Allen Helms Jr., a Clarkedale, Ark., cotton producer, was elected chairman of the National Cotton Council for 2006. Named during the NCC's annual meeting in Tucson, he served as the organization's vice chairman in 2005 and succeeds Woods Eastland, a Greenwood, Miss., cooperative official.

Helms is co-owner of Helms Farms, an operation that includes cotton, corn, soybeans, rice and wheat in Clarkedale. He also serves as president of Crittenden Gin Company and as a director of Planters Cotton Oil Mill.

Helms, an active leader in the U.S. cotton industry, served as the NCC's secretary-treasurer from 2002 through 2004, as chairman of the American Cotton Producers in 1998 and 1999, and as president of The Cotton Foundation in 2004-05. He is the current Cotton Foundation chairman.

In Arkansas, Helms served as president of the Agriculture Council of Arkansas and the Arkansas Soybean Association. He is past president of the Crittenden County Farm Bureau and the Arkansas-Missouri Cotton Ginners Association. A Vanderbilt University graduate, Helms and his wife, Laura, reside in Memphis.

The NCC's vice chairman for 2006 is John Pucheu, a Tranquility, Calif, cotton producer. Robert Norris, a Bakersfield, Calif., cooperative official was elected a NCC vice president. Re-elected as NCC vice presidents were: Charles Owen, a Pima, Ariz., ginner; Gail Kring, a Lubbock, Texas, crusher; Fred Underwood, a Lubbock, Texas, warehouseman; Robert Weil II, a Montgomery, Ala., merchant; and Harding Stowe, a Belmont, N.C., textile manufacturer. Craig Shook, a Corpus Christi, Texas, producer, was re-elected secretary-treasurer.

Re-elected NCC staff officers were Mark Lange, NCC president and chief executive officer; Gary Adams, vice president, economics and policy analysis; Craig Brown, vice president, producer affairs; Fred Johnson, vice president, administration and program coordination; Andy Jordan, vice president, technical services; and Bill M. Norman, vice president, ginner services; all of Memphis; and John Maguire, senior vice president, Washington operations; and Allen Terhaar, vice president, foreign operations; both of Washington, D.C.