November 25, 2019

Americot, Inc., a leading supplier of premium cotton seed, is pleased to announce the expansion of the company’s cotton seed breeding team, adding four new staff members. “Laura, Jody, Stephen and Luis are the latest team members helping us expand capabilities and increase our resource offering in our industry-leading breeding team. I am extremely happy to welcome them to the Americot family,” said Dr. Lloyd McCall, Americot breeding manager.

Laura Barham grew up on a family farm in Bonita, Louisiana, growing cotton, corn, soybeans and produce. She earned Bachelor of Science and Master of Science degrees in Agriculture from Louisiana State University, along with a minor in Agronomy. Over the last 14 years, she was with Stoneville brand cotton seed, working in cotton breeding and testing in the Mississippi Delta. Based in Hollandale, Mississippi, Laura joins Americot as an associate breeder, supporting our MidSouth region customers and growers.

Jody Butler has been working in the cotton industry for more than 20 years, starting out with Stoneville Seed Company in 1995. Over his career, he has worked in a number of positions and companies, most recently as the southeast testing manager with Bayer/BASF. Jody joins Americot’s breeding team as the senior testing manager and is based out of Albany, Georgia, where he supports our Southeast region breeding team and working with that area’s growers and customers.

Stephen Follis was born and raised in the Lubbock, Texas surrounding area and earned Bachelor of Science in Biology and Master of Business Administration degrees from Texas Tech University. Since 2005, he has worked in cotton and agriculture-related research, most recently for Bayer Crop Science, where he was a research specialist. Stephen is based in Lubbock, Texas, and joins Americot as the breeding lab manager, supporting our western region breeding operations.

Luis Duran-Ortiz was born and raised in San Juan, Puerto Rico. He earned his Bachelor of Science degree in Agronomy and Soils and his Master of Science degrees in Plant Breeding from the University of Puerto Rico – Mayaguez Campus. Luis started with Pioneer in 2002 on their four-generation trait introgression program as a research associate. For the next three years, he then worked with Monsanto as the corn coordinator for their Winter Hybrid Make-Up program. From there, he changed roles and worked as a senior research associate for the company’s cotton and soybean trait introgression programs. More recently, Luis spent the last three years as a farm manager for Agrobanana, a Puerto Rico banana producer. Based in San Juan, Puerto Rico, Luis joins Americot as the breeding manager for the newly-established breeding station, where he will manage and operate plant breeding nurseries designed to shorten the breeding and development cycle, allowing for moving new varieties into the market faster.

Americot, Inc., headquartered in Lubbock, Texas, provides U.S. cotton growers with quality seed of localized varieties, offering high yield potential and excellent fiber quality, along with the technologies that growers want and need. American-owned and fully independent, Americot is a national leader in cotton seed production and technologies. For more information on Americot and our NexGen brand cotton products, call 888.678.SEED (7333) or visit

Tyrell Currie
Marketing & Communications Manager
806.793.1431, ext 140

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