Carolinas Cotton Growers Cooperative named 2017 Exporter of the Year
Garner-based Carolina Cotton Growers Cooperative has been named the 2017 N.C. Exporter of the Year by the N.C. Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services.
The award recognizes individuals or companies that have made a positive impact on N.C. agricultural exports. Agriculture Commissioner Steve Troxler presented the award to Michael Quinn, the cooperative’s president and CEO, and Keith Lucas, vice president of marketing, during the Ag Development Forum on Feb. 2 at the State Fairgrounds.
“North Carolina cotton growers have had two of the hardest seasons in recent memory,” Troxler said. “Despite these challenges, Carolinas Cotton Growers Cooperative managed to leverage their relationships and experience to find new customers in existing international markets to the benefit of its member farmers.”
Formed in 1922, the cooperative is the second-oldest in the nation and serves cotton growers in North Carolina and surrounding states. It is heavily involved in the international cotton industry.
Quinn is an active member of the Agricultural Technical Advisory Committee for Trade in Tobacco, Cotton and Peanuts, which advises the U.S. secretary of agriculture and U.S. trade representative about a wide range of agricultural trade issues. Lucas is currently president of Cotton Council International and both are members of the International Cotton Association. In addition, the cooperative has participated in outbound trade missions with the NCDA&CS to advance N.C. exports.
Quinn, who lives near Clayton, was appointed president and CEO of the cooperative in 2001. Before that, he held positions with the U.S. Department of Agriculture. A native of Jones County, Quinn is active in industry organizations such as the National Cotton Council, American Cotton Marketing Cooperatives, and N.C. Cotton Producers Association.
Lucas, a Raleigh resident, is responsible for member-grower relations and managing the day-to-day operations of cotton services. In addition, he oversees the development of export markets. A native of Alabama, he is also involved in industry organizations such as the National Cotton Council.