New Cotton Board Chairman and Officers Elected
During its annual meeting in Scottsdale, Arizona, the Cotton Board reviewed and voted to recommend Cotton Incorporated’s proposed 2019 budget of $82 million to the U.S. Secretary of Agriculture. The Cotton Board elected Peter McGrath, an importer, as chairman of the board, and an entire slate of new officers for the 2018-2019 program year.
The $82 million 2019 proposed budget represents an increase of approximately $8 million compared with the 2018 budget. This is the second year in a row that Cotton Incorporated’s annual budget has increased, based on assessment collections. Revenue for the Cotton Research and Promotion Program is determined by cotton prices, upland cotton production, and imports of cotton textiles and apparel.
The 2019 plan and budget provides the opportunity for Cotton Incorporated to ramp up cottonseed marketing efforts and address threats to U.S. cotton, such as plastic contamination, FOV4 and weed resistance. The proposed budget also includes funds for planning for future technologies such as robotics and artificial intelligence. Consumer marketing funding is increasing by 13 percent.
“It is important for us to invest in consumer marketing to continue cotton’s forward momentum and to influence demand,” says Kim Kitchings, senior vice president of consumer marketing for Cotton Incorporated. “The consumer marketing department’s activities and programs are created and implemented with the purpose of motivating consumers and the supply chain to buy cotton items and to affirm cotton as the first choice among fibers.”
During its business session, the Cotton Board elected new officers to guide the program, including Peter McGrath to serve as chairman for the 2018-2019 program year. McGrath is an importer from Colorado who owns a consulting business for major brands and retailers. He was executive vice president and director of product development and sourcing for J. C. Penney Company, Inc., one of America’s largest department store, catalog and e-commerce retailers. He joined J.C. Penney in 1973 as a trainee in merchandise distribution in New York City and subsequently held merchandise positions of increasing responsibility in New York, California and Texas until his retirement from the company in 2010. McGrath also serves as the chairman of the Human Rights Center at the University of Dayton.
McGrath commented on his election, saying, “I am honored to be given this opportunity to help lead the industry, and work on behalf of the cotton producers and importers who invest in the Cotton Research and Promotion Program. In 2019, we are going to focus on cotton’s sustainability, new products and innovation, farm profitability, cottonseed research and marketing, contamination, and fiber competition.”
The full slate of newly elected Cotton Board officers is as follows:
- Peter McGrath, importer from Snowmass Village, Colorado, chairman
- Jeff Posey, producer from Roby, Texas, vice chairman
- Jimmy Webb, producer from Leary, Georgia, secretary
- Sonja Chapman, importer from Boonton, New Jersey, treasurer
Source: Cotton Board