to the Cotton Board. All appointees will serve 3-year terms beginning Jan 1, 2012, and ending Dec. 31, 2014.  In addition, Vilsack appointed one alternate to fill a vacant importer position with a term ending on Dec. 31, 2012. “These appointees represent a cross section of the cotton industry and I am confident that cotton producers and importers of cotton and cotton-containing products will be well served by them,” said Vilsack.

As a result of the Secretarial appointments, the following leadership positions of the Cotton Board are vacant and will have to be filled at the Cotton Board's March 2012 meeting: 

  • Secretary of the Cotton Board (slated to be Cotton Board Chairman in 2013);
  • Chairman of the Cotton Board Operations Committee
  • Chairman of the Cotton Board Agricultural Research Committee

Cotton Board Chairman John Clark (Importer from California) welcomed the new appointees to the Cotton Board, but added "It is unfortunate that so many of our current leaders were not reappointed by the Secretary of Agriculture.  I will reconvene the Nominations Committee prior to the Cotton Board's March meeting and also advise the affected committees they must hold new elections for chairman."

The re-appointed producer members are: John J. Baxter, Watson, Ark.; George G. LaCour, Morganza, La. (formerly an alternate); David M. Grant, Garysburg, N.C.; Tom M. Hegi, Petersburg, Texas (formerly an alternate); John R. Dunlap, Floydada, Texas (formerly an alternate).

The re-appointed producer alternate members are: Steve Cantu, Tranquility, Calif.; Tom J. Gary, Greenwood, Miss. (formerly a member); Jerry L. Hamill, Enfield, N.C.

The re-appointed importer members are: Rafael A. Hernandez, Highland Village, Texas (formerly an alternate); Carlos F. J. Moore, Naples, Fla.; Maureen E. Gray, New York, N.Y.; and Deborah M. Gregg, Irvine, Calif.

The re-appointed importer alternate members are: Courtney S. Okeefe, Easton, Conn.; and Flora J. Wong, Mercer Island, Wash.

The newly appointed producer members are: Marty E. White, Jonesboro, Ark.; John E. Pucheu, Tranquility, Calif.; James C. Robertson, Jr., Indianola, Miss.

The newly appointed producer alternate members are: Richard B. Bransford, Lonoke, Ark.; Kenneth D. Qualls, Lake City, Ark.; William B. Guthrie, Newellton, La.; Bryan K. Patterson, Amherst, Texas; Sigifredo Valverde, Shallowater, Texas.

The newly appointed importer members are: William E. May, Memphis, Tenn.

The newly appointed importer alternate members are: Daniel M. Feibus, Carencro, La.; George R. Perkins III, Sanford, N.C.; and Kenneth R. Mangone, Fairview, Texas.

The vacant importer alternate position was filled by: Catherine B. Allen, Athens, Tenn.

The newly appointed consumer advisor is: Marshall Cohen, East Moriches, N.Y.

The cotton research and promotion program is designed to advance the position of cotton in the marketplace.  It is funded by assessments on all domestically produced cotton and imports of foreign-produced cotton and cotton-containing products, and is authorized by the Cotton Research and Promotion Act of 1966.  USDA's Agricultural Marketing Service oversees operations of the Board.