MEMPHIS, Tenn. – Midwest and Southwest producers will see agricultural operations in Georgia on November 11-14, as part of the National Cotton Council’s (NCC) Multi-Commodity Education Program (MCEP).
Launched in 2006, the MCEP is coordinated by NCC's Member Services and local leaders and organizations. The program is supported by The Cotton Foundation with a grant from Deere & Company.
The exchange is designed to provide the program's participants with: 1) a better understanding of production issues/concerns faced by their peers in another geographic region and 2) an opportunity to observe agronomic practices, technology utilization, cropping patterns, marketing plans and operational structure. Other program benefits are the continuing dialogue among American farmers, regardless of their crops or locations, and the creation of strong and lasting relationships between this nation's current and future producer leaders.
The 2013 tour's producer participants were selected by the National Association of Wheat Growers and the North Dakota Grain Growers and include:Tim Bartram, Guthrie, Okla.; Bob Beakley, Ennis, Texas; Charlie Bumgarner, Great Falls, Mont., Michelle Erickson, Broadview, Mont.; Dennis Johnson, Devils Lake, ND; Freddie Streit, Vernon, Texas; Terry Weckerly, Hurdsfield, ND; and John Weinand, Hazen, ND. Also participating are John Gibson, the NCC's Member Services director, Memphis; Jim Davis, the NCC's Member Services representative for the Southeast, New Market, Ala.; and Christy Birdsong, the NCC's general counsel, Washington, DC.
The participants' tour will begin on November 11 with a look at yarn manufacturing at Swift Spinning in Columbus, cotton grading at the USDA Agricultural Marketing Service office in Macon and an overview of Georgia cotton production at the Georgia Cotton Commission in Perry. The next day's activities will include: a visit to the Georgia Peanut Commission in Tifton for an overview of Georgia peanut production; an update on agricultural aircraft manufacturing at Thrush Aircraft in Albany; a presentation on peanut oil processing at the Golden Peanut Company in Dawson; a tour of peanut shelling operations at McCleskey Mills in Smithville and a look at cotton production and harvesting at RCL Farms in Bronwood.
On November 13, the group will see vegetable processing at Taylor Farms in Tifton; hear about cottonseed oil processing at Southern Cotton Oil Company in Valdosta; learn about permanent bale identification, cotton flow and warehousing at Funston Gin Warehouse in Funston; and see pecan production and processing at Harrell Nut Company in Camilla. The tour concludes on November 14 with a presentation on agricultural inputs for southern crops at the R.W. Griffin Company in Douglas and an update on cotton ginning technology at Southeastern Gin Company in Surrency.