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reference to testimony as to the position of the Georgia Farm Bureau Federation on cotton check off, I would like to explain the events involved.
State farm bureaus, according to our working agreement, have the right to disagree with the American Farm Bureau Federation on policy not to the best interest of the State. The Georgia Farm Bureau Federation does not agree with the American Farm Bureau on policy concerning cotton and especially disagrees with reference to allowing farmers a checkoff program to promote cotton.
The Georgia Farm Bureau Federation Board met January 27 and directed that the American Farm Bureau be notified that the Georgia Farm Bureau was in opposition to the American Farm Bureau Federation's position on cotton. The legislative director was directed to check the minutes of the board meeting and notify the American Farm Bureau. These instructions were passed on to personnel in the office as he was at that time working with the State legislature. Due to a breakdown in communications in our office this official notice was not sent to the American Farm Bureau by the date of the hearing. I was of the opinion and so stated that this official notice had been mailed but upon checking I found that these instructions had not been carried out.
Mr. Shuman was correct when he stated to the committee that according to the records of the American Farm Bureau Federation, they had received no notice from Georgia indicating that Georgia was in disagreement with the American Farm Bureau policy.
Let me apologize to you and the committee for the mistake and I would appreciate it very much if you would insert this letter in the record so that this matter can be corrected. With warmest personal regards, I am, Sincerely,
WILLIAM L. LANIER, President.
JOHNSON COTTON Co.,
Dunn, N.O., February 11, 1966. Re $1 per bale Cotton Enabling Act. Hon. HAROLD D. COOLEY, Member of Congress, Washington, D.C.
DEAR MR. COOLEY: Our attention has been called to three views that the Farm Bureau is finding objectionable in the Cotton Enabling Act before your Agriculture Committee. It is our understanding that Mr. B. C. Mangum has registered the following three complaints.
1. “One man, one vote.” We find nothing objectionable regarding one man, one vote.
2. “Voting penalty of producers having to catch up back dues, if any, to vote.” We see no reason why cotton producers should have their voting privileges penalized for this. Therefore, we are in agreement with the Farm Bureau on this.
3. “Producers privilege of signing up not to participate.” This appears to be very unfavorable and would actually gut the bill so far as being effective or appropriate. Your present plan of refunds if requested by the producers is very favorable. This is more along the lines of the tobacco association which works so well.
These are the views unanimously conveyed by the Carolinas Ginners Association at our recent directors' meeting. These also convey the thoughts of ourselves and our customers. We believe you want to do what is right so long as it is the producers' desires. We believe this Enabling Act will eventually pass and it will give much needed new life and blood to our cherished cotton industry. With best regards, we are, Very truly yours,
CAROLINAS GINNERS ASSOCIATION,
ALSEY B. JOHNSON, President. The CHAIRMAN. That is fine. I appreciate that. Since this probably will be the end of the hearings today, I would like to ask general permission for other witnesses to file prepared statements.
Without objection, I assume that suggestion is approved.
I would like the record to show that, because I know that there probably will be some other witnesses who will want to come here and
who will want us to have additional hearings. Since I think the subject has been fairly well covered, I want to get into executive session sometime early next week. I don't think we will attempt it tomorrow because many of the people are going to be out of town.
So, without objection, let the record show that I have obtained permission for other statements to be filed.
I have about four more witnesses here. Iwo of them are residents of Washington, D.C.; two of them are from California. I want to call for a very brief statement Mr. Clarence Salyer, and with you, Mr. Russell Giffin, of Fresno. Come right around here and sit at the desk and we will try to expedite this.
You are Mr. Clarence Salyer and you live in Corcoran, Calif. You are a cottongrower, aren't you?
STATEMENT OF CLARENCE SALYER, CORCORAN, CALIF.
Mr. SALYER. Yes; I am, Mr. Chairman.
The CHAIRMAN. How many bales of cotton do you produce annually?
Mr. SALYER. We vary somewhat, probably 20,000 to 25,000 bales a year.
The CHAIRMAN. 20,000 to 25,000 bales?
The CHAIRMAN. Are you familiar with the provisions of this bill that we have under consideration?
Mr. SALYER. I think so; yes, sir.
The CHAIRMAN. You know the purposes of the bill is to promote cotton and to provide for cotton research?
Mr. SALYER. Yes, sir; I do.
The CHAIRMAN. And having familiarized yourself with the bill and being a cotton farmer, I will ask you to state to the committee whether or not you approve the bill that is now before the committee.
Mr. SALYER. Yes, sir; I approve the bill very strongly. I might elaborate a little bit on it, if you don't mind, Mr. Chairman.
The CHAIRMAN. Yes, sir.
Mr. SALYER. We have got very high priced land and high priced water, and particularly high priced taxes out there. Cotton is a major crop.' I mean it is the greatest money crop we have in the State. From year to year we have been cutting back, cut back, and there is so much cotton going into the Government loan that I am very much concerned about it. In fact, I am scared if we should lose our cotton production in California, I think we would be ruined. I think that this bill should be passed. I don't think it should be a referendum myself. Frankly, I think you should pass the bill.
I would recommend you pass the bill, and I would also recommend that you not have the withdrawal clause in it.
I don't believe in California you will have any trouble as far as cooperating. I think the Farm Bureau is wrong. They are generally wrong in everything you want to do, and I would like to recommend very strongly that you pass the bill.
The CHAIRMAN. Thank you very much, sir.
Now, we have another small farmer from California, Mr. Russell Giffin of Fresno.
You are a cotton farmer, aren't you, Mr. Giffin?
STATEMENT OF RUSSELL GIFFIN, FRESNO, CALIF. Mr. GIFFIN. Yes, Mr. Chairman.
The CHAIRMAN. How many bales of cotton do you produce annually?
Mr. GIFFIN. Well, from 60,000 to 80,000 bales a year.
The CHAIRMAN. You have familiarized yourself with the provisions of this bill, haven't you?
Mr. GIFFIN. Generally; yes.
Mr. GIFFIN. I would like to say, if you will excuse me, Mr. Chairman, I would like to say that I was on the committee that was asked by the council to study the Cotton Producers Institute program. I have been since its inception its chairman. I have been active in all of the activities of the Cotton Producers Institute of America since that time, and it goes without saying that I deeply support this program.
I have not only done the work but I have put up the money.
The CHAIRMAN. We certainly appreciate your coming from California to give us this information.
I am glad that you were interested enough in the problem to come. here and to stay here and testify personally and give us your views. You do appreciate the fact that we have not been able to properly promote the use of cotton through the organizations now in existence on a voluntary plan.
Mr. GIFFIN. That is right.
The CHAIRMAN. You have cooperated and been interested in the activities of both the CPI and the council?
Mr. GIFFIN. Yes, sir.
The CHAIRMAN. I appreciate your coming here. Do you have a further statement?
Mr. GIFFIN. Mr. Chairman, if you will permit me to take just 2 or 3 minutes.
The CHAIRMAN. Oh, sure; go ahead.
Mr. GIFFIN. I would like to make a comment or two. What we are asking for here is the right to go into the country, out into the field, present the program with all of its weaknesses that Mr. Hays pointed out, to the growers of cotton across the 14 States growing cotton. During that process, of course, we will carry on educational work, we will hope to get to most cottongrowers of the Nation, and present our case. We will present the case that has been made for the 5 years of the voluntary program, and we will present the projections for the coming year's work under the new program, assuming the referendum is successful.
Now, at that time producers of cotton, regardless of size, will have an opportunity to judge whether we have done well in the past 5 years, and they will have an opportunity to judge whether the projections that we make to them for the coming years with the greater amount' of money is well spent.
Now, I want to comment a little bit on the amount of money.
The question has been raised here several times whether it is enough. Our experience in both the council work and in the work of the Cotton Producers Institute has shown us that for every dollar that we raise and provide, we have been able to raise about the same amount of money from other interested segments of the industry in matching funds.
Now, we at this time have been producing, we have the income from the council of about $3 million. If we are successful in this move and the crop is, we will say, 121/2 million bales, and assume maybe there is a half million dollars lost through the refund route, we will arbitrarily use the figure of $12 million plus the $3 million from the council is $15 million.
In matching funds, we believe, and it is based on experience, we believe that we are talking about an effective usable fund of from $25 to $30 million.
Now, we do get into the ball park with our synthetic friends. I would be less than honest if I indicated for a moment that I believed that we would never have to come back to the growers of cotton and ask for more money. Our destiny for the coming years is going to be dictated largely by our competitors in the synthetic field, and no man can tell what course that may take.
But we can only come back, we can only increase the use of those funds, by another referendum, and it takes two-thirds of the growers voting to approve it.
Mr. GATHINGS. I believe you said that $121,2 million could be raised.
That would be double and that there would be available some $25 million; is that right?
Mr. GIFFIN. That is right.
Mr. GATHINGS. For the record, would you state just where the other $1212 million is to come from?
Mr. GIFFIN. I can't give you the detail on it. We have a man here, two men here in the room that can give you that detail, but our experience in the Cotton Producers Institute has worked that way.
The CHAIRMAN. In other words, you still think that the Cotton Institute, the Cotton Council would carry on its own activities, and make its own funds available for promotion ?
Mr. GIFFIN. I heard the testimony of Mr. Shuman this morning expressing the view that if this was successful, that the Cotton Council was probably on the way out. I have a different view. The Cotton Council, for reasons unknown to me, lost membership 2 years ago. During the time that we have been discussing this proposed legislation, this enabling legislation which has been going on for a year, it passed the board of the national council, passed by the board of trustees of the Cotton Producers Institute of America, a resolution was passed supporting this, and all of this time has used
up year. And in that time we have seen a number of people come back to support the Cotton Council because they believed that this would give life to the industry, and I am inclined to guess that the council will grow stronger rather than weaker under this.
The CHAIRMAN. Thank you very much. I want to yield now to our distinguished colleague from California, Mr. Teague, who has always been intensely interested in the welfare of cotton farmers and the cotton textile industry generally.
Mr. Giffin is not a constituent of mine, but he quite properly, both of us being from California, has discussed the problem with me, and if I understood you correctly the other day you stated something along this line, and if I am wrong I wish you would correct me: No. 1, that you wished this could be done on a voluntary basis. Is that correct?
Mr. GIFFIN. Yes, sir.
Mr. TEAGUE. But your experience after working very hard with others to try to establish the voluntary program has led you to believe that it cannot be done?
Mr. GIFFIN. Yes, sir.
There are several things that have happened in this area. First, the gentleman from Mississippi that testified a moment ago on cottongrowers not being informed in the belt. One of our greatest difficulties from the inception of this program was to get people to come to our meetings. We have gone back, taken the program back not once but twice, three times, four times into the same areas, and just gotten a handful of cottongrowers to come out and look at it. Those that have could have been impressed. And Mr. Hays is wrong when he says that the erosion that is taking place in the last 2 or 3 years is because people haven't believed the program was a good one. The erosion that has taken place has come from the fact that some growers were carrying the load and others were not, and that is the biggest single hurdle we have got to get over here.
We have all kinds of things happen, as a matter of fact.
One man that testified earlier today testified that he believed in the work of the Cotton Council and the Cotton Producers Institute, and that he had been a supporter of it always. But he opposed its enabling legislation here.
Now, in that case there was a man that gave lip service to it, he signed up for the Cotton Producers Institute in the first year that it was presented in his area, but he has never paid a dime.
Now, we have all kinds of things happen, and there is no use skirting around the edges. We have got to come out of this with an effective method of collecting money, and when a man has a legitimate reason, or any reason of his own, where he wants to withdraw, provide that. But we must not be naive enough to think that we can carry on a thing as important as competing with the synthetic industry of America with pennies.
Mr. TEAGUE. Thank you very much, sir.
Mr. GATHINGS. Mr. Giffin, I would just like to ask you your opinion. It seems to me that you are pretty well informed. You have been a member of both of these organizations for a number of years. I just wonder how much would you judge the $25 million that you speak of would be used for promotion, promotional activities, and how much would be used for research?