The National Cotton Council is a unifying force of the U.S. cotton industry, bringing together representatives from the seven industry segments in the 17 cotton-producing states of the Cotton Belt to work out common problems and develop programs of mutual benefit.
The Council's delegates are elected by state, regional and national cotton interest organizations.They meet each year to adopt Council policies and set guidelines for activities over the next 12 months.
Delegates also hold interest caucuses, with each of the seven sectors electing five of its group to serve on the Council board of directors. The 35-member board convenes between the annual meetings for progress reports on activities and to deal with issues that arise. The Board also elects officers, who include at least one representative from each of the cotton industry's seven segments. Six program committees develop policy recommendations to the Council.
The Farm Program and Economic Policy Committee establishes the Council's position on such issues as farm legislation and administration, federal tax laws, employment and water law.
The Health, Safety and Environmental Quality Committee seeks to achieve reasonable and scientifically based government regulations for crop protection products, textile chemicals, worker safety and health and other matters.
The International Trade Policy Committee directs the Council's stance on trade policy and negotiations.
The Packaging and Distribution Committee works to enhance bale packaging, handling, storage and movement through use of improved materials and electronic technology.
The Public Relations and International Market Development Committee guides an extensive program to expand U.S. cotton exports through far-reaching advertising and promotion campaigns, trade missions and other market development programs. Communications efforts are designed to build a greater understanding of the U.S. cotton industry, its products and its people through effective communication and information services.
The Research and Education Committee seeks to attain comprehensive and more effective cotton research and education programs to reduce production and processing costs and to improve cotton fiber and oilseed products.
The six program committees convene at the annual meeting to review Council programs and policies and make their recommendations for the coming year. Their recommendations go to the board of directors, which sits as a resolutions committee, and finally are put before the delegate body. Each recommendation must be approved by a majority of delegates from each of the seven segments, voting separately, before becoming official Council policy. Because of the democratic process involved in its policymaking procedure, the Council is able to move with the combined strength and support of all seven cotton industry segments as it confronts issues affecting its members.