May 25, 2007
Written by Cory Chandler
Lamesa Cotton Growers Inc. will announce that it is partnering with Plains Cotton
Growers in helping establish an Endowed Chair in Agricultural Competitiveness for
the Texas Tech University College of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources.
Texas Tech officials, along with Lamesa Cotton Growers, Plains Cotton Growers and other agribusiness partners, will announce the agreement at 12:20 p.m. Tuesday (May 29) at the Forrest Park Community Center (Houston Street and 10th Street) in Lamesa.
Plains Cotton Growers has committed $500,000 in matching funds to create the $1 million endowment with the goal of boosting the long-term value of South Plains production agriculture – including cotton – and helping farmers compete in what is increasingly a global marketplace.
"If our producers are going to be competitive in the future, we are going to need the best research to support their work," said Steve Verett, executive vice president of Plains Cotton Growers. "To do that, you have to have a way to attract the top-level researchers and academic talent."
The endowment will support the work of a soon-to-be-created faculty position in the Department of Agricultural and Applied Economics. Lamesa Cotton Growers also will provide the university access to its AG-CARES research complex – a farming research station run in partnership with the Texas Agricultural Experiment Station and Texas Agricultural Extension.
"We are excited to partner with Texas Tech and to be involved with a major university located so close to us," said Matt Farmer, president of Lamesa Cotton Growers. "AG-CARES is a working farm that provides a very accurate assessment of what is feasible in the field."
Through this partnership, Texas Tech will provide a wealth of information and recommendations to guide the marketing decisions of producers. Increasingly, producers must complement their crops expertise with savvy marketing against global competitors.
"What we will basically be doing is taking some of the unknowns out of the equation that those of us in agribusiness use to determine our profitability," said Kevin Pepper, secretary for Lamesa Cotton Growers.
Jerry Chapman, vice president of Lamesa Cotton Growers, also stressed the importance of communicating new technology in a usable form to producers.
"It is one thing to have new technology and research," Chapman said. "But ensuring that the technology is distributed to producers in a timely and usable form is important to us now and in the future."
College officials plan to raise the $1 million by Dec. 31, 2008.
"Our college is very fortunate to have organizations like Plains Cotton Growers and Lamesa Cotton Growers who will partner with us," said Scott Cooksey, director of development and external relations for the College of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources. "The interest and support of organizations like these really will allow us to do work that will position South Plains cotton growers to remain competitive in the global marketplace."
CONTACT: Scott Cooksey, director of development and external relations, College of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources, Texas Tech University, (806) 742-2802, or firstname.lastname@example.org.