Tulare, Calif. cotton producer Mark Watte was elected chairman of Cotton Incorporated at the joint Cotton Board/Cotton Incorporated Board meeting in December.
Watte, who succeeds outgoing chairman B.B. Griffin of North Carolina, served as a director on the Cotton Incorporated Board of Directors for over 20 years, and is active in many cotton organizations including the California Cotton Growers and Ginners Association.
“Mark’s experience as a cotton grower and as an officer in numerous cotton organizations gives him a keen understanding of the challenges and opportunities for cotton at this point in the industry’s history,” says J. Berrye Worsham, president and CEO of Cotton Incorporated.
Watte is a partner in George Watte and Sons, a 3,000-acre mixed crop farm in Tulare. Since graduating from California Polytechnic State University San Luis Obispo with a degree in agricultural business in 1974, Watte distinguished himself as a leader within the California agricultural community and the U.S. cotton industry.
Currently, Watte shares his knowledge and leadership through participation in local organizations, such as: the Consolidated Peoples Ditch Co; the Friant Water Authority; the Tulare Board of Public Utilities; and the Kaweah Delta Water Conservation District, on which he serves as vice chair.
Over the course of his career Watte has received numerous recognitions, including: 2000 Tulare Farmer of the Year (an award shared with his brother and business partner, Brian Watte); 2013 Tulare Man of the Year; Tulare County Agriculturist of the Year; and is a recipient of the 2015 High Cotton Award, presented by Western Farm Press.
Mark Watte and his wife Joanne have been married for more than 42 years, have three daughters and ten grandchildren.
Watte will serve a two-year term as Cotton Incorporated Chairman.
Cotton Incorporated is funded by U.S. growers of upland cotton and importers of cotton and cotton textile products. It is the research and marketing company representing upland cotton. The program is designed and operated to improve the demand for and profitability of cotton.