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August 04, 2014

Mary Johnson
(334) 235-1406

Blount County farmer Lance Miller was one of 13 U.S. farmers selected for the 2014 National Cotton Council (NCC) Policy Education Program.

Blount County farmer Lance Miller of Snead was one of 13 U.S. cotton farmers who completed the 2014 National Cotton Council (NCC) Policy Education Program (PEP).

Through the program, participants received insight into key issues affecting the U.S. cotton industry and comprehensive communications training during the July session in Greensboro, N.C. The group also attended an orientation on the NCC at the organization’s annual meeting in Washington, D.C., Feb. 7-9, and viewed its policy development process during the program’s first session.

“I was really honored to be asked to participate in PEP,” Miller said. “The program taught me just how important cotton producers are to the cotton industry. Seeing what the Cotton Council does and meeting our industry representatives made me feel very proud. Representation is key to any organization, and this learning experience will always be with me.”

Miller also thanked Syngenta Crop Protection, which has supported the program since 1999 through grants to The Cotton Foundation. Each year, up to four farmers from each of the four major Cotton Belt regions are selected to participate in PEP.

NCC Member Services Director and PEP Coordinator John Gibson said Syngenta’s support of the program has helped educate around 200 cotton farmers about their commodity association and industry challenges.

“(Cotton farmers) understand better how (federal farm policy, environmental issues and market development) affect their industry’s health and competitive position in the world marketplace which, in turn, helps the Council mobilize them when we need to advocate with lawmakers and other key officials,” Gibson said.

Other 2014 PEP participants included Jacob Appleberry and A.J. Hood of Arkansas; Brandon Belch of North Carolina; Jayme Dunn of Kansas; Scott Flowers of Mississippi; Nick Marshall of Florida; Glenn Sapp of Georgia; and Philip Marek, Steve Olson, Chase Schuchard, Bryan Baker and Martin Stoerner of Texas.

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