Insurance Meeting Recently Held by National Cotton Ginners

Earlier this week, the National Cotton Ginners Association held a zoom meeting with a number of insurance representatives to discuss the situation we’re all facing with our insurance. Last year many were caught flat footed with huge increases in premium and very little ability to try to find alternatives.

Over the past couple of years, most of the ‘traditional’ agribusiness insurance carriers have left the market. The ones that are left are either limiting who they write or charging exorbitant premiums relative to previous years. The theme of most of the presentations was this isn’t a matter of greed it seems to them to be a matter of survival.

This contraction or hardening of the market is not just in our world but came home to roost in the past 24 months in a big way. The crisis in the insurance property and casualty market seems to have been brewing a while. The rapid increase in housing prices and inflation of building materials and steel has the potential to make this worse. We are not alone but it doesn’t make our situation any easier to handle.

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Possible Phishing Attack Aimed at H-2A Employers

If you use the H-2A program please pay special attention. Some H-2A employers have received an email similar to the one below. This is an obvious Phishing attack aimed to get you to go to a possible attacker or scammer’s website. This is the kind of thing that can lead to getting hacked or defrauding you of money.

Please do not click on anything you are not expecting and even then verify the email address or person you are emailing is legitimate. Please see the PDF below to see just some of the things to look for.

DSF

OFLC-Spoof-Phishing-Email

Heat Stress and Illness Prevention

News Flash!!! It’s summer time in the Southeast and I’m pretty sure you don’t need me to tell you it is hot and humid. The last few days most areas of the southeast have been under heat advisories. The summer is just beginning and employers should be considering and implementing methods and procedures to protect workers from the dangers of heat stress and heat related illnesses. Employers have always been aware of the dangers of heat in the workplace and in turn have made adjustments to address the hazards facing employees working indoors/outdoors in hot environments. This may be providing water, shade, frequent breaks, early starts times, etc. all which help to address the ability of employees to avoid the dangers of heat related illnesses.

OSHA has recently enacted a national emphasis program to address heat stress and heat related illness in indoor and outdoor workplaces. With this program, OSHA has released several fact sheets and guidelines to help employers address the hazards of heat related illness and increase awareness with employees.

What Factors May Contribute to Heat Illness?

  • High temperature and humidity
  • Low fluid consumption
  • Direct sun exposure or extreme heat
  • Limited air movement
  • Physical exertion
  • Bulky protective clothing

What is Heat Illness?

Heat Stroke: Is the most serious and occurs when the body can no longer regulate temperature and body temperature rises to levels greater than 104°F. This is a medical emergency that may result in death. The symptoms are confusion, loss of consciousness, seizures, and lack of the ability to sweat. Medical help must be called while attempting to cool worker down.

Heat Exhaustion: Is the next most serious and results in headache, nausea, dizziness, weakness, irritability, confusion, thirst, heavy sweating, and body temperature over 104°F. Workers with heat exhaustion should be moved to cooler area and given liquids to drink. The body can be cooled with cold compresses. Workers with signs of heat exhaustion should be taken to a health clinic or ER for treatment. Heat exhaustion can lead to heat stroke if not treated.

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Roy V. Noble, Jr. 1938-2022

Roy V. Noble, Jr.

Today we unfortunately mark the passing of one of the Southeastern Cotton Ginners earlier leaders. Roy V. Nobel, Jr passed away on Saturday, May 14. Services will be tomorrow, Wednesday, May 18, 2022. A full obituary can be found here.

Roy’s family was in the ginning business and he came back to Dooly County following college and the army and ran the warehouse and gin until it’s closing in the early 2000’s.Roy’s official involvement with the Association begin in 1978 when he first came on the Board of Directors but I expect that he was involved before that. He became the President of Southeastern Cotton Ginners in 1983 and was also the Horace Hayden National Ginner of the Year that same year. He was awarded the Southeastern Cotton Ginner of the Year in 1993.

Roy’s leadership helped guide this association through some very tough times when cotton acres and support were very low and helped bring it to where it is today. The organization will be forever be indebted to the leaders like Roy. Our hearts go out to the whole Noble extended family.

Stoneville Gin School Registration Ongoing

We wanted to make sure everyone had the opportunity to go to gin school and remind you registration is limited.

The gin school in Stoneville, MS is happening for the first time since 2019 in person. Due to Covid restrictions the number of students is limited where it hasn’t been in the past. If you’re planning or would like to attend, please jump on the web page and register.

All three levels plus continuing education will be held in-person. There are class size limitations and total attendee registrations so please register soon so you don’t get left out. We got an update this morning that some levels are getting tight.

Go to https://www.cotton.org/ncga/ginschool/index.cfm to get more information and to register.

DSF

Strategic Planning Process Started

Some of the Strategic Planning Committee

There’s an old saying that goes something like…”Failing to Plan is a Plan to Fail”. The Board of Directors for Southeastern Cotton Ginners adopted a Strategic Plan about 20 years ago. It worked well but over time had been all but forgotten.

Earlier this year, President, Steve Sterling appointed a committee to review and revise the Strategic Plan with no limitations on what the committee could do to it. That Committee met recently in Athens, Georgia. With the help with faculty from the Ag Leadership program at the University of Georgia, the committee spent a day and a half on professional development and review of the current plan.

After that review, the committee decided the plan only really needs to be updated to reflect some of the issues that are higher priorities in today’s environment vs 2002. The committee could have completely trashed the plan and started from scratch but decided that wasn’t necessary. It is a testimony to the leaders of the past that their original plan is continuing to meet most of the needs of the Association’s Operations.

This doesn’t mean the work is done… to the contrary. The time the Committee had was too short to truly dig into the nuts and bolts. They will continue to meet over the coming months to put more flesh on the bones that they established at this first meeting. Additionally, the committee will be looking at the programs and services the Association is involved with and how those can be improved. Finally, they may end up looking at the general governance of the organization. does our Board and Committee structure reflect the industry today vs 53 years ago when the organization was founded.

At some point in the process, we will be asking for your help. We will likely be surveying the membership and possibly the Associate Members to elicit some input in the process. We’re likely some time away from this but wanted you to begin to think about it. When we do put out a survey(s) we will need as many people to participate as possible.

As always, don’t hesitate to call if you have questions.

DSF