• Craig Brown will present the keynote address, "Benchmarking Sustainability: The U.S. Cotton Trust Protocol."
Craig Brown is vice president, Producer Affairs, for the National Cotton Council, the industrywide organization headquartered in Memphis, Tennessee. Brown has responsibility for staffing the American Cotton Producers.
He assumed his duties at the Council in March 1988, after nearly 13 years in the Commodity Department, the last five as director, with the Louisiana Farm Bureau Federation, where he worked with the rice and cotton commodities. He developed an extensive background and experience in both rice and cotton.
Brown deals mainly with national legislative and regulatory matters that pertain to Council producer members and serves as liaison to other industry segments.
A native of Jennings, Louisiana, where his family was involved in rice, soybean and cattle farming operations, Brown received his Bachelor of Science degree in agricultural business from McNeese State University in 1973, and a Master of Science degree in agricultural economics from Louisiana State University in 1975.
Craig and his wife, Diane, have two children—Emily and Michael—and two grandchildren, Caroline and Harry.
• Dr. Seth Byrd, Oklahoma State University Extension cotton specialist, will present "Managing Cotton in a Short Season Environment."
Seth Byrd is a North Carolina native who served as the Extension Cotton Specialist for Texas A&M AgriLife Extension prior to taking the State Extension Cotton Specialist position with Oklahoma State University in the spring of 2018.
• Jeff Miller, Fore Front Agronomy, will present "2 Goals, 1 Drop" about cooperative research from Texas Alliance for Water Conservation into soil health practices for cotton growers, with an emphasis on practical water savings and soil health.
Miller was born and raised in Plainview, Texas, on a limited irrigation cotton and grain farm. He went to Texas Tech University and received a Bachelor of Science in integrated pest management and a Master of Science in crop physiology. Over the past 20 years, Miller has held roles in product development, agronomy, sales and leadership with Monsanto and Pioneer. Miller started ForeFront Agronomy in 2017 with the purpose of helping farm profitability by collecting and interpreting data to conserve our most precious resource, water, and put things back in balance with regard to nutrients and soil biology. He is married with four beautiful children.
Farmers looking for information about capitalizing on sustainability for their cotton farms should make plans to attend the first ever Cotton U, Dec. 5, at the Amarillo Farm Show, Amarillo, Texas, to learn about a new pilot program initiated by the National Cotton Council.
The National Cotton Council is attempting to put data to the label of sustainability through its U.S. Cotton Trust Protocol. Craig Brown, vice president of Producer Affairs for National Cotton Council, will be the keynote speaker at the Cotton U luncheon. He’ll cap off a morning of education by explaining what the U.S. Cotton Trust Protocol is and what it can do for participating cotton farmers.
According to the Cotton Council, the protocol was developed to help the U.S. cotton production sector reduce its environmental footprint via specific sustainability goals targeted for 2025. These include a 13% increase in productivity or land used per pound of fiber; an 18% increase in irrigation efficiency; a 39% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions; a 15% reduction in energy expenditures; a 50% reduction in soil loss; and a 30% increase in soil carbon. Before these goals can be met, farmers must enroll and complete self-assessments to provide a baseline of data for the industry.
Other speakers slated for Cotton U include Oklahoma State University Cotton Extension Specialist Seth Byrd, with the latest findings from university trials in the Oklahoma Panhandle that can help producers grow better quality cotton under new conditions. Jeff Miller with ForeFront Agronomy, a cooperating consultant with the Texas Alliance for Water Conservation, Lubbock, Texas, will present “2 Goals, 1 Drop: Irrigation for profitability and soil health.”
Cotton U, sponsored by High Plains Journal and the Amarillo Farm Show, will run from 8:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. in the Grand Plaza Ballroom at the Amarillo Civic Center. Registration is free but limited to the first 150 registrants and can be found online at www.cottonu.net or by calling 620-227-1834. Attendees are invited to enjoy the Amarillo Farm Show in the afternoon.
Since 1949 High Plains Journal has been the weekly source for news, markets and commentary for farmers and ranchers in 12 states across the Plains. From the Dakotas to Texas, rural leaders and influencers #RideWithUs in print, online at www.hpj.com, and now via the podcast “HPJ Talk.” HPJ’s slate of educational events now includes Soil Health U, Cattle U, Sorghum U, Wheat U, Alfalfa U, Row Crop U and Cotton U.