Virginia State Cotton Support Committee Operations
Purpose and Objectives
The Virginia State Support Committee (VSSC) acts as an arm of the Agricultural Research Department of Cotton Incorporated. Through the State Support Program, 7.5% of producer generated assessments (based on a five-year moving average) is set aside for allocation among the states. The funds are to study and solve problems, identified by a State Support Committee in each state, that are of importance to local producers or that have Beltwide importance for all producers.
The VSSC shall be responsible for assigning these funds on an annual basis to research and promotion proposals that are deemed to meet acceptable criteria as determined by Cotton Incorporated.
The VSSC shall consist of voting and non-voting members.
• Voting members – Voting members shall consist of:
- The members representing the eight distinct cotton producing areas as defined in the Code of Virginia nominated by the existing committee, and then submitted for final approval at the annual Virginia cotton producers’ meeting;
- Virginia producer(s) who serve(s) on the Cotton Incorporated Board of Directors and the national Cotton Board and their alternates;
- The president of the Virginia Cotton Growers Association;
- The chairman of the Virginia Farm Bureau Federation Cotton Advisory Committee; and,
- A representative of the Virginia cotton ginning industry.
Non-voting members will serve in an advisory capacity to the VSSC and shall consist of the following:
- The Tidewater Agricultural Research and Extension Center Director;
- The Virginia Cooperative Extension Director (or his/her agent);
- The state Cotton Specialist for Virginia;
- A representative of the Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services;
- A staff member of the Cotton Board, as designated by the same; and,
- A staff member of Cotton Incorporated, as designated by the same.
As long as voting and non-voting members meet the requirements in the preceding section dealing with Committee Structure, there shall be no term limits for members of the VSSC. However, for voting members, they shall serve a minimum of one year with this one year term beginning at the annual meeting in which project proposals are presented and voted on by the VSSC.
At the outset of each annual meeting to review funding proposals, the voting members of the VSSC shall do the following:
• Elect a Chairman – the Chairman shall be a voting member of the VSSC and will represent the same as needed throughout the year until such time that the subsequent annual meeting to review proposals is convened. The Chairmanship is not subject to term limits. The Chairman will conduct all meetings of the VSSC during his/her term. The Chairman will also be entrusted with the power to act as an agent, to the best of his /her ability, for the VSSC during his/her term and to make decisions on behalf of the same in regard to issues with funded projects and any other pertinent matters that may arise during the course of the year; this will include attending meetings as a representative of the VSSC as needed, to the best of his/her ability.
• Elect a Vice-Chairman – The Vice-Chairman shall fulfill the obligations and responsibilities of the Chairman in his/her absence.
• Appoint a Secretary – The secretary need not be a voting member of the VSSC and will serve the same term as the Chairman, term limits will not apply to position of Secretary. The secretary shall keep written records of all VSSC meetings that take place during his/her term and shall distribute copies of these minutes to all voting and non-voting members of the VSSC in a timely fashion and perform any other duties as expected in the fulfilling the role of secretary.
The VSSC shall meet no less than annually at a time and place to be determined by the Chairman working in concert with Cotton Incorporated Agricultural Research staff. Notices for the meeting shall be mailed to all members of the VSSC by the secretary no later than one month prior to the meeting. At least one meeting annually shall be devoted primarily to reviewing and acting upon funding proposals. If he/she deems necessary, the Chairman may call other meetings of the VSSC during the year. Meetings shall be open to other individuals with an interest in the Virginia cotton industry, or upon invitation from the Chairman; any such participants shall act only as observers but shall provide input at the request of VSSC voting members. The VSSC voting members may enter into executive session only to discuss proposals prior to voting at the request of the Chairman or a simple majority of those voting members present.
A quorum shall consist of five (5) voting members. Any and all votes shall be decided by a simple majority.
Duties and Responsibilities
Voting members of the VSSC will be responsible for reviewing proposals and voting on funding for these projects, using available funding. The VSSC is not required to allocate all of its available funding in any given year. Any leftover funds can be carried over to subsequent year. In deciding allocations for funding of project proposals, the VSSC shall strive to fund meaningful research projects that will aid Virginia’s cotton industry. The VSSC may approve project proposals that include other states as cooperators or projects that are regional in nature and will provide research outcomes with benefit for the Virginia cotton production sector.
Procedure for submitting proposals
Each project submitted to the VSSC should include a minimum of:
• Justification / Significance of the Proposed Research
• Review of related research
• A basic plan of work for the research, and
• Budget estimates
Activities Eligible for Funding
The primary focus of programs sponsored by the VSSC should be to improve grower profitability and efficiency through agricultural research. Program funds should not be used for the purchase of assets unless there is not other way to accomplish the given research project. Any assets purchased under a project becomes the property of the Cotton Board.