TAM Brings Green Cotton to MU

7 years 8 months 3 weeks ago Tuesday, September 21 2010 Sep 21, 2010 Tuesday, September 21, 2010 9:01:04 PM CDT September 21, 2010 in News
COLUMBIA - The Department of Textile and Apparel Management (TAM), in the College of Human Environmental Sciences, hosted a Sustainable Cotton Summit Tuesday through Wednesday. Cotton Incorporated gave the department a $31,292 grant, which funded 12 speakers to come and talk about the progress of greener cotton production.

Jung Ha-Brookshire, assistant professor in the TAM department, drafted a proposal for the grant in April 2009. As 50% of the fiber demand in the world, Ha-Brookshire believes that cotton is the most important fiber.

"This summit is fundamental," Ha-Brookshire says, "for farmers, cotton growers, future, and current generations to find common ground."

With new forms of technology, more precise irrigation, and production methods, farmers are producing cotton twice as fast with half as much water.

Jeff Hux, a cotton producer from Sikeston, Mo., says leaving a smaller footprint makes him feel good. "With these new technologies, we're...more efficient farmers and we produce a better product."

From farm animal food, to a green form of Styrofoam, and possibly human consumption, cotton is evolving to be used in many different innovations.
Scientists are working on removing the glosypol, the component in cotton seeds toxic to humans, so that in 10 to 15 years, humans will be able to eat the protein in the seeds.

"This has the potential to become the food and the fabric of our lives," says Hux.

Emily Stoll, TAM graduate student says, "sustainability isn't always organic." She believes the summit is important, not only for the green movement, but for other students to gain a more "global and holistic" awareness for fibers.

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