by Bobby Skeen, Louisiana Cotton & Grain Association
2016 has been an exciting year and the Louisiana Cotton & Grain Association has made great strides in achieving greater recognition on the national level with other commodities. Yes, our organization began as a cotton organization and we will always be well configured to represent and serve the cotton industry, through our strong history with the National Cotton Council, The Cotton Board and Cotton Incorporated. However, as our name changed to include grain a few years ago, in order to be a viable agricultural organization, we must make for sure that our organization has a place at the table to speak for and represent the commodities that our members are producing.
Beginning in January of 2016, the Louisiana Cotton & Grain Association was fully recognized the United States Department of Agriculture as a "certified nominating organization" for the United Sorghum Check-Off Program, as well as recognized as a producer organization by the National Sorghum Producers Association. The LCGA has one of our very own officers, Heath Herring, from St. Joseph, Louisiana, going through the Sorghum Leadership program right now preparing him to be a leader in the sorghum industry and representing Louisiana and the United Sorghum Check-Off Board. In addition to Heath, we also have an LCGA member, John Lowery, from Start, Louisiana, serving on the National Sorghum Producers Association legislative action committee. We have been extremely excited to be involved in the sorghum industry and look forward to the future of promoting agriculture with them.
In addition to cotton and sorghum, I am so very proud to announce that, beginning in January of 2017, the Louisiana Cotton & Grain Association will officially become the state affiliate for corn in Louisiana, therefore becoming fully recognized as a producer organization by the National Corn Growers Association. With this affiliation, we will be able to work closely with the National Corn Growers Association, as well as have the opportunity to nominate Louisiana corn producers to serve in leadership positions throughout the corn industry on behalf of Louisiana and southern agriculture, in general. All of these efforts of cooperation and affiliation should certainly put us at a much more advantageous level in the work that will begin soon with the next United States Farm Bill. We will be able to represent a more diverse background, only to strengthen the unity of agriculture in general.
Also, in 2017, the Louisiana Cotton & Grain Association will begin working more closely with the Louisiana Soybean Association and the American Soybean Association to insure that Louisiana's largest row crop is represented to its best ability on all levels, be it state or federal. In strengthening our relationship with the soybean industry, our organization will be in the driver's seat to fully represent and promote agricultural policy among the three largest commodities that LCGA members produce; cotton, corn and soybeans.