Jarral Neeper, Calcot's vice president of marketing, is the new president of the cooperative based in Bakersfield, Calif.

Neeper, 51, is a 15-year veteran of the company and brings over two decades of cotton experience to his newest assignment.

He assumed his new post on April 1, succeeding Robert W. Norris, who retired after a six-year term as the co-op's chief executive. Neeper is only the seventh chief executive in Calcot's 82-year-history.

Neeper, as vice president of marketing, conducted research and analyzed economic trends and other factors that influence the cotton market, tracked pertinent statistics and maintained communications with growers, gin managers and government officials.

He is a veteran and polished presenter of cotton market supply and demand analyses to Calcot growers, directors and other industry interests.

He has extensive experience directing Calcot's Call Pool Operations, one of several marketing options for the co-op's cotton producers. In the Call Pool, growers can set a portion (or all) of the final price for their cotton through various strategies. Neeper oversaw the day-to-day operations of staying current with the market and maintaining open lines of communication, building and advising upon different scenarios for growers, as well as executing market trades on their behalf.

Previously the secretary/treasurer of Amcot, the joint industry association of the nation's four leading cotton marketing cooperatives, he is now also a vice-president of Amcot.

Holder of a master's degree in agricultural economics from Texas Tech University and a bachelor's degree from the University of Arizona, Neeper first worked as a corporate analyst for Continental Pipeline, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Conoco Oil, a Southwestern oil company. He also served a stint as agricultural economist for the National Cotton Council, and was director of research and a futures trader for The Jernigan Group, a cotton industry business and market analysis firm, before joining Calcot in 1994 as director of economic research.

Neeper was born in Sweetwater, Texas, where his parents had a small dryland cotton and sorghum farming operation. At age eight, he and his family moved to Parker, Ariz., where his family continued to be involved in agriculture, mostly in custom alfalfa harvesting. Neeper and wife Tamara, live in Bakersfield, Calif., and are the parents of three children.

Calcot is a cotton marketing cooperative owned and supplied by 1,400 cotton producers in California, Arizona, New Mexico and Texas.