Additional Statementsby Senator Thad Cochran
Posted on 2013-03-06
COCHRAN. Mr. President, I am pleased to commend Woods E.
Eastland of Indianola, MS, as the recipient of the 2012 Harry S. Baker
Distinguished Service Award. The officers of the National Cotton
Council of America recently selected Mr. Eastland to be the 27th
recipient of this award, which is given annually to the individual who
has contributed most significantly to the advancement of the U.S.
In bestowing this honor on Woods E. Eastland, the National Cotton Council cited his extraordinary leadership during his year as the council's chairman and his continued service to the U.S. cotton industry. The Harry S. Baker Distinguished Service Award was started in honor of former council president Harry S. Baker, and it is the industry's most prestigious award.
Woods E. Eastland is the chairman of the board of Staple Cotton Cooperative Association and the Staple Cotton Discount Corporation, which are headquartered in Greenwood, MS. He served as their president and CEO from 1986 until 2010. A native of Doddsville, MS, Mr. Eastland earned a B.A. degree from Vanderbilt University and a J.D. degree from the University of Mississippi School of Law. He practiced law and was a faculty member of the Jackson School of Law from 1972 until 1974. In 1974, Woods married Lynn Ganier Wood and became a cotton, soybean and rice grower in Sunflower County, MS. He and Lynn have two children and three grandchildren.
Woods E. Eastland, in addition to being a farmer, has built a remarkable record of service to the cotton industry, his State and our Nation. He is a past chairman of the National Cotton Council, past president and chairman of Cotton Council International, and a past director of the Memphis Branch Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis. He was a member of the board of managers of the New York Board of Trade when it was formed from the merger of the Cotton and Coffee, Sugar and Cocoa Exchanges. He served 1 year as the vice chairman of the board of governors of the New York Board of Trade.
In 2005, during Mr. Eastland's term as the council's chairman, international trade in cotton and textiles dominated the U.S. cotton industry's policy concerns. In addition, the World Trade Organization's, WTO, Doha Round of negotiations was a primary focus of the cotton industry during Mr. Eastland's tenure as council chairman.
Under Mr. Eastland's leadership, the council worked as part of a fiber/textile/labor initiative that successfully convinced the United States to self-initiate WTO-sanctioned textile safeguards to impose a measure of discipline on the shipment of Chinese textiles into our country. U.S. officials were also persuaded to make changes in provisions of the Dominican Republic--Central America Free Trade Agreement that led to the U.S. cotton industry's support for congressional approval of that pact.
Mr. Eastland traveled to Geneva and Washington, D.C., to confer with key trade officials on trade developments and to convey the U.S. cotton industry's message that cotton should not be singled out for different treatment from the rest of agriculture in the WTO Doha negotiations.
Beyond his year of service as the Council chairman, Mr. Eastland has remained active in Council leadership. He was named chairman of the council's Trade Promotion Authority task force in 2007 to guide the industry on trade promotion policy. He is an advisor to the Council's board of directors and an active member of its Operations Committee.
I am pleased to congratulate Mr. Eastland on receiving this prestigious award, and to commend him for his contributions to the cotton industry, American agriculture and fair trade.