Allen Helms, Jr., a Clarkedale, AR, producer, was elected chairman of the National Cotton Council (NCC) for 2006. He served as the NCC's vice chairman in 2005 and succeeds Woods Eastland, a Greenwood, MS, cooperative official.

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

Helms has 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.

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