When Dan Jackson looks back on his year as president of the Texas Cotton Ginners’ Association, he will recall many experiences, but his overriding thought will be one of gratitude. He is simply appreciative for being given the opportunity to lead an organization that has meant so much to him.
For someone whose family has been a part of the industry for more than 40 years, this was easily the highlight of Jackson’s career. No one aspect of the job stood out more than another. It was a case of being allowed to lead the organization for a year and have the chance to work with the TCGA staff.
“It’s a pretty humbling experience,” he says. “Tony Williams, Kelley Green and Aaron Nelsen make it thoroughly enjoyable and take care of everything that we need. Frankly, it was great being able to see more of what they do every day. And I can definitely say that they love what they do.”
In a normal year, Jackson might have found himself testifying before the Texas legislature, but that didn’t happen in 2012 because the legislature wasn’t in session. However, that didn’t stop him from being involved in issues affecting Texas ginners. He presided over the summer membership meeting in San Antonio, but perhaps the biggest challenge he has observed is a proposed rate increase being sought by Xcel Energy. The power company serves more gins than any other electric utility in Texas, and the electrical rate hike would potentially increase the rate for cotton gins by 17.4 percent. The increase would not affect wholesale customers – including the city of Lubbock – that purchase electricity from Xcel through an agreement set to expire in 2019.
“We saw this coming, and TCGA is prepared to deal with it,” Dan says. “If the rate hike is approved, it would significantly increase a gin’s costs. We hope to find some common ground with Xcel and reach a compromise. Again, our organization is watching, monitoring and dealing with this.”
Another fact became increasingly obvious to Jackson during his year as TCGA president, and that was easy access to the organization’s staff when critical problems arose.
“When a situation occurs out there, it’s comforting to know that you can make a call to Tony, Kelley or Aaron,” says Jackson. “That speaks volumes about what we have in place for the TCGA membership.”
Any discussion of 2012 also can’t ignore the effects of a drought that has plagued Texas for several years. It was especially harsh in 2011, but the situation slightly improved in 2012. Jackson’s Meadow Farmers Co-op Gin processed 10,000 more bales in 2012, but total output was still 10,000 bales below the gin’s yearly average. This compares to the recordbreaking 2010 season when Texas produced more than 7.8 million bales. Jackson’s gin also had a good year and delivered 43,000 bales.
Even with the drought problems, Jackson has good memories of 2012. He won’t soon forget the chance he had to lead TCGA.
“I’m thankful for all of my industry friends as well as the TCGA staff for making it such a fabulous experience,” he says. “If we stick together, we can deal with any kind of problem that confronts us.”
• Manager of Meadow Farmers Co-op Gin in Meadow, Texas.
• Alum/Lubbock Christian Univ.
• Second generation ginner.
• Parents worked in industry for 40 years.
• Wife Michele is a schoolteacher.
• Twin daughters, Kylee & Emma.
• Previously served as TCGA VP and secretary.