WCSA Guest Speakers

Craig Stevens
Craig StevensWCSA - President

CRAIG STEVENS

Craig Stevens was born in to a cotton family in Tranquillity California, at the time, there were 290 active cotton gins in California, and over 2.73 million acres of cotton grown in the areas covered by the Western Cotton Shippers Association. The average yield in California was 1,086 pounds and U.S. spot price for Middling, Inch cotton was 34.47 cents.

Craig began his cotton career in 1988 at Dunavant Enterprises before becoming the Manager of Grower Operations for Allenberg Cotton Co. He has served on the Boards of the American Cotton Shippers, San Joaquin Quality Cotton Board, USDA Cotton Standards Advisory Committee, Fresno Cotton Exchange, California Cotton Ginners & Growers and serves as Merchant delegate of the National Cotton Council.

A lifelong California resident, Craig has two children, Ellen and Walker. He resides in Clovis CA with five dogs and four horses. In his free time, if he isn’t hunting, you find him behind a boat on his wakeboard.

 

R. SCOTT PARSONS

Parsons is a Founding Partner and Managing Partner of Delta Strategy Group. Parsons moved to Washington, DC, in 1997 to work for newly-elected Congressman Chip Pickering from Mississippi. Parsons was the lead staff member for all agricultural and agricultural-related issues. In that role, he wrote the first bill introduced by Mr. Pickering, a bill that was eventually passed by both the House of Representatives and the Senate and signed into law by the President of the United States.

Two years later, when Commissioner Newsome was named Chairman of the CFTC, Parsons was named Chief of Staff and Chief Operating Officer for the Commission.  At 27 years of age, he became the youngest person to carry the Chief of Staff title at the CFTC and the first COO in the agency’s history. Parsons left the federal government to become EVP of the MFA, a Washington-based trade association representing the interests of hedge funds/hedge fund managers, including Commodity Pool Operators and Commodity Trading Advisors.

In July of 2006, Parsons left MFA to form his own government affairs company, Parsons Strategies. With the addition of Jim Newsome, former NYMEX CEO and CFTC Chairman, in early 2010 Delta Strategy Group was formed.

Scott Parsons
Scott ParsonsDelta Strategy Group
ACSA - President & CEO

WILLIAM H. “BUDDY’ ALLEN

Buddy Allen has experience in agriculture from several vantage points.  Allen has been involved in legislative and regulatory matters through his service to the staff of United States Senator Thad Cochran and his partnership in The Macon Edwards Company, a Washington based government affairs firm.  He has engaged in agricultural financial services through his participation in the creation and opening of Covenant Bank, located throughout North Mississippi.  Allen is an active stakeholder in a vertically integrated agribusiness encompassing a production farming operation, ground and areal application services, seed and crop protection retail, ginning, an extensive grain storage and shipping operation, and agricultural real estate holdings in Mississippi.  Additionally, he is a partner in Miss Cal Orchards, a California based almond farm.

Allen serves in numerous leadership positions throughout agriculture and conservation spaces.  In 2015, he was named a “Champion of Change for Sustainable Agriculture” by President Obama.  Allen currently serves on the Agricultural Advisory Board of the Commodity Futures Trading Commission.

In January of 2019, Allen was named President and CEO of the American Cotton Shippers Association, where he leads their policy development and advocacy on both domestic and international matters.

Allen is a native of Belzoni, Mississippi, an Ole Miss graduate, and is married to the former Allison Johnson of Tunica, MS.  Together, they have three daughters.  He serves as a Ruling Elder in the Tunica Presbyterian Church.