Texas Cotton Producers
Texas Cotton Producers was established by 8 regional cotton grower organizations, and was originally known as the Texas Association of Cotton Producer Organizations, or TACPO. Later, an additional organization was added to the list of members, bringing total membership to 9 certified cotton grower organizations. During the 1980’s the name was changed to Texas Cotton Producers, or TCP, to allow the organization to better align itself with the National Cotton Council’s American Cotton Producers.
Individual member organizations are supported by grower and allied industry funding from within the region of representation. Growers may make individual contributions to organizations, but the most common funding comes through grower fees based upon an established, region-wide assessment collected at participating cotton gins.
Only certified cotton grower organizations are currently members of TCP. A certified cotton grower organization is one that is recognized by the US Department of Agriculture as a bona fide representative of cotton growers in a particular region. These organizations are allowed to participate in statewide elections for members and alternates to represent Texas growers on the Cotton Board and the Board of Directors of Cotton Incorporated. TCP members are also allowed participation in the selection of grower representatives to the National Cotton Council of America (NCC), a national organization representing the US cotton industry. Their participation in the NCC helps direct the formulation and implementation of policy that affects US cotton nationally and internationally.
TCP has been active in addressing a number of national and statewide grower issues, including the national farm bill, environmental legislation and regulation, regulations implemented by the National Resource Conservation Service (NCRS), the USDA’s Agricultural Marking Service (AMS) and many other national issues that are of interest and concern to Texas cotton growers.
On the state level, the organization has worked on a number of issues, including the maintaining of sales tax exemptions on agricultural use items, property rights issues, property taxes and agricultural use tax valuations, and the support of important research and extension programs that promote the interests of Texas cotton growers.
The organization was instrumental in the design and implementation of the statewide Integrated Pest Management Program and was responsible for formation of the Texas Pest Management Association to oversee the grower interests of the program. TCP members also supported laws to enforce cotton stalk destruction in cotton regions of the state, and played a pivotal role in the design and implementation of the Texas Boll Weevil Eradication Program, and creation of the Texas Boll Weevil Eradication Foundation.
TCP members also help to guide grower research and promotion efforts supported through funding from Cotton Incorporated’s Texas State Support Program. The members work to coordinate and oversee cotton research projects that ensure the most efficient use of grower dollars. TCP strives to direct targeted funding to regional and statewide projects that address grower needs through applied research and extension efforts. Just over $1.0 mil has been appropriated through the Texas State Support Program for research and promotion programs during fiscal 2016.
According to Cooperative Extension, Texas leads the U.S. in cotton production and it is the leading cash crop, ranking only behind the beef and nursery industries in total cash receipts. Texas annually produces about 25% of the entire U.S. crop and plants over 6 million acres. That’s over 9,000 square miles of cotton fields!
It is no small wonder that the production of cotton contributes significantly to the economy of the state. In addition to the production of cotton by growers, the industry supports the ginning, warehousing, transportation, selling and processing of cotton and cotton products within Texas. Each initial dollar invested in the cotton industry generates many more additional dollars through to the finished processing and final sale of the end product.