WASHINGTON – Woods Eastland, a Mississippi cotton producer and marketing cooperative executive, will lead the National Cotton Council through what promises to be a tumultuous year in 2005-06.

Eastland, president and CEO of Greenwood, Miss.-based Staplcotn Cooperative Association and Staplcotn Discount Corp., was elected chairman of the NCC at its annual meeting in Washington after serving as its vice chairman in 2004-05.

Allen B. Helms Jr., a cotton and corn farmer from Clarkedale, Ark., was elected vice chairman of the NCC and will be in line to succeed Eastland. Woody Anderson, producer from Colorado City, Texas, moves up from chairman to chairman of the NCC’s executive committee.

Eastland, a resident of Doddsville, Miss., has served as the head of the Staplcotn organization since 1986, helping build it into one of the largest marketing cooperatives in the South. He owns and operates a cotton, soybean and rice farm in Sunflower County, Miss.

He also serves as vice president and director of AMCOT and is a director of the Delta Council, Mississippi Chemical Corp., and The Seam, LLC. He is past president and chairman of Cotton Council International, a past member of the New York Cotton Exchange’s Board of Managers, a past director of the Memphis Branch Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis and a former member of the New York Board of Trade’s Board of Governors.

As Eastland begins his term as chairman, the NCC is continuing to deal with the government of Brazil’s World Trade Organization complaint against the U.S. cotton program, the expiration of textile and apparel quotas and their impact on the U.S. textile industry and the beginning of hearings on the 2007 farm, which are expected to begin this fall.

Eastland holds a B.A. degree from Vanderbilt University, and a J.D. degree from the University of Mississippi School of Law. He is a licensed lay reader in the Episcopal Diocese of Mississippi. He and his wife, Lynn, have two children and one grandchild.

Helms, who served as NCC treasurer in 2004 and is a former chairman of the American Cotton Producers, will serve as NCC vice chairman.

Re-elected as NCC vice presidents were: Charles Owen, a Pima, Ariz., ginner; Gail Kring, a Lubbock, Texas, crusher; Fred Underwood, a Lubbock, Texas, warehouseman; Robert Weil, II, a Montgomery, Ala., merchant; and G. Stephen Felker, a Monroe, Ga., textile manufacturer. Craig Shook, a Corpus Christi, Texas, producer, was elected secretary-treasurer.

Re-elected NCC staff officers were: Mark Lange, NCC president and chief executive officer; Gary Adams, vice president, economics and policy analysis; Craig Brown, vice president, producer affairs; Fred Johnson, vice president, administration and program coordination; Andy Jordan, vice president, technical services; and Bill M. Norman, vice president, ginner services; all of Memphis; John Maguire, senior vice president, Washington operations; and Allen Terhaar, vice president, foreign operations; both in Washington, DC.

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