It seems like it was just a few months ago that we were finishing up the 2013 Beltwide Cotton Conferences in San Antonio, but it’s already time to make preparations for the 2014 conference scheduled for Jan. 6-8 in New Orleans.
I’ve already received the usual reminders from the National Cotton Council about pre-registering for the conference, and, of course, making hotel reservations. Even though the 2014 BWCC will be a bit different this time around, here’s hoping that producers and other interested parties will find it useful to attend all or at least part of the conference in New Orleans.
As I have said many times through the years, it’s hard to imagine starting any new season without attending this conference. For an ag editor, this is where we gain so much information about all phases of cotton production. It gets us started in the new year with enough interviews to keep us going for several months.
Just as farmers have had to adapt to new market conditions, we in the media are having to adapt to the same situation with regard to this conference. Even though it will be scaled back a bit, we still look forward to attending the Consultants Conference on the first two days, and it will be especially memorable on the first night when Cotton Farming and Syngenta co-sponsor our Cotton Consultant of the Year reception at the New Orleans Marriott Hotel. And don’t miss out on the chance to attend the Technical Conferences on Tuesday and Wednesday (Jan. 7-8) where attendees will gain access to some valuable information on a wide array of topics.
The Beltwide Cotton Conference is more than a meeting where important information is transferred from the experts to consultants and farmers. It is a chance to renew friendships and catch up with old friends. Given the challenges the U.S. cotton industry faces today, I’d say that we need our friends now more than ever.
I attended my first Beltwide in 1992 at the Opryland Hotel in Nashville – a mere 21 years ago. What I remember most about that event was getting lost every day as I tried to walk from my room to the meeting rooms. That’s when I realized that my sense of direction wasn’t the greatest in the world.
Regardless of my inability to navigate the Opryland, I still have nothing but good memories of this meeting, and I’m glad that we’ll once again have the opportunity to participate in this industry tradition. I look forward to being in New Orleans, and I hope to see all of my ag friends there.