Bayer CropScience and the National Cotton Women's Committee will again honor Cotton Town USA cities this year, and your town could be one of three selected for the award in 2003.

To be eligible for the Cotton Town USA designation, a community must rely on cotton production as a cultural and economic cornerstone. Award applicants are asked to complete a nomination form telling why their towns are “cotton towns,” and what they will do with $10,000 in grant money if selected to receive an award.

Grant applications can be obtained by calling Cotton Town USA Headquarters at 630-505-1100, or on the organization's Website at www.cottonexperts.com. Applications, which must be submitted by July 1, 2003, are also available from local Bayer CropScience representatives and from National Cotton Women's Committee members.

“The quality and number of communities vying for the Cotton Town USA distinction surpassed our expectations in 2002, and we expect a similar response this year,” says Cotton Nelson, manager of public relations for the National Cotton Council. “We salute Bayer CropScience for recognizing and supporting rural America in the challenging economy.”

Cities selected for the Cotton Town USA distinction receive a plaque and a $10,000 grant to assist with community improvement project funding. Grants are funded by the sale of Bayer products.

This year's winners will be chosen by a panel of the National Cotton Women's Committee and industry representatives. Checks will be personally awarded to the mayors of each town with plaques and street signs to display.