MEMPHIS, Tenn. – Midwestern and Western farmers will observe cotton and other agricultural operations in the Lubbock, Texas area on November 1-4, as part of the National Cotton Council's (NCC) Multi-Commodity Education Program (MCEP).
Launched in 2006, the MCEP is coordinated by NCC's Member Services and local leaders and organizations. The program is supported by The Cotton Foundation with a grant from Deere & Company.
The exchange is designed to provide the program's participants with: 1) a better understanding of production issues/concerns faced by their peers in another geographic region and 2) an opportunity to observe agronomic practices, technology utilization, cropping patterns, marketing plans and operational structure. Other program benefits are the continuing dialogue among American farmers, regardless of their crops or locations, and the creation of strong and lasting relationships between this nation's current and future producer leaders.
The 2015 tour's producer participants include:Gary Beck, Munich, ND; Jed Bower, Washington Court House, OH; Pete Friederichs, Foxhome, Minn.; Morey Hill, Madrid, IA; Mark Jackson, Rose Hill, IA; Greg Kessel, Belfield, ND; Dan Kolar, Billings, Mont.; Mitch Konen, Fairfield, Mont.; Kristen Kreuger, Kalispell, Mont.; Doyle Lentz, Rolla, ND; Dwight Little, Teton, ID; Vince Mattson, Chester, Mont.; Drew Parsley, Warroad, Minn.; E.L. Reed, Chillicothe, MO; and Ben Toeckes and Kurt Voss, both of Townsend, Montana. Also participating are John Gibson, the NCC's Member Services director, Memphis; and Susan Everett, a NCC Member Services representative in West Texas.
After an orientation to the National Cotton Council on November 1, the participants will spend the next day in Lubbock at Plains Cotton Growers Association for an overview of that organization and of High Plains cotton production. They also will visit the AgriLife Research & Extension Center, the USDA Agricultural Research Service's Ginning Laboratory, Hurst Farm Supply and Lubbock Cotton Growers Cooperative before touring the Idalou Coop Gin in nearby Idalou.
On November 3, the participants will visit the USDA Agricultural Marketing Service's Cotton Division facility in Lubbock before touring Seaton Farms in Meadow and Birdsong Peanuts in Brownfield and then getting a presentation on the Cotton Board's producer funded research and promotion program.
The next day, the group will again begin their activities in Lubbock by getting a presentation on cotton merchandising at Plains Cotton Cooperative Association and a briefing on cottonseed processing and products at PYCO Industries. They also will get a presentation from High Plains Water District staff on water rights and rules and learn about cotton warehousing and shipping at Farmers Coop Compress before traveling to the Red Rock Dairy in nearby Amherst for a presentation on whole cottonseed use in feed rations. The tour concludes with a wine tasting at the Caprock Winery in Lubbock.