USDA Announces Cotton Board Appointments

November 07, 2023

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) today announced the appointment of 12 members, 12 alternate members, and two advisors to serve on the Cotton Board. All appointees will serve three-year terms from Jan. 1, 2023, through Dec. 31, 2026.

Newly appointed alternate members:
Doug Cardoza, Tipton, California
Kim K. LeQuire, Princeton, North Carolina
Miranda Barrett, Sinton, Texas
Kelly Gupta, Houston, Texas
Amanda Jean Wils, Brookfield, Wisconsin

Reappointed members:
Pace Hindsley, Marvell, Arkansas
Matthew A. Cauzza, Buttonwillow, California
William B. Guthrie, St. Joseph, Louisiana
Thomas Hayes, Clarksdale, Mississippi
S. Kent Smith, Rocky Mount, North Carolina
Sigi Valverde, Shallowater, Texas
Michael Popp, El Campo, Texas
Chuck Ward, Hickory, North Carolina
D. Scott Johnson, San Francisco, California
Akiko Inui, New York, New York
Laurie A. Sutandar, Medina, Ohio
Kirk Smithwick, Bremen, Alabama

Reappointed alternate members:
Rafe A. Banks, West Memphis, Arkansas
Rebecca Thom, Lake Providence, Louisiana
Patrick L. Johnson, Jr., Tunica, Mississippi
Jon Jones, Floydada, Texas
James W. McKinnon, Rye, New York
Svitlana Linska, Plainfield, Illinois
Dhruv Agarwal, Greensboro, North Carolina

Reappointed advisor:
Willie A. Scott, Collins, Georgia

Newly appointed advisor:
Damian Murrieta, Stanfield, Arizona

In addition, USDA issued the following appointments to fill board vacancies.

Douglas Brenner, Richardson, Texas, importer alternate member position #1 with a term that expires in 2025; Kenneth G. Shelton, Reynoldsburg, Ohio, importer alternate member position #2, with a term ending Dec. 31, 2025; and Nicholas A. Pence, Severna Park, Maryland, importer alternate member position #9, with a term ending Dec. 31, 2024.

The Cotton Research and Promotion Act of 1966 authorized a national cotton research and promotion program that is both industry-operated and funded. More information is available on the Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) Cotton Board webpage.

AMS policy is that diversity of the boards, councils and committees it oversees should reflect the diversity of their industries in terms of the experience of members, methods of production and distribution, marketing strategies, and other distinguishing factors, including but not limited to individuals from historically underserved communities, that will bring different perspectives and ideas to the table. Throughout the full nomination process, AMS conducts extensive outreach, paying particular attention to reaching underserved communities, and consider the diversity of the population served and the knowledge, skills, and abilities of the members to serve a diverse population.

Since 1966, Congress has authorized the development of industry-funded research and promotion boards to provide a framework for agricultural industries to pool their resources and combine efforts to develop new markets, strengthen existing markets and conduct important research and promotion activities. AMS provides oversight of 22 boards, paid for by industry assessments, which helps ensure fiscal accountability and program integrity.

USDA is an equal opportunity provider, employer, and lender