One of the most valuable, yet often under-publicized, producer-directed programs under the Cotton Research and Promotion Program umbrella is Cotton Incorporated’s State Support Program (SSP).
“Each year 7.5 percent of producer assessments, which are collected by the Cotton Board, are re-directed to this grassroots program that was designed to allow each cotton-producing state to solve local production-related problems,” says Dr. Pat O’Leary, senior director of agricultural research at Cotton Incorporated.
State Support funds are divided among the states according to that state’s respective level of cotton production. Each state’s program is led by a SSP committee, which sets priorities, reviews research proposals and then allocates funds.
“Producers should use their state committees as sounding boards to address what they believe are immediate cotton research and/or cotton educational needs within their region,” says O’Leary.
Researchers from local land grant institutions traditionally submit projects they feel are relevant based on their experience, current production trends and/or changes in environmental growing conditions.
In 2010, Cotton Incorporated will return a total of $3,545,000 to the State Support Program.
Call For Action
“We want all producers to feel comfortable taking an active part in this program, and they can do so by contacting their state committee representatives and voicing their opinions or concerns,” says Tom Robertson, Mississippi cotton producer and chairman of his state’s SSP.
Dates when committees meet vary, so producers should organize their recommendations and contact SSP representatives as soon as possible.
More Information On The Web
To find out about any state’s SSP Committee representatives, visit the State Support section of Cotton Incorporated’s Web site by going to: http://www.cottoninc.com/State-Support-Program.
The Cotton Board, which administers the Cotton Research and Promotion Program conducted by Cotton Incorporated, contributed information for this article.
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