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TOCMC bags Organic Farmer of the Year award
27
Jul '16
Farmers of the Texas Organic Cotton Marketing Cooperative (TOCMC) have been awarded the "Organic Farmer of the Year" Leadership Award from the Organic Trade Association (OTA) in recognition of their relentless work of producing organic cotton in the Texas High plains, making it the largest organic cotton-growing region in the United States.

Since they united under the TOCMC banner in 1993, the farmers have quadrupled the amount of organic cotton under production in Texas from just about 5,000 acres to 20,000 acres in 2015, and educated countless companies in the US and around the world about the value of growing cotton crops organically.

"The farmers of the Texas Organic Cotton Marketing Cooperative represent the best characteristics of organic farmers—extraordinary vision, commitment to a cleaner agriculture, and a strong collective spirit," said OTA CEO and Executive Director Laura Batcha.

"OTA is thrilled to be recognizing these Texas organic cotton farmers for their significant contributions to the domestic organic cotton industry and to organic cotton production," she said.

In 1993, Texas farmers formed the cooperative when they realized they were producing more organic cotton than the market could absorb. Banding together, they began efforts to develop markets and to avoid being at the mercy of cotton brokers and merchants.

The cooperative began with 30 farm families producing 1,400 organic bales and 4,900 transitional bales from about 5,000 acres in 1993. In 2015, its 50 farm family members harvested 14,000 organic bales and 1,200 transitional bales on over 20,000 acres. They produce 80 to 90 % of the organic cotton grown in the United States.

Today, TOCMC represents the only commercial growers of long staple certified organic cotton in the United States.

Jimmy Wedel, President of TOCMC, will be one of the farmers accepting the leadership award at OTA's Annual Awards Celebration ceremony on September 21 in Baltimore. (SH)

Fibre2Fashion News Desk – India

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