Having gotten off to a whirlwind start over the past 18 months, the Southwest Council of Agribusiness (SWCA) has quickly established itself as a major player in the Washington legislative arena.

In celebration of the organization's early successes, the SWCA will hold its First Annual Membership Meeting on Friday, Jan. 25, 2008 in the boardroom of the Plains Cotton Cooperative Association (PCCA). PCCA is located at 3301 East 50th Street in Lubbock, Texas.

The SWCA meeting will begin at 1:30 p.m. and conclude following a keynote address from U.S. Sen. Kent Conrad, chairman of the Senate Budget Committee.

The annual meeting will give members and attendees an opportunity to hear more about the work of SWCA from a lineup of great speakers, including keynote speaker Senate Agriculture Committee Member Kent Conrad from North Dakota. Sen. Conrad will address the farm bill and other issues of interest to the group. Others speaking at the meeting include SWCA President Mark Williams, National Cotton Council President & CEO Dr. Mark Lange, Texas Department of Agriculture Commissioner Todd Staples, and John Miller of Southwest Agribusiness Consulting.

The SWCA was formed just over a year ago as an alliance of business interests who recognize the value of stable and strong farm policy to our region's economy by standing by producer interests in the development and passage of the 2007 Farm Bill. The SWCA membership totals more than 70 businesses and organizations from across the state of Texas, including most of the state's major commodity and livestock groups.