Cotton Board directors have reviewed and voted to recommend Cotton Incorporated’s proposed 2016 budget of $76 million to the Secretary of Agriculture. The review took place at their annual meeting in Miami.
This is a $4 million decrease from the 2015 budget. Based on projected collections from this year’s smaller planted and harvested acreage, The Cotton Board will draw about $8 million from reserves to fund the program in 2016.
Even with a reduction in the overall 2016 budget, funds for consumer-based programs will increase. The 2016 budget will feature a new ad campaign and a tighter focus on research and marketing areas that will yield the greatest returns for cotton, board members said.
In the 2016 plan, many longer-term focused research programs will be streamlined in order to increase funding for the company’s new “Favorites” advertising campaign. This campaign, which is based on considerable consumer research such as focus groups, features a strong reminder to consumers as to why their cotton garments tend to be their favorites.
“There is an additional call-to-action message to check the fiber-content label before buying,” The Cotton Board said. “Television advertising will remain an important medium for 2016, but the new campaign was designed to also work effectively in digital media and with Cotton Incorporated’s supply chain marketing activities.”
The budget and plan, along with The Cotton Board’s recommendation of approval, will be forwarded to USDA for final approval.
During its business session, The Cotton Board elected Aaron Barcellos to serve as chairman for the 2015-2016 program year. Barcellos is a cotton producer from Los Banos, Calif. (See http://westernfarmpress.com/cotton/los-banos-calif-farmer-sharply-increases-2011-cotton-acres.)
“Over the years I've grown very attached to the cotton industry, and I am grateful for this opportunity to give back just a portion of what it has meant to me and my family,” he noted. “My goal for the coming year is to continue to foster the excellent relationship we have with Cotton Incorporated and to use all of our resources to help reverse the current downtrend in cotton's market share.
“There are many people in the cotton industry who are depending on us to make a difference, and I believe that together we can.”
“Aaron has a distinguished record of service to the Cotton Board,” said David Grant, outgoing chairman of the Cotton Board. “He consistently tackles challenges with great character, thoughtfulness, and determination, and I know he'll do the same as he leads our Program."
The full slate of newly elected Cotton Board officers includes:
Aaron Barcellos, producer, Los Banos, Calif., chairman; Janet Ydavoy, importer from Yardley, Pa., vice-chair; George LaCour Jr., producer, Morganza, La., secretary; and Peter McGrath, importer, Dallas, Texas, treasurer.