Barry Street has seen all sides of cotton production
and ginning, and that will serve him well
as he assumes the presidency of the Texas
Cotton Ginners’ Association in 2011.
Street was raised on a farm in Swisher County about
60 miles north of Lubbock. After earning an agricultural
economics degree from Texas Tech University, he
figured he would pursue a banking career.
Those plans changed for a couple of reasons. First,
he met his future wife SuDe during his freshman year
in college, and she had always wanted to live on a
farm after growing up in Fort Worth. Later, the owner
of the local gin in Swisher County approached Street
about buying the facility.
“At the time, I didn’t know anything about ginning,”
says Street. “I thought we would just continue farming
in the community. But my wife and I talked it over
and decided to take advantage of the opportunity.”
That decision occurred 23 years ago, and the Street
family has never regretted it. The gin is known today
as the Street Community Gin, and last year it
processed 45,000 bales. That’s a far cry from the
9,000 bales it handled in 1981 or the 1,000 bales it
handled in 1960, the first year it operated.
Today, two workers at the Street Community Gin
have a combined 93 years of experience. One started
at the gin in 1962 and the other began in 1967. These
two men taught Barry everything about the ginning
business, and they remain a vital part of the operation.
It’s that kind of atmosphere that continues to give
this family-owned gin a positive reputation in the area
north of Lubbock.
As for how it feels to be the incoming president of
TCGA, Street says he is “honored to take on this
responsibility and follow in the footsteps of so many
With the support of his wife, sons Colton and Chase
and daughter CassiDe, Barry looks forward to dealing
with the issues that TCGA is likely to face in 2011.
As the owner of a small independent gin, Street is
glad to have the chance to be part of helping gins of
all sizes this year.
“If you look at the size of gins today, we’re on the
lower end,” he says. “But this proves the kind of relationship
all gins in TCGA have. Whether we’re small
or big, we share information and help each other during
the year. That is why TCGA is such a special organization
in the Texas cotton industry.”