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Mississippi grower named NCC chairman

Hood, a member of a family farming operation based in Gunnison, Miss., served as NCC’s vice chairman during 2001 and succeeds Memphis merchant James E. Echols, who will serve as chairman of the NCC’s Executive Committee this year.

A former president of the Stoneville, Miss.-based Delta Council, Hood has been highly active in the NCC, having served as a NCC vice chairman, treasurer and director and as chairman of its Farm Program and Economic Policy Committee. Leaders of the Delta Council helped organize the NCC during another cotton industry crisis in 64 years ago.

Cotton farmers face prospects of another year of prices below the cost of production while many of their best customers – U.S. textile mills – continue to face an onslaught of foreign imports during an economic recession.

Hood was president of the Mississippi Boll Weevil Management Corp. during its efforts to begin the state’s eradication program and now serves as its chairman of the board. He has served as president of the National Cotton Ginners Association (NCGA) and the Southern Cotton Ginners and Mississippi Cotton Ginners associations. He has chaired the American Farm Bureau Federation’s cotton committee.

A partner in Perthshire Farms with his brothers, Hood has been farming in the Mississippi Delta since 1962. He also is a partner in H.B. Hood & Sons Gin Company and is owner of a farm equipment dealership. He is a graduate of Mississippi State University and holds numerous awards, including the New York Cotton Exchange Cotton Marketer of the Year in 1992, the NCGA’s 1997 Ginner of the Year and Delta Council’s Outstanding Conservation Farmer in 2000.

Other NCC officers elected for 2002 include: Robert W. Greene, ginner, Courtland, Ala., vice chairman; Allen Helms, producer, Clarkedale, Ark.; secretary-treasurer; and Robert E. McLendon, producer, Leary, Ga., operations committee chairman.

Re-elected vice chairmen were: W. Duke Kimbrell, manufacturer, Gastonia, N.C.; and Fred Underwood, warehouseman, Wayne Martin, crusher, and Van A. May, cooperative official, all of Lubbock, Texas.

Re-elected as NCC staff officers were: Gaylon B. Booker, president and chief executive officer; and vice presidents Craig Brown, producer affairs; and Mark Lange, policy analysis and program coordination, all of Memphis, Tenn.; and John Maguire, vice president Washington operations, and Allen Terhaar, vice president international affairs, Washington.

An NCC search committee also announced its intention to nominate Lange to succeed Booker as the NCC’s president and chief executive officer and to elevate Maguire to the position of senior vice president for Washington operations.

The announcement was made during the general session of the Council’s annual meeting in Dallas. The changes would become effective at the February, 2003, NCC annual meeting in Tampa. Both the Council’s retiring Board and the newly elected Board endorsed the recommendations.

Booker, who was persuaded to change his retirement plans two years ago to become top staff officer of the U.S. cotton industry’s central organization, will be retained in a consulting capacity following the transition in staff leadership.

“The search committee unanimously agreed that the best candidates for filling these positions were already on staff and serving in responsible roles,” said NCC Chairman James Echols of Memphis.

“Mark Lange, in his previous position as director of economic services and in his current position as vice president for policy analysis and program coordinator, has served the industry well. He has demonstrated management and leadership capabilities commensurate with those needed to lead the Council in its fundamental role of consensus building.

“It is widely recognized that in John Maguire, the cotton industry has the most capable government relations professional in the agriculture industry. John has built an impressive record while shaping the industry’s strong Washington presence over the past 15 years and will continue to play a pivotal role in the industry’s policy development and implementation activities.”


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