The National Cotton Council's 2006-07 cotton leadership class completed the first of its five week-long development sessions. The 10-member class began its inaugural session with an orientation and communications training at NCC headquarters in Memphis and with visits to Cargill and DuPont offices.

While in west Tennessee they saw cottonseed storage at the Mid-South Company in Covington; toured the Milan Compress and Milan Experiment Station in Milan; and saw cotton harvesting at Crescent Farms in Alamo.

Key Mississippi Delta activities were tours of the Delta Oil Mill in Jonestown and the Bobo-Mosely Gin in Lyon and a look at cotton and soybean production at Maud Farms in Tunica. The group also was updated on precision agriculture technology at InTime, Inc., in Clarksdale.

The new class, which was announced in August, will visit industry leaders, tour production and processing operations, and observe research activities over the next year. They also will attend the NCC's 2007 annual meeting, visit lawmakers in Washington, D.C., and participate in orientation sessions at Cotton Incorporated, the New York Board of Trade and the headquarters of DuPont Crop Protection, which supports the Cotton Leadership Program with a grant to The Cotton Foundation.

Members of the 2006-07 class include:

Producers — David Cochran, Greenville, Miss.; Patrick Johnson, Tunica, Miss.; Tammy Leonards, Lettsworth, La.; and Clint Webb, Boston, Ga.;

Ginner — Scott Matlock, Sebastian Cotton & Grain, Sebastian, Texas;

Warehouse — Eric Wanjura, Farmers Co-op Compress, Plainview, Texas;

Cottonseed — Brandon Winters, Producers Co-op Oil Mill, Oklahoma City, Okla.;

Merchant — Ricky Stone, Cargill Co., Lubbock, Texas;

Marketing Cooperative — Wayne Boseman, Carolinas Cotton Growers Cooperative, Garner, N.C.; and

Manufacturer — Bryan Gregory, American Cotton Growers Denim Mill, Littlefield, Texas.

More than 200 industry members have participated in the Cotton Leadership Program, beginning with the inaugural 1983-84 class.