Steve Verett Honored With Oscar Johnston Lifetime Achievement Award

Steve Verett, a former director of the National Cotton Council and current special advisor, received the Oscar Johnston Lifetime Achievement Award for 2023.

February 19, 2024
Contact: Marjory Walker
(901) 274-9030

MEMPHIS, Tenn. – Steve Verett, a former director of the National Cotton Council and current special advisor, received the Oscar Johnston Lifetime Achievement Award for 2023. He was honored at the National Cotton Council’s (NCC) 2024 annual meeting held February 16-18 in Orlando, Florida, with outgoing NCC Chairman Shawn Hollady presenting the award.

The annual award, established in 1997, is named for Oscar Johnston, whose vision, genius and tireless efforts were foremost in the shaping and organization of the NCC. The award is presented to an individual who serves the cotton industry, through the NCC, over a significant period of his or her active business career. The award also recognizes those who exert a positive influence on the industry and who demonstrate character and integrity as well as perseverance and maturation during that service.

Verett, a Texas native, is a graduate of the National Cotton Council’s (NCC) 1985 Cotton Leadership Program class. He remains an actively engaged member of the NCC, having served as a director. Currently, he holds the position of special advisor to the NCC's Conservation Task Force and is a member of its Cotton Leaf Roll Dwarf Virus Working Group. His involvement extends to his past role as a director for Cotton Council International (CCI) in 1985, and he maintains his commitment as a special advisor to CCI. Additionally, Verett has been affiliated with the American Cotton Producers (ACP), where he continues to contribute as a member of the ACP's Crop Insurance Working Group and as an advisor to its Farm Policy Task Force. 

Verett accepted the role as CEO of Plains Cotton Growers, Inc., in 1997, having previously served as a producer board member from Crosby County and as PCG board president in 1988 and 1989 and chairman in 1990 and 1991. He also served as chairman of the PCG Boll Weevil Steering Committee in 1992 and 1993. Verett retired in 2021 after 24 years of service to PCG and the High Plains cotton industry. 

“While leading PCG, Verett was a tireless supporter of and advocate for High Plains cotton producers and instrumental in bringing needed economic relief to them through the promotion of beneficial legislative and regulatory changes,” Holladay said. “That included the development of four farm bills, crop insurance reform and numerous ad hoc assistance programs. One of the most notable efforts came when he and PCG played a central role in getting cotton back into Title 1 of 2014 farm 

In addition, Verett was named to the Cotton Research and Promotion Hall of Fame in 2022. In 2017, he was named by Farm Credit as one of the Top 100 Leaders in agriculture and rural communities nationwide. He also was the recipient of the Cotton Grower Magazine Cotton Achievement Award for his service to the U.S. cotton industry in 2006.

Since retirement, Verett is back on the farm operation he started with his brother Eddie in 1976, now assisting his son Kristofer. He and Kristofer farm in Crosby County where production includes cotton, corn, sorghum, summer fallow cover, and forage crops.