Secretary Vilsack Appoints Members, Alternates, and Advisors to Serve on The Cotton Board

(MEMPHIS, TN) – Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack has announced the appointment of 18 members, 18 alternate members, and one advisor to serve on The Cotton Board.  These appointees will serve three-year terms, ending December 31, 2025.

Newly appointed members: Nick McMichen, Producer – AL; Albert Riley James, Producer – MO; Avinash Bhaskar, Importer; Patricia Lesser, Importer; John R. Rosman, Importer; and Barbara Buhr, Importer.

Newly appointed alternate members: Lamont Bridgeforth, Producer – AL; David C. Light, Producer – KS; Chad Fullerton, Producer – MO; Julieanna Ogle, Producer – TN; Pat Perry Werneiwski, Importer; Bryan Landreth, Importer; Kim Shewalter, Importer; and Jim Atkinson, Importer.

Reappointed members: David. J. DeFelix, Producer – FL: Jimmy Webb, Producer – GA; Suzanne R. Drouhard, Producer – KS; Alisa Ogden, Producer – NM; Mark Nichols, Producer – OK; Rusty Darby, Producer – SC; Alex Armour, Producer – TN; Matt Farmer, Producer – TX; Shelly S. Butler Barlow, Producer – VA; Laurie Rando, Importer; Joe Don Long, Importer; and Emily Gigot, Importer.

Reappointed alternate members: Alan J. Edwards, Producer – FL; Benjamin Grimsley, Producer – GA; Nathan Jurva, Producer – NM; Kathy Fowler, Producer – OK; Frank Rogers, Producer – SC; R. N. Hopper, Producer – TX; J. W. Jones, Jr., Producer – VA; Kirk Smithwick, Importer; Jay Self, Importer; and Jennifer Pisula, Importer.

Newly appointed advisor: Karla Magruder – NY.

In addition, USDA issued the following appointments to fill board vacancies.

Newly appointed alternate members: Chase Schuchard, Producer – TX (term ending Dec. 31, 2024); Svitlana Linska, Importer (term ending Dec. 31, 2023); Dhruv Agarwal, Importer (term ending December 31, 2023); and Steven J. Bohman, Importer (term ending Dec. 31, 2024).

“On behalf of The Cotton Board, I would like to thank these appointees for their willingness to share their time and expertise with the cotton industry,” said Sonja Chapman, cotton Importer and current Chairman of The Cotton Board. “These leaders in the industry collectively represent the interests of both cotton importers and cotton producers. We look forward to their service and the oversight and direction they will provide to the Cotton Research & Promotion Program,” she said.

If you are interested in serving on The Cotton Board, please visit to get more information on the appointment process, the time commitment of serving, the board standards, and the organizations responsible for nominations, or call the U.S. Department of Agriculture at 540-361-2726 for more information.


Contact: Stacey Gorman, Director of Communications, 901-233-9356,

About the Cotton Board: The Cotton Research & Promotion Act established the Cotton Board as a quasi-governmental, non-profit entity to serve as the administrator of the Cotton Research & Promotion Program. Funded by America’s cotton producers and importers through the cotton check-off, the Program’s research and promotion activities are conducted worldwide by Cotton Incorporated, the Cotton Board’s sole-source contracting organization, to increase the demand for and improve the market position of cotton. The Cotton Research & Promotion Program continues to work in all areas of cotton’s pipeline – from the field to the consumer – to keep cotton the number one fiber choice in the U.S. For more information about the Cotton Board and the innovative activities stemming from the Program, visit