Ronnie Lee NCC Chairman, Kent Fountain National Ginner of the Year

We bring great news from the Georgia cotton industry. Ronnie Lee, a cotton farmer from Bronwood, was named as the 2017 Chairman of the National Cotton Council, and Kent Fountain, a ginner from Surrency, was named National Cotton Ginner of the Year. Ronnie Lee and his sons farm in Terrell, Lee, and Sumter Counties and also own and operate McCleskey Cotton Company, RCL Flying Service, LGT LLC, and Adela Logistics. Lee is past president and chairman of Southern Cotton Growers and has served on the board of the National Cotton Council since 2015. Kent Fountain is managing partner of Southeastern Gin and Peanut and is the past president of Southeastern Cotton Ginners Association and the National Cotton Ginners Association. Fountain currently serves as the ginner vice-president on the Board of Directors of the National Cotton Council. The National Cotton Ginner of the Year is named in honor of Horace Hayden, a former National Cotton Ginners Association executive secretary. Visit our website at for more updates about cotton leaders from Georgia.


“Cotton, The Story” Educational Kits Available

In this week’s Georgia Cotton Commission update we want to inform you of our new cotton educational kits. As many of you know, Georgia cotton producers pay $1 per bale for research, promotion, and education. Our education program includes both physical events that we attend to teach about cotton and educational materials that we can send to teachers. About ten years ago the Georgia Cotton Commission developed an educational kit called “Cotton, The Story” that can be used from kindergarten through high school.

In 2016 we shipped out our 1,000th and final kit and therefore had to update and remake the kits. The new kits contain both literature and physical cotton items such as a miniature bale, cottonseed, lint, and a cotton boll. There is also an educational video in the kit that was created by the National Cotton Council that gives a good overview of the cotton industry in America. We will ship these kits to any school that request one, we only ask that the kit be housed in the school’s media center so it can be available to every class in the school. Visit our “education” page at for more details.


Free Seminars/Workshops for Producers

In this week’s Georgia Cotton Commission report we want to inform growers of some upcoming free seminars. There will be a Farm Labor Seminar held on February 23rd at the Decatur County Ag Center in Bainbridge. Representatives from the US Department of Labor, OSHA, and the Georgia Department of Labor will be on hand to answers any labor questions producers might have. AgGeorgia Farm Credit and AgSouth Farm Credit have teamed up to provide free financial workshops to producers. The workshops are called AGAware and will take place starting February 24th in Perry, March 17th in Greensboro, and August 25th in Waynesboro. The purpose of AGAware is to promote and educate the next generation of farmers by helping growers put together strong farm financial plans. Both the Farm Labor Seminar in Bainbridge and the AGAware workshops held across the state are free to producers. We encourage you to visit our website and look in the “Events” section to find out more about these free workshops.



Record Attendance at 10th Annual Meeting

We had record attendance at our Annual Meeting this year with over 400 farmers, county agents, UGA specialist, and industry representatives in attendance. Our main speakers brought us updates from the National Cotton Council, Cotton Incorporated, and Cotton Council International. These speakers updated the growers on topics ranging from the next farm bill to international marketing efforts. The UGA Cotton Production Workshop breakout sessions were also well attended. During our lunch session, cotton growers from across the state were award the 2016 Georgia Quality Cotton Awards. For those of you that could not attend, all sessions were recorded and will be posted to our website soon. The UGA Cotton Team is also still conducting county production meetings across the state. Contact your local UGA County Agent to find out your county’s schedule. For more information visit our website at


Using Pesticides Wisely Trainings

In this week’s Georgia Cotton Commission report we want to remind growers about the Using Pesticides Wisely Training. Both Xtendimax and Engenia dicamba formulations have been approved to apply of Xtend cotton in Georgia as well as the new Enlist Duo 2,4-D formulations. Check our website and the UGA Cotton Team’s website for the final federal and state labels. It is important for growers to remember that in order to be compliant with the new labels you must have attended the Using Pesticides Wisely training. Many of you attended these trainings in 2015 and 2016, but for those of you who didn’t there will be six more trainings across the state this year.

  • February 2nd at 3pm at the Screven County Extension Office
  • February 13th at 9am at the Pierce County Extension Office
  • February 15th at 1pm at the Moby Dick Restaurant in Colquitt, GA
  • February 17th at 9am at the Houston County Extension Office
  • March 7th at 1pm at the Olin Tatum Ag Building in Cartersville, GA
  • March 14th at 1:30pm at the Elbert County Extension Office

Click here to download a flyer about the events. 

GCC Annual Meeting Agenda-Jan. 25

Next Wednesday, January 25th, will be the 10th Annual Georgia Cotton Commission Annual Meeting and UGA Cotton Production Workshop, also known as the Georgia Cotton Conference. We hold our annual meeting in conjunction with the UGA Cotton Team’s production workshop in order for growers to see how their assessment dollars are spent. The Cotton Team will hold breakout sessions starting at 8am. These sessions will repeat after lunch. The Commission’s meeting will start at 10am and go until lunch.

Our guest speakers this year are Reece Langley, Vice President of Washington Operations at the National Cotton Council; Tom Wedegaertner, Director of Cottonseed Research and Marketing at Cotton Incorporated; and Bruce Atherley, Executive Director of Cotton Council International. Registration for this event is free, but please pre-register so we can make accurate plans for food. You can register at or call 229-386-3416. To view the agenda for Commission’s Annual Meeting and UGA Cotton Production Workshop, please visit

Click here to download the full agenda. 


Georgia Cotton Commission’s 10th Annual Meeting & UGA Cotton Production Workshop

January 25, 2017

UGA Tifton Campus Conference Center

UGA Cotton Production Workshop

 7:30 a.m.                          Name badge pick-up, late registration, and breakfast – Sponsored                                                 by Deltapine


8:00 – 8:50 a.m.             Economics and Marketing (Rm. 14)

Fertility (Rm. 19A)

Plant Pathology (Rm. 19B)

Weed Science (Rm. 19C)


9:00 – 9:50 a.m.             Cotton Technologies & Varieties (Rm. 19C)

Irrigation and Precision Ag (Rm. 14)

Insect Pest Management (Rm. 19A)

Agronomics and Physiology (Rm. 19B)


9:50 – 10:00 a.m.            Break – Sponsored by Bayer CropScience/Stoneville


Georgia Cotton Commission Annual Meeting


10:00-10:30 a.m.                              Welcome, recognition of sponsors, Commission report                                                                      (Ballrooms A & B)


10:30-11:00 a.m.                              Reece Langley, Vice President of Washington Operations,                                                                 National Cotton Council


11:00-11:30 a.m.                              Tom Wedegaertner, Director of Cottonseed Research &                                                                      Marketing, Cotton Incorporated


11:30-12:00 p.m.                            Bruce Atherley, Executive Director, Cotton Council                                                                                International


12:00-1:15 p.m.                 Lunch, sponsor recognitions, producer drawings (Ballrooms C & D)


1:15-1:45 p.m.                   Presentation of the Georgia Quality Cotton Awards


UGA Cotton Production Workshop


2:00 – 2:50 p.m.             Economics and Marketing (Rm. 14)

Fertility (Rm. 19A)

Plant Pathology (Rm. 19B)

Weed Science (Rm. 19C)



3:00 – 3:50 p.m.              Cotton Technologies & Varieties (Rm. 19C)

Irrigation and Precision Ag (Rm. 14)

Insect Pest Management (Rm. 19A)

Agronomics and Physiology (Rm. 19B)

County Production Meetings Begin Next Week-Check With Your Agent

In this week’s Georgia Cotton Commission update we want to remind growers to check with their local county agent about your local cotton production meeting. Each year, county extension agents conduct county production meetings where the UGA Cotton Team specialists update producers on the latest in areas of variety selection, entomology, weed science, pathology, and fertility. Familiar faces such as Jared Whitaker, Phillip Roberts, Stanley Culpepper, Bob Kemerait, and Glen Harris typically will bring updates regarding their area of expertise. Check with your local county agent for the schedule of your county’s production meeting and to see what topics will be discussed. County meetings are free for growers to attend but agent’s request that you call ahead so proper plans can be made for the meal that accompanies the meeting.

Also, we want to remind growers and others interested in the cotton industry that the Georgia Cotton Commission Annual Meeting will be held January 25th at the UGA Tifton Campus Conference Center. Visit our website at for more details.

NCC Planting Intentions Survey Due Jan. 16

The National Cotton Council is surveying growers for their 2017 planting intentions. This is done each year to aid with industry planning and policy deliberations. Individual survey responses are anonymous and confidential. Your help and cooperation is greatly appreciated. In an effort to improve the Annual Cotton Planting Intentions Survey, the Council would like to give you the opportunity to fill out the survey online. Please respond by Monday, January 16, 2017. A summary of the survey results will be made public during the Joint Meeting of Program Committees at 8:00 a.m. on Saturday, February 11th, at the National Cotton Council’s Annual Meeting in Dallas, TX. To respond to the survey online, go and look for the survey in the “Events” section. The Council’s survey, along with other industry and USDA surveys, are extremely important to the cotton industry as these surveys allow market players and policy makers the most accurate data to make decisions.


Georgia Cotton Commission 10th Annual Meeting Jan. 25, 2017

The Georgia Cotton Commission is pleased to announce the guest speakers at the Commission’s 10th Annual Meeting scheduled for Wednesday, January 25, 2017, at the UGA Tifton Campus Conference Center. The annual meeting is held in conjunction with the UGA Cotton Production Workshop conducted by the UGA Research & Extension Cotton Team.

The UGA Cotton Production Workshop will feature breakout sessions where attendees will learn the latest technical production strategies from the researchers whose projects are funded by the Commission’s research program. The Georgia Cotton Commission Annual Meeting will follow the breakout sessions and feature speakers from several industry organizations.

The program speakers are Reece Langley, Vice President of Washington Operations, National Cotton Council; Tom Wedegaertner, Director of Cottonseed Research and Marketing, Cotton Incorporated; and Bruce Atherley, Executive Director, Cotton Council International.

Reece Langley assumed his role as Vice President of Washington Operations at the National Cotton Council in 2014. He is responsible for coordinating the Washington activities for the Council, which includes working with Congress and the Administration, to ensure the U.S. cotton industry’s seven segments compete effectively and profitably in the global market. Prior to joining the Council, Langley was Vice President of Government Affairs for the USA Rice Federation. He also worked as a legislative assistant to Congressman Terry Everett (R-AL) prior to working for the USA Rice Federation.

Tom Wedegaertner began his life-long work with cottonseed in 1980 as an Assistant Director, Research and Education with the National Cottonseed Products Association in Memphis, Tennessee. While in Memphis, he completed degree requirements for an MBA in Marketing at the University of Memphis. After almost a decade with NCPA, Wedegaertner began working as a cottonseed products marketing specialist for the Anderson Clayton Company in Seattle, Washington. His influence on the cottonseed industry has been enormous during the past 21 years with Cotton Incorporated working on such projects as Ultra Low Gossypol Cottonseed, flavored cottonseed oils, and cottonseed protein fortified foods.

Bruce Atherley has a long and successful track record in global marketing and management. He previously served as Vice President, Global Marketing for Kao, Inc., a Tokyo-based global manufacturer of personal care and household products. He also worked for the William Wrigley Jr. Company, serving as its Vice President of North American Confections Marketing, President and General Manager of Wrigley Canada and Managing Director, Global Branding Services. Prior to Wrigley, he served as Vice President of Retail Marketing for the H.J. Heinz Company, President and CEO of Pet Life, Inc., Marketing Director, Black and Decker and Product Manager, Cheerios for General Mills Inc. Atherley assumed his current role as Executive Director of Cotton Council International in October 2015.

Following the Annual Meeting speakers, the Commission will host lunch where sponsors will be recognized and door prizes will be given away. The meeting, production workshop, and lunch are open to not only cotton growers, but anyone interested in the cotton industry. The UGA Cotton Production Workshop breakout sessions will be repeated after lunch.

There is no charge to attend. Pre-registration is requested to help with meal plans.  Register online at or call 229.386.3416.

Below L-R: Reece Langley, Tom Wedegaertner, and Bruce Atherley.

Thank you to our meeting sponsors:

Agri-AFC ∙ Airscout/Scott T’s Ag-Flyin’ ∙ Allenberg/ProCot ∙ Americot, Inc. ∙ Ameris Bank ∙ AMVAC ∙ BASF ∙ Bayer CropScience/Stoneville ∙ Brake F16 from SePRO ∙ COFCO AGRI ∙ CNI ∙ Cotton Growers Cooperative ∙ Crop Production Services ∙ Dow AgroSciences/PhytoGen ∙ Deltapine ∙ DuPont Crop Protection ∙ Farm Credit Associations of Georgia ∙ Flint Turf & Ag ∙ ICL Specialty Fertilizers ∙ Lasseter Equipment Group ∙ Nachurs ∙ Propane Education & Research Council ∙ R.W. Griffin ∙ Staplcotn ∙ Syngenta ∙ Valent USA Corporation



Buy Cotton Clothes This Christmas

In this week’s Georgia Cotton Commission update we want everyone to remember to buy cotton clothes this Christmas. Clothes are one of the most ubiquitous gifts given each year at Christmas. But how many of you actually read the label on your clothes before you buy them? In talking with consumers, we’ve discovered here at the Commission that most people just assume that they are purchasing cotton clothes because traditionally all clothes have been cotton. Unfortunately the technology in the synthetic fibers markets has gotten very good at mimicking the softness and comfortability of cotton. Many of the athletic type clothes that are available contain little to no cotton. Even denim jeans, which traditionally are 100% cotton, now can be found with many synthetic blends in them. So again, we encourage everyone to read the label on your clothes this Christmas to ensure that you are buying a cotton product. We have a webpage dedicated to answering consumer questions on our website at or you can visit Cotton Incorporated’s website at