MEMPHIS, Tenn. – The National Cotton Council (NCC) looks forward to working with Sonny Perdue who was confirmed today by the Senate as the 31st U.S. Secretary of Agriculture.
NCC Chairman Ronnie Lee said, "Sonny Perdue is highly qualified to lead USDA and he can help ensure a strong and viable agricultural and rural economy. His strong production and agribusiness background makes him keenly aware of U.S. agriculture’s critical importance in: 1) feeding and clothing this country and the world, 2) powering this nation’s economy and 3) contributing to rural America’s well-being.
“The U.S. cotton industry also believes that someone from this country’s second largest cotton-producing state well recognizes what is necessary to stabilize the U.S. cotton industry,” stated Lee, a Bronwood, Ga., cotton producer. “We are excited and stand ready to partner with Secretary Perdue with a goal of getting programs and policies in place that will ensure our industry continues to contribute to the American economy."
Regarding those contributions, Lee noted that farms and businesses directly involved in the production, distribution and processing of U.S. cotton employ more than 125,000 workers and produce direct business revenue of more than $21 billion. Accounting for the ripple effect through the broader U.S. economy, total economic activity attributed to cotton is in excess of $95 billion.
As the U.S. cotton industry’s central organization, the NCC represents 25,000-plus industry members that include cotton producers as well as ginners, cottonseed processors and merchandizers, merchants, cooperatives, warehousers, and textile manufacturers. The NCC’s mission is ensuring each of these industry segments’ ability to compete effectively and profitably in the raw cotton, oilseed and U.S.-manufactured product markets at home and abroad.