Jay Hardwick, a Newellton, La., cotton producer, was elected chairman of the National Cotton Council for 2009 at the organization's annual meeting held in Washington, D.C. He served as NCC vice chairman in 2008 and succeeds Larry McClendon, a Marianna, Ark., producer/ginner.

Hardwick's Somerset Plantation farming operation in northeast Louisiana adjacent to the Mississippi River includes cotton, corn, grain sorghum, soybeans and wheat.

Hardwick, a former chairman of the NCC's American Cotton Producers, currently serves as secretary of Cotton Incorporated. He also is vice president of the Louisiana Cotton Warehouse Association and of the Newellton Gin Company. He is a director of Tensas Warehouse, Tensas State Bank's Farm and Livestock Credit and the Tensas Concordia Soil and Water Conservation District.

He is a past president of the Louisiana Cotton Producers Association and past secretary of the National Peanut Board.

Hardwick attended Arizona State University and earned a Ph.D. from the University of New Mexico. He and his wife, Mary, have been farming since 1981.

The NCC vice chairman for 2009 is Eddie Smith, a Floydada, Texas, cotton producer.

Re-elected as NCC vice presidents were: cooperative — Robert Norris, Bakersfield, Calif.; ginner — Charles Owen, Pima, Ariz.; cottonseed — Gail Kring, Lubbock, Texas; and warehouse — Shane Stephens, Greenwood, Miss.

Elected as NCC vice presidents were: merchant — Gary Taylor, Cordova, Tenn.; and textile manufacturer — Andy Warlick, Gastonia, N.C.

Craig Shook, a Corpus Christi, Texas, producer, was re-elected secretary-treasurer.

NCC staff officers for 2009 include: Mark Lange, NCC president/chief executive officer; John Maguire, senior vice president, Washington Operations; Allen Terhaar, vice president, Foreign Affairs; Gary Adams, vice president, economics and policy analysis; Craig Brown, vice president, producer affairs; Bill Norman, vice president, technical services; Harrison Ashley, vice president, ginner services; and Fred Johnson, vice president, administration and program coordination.