The National Cotton Council actively communicated the importance of maintaining the 2008 farm law’s integrity during the legislation’s implementation process. The NCC’s stance on implementation was reiterated in releases, radio news lines, television segments, columns and interviews with both print and broadcast journalists. That effort was reinforced via the NCC’s continued participation in Farm Policy Facts.org (http://www.farmpolicyfacts.org), a non-profit coalition which issues documents to educate Americans, particularly Congress, about agriculture’s contributions to the nation.
Special articles were placed in the farm trade press on WTO issues affecting the
The NCC, along with other commodity organizations, continued to support America’s Heartland, a public television program that highlights the diversity and success of American agriculture.
The NCC, along with other commodity organizations, continued to support America’s Heartland, a public television program that highlights the diversity and success of American agriculture. Now completing its fifth season, the program is in 80% of the nation’s public television markets. Along with a complete listing of stations and programming schedules, www.americasheartland.com also now features an educational section with teaching tools and discussion guides. That material complements the segments of America’s Heartland, which now is partnering with the national Ag in the Classroom program.
In other public attitudes activity, the NCC:
- launched a proactive news media strategy in anticipation of the latest decision in the Brazil-U.S. cotton dispute – one that resulted in a successful non-story event.
- stayed involved in the Keystone Initiative’s Field to Market program to define sustainability and take the message to consumers, as well as develop a grower tool to assist producers in determining the sustainability of their farms.
- mobilized during the wet weather crisis in the Mid-South by distributing radio newslines and an AgDay television segment and coordinating a trade press article as part of an overall communications effort to raise awareness among lawmakers of the harvest season catastrophe; and coordinated a conference call media briefing following the introduction of emergency disaster assistance legislation.
The NCC carried out an extensive communications effort to raise lawmakers’ awareness of the Mid-South harvest season catastrophe and of the need for emergency disaster assistance legislation.
Progress on the farm bill development and the NCC’s efforts to explain the new law’s provisions were reported through news releases, the AgDay Cotton’s Week television segment, radio news lines and Cotton’s Week. An initiative also was launched, including garnering members’ email addresses, to begin distributing Cotton’s Week electronically only beginning with the first issue of 2010.
A weed resistance management video was produced and is being offered in conjunction with the NCC’s Weed Resistance Learning Module on the NCC’s website at http://www.cotton.org/tech/pest/index.cfm.
Assistance was provided to post the video “Bale Packaging: Eliminating Broken Bale Ties” in a streaming format from a link on the NCC Technical Service’s Bale Packaging page.
Regular monthly and multiple special columns and articles under various NCC officers’ bylines were generated and placed in trade press publications. The articles helped increase awareness among industry members, lawmakers and other key publics on various legislative/regulatory matters and educational activities. That included an initiative to spawn multiple trade press articles focusing on promoting the 2010 Beltwide Cotton Conferences.
Promotion and public relations support was given to Cotton Council International (CCI), The Cotton Foundation and to various cotton interest organizations such as the American Cotton Producers, the National Cotton Ginners Association (NCGA) and others. For example, CCI support included work on its annual directory, buyers’ guide, calendar, quarterly newsletters, CCI-FAX, as well as various audiovisual reports.
Audiovisual projects were conducted for both the NCC and other industry organizations. Among those were the 2010 NCC staff report and work with the NCGA, the Beltwide Cotton Conferences, the pink bollworm and boll weevil eradication programs and others to develop “You-Tube-like” streaming media messages to build attendance at meetings and to educate the public and Congressional staffers.