We are excited to announce two inspiring Better Cotton Farmers — Balubhai Parmar and Lacy Cotter Vardeman — as keynote speakers at the Better Cotton Conference.

The conference will bring the entire cotton sector together on 22 & 23 June 2022 in Malmö, Sweden and online, to explore the theme of Climate Action + Cotton and collaborate on a more sustainable future for this remarkable plant.

Meet the Keynote Speakers

At Better Cotton, we work across all kinds of farm types, sizes and farming contexts in over 20 countries, from smallholders to large-scale mechanised farms. Farmers are at the heart of Better Cotton, and they will be at the heart of the Better Cotton Conference. 

Balubhai Parmar, India

Photo Credit: Better Cotton/Vibhor Yadav. India. 2019.

Balubhai, a cotton farmer from Gujarat, India, is helping to lead an enterprising group of Better Cotton Farmers who founded their own organisation — the Somnath Farmer Producer Organisation — in 2013, putting themselves at the forefront of continuously improving their members’ performance. The organisation helps its members — all of whom are licensed Better Cotton Farmers — to save costs and achieve fairer prices for their cotton, while developing new ways to boost their income.

Farmers don’t believe words alone, they have to see it to believe it. So, we invite farmers to visit the fields of farmers who are doing well and show them the effects of using more sustainable practices. When they see the results, farmers really start believing.” 

During his keynote address, and by participating in our smallholder farmer session, Balubhai will share his experiences of the economic, environmental and social challenges and opportunities facing cotton farmers in India today. 

Hear more from Balubhai in this short video.

Lacy Vardeman, United States

Photo credit: Lacy Vardeman.

Lacy, a cotton farmer based in Texas, US, has a strong love for agriculture as her father’s family has been ranchers in New Mexico since the 1850s, and her husband, Dean, farms cotton south of Lubbock, Texas. Interested in conservation, she helped organise the Sand Hills Area Recreation Association (SARA) which concentrates on conservation and eco-tourism in the Texas Sandhills area of Bailey and Cochran counties.

In Texas, over 90 percent of the land is privately owned. We literally own our state and the minerals and water under our property; therefore, we must be proactive in protecting and caring for our resources.”

Lacy will speak from the large farm perspective, addressing issues and innovations, as well as challenges and opportunities in cotton farming in the US.

By registering for the conference today, you can look forward to hearing first hand accounts from Better Cotton Farmers and to joining thought-provoking sessions on the topics of regenerative agriculture, traceability, gender equality, climate change capacity building and many more. 

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