The cotton industry lost a true leader with the death of W.L. (Billy) Carter, Jr. on Jan. 1. Carter wasthe executive vice-president of the North Carolina Cotton Producers Association, and a former Chairman of the American Cotton Producers.

Carter suffered multiple injuries in a car wreck on Dec. 30. True to his tenacious nature and love of life, he fought a tough battle before succumbing to his injuries. Condolences can be sent to his family at

In addition to losing an industry leader, many North Carolina growers lost a long-time friend and fellow farmer in Billy Carter. His knowledge of cotton production and the business side of the industry made him one of the ‘go to’ people in the industry for many North Carolina cotton farmers.

Brad Robb, vice-president of communications for the Cotton Board, says of Carter, “He spent a considerable amount of time on international trade issues as a long-time member of cotton's USDA Agricultural Trade Advisory Committee, helped bring a long-term vision to cotton leadership in the Southeast and was a close, personal friend to many of us.

We will miss Billy's insight, his straight-forward approach to problems, and his congenial sense of humor. Our thoughts go out to his wife Beverly and his family.”