The late Jack McDonald is the recipient of the 2009 Oscar Johnston Lifetime Achievement Award.
His widow, Virginia, accepted the honor at the National Cotton Council’s 2010 annual meeting.
The annual award, established in 1997, is named for Oscar Johnston, whose vision, genius and tireless efforts were foremost in the organization and shaping of the NCC. The award is presented to an individual, now deceased, who served the cotton industry, through the NCC, over a significant period of his or her active business career. The award also recognizes those who exerted a positive influence on the industry and who demonstrated character and integrity as well as perseverance and maturation during that service.
McDonald, the 11th individual to be honored with the award, was the Council’s 40th president and the fourth crusher to serve in that role. He had spent his entire career with Buckeye Cellulose Corp. until 1980 when he was named president of the new Southern Cotton Oil Division of Archer-Daniels-Midland Co.
“Jack McDonald’s corporate skills and extensive cotton industry knowledge served the Council well,” outgoing NCC Chairman Jay Hardwick said. “During his year as Council president, cotton’s 3-step competitiveness program was being threatened by the previous year’s high program costs. Jack and the Council’s senior staff were able to make a strong case and a commitment to USDA and congressional leaders that ultimately resulted in a technical correction to the program while not undermining the integrity of the whole cotton program.”
Other milestones during McDonald’s year as president included USDA’s first ever Step 1 adjustment and the passage of the producer referendum which facilitated a uniform research and promotion assessment and extended the assessment to include the foreign cotton content of textile imports.
McDonald served the cotton industry in numerous leadership capacities before being elected as NCC president, including as a NCC vice president and director. He previously had served as the president of the National Cottonseed Products Association and as a member of its Board. He also served twice as Memphis Board of Trade president.
McDonald, who was raised in Helena, Ark., graduated from Mississippi State University in 1953 and earned his master’s degree from Georgia Tech in 1956.
Previous Oscar Johnston Lifetime Achievement Award recipients are: William Garrard, first general manager of Greenwood, Miss.-based Staplcotn Cooperative; Sykes Martin, a Courtland, Ala, producer; Walter Montgomery, Sr., a Spartanburg, S.C., textile manufacturer; William Rhea Blake, a former NCC executive vice president; Roger Malkin, long-time chairman and CEO of Delta and Pine Land Co., Scott, Miss; and former NCC presidents, George C. Cortright, Jr., a Rolling Fork, Miss., producer; Jack Hamilton, a Lake Providence, La., producer/ginner/warehouseman; Lon Mann, a Marianna, Ark., ginner; and Charles Youngker, a Buckeye, Ariz., producer; and former NCC chairman James E. Echols, a Memphis, Tenn., merchant. Echols was the first to occupy the position of NCC chairman after the NCC changed the organization’s top position to chairman.