The Board of Directors of Cotton Incorporated unanimously elected Ted Sheely as its chairman for the 2008-2009 term, succeeding outgoing chairman Louie Perry. Mr. Sheely brings more than 40 years of expertise in the cotton industry to the Cotton Incorporated Board, which is the research and marketing company for U.S. cotton growers and importers of cotton and cotton textile products.
Cotton Incorporated President and Chief Executive Officer J. Berrye Worhsam said this of Sheely’s appointment, “All of us at Cotton Incorporated are delighted by Ted’s appointment. His experience and passion for cotton will serve him well over his two-year term.”
Ted Sheely grew up near Phoenix, Arizona on a cotton farm that is still in the family today. In the late 1960s Sheely grew his first cotton crop as part of a Future Farmers of America project. After several years of learning the business through hands-on experience in California’s San Joaquin Valley, Sheely branched out on his own with a modest 900-acre cotton operation in 1987. Currently, he farms 8,700 total acres, half of which is cotton (Upland and Pima), as well as tomatoes, wheat, pistachios, garlic, grapes, safflower, barley and triticale.
Mr. Sheely attended the University of Arizona and graduated with a Bachelor of Science degree in 1974. He participated in the California Agricultural Leadership Program Class XIII from 1980-1982, and is a leading figure in the USDA/NASA Ag 20/20 Program, studying the integration of remote sensing-based tools in precision agricultural management systems to increase production, efficiency and to improve job quality.
Along with his duties as the Chairman of the Cotton Incorporated Board of Directors, Mr. Sheely is active in a variety of organizations in the cotton and agricultural industries including: Director in Westland’s Water District, which provides surface irrigation water to Central California growers in the San Joaquin Valley; the President of Azcal Management Company, which provides management and custom farming services; and Director, Cotton Council International and Director, Truth about Trade & Technology.
Throughout his 40-plus-years career, Sheely’s service to the agricultural community has garnered him numerous recognitions including the Innovative Water Conservation Award from the California Water Policy Conference in 1992; the 1999 High Cotton Award from the Cotton Foundation Farm and Farm Press; the Kings County Agriculturalist of the Year in 2003 and the University of Arizona 2006 Lifetime Achievement Award.
With a two-year term ahead of him as Cotton Incorporated Chairman of the Board, Sheely remarks, “You have got to be involved in the organizations that represent your interests --- Cotton Incorporated invests millions of dollars each year on research and promotion --- with half my acreage in cotton (4,500), research and promotion are very important to me”.
Cotton Incorporated, funded by U.S. growers of upland cotton and importers of cotton and cotton textile products, is the research and marketing company representing upland cotton. The Program is designed and operated to improve the demand for and profitability of cotton.