March 26, 2019
By Debra Davis
Newly elected National Cotton Council Chairman Mike Tate, left, with U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue and U.S. Rep. Robert Aderholt, R-Ala., during a farm visit in north Alabama.
Mike Tate, a cotton producer from Huntsville, was elected National Cotton Council (NCC) chairman for 2019 during the organization’s annual meeting in San Antonio, Texas, Feb. 8-10.
Tate, a Madison County Farmers Federation board member, succeeds Ron Craft, a cotton producer and ginner from Plains, Texas.
“I’ve been involved in the NCC for close to 35 years,” Tate said. “It’s a great honor to be asked to serve in this position. I appreciate the opportunity to give back to the industry.”
Tate said the NCC serves as the central forum for consensus-building among producers, ginners, warehousers, merchants, cottonseed processors/dealers, cooperatives and textile manufacturers.
“One thing that makes the NCC unique, it’s not just a producer organization;” Tate said, “it represents the entire industry and allows us to speak with one powerful, united voice.”
He said important issues facing NCC this year include monitoring implementation of the farm bill and trade issues that affect the cotton industry.
A graduate of the NCC’s Cotton Leadership Program, Tate previously served as an NCC director and member of numerous NCC committees. He served as a director and board advisor of Cotton Council International, the NCC’s export promotions arm, and has held multiple leadership positions in the NCC’s American Cotton Producers, including chairman in 2016-17.
A past president of Southern Cotton Growers Inc., Tate has held leadership positions in Cotton Incorporated, the National Council of Farmer Cooperatives and state agricultural organizations. He currently serves as a Staplcotn director.
Tate is one of the owners/managers of Tate Farms, a family partnership in Meridianville where cotton is the principal crop of the 6,000-acre Tennessee Valley operation. He also is president of Cotton Growers Cooperative Gin & Warehouse and has an interest in Cotton Pickin’ Pumpkins, Tate Farms’ agritourism operation.
The recipient of numerous honors, Tate received Cotton Grower magazine’s Cotton Grower Achievement Award and Farm Press Publications’ High Cotton Award.
Alabama Farmers Federation Cotton Division Director Carla Hornady said Alabama cotton growers are proud one of their own is serving as NCC chairman.
“Mike is a unifying leader,” Hornady said. “He is familiar with every aspect of the cotton industry — from producers, ginners and manufacturers to national policy that affects them all.”
Farmer Neal Isbell, who lives in Muscle Shoals, was also elected to the NCC board. Isbell serves on the Colbert County Farmers Federation board.
In state leadership, producer Nick McMichen of Centre was elected chairman. Vice chairman is Joseph Scarborough, a ginner from Shorter, while Jim Greene, a ginner from Courtland, was elected secretary.
For a full list of NCC leadership, visit cottongrower.com.