The USDA is asking certified producer and importer organizations to nominate candidates to serve on the Cotton Board.

USDA is seeking nominees to fill eight member and eight alternate member positions for vacancies in Arizona, Georgia, Texas, and for importers with terms ending December 31, 2015. In addition, a member vacancy in Alabama with a term ending December 31, 2013, will be filled due to a resignation. Members and alternates members, as well as the consumer advisor, serve staggered 3-year terms with no term limits.

The Cotton Research and Promotion Act provides that the board shall be composed of representatives of cotton producers and importers. These representatives are selected by the Secretary of Agriculture from nominations submitted by certified producer organizations and certified importer organizations. These industry organizations have been certified by the Agriculture Secretary pursuant to procedures set forth in the Cotton Research and Promotion Order.

Certified producer organizations in respective states and the certified importer organizations will caucus to nominate two qualified persons for each member and alternate member position. The Agriculture Secretary shall select members and alternates from the nominations. 

USDA welcomes membership on industry boards that reflects the diversity of the individuals served by the programs. USDA encourages all eligible women, minorities, and persons with disabilities to seek nomination for a seat on the Cotton Board.

For nominating information or for a list of certified producer organizations and certified importer organizations, contact Shethir M. Riva, Chief, Research and Promotion Staff, Cotton and Tobacco Programs, AMS, USDA, 100 Riverside Parkway, Suite 101, Fredericksburg, Virginia, 22406, telephone (540) 361-2726, facsimile (540) 361-1199, or email at Shethir.Riva@ams.usda.gov.

The cotton research and promotion program is designed to advance the position of cotton in the marketplace. It is funded by assessments on all domestically produced cotton and imports of foreign-produced cotton and cotton-containing products, and is authorized by the Cotton Research and Promotion Act of 1966. AMS oversees operations of the board.