Farm Director, KC Sheperd, is visiting with Mark Nichols, a cotton grower from Altus, Oklahoma, about the National Cotton Council’s annual meeting, Oklahoma’s cotton industry, and the upcoming Denim Ball to be held this April in Oklahoma City.
Nichols was recently selected to serve as ACP (American Cotton Producers) Producer Chairman for Oklahoma.
Regarding the National Cotton Council’s annual meeting, which was held earlier this month in Dallas, Nichols began by explaining that there are seven segments of the National Cotton Council, and every segment of the cotton industry is represented, from producers to ginners and more.
“Any action that moves forward within the National Cotton Council has to get buy-ins from all the different segments, so that is one of the reasons the National Cotton Council is so effected in Washington working on legislation for the industry is, there is buy-in from all the different segments, so each of the segments has meetings.”
The producer segment, Nichols said, is currently working on what the cotton industry would like to see in the 2023 Farm Bill.
This year was a tough year for Kansas, Oklahoma, and Texas because of the drought, Nichols said, as those three states produce fifty percent of the cotton grown in the county.
“There was legislation passed right at the end of the year to have another disaster program, ERP is what they are calling it now, and they expect to roll that program out sometime this spring,” Nichols said.
Serving on several different boards, Nichols’ involvement allows him to spread the word about what Oklahoma cotton producers are battling.
“My grandfather instilled in me that as somebody who is involved in agriculture, you take from the land, and in taking from the land, you learn to give back,” Nichols said.
The biggest obstacles for this year’s cotton crop, Nichols said, will be moisture and rising input costs. While the prices for cotton have become higher over the years, Nichols said that has been matched by the prices of inputs and labor.
The 2023 Denim Ball will be coming up on April 14-15 at the Skirvin Hotel in Oklahoma City.
“When we say ‘Denim Ball,’ it is truly denim,” Nichols said. “We encourage everybody to wear denim. You don’t have to dress up. Our slogan really is, ‘if you wear cotton, you are invited.’”
On Friday night, Nichols said they will be having a “casino night” at the Skirvin Hotel. On Saturday night, he added, the Denim Ball will be held at the Skirvin Hotel, featuring an auction and a meal.
At the Denim Ball, Nichols said a few individuals will also be inducted into the Oklahoma Cotton Hall of Fame.
For more information about the 2023 Denim Ball, click here.
If you are interested in sponsorship opportunities at this year’s Denim Ball, click here.