Humble Achievers Give Credit To Others

Carroll Smith
Carroll Smith

This month I had the pleasure of interviewing award winners, company managers and people in leadership positions in industry organizations. All are very successful in their careers. You would think with these personal accomplishments that it would be all about them. But that is not the case. Every one of them gave credit to others for any success they have achieved.

Barry Street, who was chosen by the Texas Cotton Ginners’ Association as the Ginner of the Year, says one big factor that influenced his decision to buy a local, independent gin in 1988 was it came with two seasoned ginners — Jesse Munoz and Sammy Zarate.

“In 1988, I knew how to raise cotton, but these men taught me how to run a gin,” he says. “After Jesse retired, we hired Zack Trevino seven years ago. He attended the Ginner Schools and has learned a lot from Sammy’s experience and is knowledgeable about the newer technology. And our ginner’s assistant, Lazaro Morales, has been here for 15 years and helps keep things in top shape. I also appreciate Velma Hartzog — my secretary who has been here since Day One and knows my business better than I do.”

Street also thanks his wife, SuDe, for doing whatever is needed to keep the farming and ginning operation running smoothly and for patiently enduring the long hours he has to spend away from home. He credited his son, Chase; his father, Billy; his uncle, Dale; industry organizations; the TCGA staff; and many others. He never once said, “Yes, you’re right, it was all me.”

Tim Tenhet, sales manager at The KBH Corp. in Clarksdale, Miss., says, “Many coffee hours are spent discussing what we can do better or differently, but ultimately, it is our customers who are telling us how they need the equipment to perform. That’s where the ideas come from. We are always open to listening to our farmers and dealers.”

And Jamey Deusterhaus, the recipient of the first Water Conservation and Profitability Award, gives credit for his success to the gifts of God, his family and good landlords. “We rely on Him more than we think we do, and my landlords support me and want me to succeed as well,” he says. “And I couldn’t be here without my dad and brother. The lessons learned from family stick with you and help you become a better farmer.”
These men, along with several others with whom I spoke, have much to be proud of in their careers. And, across the board, all are quick to remove the mantle of success from their shoulders and bestow accolades on others.

If you have comments, please send them to: Cotton Farming Magazine, 7201 Eastern Ave., Germantown, TN, 38138. Contact Carroll Smith via email at

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