A cold front blew through yesterday, chasing off clouds in the overcast sky and replacing them with sunshine and a crispy nip in the air. It was as if the stars had aligned just right on the first day of fall. October has always been my favorite time of the year.
One of my fondest memories is going out to the farm with my dad early in the morning. He stood at the edge of the field and smiled as he looked out over the open cotton. To me, it seemed the lines on his face were not as deep and his demeanor was more relaxed than it had been during the hectic months leading up to harvest.
The strong smell of defoliant that had permeated the area in the weeks before had drifted away. Now he was waiting for the dew to dry before signaling the pickers to crank up and move into the field to start gathering the crop he had worked so hard to bring to fruition.
It was truly a time to celebrate.
Two years ago, Oct. 7 was established as World Cotton Day to pay tribute to the natural fiber that is such a big part of our lives. It’s nice to have a day set aside to formally recognize this crop. But as the pickers are rolling and the gins are in full swing, I think it’s appropriate to pay homage to cotton — particularly U.S. cotton — the entire month.
A good way to get the story out about U.S. cotton and increase its market share around the world is to sign up for the U.S. Cotton Trust Protocol sustainability initiative. Jesse Flye, who farms with his father, Marty White, and his brother, Logan White, signed up White Flye Farms last year and plan to reenroll this year.
Flye describes the registration process and how easy it is in this month’s cover story “White Flye Farms.” Check out what he has to say, then visit trustuscotton.org to sign up your own cotton acres. You also can visit YouTube and search “How to Enroll in the Trust Protocol.”
In this short video, Louisiana cotton farmer Kellon Lee walks you through the different screens to show how the process works.
As Lee says at the conclusion of the segment, “Receive your personalized data that will help you drive continuous improvement, better efficiency, higher yields and ultimately a better profit for your product.”
I encourage all U.S. cotton farmers to sign up for the U.S. Cotton Trust Protocol today. You’ll be glad you did.