November is a special time for everyone involved in agriculture. For the cotton folks, harvest is over or winding down, and the crop is waiting its turn at the gin to be processed. Hopefully, everyone had a successful year and is giving thanks for bountiful yields.
And what better time to celebrate than Thanksgiving Day on the fourth Thursday in November? Family and friends gather around the table to enjoy an abundance of food and drink and reflect on the blessings of the past year. The initial Thanksgiving is credited to the pilgrims, who held a feast after their first harvest in October 1621. The tradition has continued through the years and is truly an agrarian holiday.
“Everything about Thanksgiving — the food we eat, the clothes we wear, even the dinner table itself — comes to us from agriculture,” according to a blog post by University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences dean Andra Johnson, who is also director of the Florida Cooperative Extension Service. “So this Thanksgiving, why not thank our farmers? There are many ways you can even do this in person.”
Johnson’s suggestions include visiting your local farmers market, which is “a great way to have a family outing, meet local farmers and find the freshest ingredients for your holiday feast,” he said. “If you’re looking for something to do after Thanksgiving that’s more relaxing than a movie or a Black Friday sale, consider rounding up the family for a weekend drive to a local agritourism business. We are thankful for our farmers every day, and we hope that you will be, too.”
In addition to being thankful for the farmers who produce our crops, this issue of Cotton Farming explores other entities to be thankful for in the cotton industry. For example, we are thankful to the cottonseed companies and university programs that make sure you have high-yielding good quality varieties. Check out the 2024 Seed Guide on pages 8-13 to help you make your selections for the upcoming season.
We also are thankful for Cotton Council International. This organization is “the National Cotton Council’s export promotions arm that elevates U.S. cotton fiber and manufactured cotton products around the globe with its COTTON USA™ trademark.” As noted in the headline of Cotton’s Agenda, they definitely are “taking care of business,” and for that we are thankful.
Every segment of the cotton industry plays an important role to ensure the success of our commodity. For that effort, we are all grateful. As the holiday season draws near, Cotton Farming wishes all of you a Happy Thanksgiving!