Selected by the Cotton Leadership Development Committee, the 21st class includes four producers, a ginner, a warehouseman, merchant, cottonseed crusher, cooperative representative and a manufacturer.

They are: producers – David Dunlow, Gaston, N.C.; Stoney Hargett, Alamo, Tenn.; Craig Ivey, Tornillo, Texas; and Greg Wuertz, Coolidge, Ariz.; ginner – Bryan Wells, Decatur Gin Co., Bainbridge, Ga.; warehouseman – Michael Nettles, Plainview Coop Compress, Lubbock, Texas; merchant – Robert Buckles, Cargill Cotton Co., Gastonia, N.C.; crusher – Teresa McMillan, Planters Oil Mill Co., Pine Bluff, Ark.; cooperative – Ron Nickell, Calcot, Ltd., Bakersfield, Calif.; and manufacturer – Daniel LaFar, III, Bowling Green Spinning Co., Bowling Green, S.C.

During six weeks of activity across the Cotton Belt, class members will visit with industry leaders, tour production and processing operations, and see research activities. They also will receive communications training, attend the NCC’s annual meeting and meet with lawmakers and government agency representatives during a visit to Washington, DC.

The Leadership Program, which seeks to identify potential industry leaders and provide them developmental training, has been supported since its 1983 inception by grants from DuPont Crop Protection to The Cotton Foundation.

Leadership Development Committee Chairman Jimmy Sanford, an Alabama producer, said the newly-chosen class members already have demonstrated their leadership potential by agreeing to participate in this program.

“These class members will have a tremendous opportunity to develop their leadership skills and gain a better understanding of the U.S. cotton industry,” he said. “The demand for well-trained, effective industry leadership has never been more critical.”

Sanford noted that many of the cotton leadership program alumni, now at 200, have utilized the skills and knowledge gained from their participation to represent the U.S. cotton industry on state, regional, national and international levels.

That includes 1984-85 leadership class graduate Bobby Greene who currently serves as the NCC’s chairman – the organization’s top post. Greene, a Courtland, Ala., ginner, is the first leadership class graduate elected to that office, but others have served in key NCC positions. That includes Bobby Carson, a Marks, Miss., producer and graduate of the first leadership class (1983-84). Carson currently is president of the NCC’s export promotions arm, Cotton Council International, and previously served as president of The Cotton Foundation.

e-mail: flaws@primediabusiness.com