Tim Price has been selected by the Southern Cotton Ginners Association to become their new executive vice president when Lee Todd retires this summer.

The Louisiana native, who has 25 years' experience in agricultural marketing, economics, legislation, and the international policy arena, is already at work at the association's Memphis office.

“I have a lot of friends in the Mid-South, and I'm looking forward to renewing acquaintances and to working with the region's cotton ginners,” he says.

Todd, who is ending a 17-year career with the SCGA, says, “We're pleased that Tim has agreed to join the association. The SCGA board feels his wide experience in agricultural economics, policy, and management with Farm Bureau organizations will be valuable in helping our association to meet the challenges that lie ahead in our industry and in agriculture.”

Price most recently was executive director of governmental affairs and commodities for the Illinois Farm Bureau at Bloomington, managing a 20-person staff, providing leadership on national/state legislation, natural and environmental resources, market education and development, economic research and data analysis, commodity issues, local government concerns, and political action/policy issues.

His work also included small business issues, international markets and trade, biotechnology, value-added agriculture, and issues affecting product marketing. His team played a key role in policy development and legislative language for the Farm Security and Rural Investment Act of 2002.

Prior to the Illinois years, Price was director of the legislative division of the Indiana Farm Bureau, and before that served in several positions with the American Farm Bureau Federation, including director of its Commodity and Marketing Division; director of the Feed Grains, Soybeans, and Wheat Department; and director of the Cotton, Rice, and Sugar Department.

Early in his career, he was research associate for the Texas Water Resources Institute and later research analyst and senior research analyst for the Federal Land Bank of New Orleans.

Price received a BS degree in agribusiness, economics, and finance from Louisiana State University, and a MS degree in agricultural economics, with an emphasis in natural resource policy and production economics, from Texas A&M University.

“Working with a national organization like Farm Bureau has provided a great perspective on the changes that have been taking place in agriculture, policy, and international trade, and on regulations at the federal, state, and national levels,” he says.

He sees profitability as the biggest challenge facing the cotton industry today. “Profit allows growth and adoption of new technologies; if there's no profit, it's hard to grow and make progress.”

Profit also fosters environmental improvements and other benefits to society, Price says. “If you want improved environmental quality, just give agriculture several years of profitability so it can afford to make those improvements.”

In the ginning industry, he says, that means “looking at any and every way to add dollars of revenue and reduce costs.”

“I've seen the best of times in agriculture, and the worst of times. I believe there are still a lot of opportunities,” he says, “but we can't take it for granted that it will just happen. We need to take a really hard look at the issues that are of value to us and that we can make a difference in.”