It’s only been a few weeks since some of our Cotton Farming staff were in Lubbock, Texas, for the Texas Cotton Ginners Association’s Annual Meeting and Trade Show. It’s one of the highlights of the year because of our close association with TCGA and the entire cotton industry in that state.
The visit this time was significant for many reasons. Naturally, we were happy that the TCGA event was successful with good attendance throughout the week. And we were even prouder that our magazine was able to contribute a check for more than $5,000 to the TCGA Scholarship Fund. We appreciate the support that the TCGA Trade Show exhibitors showed by buying ads in the printed program.
We were also encouraged by those exhibitors who attended the scholarship luncheon at the Trade Show and contributed to this effort. Unless you’ve talked to former Texas Tech students and heard how much they appreciate this kind of financial support, you can’t grasp what an impact it has on their college education. We thank everyone who had a hand in allowing us to support these deserving students.
There were other aspects about this trip that were just as meaningful. We made new friends in the ginning industry, such as Buzz Cooper, the TCGA “Ginner of the Year.” We enjoyed meeting Buzz and his wife Kim and hearing how Buzz helped oversee the merger of the Union Co-op Gin and Wilson Co-op Gin several years ago. Nearly all of his employees were on hand to see him honored at the final night awards banquet.
We visited friends whom we hadn’t seen in more than a year, such as veteran Texas ginners Myrl Mitchell, Jim Bradford, Steve Newton, Ron Craft and Sid Brough. We congratulated outgoing TCGA president Jerry Multer and his wife Donna as well as welcomed the new TCGA president Barry Street and his wife SuDe.
As I look back at the photos and stories I’ve written through the years about these Texas ginner friends, I notice that I have turned into a gray-haired guy who looks like he’s somebody’s grandfather now. Well, maybe that’s a stretch. Then again, maybe not!
Regardless of how much time has passed, the friendship with Texas ginners and producers has been a special one that I will treasure for the rest of my life. Despite a lingering drought and desperate need for rain across the state right now, these folks always exude a positive attitude.
As we like to say, the glass is always half full for Texas producers and ginners. They will indeed find a way to persevere, and we’ll look forward to seeing them next year when we visit Lubbock for the 2012 TCGA meeting.
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