Dec. 3, 2021
Cotton U 2021

At the Amarillo Farm & Ranch Show

Amarillo Civic Center, 3rd and Buchanan, Amarillo, TX 79101

2020 Cotton U Expert Insight

View the Dec. 3 Cotton U digital event program

Facilitated by:


2019 Cotton U Presentations

• Craig Brown presented the keynote address, "Benchmarking Sustainability: The U.S. Cotton Trust Protocol." Download the presentation below. Read more here.

Craig Brown

Craig Brown is vice president, Producer Affairs, for the National Cotton Council, the industrywide organization headquartered in Memphis, Tennessee. Brown has responsibility for staffing the American Cotton Producers.

He assumed his duties at the Council in March 1988, after nearly 13 years in the Commodity Department, the last five as director, with the Louisiana Farm Bureau Federation, where he worked with the rice and cotton commodities. He developed an extensive background and experience in both rice and cotton.

Brown deals mainly with national legislative and regulatory matters that pertain to Council producer members and serves as liaison to other industry segments. 

A native of Jennings, Louisiana, where his family was involved in rice, soybean and cattle farming operations, Brown received his Bachelor of Science degree in agricultural business from McNeese State University in 1973, and a Master of Science degree in agricultural economics from Louisiana State University in 1975.

Craig and his wife, Diane, have two children—Emily and Michael—and two grandchildren, Caroline and Harry.

Seth Byrd

Dr. Seth Byrd, Oklahoma State University Extension cotton specialist, presented "Managing Cotton in a Short Season Environment." Download the presentation below.

Seth Byrd is a North Carolina native who served as the Extension Cotton Specialist for Texas A&M AgriLife Extension prior to taking the State Extension Cotton Specialist position with Oklahoma State University in the spring of 2018.

Jeff Miller

Jeff Miller, Fore Front Agronomy, presented "2 Goals, 1 Drop" about cooperative research from Texas Alliance for Water Conservation into soil health practices for cotton growers, with an emphasis on practical water savings and soil health. See his presentation below.

Miller was born and raised in Plainview, Texas, on a limited irrigation cotton and grain farm. He went to Texas Tech University and received a Bachelor of Science in integrated pest management and a Master of Science in crop physiology. Over the past 20 years, Miller has held roles in product development, agronomy, sales and leadership with Monsanto and Pioneer. Miller started ForeFront Agronomy in 2017 with the purpose of helping farm profitability by collecting and interpreting data to conserve our most precious resource, water, and put things back in balance with regard to nutrients and soil biology. He is married with four beautiful children. 


High Plains Journal Cotton U event debuts at the Amarillo Farm and Ranch Show

More than 100 cotton farmers from New Mexico, Oklahoma, Colorado, Texas, Kansas and even Mexico gathered at the inaugural Cotton U event, sponsored by High Plains Journal and the Amarillo Farm and Ranch Show on Dec. 5, in Amarillo, Texas.

Cotton U was a half-day event complete with farmer panels, cotton experts and opportunities to earn continuing education unit credits.

The event began with a cotton farmer panel, which included Tanner Olson of Plainview, Texas; Austin White of Frederick, Oklahoma; and Wes Spurlock of Stratford, Texas. After answering questions from HPJ Associate Editor Jennifer M. Latzke, the panel fielded questions from attendees in the crowd. The queries related to how they manage their cotton crops relative to their location and producer goals.

Seth Byrd, Oklahoma State University cotton Extension specialist, gave a presentation about managing cotton in short season environments. (Journal photo by Lacey Newlin.)

Next Seth Byrd, Oklahoma State University cotton Extension specialist, gave a presentation about managing cotton in short-season environments. He explained how producers should manage for earliness in a climate like the Southern Plains. He says to meet crop demands for fertility, be timely, be careful of variety selection, control pests and use harvest aids.

Jeff Miller, with ForeFront Agronomy spoke about irrigation for profitability and soil health. (Journal photo by Lacey Newlin.)

Jeff Miller, with ForeFront Agronomy, spoke about irrigation for profitability and soil health. He focused his presentation on four main principles for soil health including: minimizing disturbances, maximizing soil cover, maximizing diversity and maximizing the presence of living roots.

Craig Brown, vice president of producer affairs at the National Cotton Council of America, gave the keynote speech on the U.S. Cotton Trust Protocol. (Journal photo by Lacey Newlin.)

After lunch Craig Brown, vice president of producer affairs at the National Cotton Council of America, gave the keynote speech. The NCC has initiated a pilot program called the U.S. Cotton Trust Protocol, which is designed to confirm and increase awareness of the fact that U.S. cotton producers are farming responsibly and striving for continuous improvement. Brown explained the program and how it will affect cotton growers and their products.

Throughout the event, sustainability within the cotton industry was a major theme throughout each presentation, and many of the questions asked of the panel and presenters dealt with this buzzword. Everyone defines sustainability differently, but one of the members of the farmer panel summed it up best when he said, “If you don’t make money, you’re not going to be here next year.”

Although this was the first Cotton U event held, HPJ has a slate of other educational events including: Soil Health U, Cattle U, Sorghum U, Wheat U and Alfalfa U. To learn more about these events, visit

Lacey Newlin can be reached at 580-748-1892 or

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