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January 14th, 2014

(MEMPHIS, TN) - Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack today announced the appointment of 17 members and 17 alternates to The Cotton Board. The Cotton Board is appointed by the Secretary to oversee the Cotton Research & Promotion Program. All appointees will serve 3-year terms beginning Jan. 1, 2014, and ending Dec. 31, 2016.   

The Cotton Board Chairman, Gary Ross, an importer from Yardley, Pennsylvania was pleased with Secretary Vilsack’s appointments saying, “The re-appointed Members and Alternates bring experience and exceptional knowledge of the cotton industry to The Cotton Board. I also look forward to working with the new appointees, who will surely bring a fresh perspective to our Board’s activities. “

The re-appointed members are: Walter L. Corcoran of Eufaula, Ala.; David J. DeFelix of Campbellton, Fla.; James L. Webb of Leary, Ga.; Suzanne R. Drouhard from Danville, Kan.; and Dwight W. Menefee from Lake Arthur, N.M.   Also reappointed are Arthur W. James, Jr. of Sumter, S.C.; Willie L. German, Jr. of Somerville, Tenn.; Madison Farmer of Lamesa, Texas; Lance V. Everett of Stony Creek, Va.; Gary E. Ross from Yardley, Pa.; Michael D. Wallace from Bentonville, Ark.; Flora J. Wong from Mercer Island, Wash.; Peter M. McGrath from Dallas, Texas; Arlene M. Eastwood from Neptune, N.J.; and A. Mark Neuman from Champaign, Ill.

The re-appointed alternate members are: Timothy J. Mullek of Robertsdale, Ala.; Alan J. Edwards of Jay, Fla.; Thomas L. Lahey of Moscow, Kan.; Jackie L. Joy of Antesia, N.M.; and Clint D. Abernathy of Altus, Okla.  Francis G. Darby from Chester, S.C.; Debra R. Barrett from Edroy, Texas; Marvin L. Everett from Capron, Va.; Helga L. Ying from Piedmont, Calif.; Tara E. Hoffmann from New York, N.Y.; and, Kristine T. Arabia from Hudson, Ohio have also been reappointed as alternates.

New to the board are members Kim M. Mayberry-Holifield of Kennett, Mo. and Jess M. Nichols of Altus, Okla.; and alternates Benjamin R. Grimsley of Weston, Ga.; John H. Hunter of Essex, Mo.; Catherine S. Via, Bells, Tenn.; Sarah M. Gilligan of San Francisco, Calif.; Joe D. Long of Hollywood, Fla.; and, James C. Self III, of Greenwood, S.C.

Secretary Vilsack also selected importer Stefanie M. Rotta of Elkins Park, Pa. as an alternate member whose term expires on Dec. 31, 2014.

The Cotton Research and Promotion Program is designed to advance the position of cotton in the marketplace.  It is funded by assessments on all domestically produced cotton and imports of foreign-produced cotton and cotton-containing products, and is authorized by the Cotton Research and Promotion Act of 1966.  USDA's Agricultural Marketing Service oversees operations of the Board.



Contact: Brad Robb, VP of Communications  or Stacey Gorman, Communications Manager (901) 683-2500

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


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