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2024-2025 Emerging Leaders Program Class Announced

MEMPHIS, Tenn. – Twelve U.S. cotton industry members have been chosen to participate in the National Cotton Council’s (NCC) Emerging Leaders Program for 2024-25. 

Participants include: PRODUCERS – Clint Dunn, Itta Bena, MS; Lambert Marshall, Scott, AR;  Greg Riccomini, Bakersfield, CA; Todd Rovey, Buckeye, AZ; Greg Sikes, Brooklet, GA; and Jack  Whatley, Odem, TX; GINNERS – Nathan Goldman, Casa Grande, AZ; Daniel Luehrs, Odem, TX;  MERCHANTS – Brett Edgy, Savannah, GA; Jacinta Condon, Greenville, SC; WAREHOUSER – Chris Moore, Southaven, MS, and MARKETING COOPERATIVE – Zach Flowers, Clarksdale, MS. Now in its ninth year, the NCC’s Emerging Leaders Program is supported by a grant to The Cotton Foundation from Bayer. 

NCC Chairman Joe Nicosia, a Cordova, TN merchant, said, “We are grateful for Bayer’s ongoing support of the Emerging Leaders Program. U.S. cotton needs dedicated leaders who are  committed to helping our industry maintain a competitive edge in the global marketplace. This initiative is helping to identify men and women who have demonstrated the potential for taking on this  important challenge and then encouraging and equipping them for this important task.” 

Overall, the Emerging Leaders Program provides participants with a better understanding of how the NCC carries out its mission of ensuring the U.S. cotton industry’s seven segments can compete effectively and profitably in the raw cotton, oilseed and U.S.-manufactured product markets at home and abroad. 

Specifically, participants get an in-depth look at: 1) the U.S. cotton industry infrastructure and the issues affecting the industry’s economic well-being; 2) the U.S. political process; 3) the NCC’s  programs as well as its policy development and implementation process and 4) Cotton Council International’s activities aimed at developing and maintaining export markets for U.S. cotton, manufactured cotton products and cottonseed products.

The Emerging Leaders Program also provides participants with professional development and communications training such as presentation and business etiquette, instruction for engaging with the  news media, and utilizing social media tools and tactics. 

Class members will participate in three sessions. The first session, set for the week of June 16,  2024, in Memphis and St. Louis, will provide an orientation to the NCC, professional development and  communication skills training and an agribusiness briefing. During the second session, class members  will see policy development at the NCC’s 2025 Annual Meeting in February. The third session, to be  conducted later in 2025 in Washington, DC, will provide a focus on policy implementation. 

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