National Cotton Women’s Committee Asking Consumers To Shop for U.S. Cotton Clothing, Home Furnishings

With cotton prices at their lowest in years, cotton producers’ wives are escalating an NCC campaign that reminds consumers of cotton’s role in their everyday lives and urges them to shop for U.S.-made cotton products.

April 3, 2001
Contact: Marjory Walker
(901) 274-9030

MEMPHIS, TN (Special) - With cotton prices at their lowest in years, cotton producers' wives are escalating a National Cotton Council (NCC) campaign that reminds consumers of cotton's role in their everyday lives and urges them to shop for U.S.-made cotton products.

Seven officers of the National Cotton Women's Committee (NCWC) recently attended an issues briefing and planning session at NCC headquarters where they were briefed on the damage to the U.S. cotton sector caused by cotton apparel imports. Dr. Mark Lange, NCC vice president of policy analysis and program coordination, told them that while U.S. consumers' preference for cotton clothing is healthier than ever, cotton imports are taking an increasingly greater share of that market growth.

The officers also heard an update from Craig Brown, the NCC's vice president, producer affairs, about NCC actions - including input to Congress on what's needed in new farm legislation to restore profitability across the industry.

NCWC officers attending the briefing were: Allison Newton, Raeford, NC, the Southeast alternate regional director; Christine Bickley, the South Carolina chairman from Elloree; Bobbie Jean Hill, Indianola, MS, and Tammy Hargett, Alamo, TN, the Mid-South regional director and alternate, respectively; Merle Morrison, Lorenzo, TX, the Southwest regional director; and Pennee Murphree, Maricopa, AZ, and Karen Brooks, Buckeye, AZ, the West regional director and alternate, respectively.

These officers and their state chairmen lead other cotton women volunteers across the 17-state Cotton Belt as part of the "Grown and Made in the U.S.A. - It Matters" consumer awareness campaign. In addition to encouraging consumers to buy U.S.-made cotton products, the women urge retailers to stock more cotton clothing lines.

Consumers' and retailers' actions not only support the U.S. cotton industry, but help keep the U.S. economy strong. The domestic cotton industry employs more than 440,000 Americans. Business revenue stimulated by cotton in the nation's economy exceeds $120 billion, making cotton America's No. 1 value-added crop.

The cotton women's promotional and educational effort ranges from canvassing state fairs and shopping malls to sharing the cotton message in schools and civic organizations.

Aventis CropScience, sole corporate sponsor for "Grown and Made," has contributed more than $1.5 million since the campaign was founded in 1986.

The other NCWC officers for 2001 include: Southeast regional director Charlotte Mathis, Moultrie, GA; Southwest co-alternate directors, Maxine Abbott, Harlingen, TX, and Bethany Kilgore, Corpus Christi, TX; and the following state chairpersons are: ALABAMA/FLORIDA - Jamie Lazenby, Auburn, AL; ARIZONA - Julie Murphree, Phoenix; ARKANSAS - Tammy Wilkison, Brinkley; CALIFORNIA - Connie Lundquist, Fresno; GEORGIA - Linda West, Byromville; LOUISIANA - Karen Lensing, Lake Providence; MISSISSIPPI - Melissa Darden, Rolling Fork; MISSOURI - Polly Clark, Kennett; NORTH CAROLINA - Joan Balfour, Lumber Bridge; OKLAHOMA/KANSAS - Eva Letha Lucas, Elmer, OK; TENNESSEE - Pat Hargett, Bells; and TEXAS - Margie Mayfield, Harlingen.