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Cotton Conference Q&A with Roger Tomkins, ACSA Chair

13 July, 2022

Cotton Conference Q&A with Roger Tomkins, ACSA Chair

The Australian Cotton Conference is overseen by a volunteer committee that sets the theme, direction and content of the three day event. Current ACSA Chair Roger Tomkins shares his thoughts on this year’s Conference.

What does the theme “Here for Good” mean to you?
The conference theme ‘Here for Good’ is simply stated but quite complex in meaning. On face value it implies that the cotton industry, and the associated cotton conference, are an enduring part of the Australian agricultural landscape.

It also implies that regardless of the numerous roadblocks that pop up the cotton industry is dynamic and innovative enough to overcome them. Whether it be the past seemingly never ending drought and associated water wars, mis-information reported through the media or the global spread of Covid and the resulting disruptions to supply chains and market influences. Not even the sudden loss of our major trading partner, brought about not from any fault of our own, can halt the industry advance. It infers that our industry has the strength, the resources and the willpower to be enduring. Quite simply we will not be defeated, we are here for good.

What have you missed most about Conference?
For me it was all about missed opportunity. The opportunity to interact on a personal level, to become reacquainted with old friends and to interact with new ones. To explore the diverse range in educational material that I would not normally seek out. To listen to people with passion and wisdom spruik their stories and challenge my own thoughts or beliefs. The cotton industry is all about the people, and the conference is the tool that herds us all together.

What’s the one topic you’d like to learn more about this year?
Now that’s a hard question. I would like to learn about carbon, and also why suddenly it seems impossible to find qualified operators, be it to drive a forklift or a truck. I’m keen to hear what our keynote speakers, especially Steven Bradbury, have to say. However I am especially eager to listen to Michael Every as he breaks down the current and future happenings of the global economy and to seek the wisdom of Joe Nicosia as he dissects the cotton market.

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