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History Permeates Our Industry

Carroll Smith

Carroll Smith

Samuel Blumenfeld, a prolific author on education in America, once wrote, “History is an exercise in remembering.” To me, history reminds us who we are, where we have been and shapes our lives going forward. With that in mind, I was struck by how many times “history” is woven into the material found in this month’s issue of Cotton Farming.

While interviewing Aaron Litwiller for the cover story, I learned that the gin was named Bogue Chitto (“big water”) as a nod to the Choctaw Indian culture that is of historical significance to the area. And the site on which the facility was built was once a hog operation. Instead of destroying the old concrete pads, the investors left them intact as the perfect place to house the round modules as they are delivered to the gin. So now a part of the hog operation “history” has evolved into an essential part of Bogue Chitto Gin’s infrastructure.

In Cotton’s Agenda, Gary Adams takes a look back at China’s synthetic production, which has grown astronomically since 2000 and continues to grow today. He says, “Plain and simple – synthetic fibers competition is limiting growth in cotton demand, which affects all global cotton market participants including cotton producers who are fighting an uphill battle financially.”

On page 15, Louisiana cotton consultant Ray Young tips his hat to the Cotton Consultant of the Year program, which was established in 1981.

“The CCOY award keeps cotton in our thoughts as we hope for its comeback in the United States,” he says. “It also reminds the industry of the excellent help consultants provide cotton producers and emphasizes the value of our profession.”

Tim Price, Southern Cotton Ginners Association executive vice president who authored this month’s My Turn column, recalls experiences from the past that played an integral role in his agricultural career.

“I have been involved in agriculture my entire life,” he says. “I have seen the ups and downs of cotton and established relationships with Mid-South farmers that I am proud to call ‘seasoned soldiers.’ They have trained on the battlefronts of farm programs, changes in global agriculture and volatility in the commodity markets….And I am proud to be a part of this great Mid-South agriculture.”

Yes, history truly is an exercise in remembering. It’s important to remember who we are and where we have been in order to understand how our cotton lives have been shaped into what they are today.

If you have comments, please send them to: Cotton Farming Magazine, 7201 Eastern Ave., Germantown, TN, 38138. Contact Carroll Smith via email at csmith@onegrower.com.