I’m a sports junkie. I love basketball, football, baseball, golf, tennis, swimming, etc. (You can have hockey. To keep tabs on all the latest in sports, I watch ESPN. Besides the daily Top 10, my favorite shtick on ESPN is the Not-So Top 10 and the always-entertaining and stinging phrase, “C’mon Man!”
It’s such a poignant slam when someone does something that’s just a failed attempt.
This past June, I took part in the Cotton Incorporated “Cotton Competitiveness Conference” in Raleigh, North Carolina. The conference had cotton professionals from all segments of cotton’s massive pipeline – from domestic producers, to mill executives from all over the cotton-producing world.
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During dinner the last night of the conference, J. Berrye Worsham, Cotton Incorporated’s President and CEO, made a few comments that stuck in my head. To paraphrase, Berrye said it’s no secret cotton is struggling to compete for acreage with other crops. It’s also apparent that we are still trying to recover from the $2 plus prices of a couple years back. To turn our industry around, it’s going to take everyone in the cotton business working together, in a uniform way. Berrye is so right. I’ve been in this industry for over 20 years and the one thing we’ve always had over other commodity-related industries and/or associations, is unity. From the work the National Cotton Council does, to the work Cotton Incorporated does, we all work for one common goal – to advance the business of cotton.
Our local and/or regional cotton associations are supportive of each other, and of our national organizations/associations. When we present a message, position or program to an audience, you can rest assured that message will have cotton’s best interest at heart. Berrye hit the nail on the head when he stated we must “work together.”
If you make your living in this industry and count on its success to put food on your family’s table and clothes on their backs, you need to make sure you’re doing one thing – buying and wearing cotton!
I don’t know how many field days, meetings and events I have been to and the participants either presenting or attending are wearing shirts made from man-made fibers. Are you kidding me? How does that raise the level of the metaphoric cotton lake? It doesn’t. Man-made fibers tout attributes like softness, breathability and comfort. Their advertisements use words such as “cotton-like and cottony.” If the best form of flattery is imitation, we ought to be paying them!
I guess the straw that broke the camel’s back, which led to my putting fingers to keyboard, came when my Mid-South Regional Communications Manager Bobby Skeen sent me an e-mail of frustration while attending a regional cotton field day where polyester shirts were being worn by those talking cotton!