The Joseph J. O’Neill Cotton Marketer of the Year award presented by ICE Futures (formerly the New York Cotton Exchange) and BASF dates back to 1991.
Joe Mencer is this year’s award winner. Mencer is a third-generation farmer and has been farming since 1979 when he started his operation in Lake Village, Arkansas, with 125 acres of rice on his father and uncle’s land. Mencer had been working for his family since he was old enough to drive the equipment used on their farm. Today, Mencer grows 1,800 acres of cotton, 1,800 acres of rice, 1,000 acres of corn and 2,400 acres of soybeans. He also manages 1,600 acres of timber across Arkansas and Mississippi.
“Mencer has been doing this a long time, and he understands all aspects of the business, which goes beyond just growing the crop itself,” said Jerry Ford, BASF Area Manager. “Marketing and sharing knowledge of product, along with the production of the product are a huge part of our industry, a part that Mencer has taken pride in and woven into his business fluidly.”
Mencer runs a family business with the help of his wife and two sons. His younger son runs a trucking company that hauls the cotton and grain for the farm, while his older son has a law degree and assists with all legal matters for the operation. Mencer is also heavily involved in many agriculture boards and committees, including the Arkansas Boll Weevil Board, representing Arkansas on the National Boll Weevil Board, the USA Rice and Arkansas Rice boards, the Arkansas Ag Council, the local NRCS Board and the local Farm Bureau Board and Delta ACA Farm Credit Board.
Mencer was recognized during the Cotton Economic Outlook Symposium as part of the Beltwide Cotton Conferences.