Speakers Announced: Georgia Cotton Commission Annual Meeting Jan. 25, 2023

The Georgia Cotton Commission is pleased to announce the guest speakers at the Commission’s 2023 Annual Meeting scheduled for Wednesday, January 25, 2023, at the UGA Tifton Campus Conference Center. The annual meeting is held in conjunction with the UGA Cotton Production Workshop conducted by the UGA Research & Extension Cotton Team.

The UGA Cotton Production Workshop will feature breakout sessions where attendees will learn the latest technical production strategies from the researchers whose projects are funded by the Commission’s research program. The Georgia Cotton Commission Annual Meeting will follow the breakout sessions and feature speakers from several industry organizations.

The program speakers are Dr. Ryan Kurtz, Vice President of Agricultural & Environmental Research, Cotton Incorporated; Dr. Mark Masters, Director, Georgia Water Planning & Policy; and Robbie Minnich, Director of Washington Operations, National Cotton Council.

  • Ryan Kurtz will begin his new role as Vice President of Agricultural & Environmental Research at Cotton Incorporated on January 1, 2023, after serving as Senior Research Director. Kurtz has delivered a consistently high level of support for producer profitability despite the continual challenge of pest resistance and invasive insects.He has also led numerous projects for producer outreach including the recent update of the Cotton Cultivated website and the Focus on Cotton webinar series. Prior to joining Cotton Incorporated 10 years ago, Kurtz worked for Syngenta as the Lead for Traits Insect Resistance Management. He holds a bachelor’s degree in agricultural pest management from Mississippi State University and a Ph.D. in entomology from North Carolina State University where he studied resistance management in cotton bollworms to Bt crops.
  • Mark Masters serves as the Director of the Georgia Water Planning & Policy Center. Throughout his career, Mark has led numerous research and outreach projects related to water resources in Georgia and has positioned the Center as a trusted technical resource for the State and its water planning efforts.  Mark is active on several local, state and national advisory boards including the American Farm Bureau Water Advisory Committee, Governor’s Soil and Water Advisory Committee, the Institute for Georgia Environmental Leadership Board of Directors and as a Supervisor for his local Soil and Water Conservation District and Board of the Georgia Association of Conservation Districts. In his current role, Masters is responsible for the day-to-day management of the Center, research grants and contracts, managing and developing research partnerships with universities, federal and state government, and other stakeholder groups, writing reports, and giving presentations concerning their work. Masters graduated from Auburn University with a degree in economics. He resides in Dawson, Georgia with his wife Amy and daughters Lilly, Sally, and Molly.
  • Robbie Minnich is the Director of Washington Operations for the National Cotton Council (NCC) in Washington, D.C. He has been with the Council since January 2003 and in his current role since 2022; he previously served as Senior Government Relations Representative. Minnich’s primary responsibility is coordinating the industry’s communication with Members of Congress and their staff and administration officials.  Prior to joining the National Cotton Council, Minnich worked as agricultural advisor to former U.S. Senator Tim Hutchinson (R-AR) and staffed the senator on the Senate Agriculture Committee.  During his time with Senator Hutchinson, he played an integral part of the crafting of the 2002 Farm Bill. He has also spent time working in the office of former Congressman Robin Hayes (NC-08).  Minnich graduated from North Carolina State University with a bachelor’s degree in Agricultural and Extension Education and grew up in Henrietta, North Carolina. He and his wife live in Arlington, VA with their twin sons, Owen and Conor.

Following the Annual Meeting speakers, the Commission will host lunch where sponsors will be recognized, door prizes will be given away, and awards will be presented. The meeting, production workshop, and lunch are open to not only cotton growers, but anyone interested in the cotton industry. The UGA Cotton Production Workshop breakout sessions will be repeated after lunch.

There is no charge to attend. Pre-registration is requested to help with meal plans.  Register online at www.ugatiftonconference.caes.uga.edu or call (229) 386-3416.


Stoneville/BASF – Deltapine/Bayer Crop Science
Farm Credit Associations of Georgia – John Deere
Phytogen/Corteva Agriscience

Ag America Lending – Allenberg Cotton Company/ProCot – Americot, Inc.-NexGen – AMVAC
Atlantic & Southern Equipment – Carden & Associates – Choice Cotton Company – CNI
Custom Ag Formulators – FMC – Georgia Farm Bureau – Helena Agri-Enterprises – The KBH Corporation
Kelley Manufacturing Company – Kingline Equipment  – Lasseter Tractor – Magnolia Loom – Nutrien Ag Solutions
Olam Cotton – Rabo AgriFinance Rainbow Plant Food/Timac Agro USA – R.W. Griffin – SePRO Corporation
Smith Farm Supply Southeast AgNet – Staplcotn – Syngenta – Synovus – Tama USA Tidewater/CASE-IH
Triangle Chemical Company – Triangle Insurance – UPL OpenAg – Valent USA
Valley Irrigation – Yara NA – Zimmatic Irrigation