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January 18, 2012   Email to Friend 

Debra Davis and Mary Johnson
(334) 613-4686
January 18, 2012

From left, Alabama Cotton Commission Chairman Jimmy Sanford of Autauga County; Alabama Farmers Federation Cotton Committee Chairman Jimmy Miller of Blount County and Federation Cotton Division Director Buddy Adamson were among those who attended the 30th anniversary meeting of the Alabama Cotton Commission in Prattville, Jan. 18.
PRATTVILLE, Ala. -- The Alabama Cotton Commission celebrated its 30th anniversary at the annual meeting in Prattville, Wednesday.

Blount County Farmer Jimmy Miller, who serves as chairman of the Alabama Farmers Federation's State Cotton Committee and vice chairman of the Alabama Cotton Commission, said the Federation has been key to the success of the commission, which supervises the checkoff dollars farmers voluntarily contribute.

“I don’t think anyone’s 90 cents a bale checkoff is not well spent,” Miller said.  “I think it comes back maybe five-fold or ten-fold.”

Farmers who participate in the checkoff determine how the money they contribute is spent. By federal law, the money must be spent for education, promotion or research.

"The Federation's involvement and support of the commission is invaluable," Miller said. "The Federation provides us meeting space and staff resources at no cost to the commission. That way, all of our producer checkoff money is used directly to benefit the farmer."

Miller said he can't imagine what cotton production in America would look like without the checkoff-funded efforts that have increased yields, decreased input costs and grown domestic and foreign markets.

"From my viewpoint, if you’re not willing to help support the commodity you produce, you can’t expect others to foot the bill,” Miller said.  “With the reductions in federal and state funding, there's no longer enough money to support research.”

Alabama Farmers Federation Cotton Division Director Buddy Adamson said producers who participate in the checkoff contribute 90-cents per bale of cotton to the Alabama Cotton Commission. He said producers vote every 10 years on whether to continue the program. This year’s vote is tentatively set for July, with an exact date to be announced later.

Click the link below to view a video from the anniversary event.

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