Allen Helms Jr., a Clarkedale, Ark., producer, was elected chairman of the National Cotton Council for 2006. Named during the NCC's annual meeting in Tucson, Ariz., he served as the NCC's vice chairman in 2005 and succeeds Woods Eastland, a Greenwood, Miss., cooperative official.

Helms is co-owner of Helms Farms, an operation that includes cotton, corn, soybeans, rice and wheat in Clarkedale, Ark. He also serves as president of Crittenden Gin Co. and as a director of Planters Cotton Oil Mill.

Helms has been an active leader in the U.S. cotton industry. He served as the NCC's secretary-treasurer from 2002 through 2004, as the chairman of the American Cotton Producers in 1998 and 1999, and as the president of The Cotton Foundation in 2004-05. He is the current Cotton Foundation chairman.

Helms also has been active in his state, where he served as president of the Agriculture Council of Arkansas and the Arkansas Soybean Association. He is past president of the Crittenden County Farm Bureau and the Arkansas-Missouri Cotton Ginners Association. A Vanderbilt University graduate, Helms and his wife, Laura, reside in Memphis and are members of Lindenwood Christian Church. They have two daughters.

The NCC's vice chairman for 2006 is John Pucheu, a Tranquillity, Calif., cotton producer.

Elected a NCC vice president was Robert Norris, a Bakersfield, Calif., cooperative official. Re-elected as NCC vice presidents were: Charles Owen, a Pima, Ariz., ginner; Gail Kring, a Lubbock, Texas, crusher; Fred Underwood, a Lubbock, Texas, warehouseman; Robert Weil, II, a Montgomery, Ala., merchant; and Harding Stowe, a Belmont, N.C., textile manufacturer. Craig Shook, a Corpus Christi, Texas, producer, was re-elected secretary-treasurer.