The board of directors of the Georgia Cotton Commission met recently to approve the organization’s fiscal year 2013 budget. The Commission’s programs of research, promotion and education are funded entirely by the state’s cotton producers.
Program decisions are carefully made by the Commission’s board of directors which is comprised of five producers and two voting ex-officio members.
This year’s budget has no increases in major program area’s expenditures, yet this restraint will not in any way impair the effectiveness or range of the Commission’s programs. Commission members and staff continually review the programs to insure that the needs and priorities of Georgia’s cotton growers are being addressed. The Commission’s Chairman Louie Perry said, “The Commission’s programs are comprehensive and meaningful and it takes a substantial investment to implement them and keep them strong. Still though, we do our best to remain frugal and excellent stewards of our growers’ dollars.”
The Commission’s support of the National Cotton Council and Southern Cotton Growers will continue with the FY-2013 budget. This financial support is imperative to keep these organizations working for our industry. The 2012 Farm Bill is among the most important pieces of legislation Congress will consider this year and the Senate and the House Agriculture Committee have delivered new, comprehensive bills. Recognizing that time is short before the September 30 expiration of the current farm bill, the Council has been a driving force in urging passage of the new farm legislation.
The call for further reductions will continue within the University of Georgia in fiscal year 2013, according to Gov. Nathan Deal’s Budget Report. The Commission’s partnership with the University has resulted in the Commission providing the funds to hire research cotton physiologist, Dr. John Snider. Snider began working for the University as of April 1, 2012. His position responsibilities consist of 85% research and 15% teaching. His primary research objective is to determine how irrigation management decisions affect physiological responses, yield, and fiber quality parameters in cotton.
The Commission’s budget continues support of the 4-H Cotton Boll and Consumer Judging; the Future Farmers of America’s Fiber and Oil Crop Production award; Georgia Young Farmers Association, the adult component of agricultural education in Georgia; Georgia Extension Association of Family and Consumer Sciences and the Georgia Cotton Women who promote and educate at the consumer level. The Commission also continues exhibiting at events such as the Sunbelt Agricultural Expo; the Georgia National Fair; Georgia Vocational Ag Teachers Association Conference and other relevant events and meetings targeting the consumer. The Commission also takes advantage of other opportunities to speak to consumer entities such as schools and civic groups. Supporting these organizations and participation in these varied means of interfacing with consumers is an important part of our educational outreach program where we promote cotton and educate about the positive impact the cotton industry has on our state, rural and national economies.