Wednesday, February 21, 2024

A New Year’s Toast To Those Who Keep The Wheels Turning

carroll smith
Carroll Smith,

Without a doubt, every segment of the cotton industry is important. Each one is intertwined with the others and has a role to play as we all strive for success. The traditional New Year’s toast to celebrate a new beginning has been around a long time and practiced by many.

Today, I would like to raise a glass to our cotton consultants. I am singling them out after noticing their heavy presence in this issue of Cotton Farming. They are the ones who keep the wheels turning for their farmer clients and treat the crop as if it were their own.

Five independent consultants are featured in the cover story — Eddy Cates, Tucker Miller, Paul Pilsner, Jack Royal and Mark Scott. During the growing season, they go to work before dawn and typically don’t knock off until way past dark. They walk miles in their farmers’ fields, watching the cotton crop like a hawk.

Before a new season begins, consultants get together with their clients to reflect on the past year and plan strategy for the upcoming one. Cotton Farming recently conducted a question-and-answer session with the consultants named above to hear their thoughts on several timely topics. A synopsis of their answers appears on page 6.

Cotton Farming also is proud to co-sponsor with Syngenta the Cotton Consultant of the Year award that began in 1981. This annual recognition program offers an opportunity to honor a consultant who has made great contributions to the cotton industry through outstanding customer relations, leadership and innovation.

A call for nominations goes out in the summer, then the past award winners vote on the new recipient. Some hints about who the 2020 CCOY is are provided on page 6. Look for the special tribute in the February issue to read all about his consulting business and approach to serving farmer clients.

Cotton consultants are also appreciative of others in the industry who call on their expertise to share on various platforms. On page 8, Louisiana cotton consultant Hank Jones wrote a beautiful tribute to Owen Taylor and his wife, Debra Ferguson, who founded AgFax many years ago. We were saddened to learn that the couple passed away unexpectedly in December.

As former first lady Eleanor Roosevelt said, “The future belongs to those who believe in their dreams.” I think the entire industry believes in U.S. cotton’s potential to be a bright star in our agricultural universe. And our cotton consultants are the ones who keep the wheels turning to make that happen.

As we embark on the 2021 season, we raise a glass to them in appreciation and wish everyone a happy and prosperous New Year.

If you have comments, please send them to: Cotton Farming Magazine, 7201 Eastern Ave., Germantown, TN 38138.

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