Incoming President‏

Buzz Cooper

• Long-time resident of Lubbock County, Texas
• Manager of Texas Star Cooperative Gin
• Wife Kim and sons Bonner and Ross
• TCGA Board member
• Graduate of Texas Tech
• Previous manager of Union Cooperative Gin
• Also served as TCGA secretary and vice-president

No matter what he may have thought about the job in the past, Buzz Cooper of Slaton, Texas, admits that there is a sense of anticipation about becoming TCGA’s president for 2014.

He has been in the ginning business for more than 40 years, but it has only been recently that he gained a better appreciation for the work of the organization. Last year he was TCGA’s vice president and prior to that he was secretary.

“I know for sure that I am beginning to better understand the work that our TCGA staff does for the industry,” says Cooper. “It will be a real privilege to work with Tony Williams, Kelley Green and Aaron Nelsen.”

The new president says it’s a testament to TCGA’s leadership that the ginning sector has somehow survived after three years of serious drought in Texas. Even with this kind of strong resilience, it hasn’t been easy for gins to operate in areas where crop production has decreased.

However, Cooper is somewhat encouraged by timely rains that have occurred in parts of the state. By no means does he believe the drought has ended. But he remains hopeful that a change in weather patterns could help the planting season get off to a good start.

As manager of the Texas Star Co-op Gin, he saw firsthand how rainfall in his part of the High Plains can impact a gin’s output. Much needed rain, combined with effective drip irrigation, boll weevil control and high-performing varieties, had an impact on his gin in a very positive way. It helped the gin exceed expectations on the amount of cotton processed in 2013.

The issues that TCGA deals with each year are numerous, and the list seems to get longer when a new president takes over. But that in no way dampens Cooper’s enthusiasm for taking on such a challenge. Much like his most recent predecessors, he already knows that the organization’s staff will help make the transition a smooth one.

“It really doesn’t matter what the issue is,” he says. “TCGA continues to be the organization that the industry relies on for solutions and answers in our state.”

Whether it’s the implementation of a new Farm Bill, regulatory issues, contamination prevention or new technology, Cooper is confident that TCGA will continue to have a leadership role.

In addition, the new president is a hands-on ginner who has adapted to all kinds of technology – whether it’s monitoring his gin with a smartphone or adapting to round modules.

“If it weren’t for this new technology, I don’t know where we’d be,” he says. “We simply have to do everything we can to stay ahead of the game.

It gives me a good feeling about the future of the ginning industry.”

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