All of us at Cotton Farming would like to thank everyone who has contributed to the My Turn column through the years. Many of our readers have told us it’s one of their favorite pages in the magazine.
As we embark on a new year, we pause to reflect on last year’s submissions and invite more members of our “cotton and agriculture family” to tell us their stories. Here are some memorable excerpts from 2023.
February 2023, Dr. Tom Kerby: “Plant mapping demonstrated right away that DP555BG/RR was different. It was a slow starter. Nodes, height and internode distance at early bloom suggested limited growth. Yet three weeks after flowering, even with a good boll load, it didn’t slow down like other varieties.”
March 2023, Doreen Muzzi: “Over the years, my knowledge has grown along with my appreciation for the expertise, patience and dedication of land grant university researchers and Extension specialists. These experts are part of an amazing network that enhances agriculture nationwide.”
April 2023, Neil Joiner: “‘Mr. Rufus,’ I said, ‘The bank will be glad to help you get a new truck if you’re about ready.’ He smiled as he opened a dusty door and shared a pearl of wisdom. He said, ‘Son, save the meat that hangs closest to the door.’ … It was probably tempting at times to grab what was convenient rather than going to the back corner to get the oldest.”
May 2023, Steve M. Brown: “Growers pay a premium price for seed and should receive a premium product. Given all that is in and on seed, companies need the best possible knowledge and innovations associated with seed quality … because the seed is where it’s at.”
June 2023, Ron Smith: “From this, I became an expert witness in a capital murder case, quite unusual for a cotton entomologist. I spent several months preparing and was on the witness stand for more than an hour being cross examined by the state prosecuting attorney.”
July 2023, J. Kelley Green: “The air conditioning was turned up in the deposition room, and it was pretty hot. What they didn’t count on was that West Texas cotton folks are used to the heat. Our guy seemed completely unfazed, but after a while you had to feel sorry for the young utility lawyer who was sweating profusely the whole time.”
August 2023, Kara Bishop: “Mental toughness only goes so far when you’re staring at a plummeting market price. It only goes so far when the land you care so much about hasn’t seen rain in 18 months. … Farmers will help other farmers do just about anything. Check each other’s fields as they’re driving by, work on a pivot together, etc. So why not share each other’s mental burdens?”
September 2023, Neil Joiner: “During the past decades, these rocks have changed very little. Yet they’ve transitioned from being unwanted to greatly valued. It was a matter of finding a purpose and being given an opportunity.”
October 2023, Bruce Roberts: “Men (like Bill Lalor) and women whose careers are spent collaborating with researchers, Extension educators and farmers don’t just ride off into the sunset. Their legacy should be acknowledged and celebrated because the transformations they produced are the standard practices used today.”
November 2023, Carol Nemec: “During harvest, he didn’t come in for lunch, so my granny and I brought lunch to the field. Those were the days before cell phones, so it was always a game to figure out where we would find his tractor. I still look at those fields near 12th Street and see us sitting on the tailgate of his two-toned Chevrolet pickup eating.”
December 2023, Brian Pieralisi: “Both sets of my grandparents farmed. So, as a child in the ’80s, I wouldn’t stand for anything else in terms of a career. Like many of us growing up in the ’80s, I fell victim to style trends, MTV, hyper-color T-shirts, mullets, skateboards and Nintendo. But, I always kept my focus on farming.”
To read these My Turn columns in their entirety, visit our My Turn archives. To submit a My Turn column or an idea for a My Turn column, please contact Carroll Smith at firstname.lastname@example.org or 901-326-4443. We look forward to hearing from you!
— Carroll Smith
Editor, Cotton Farming