Two Farmers Recognized as Outstanding Cooperative Leaders at NCFC Annual Meeting

At its annual meeting last week in Lake Buena Vista, Florida, the National Council of Farmer Cooperatives (NCFC) announced the two winners of the Farmer Cooperative Director of the Year awards.

Contact: Justin Darisse, 202-879-0816

Washington, DC—At its annual meeting last week in Lahaina, Hawaii, the National Council of Farmer Cooperatives announced the two winners of the Farm Cooperative Director of the Year awards. This year, Eddie Smith, of Floydada, Texas, the chairman of Plains Cotton Cooperative Association, and Nicholas Bozick, an agri-businessman from Mecca, Calif. and the chairman of Sunkist Growers, were recognized for the outstanding leadership that they have given to their cooperatives.

Smith, a member of Plains Cotton for nearly 35 years, farms, in partnership with his son, 10,000 acres of cotton, cattle and grains in west Texas. Bozick who has been a cooperative member for 19 years, is president of Richard Bagdasarian Inc., a family-run, multi-commodity produce growing, packing and shipping business in the Coachella Valley. In addition to citrus, the company also handles table grapes and several vegetable varieties.

The Farmer Cooperative Director of the Year Award was established to recognize the outstanding achievements of a farmer cooperative director who takes the lead to help their board of directors make decisions vital to their cooperative.

Farmer Cooperative Director of the Year nominees were examined by a panel of judges representing the NCFC members and outside experts. In selecting the winners, judges looked at four broad criteria: how well the nominee understands his cooperative; the ability to provide leadership and be a team player; the possession of good business judgment; and the ability to communicate effectively.

“Both Eddie and Nick have spent their careers exhibiting outstanding leadership of their cooperatives and showing a strong commitment to the farmer cooperative community in general,” said NCFC President & CEO Charles F. Conner. “They are truly dedicated to the principles of farmer-ownership and I congratulate them on being named Director of the Year.”


In addition, NCFC announced that Alabama Farmers Cooperative of Decatur, Ala.., won the Best in Cooperative Communications Award in the NCFC Cooperative Information Fair, a communications contest that recognizes excellence in the publications, member relations, and marketing products of farmer cooperatives.


Alabama Farmers won for their television advertisement for Bonnie Plants. The ad informed the public about Bonnie Plants’ new, environmentally-friendly peat pots. In his comments on the entry, the judge said, “It has just the right mix of voice, music and visuals. The productions value is very high. It’s worth of this high award because it’s the type of piece that would prompt me to ask a colleague to come into my office and take a look. It’s memorable.”

NCFC is a national association representing America’s farmer cooperatives. There are nearly 3,000 farmer cooperatives across the U.S. whose members include a majority of our nation’s more than 2 million farmers, ranchers and growers. These farmer cooperative businesses handle, process, and market agricultural commodities and related products; furnish farm supplies; and provide credit and associated financial services. Earnings from these activities are returned to their members on a patronage basis. Farmer cooperatives also provide jobs for nearly 300,000 Americans, many in rural areas, with a combined payroll of over $8 billion.

Additional information about NCFC can be found at


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