Cotton Incorporated announced today the 2015 class of the Cotton Research and Promotion Hall of Fame. The program, now in its second year, recognizes U.S. cotton industry leaders that have made significant contributions to the Program or to the cotton industry in general. The honorees will be formally inducted into the Cotton Research and Promotion Program Hall of Fame at the joint Cotton Incorporated/Cotton Board annual meeting in December.
The five honorees for the 2015 Cotton Research and Promotion Hall of fame include: Dr. Fred Bourland (Arkansas); David Burns (North Carolina); Jim Hansen (California); Dr. Preston Sasser (North Carolina); and Hugh Summerville (Alabama).
The Cotton Research and Promotion Program was established in 1966 to expand the demand for upland cotton and to increase profitability for both cotton growers and importers of cotton products.
“The cotton industry as we know it today was shaped by innovative thinking and strong leadership,” says Berrye Worsham, President and CEO of Cotton Incorporated. “The 2015 Hall of Fame inductees embody these attributes and their contributions have had a lasting impact on the industry.”
The 2015 honorees of the Cotton Research and Promotion Program Hall of Fame were chosen from nominations made by Certified Producer and Importer Organizations and voted upon by the Chairman’s Committee of the Cotton Incorporated Board of Directors.
- Dr. Fred Bourland is acknowledged for his extensive contributions to U.S. cotton plant breeding. In a career spanning more than 40 years, Bourland developed valuable plant measurements and techniques that aided the release of more than 80 cotton lines (germplasm and cultivars) for the Mid-South region.
- David Burns served as Cotton Board Chairman during the integration of importers to the Board. In this role, Burns facilitated the easy assimilation of the importer constituency to the Program, and kept growers and importers focused on common goals.
- Jim Hansen has provided outstanding leadership to the Cotton Research and Promotion Program in a variety of roles. He is the only person to serve as both Chairman of the Cotton Incorporated Board of Directors, and Chairman of the Cotton Board. Mr. Hansen also has served as Chairman of Supima and is a long-time board member of California Cotton Growers and Ginners Association.
- Dr. Preston E. Sasser is widely regarded as one of the cotton industry’s leading research experts. During his tenure as Senior Vice President and Managing Director of Cotton Incorporated’s Research Division, Dr. Sasser led research that addressed health issues in cotton textile processing, and oversaw the development and implementation of cotton-testing technology.
- Hugh Summerville elevated the participation of the Board of Directors during his time as Cotton Incorporated Chairman, and fostered the strong relationship between the Cotton Board and Cotton Incorporated that still exists today. He was also a champion of the Cotton Incorporated World Headquarters and its role as an incubator for cotton innovation.
About Cotton Incorporated
Cotton Incorporated, funded by U.S. cotton producers and importers of cotton and cotton textile products, conducts worldwide research and promotion activities to increase the demand for and profitability of cotton.