Cotton Incorporated was named the 2022 A.L. Vandergriff Cotton Pioneer Award winner at last night’s Southern Cotton Ginners Association Honors Banquet. For over 50 years, the team of cotton industry experts at Cotton Incorporated have worked tirelessly on behalf of U.S. cotton producers and importers to increase the demand for and profitability of cotton.
Cotton Incorporated’s win marks the first time the award has been given to an organization.
“Typically, this award is given to an individual, but the breadth of Cotton Incorporated’s work couldn’t be possible without the hundreds of dedicated employees that manage the vast number of research and promotion projects that have provided an advantage for the entire U.S. cotton industry,” said Tim Price, Executive Director of the Southern Cotton Ginners Association
Berrye Worsham, President & CEO of Cotton Incorporated, travelled to Memphis to accept the award on behalf of the organization. “We accept the Vandergriff Award on behalf of the U.S. cotton growers and importers, whose generosity and forward-thinking continue to make our work possible” said Worsham.
“I am thrilled for Cotton Incorporated to be recognized in this way,” said Cotton Board Chairman and Leary, GA cotton producer Jimmy Webb.
“From the ag research innovations that have changed the way we all farm and manufacturing advancements like wrinkle-resistant fabrics and water-resistant cotton, to the creation of the Seal of Cotton trademark and the iconic Fabric of Our LivesTM advertising campaign, Cotton Incorporated has shaped the modern cotton industry as we know it.”
Cotton Incorporated was created in 1970 after a group of visionary cotton producers joined forces and pooled their resources to combat a massive loss of market share for cotton to synthetic fibers like polyester. Their efforts led to the enactment of a federal statute, the Cotton Research and Promotion Act of 1966.
In a referendum, producers voted to institute a per-bale assessment system to fund the program. The Cotton Board collects those assessments and invests them with Cotton Incorporated, the organization that carries out the actual research and promotion activities.
During the last 50 years, Cotton Incorporated has worked relentlessly to educate consumers about the benefits of cotton and to research and improve cotton production practices to increase cotton producer profitability.