Nearly 16 years ago in the spring of 2000, I wrote my first Editor’s Note column for this magazine, and it was titled, “Making The Right Decision Is A Stress Breaker.” As I recall, I was trying to convey the thought that farmers always try to make the best possible decision when the crop season starts. They try to gather all of the facts and then trust their judgment that they are headed the right way.
I was doing my best to begin this journey on a good note. And, not surprisingly, I thought I was making the right decision to join Cotton Farming, and I already knew that this industry was special.
Now, here we are in the fall of 2015, and I am having to say good-bye to all of you, and it’s hard to find the words. I have officially retired from this position in order to help my mother at home. She has some health challenges, and I feel it’s the right thing to do. As with any big change in life, the transition will be a bit daunting, but I know that my mother and I will both benefit during this time together.
I would be remiss if I didn’t share a few thoughts about my time in the cotton industry – 13 years at the National Cotton Council and 16½ years at Cotton Farming. Without getting too nostalgic, I had always heard that the cotton industry was a big family from the San Joaquin Valley in California to the flatlands of the Carolinas. Wherever you traveled in the Cotton Belt, you could always find a friend willing to share a story or talk about some facet of the crop. I can now attest that this industry is an even bigger family than I could have imagined.
I feel that I have made so many lifetime friendships along the way, and you simply can’t put a price tag on how special that is. Cotton folks are simply the best.
Thanks to all of you for being a part of this experience. Your kindness and generosity will never be forgotten. It isn’t often that a person lands the perfect job, but that’s how I have felt for the past 16 years.
If I’m fortunate, I hope to see many of you somewhere down the road. As I always like to say, “Don’t be a stranger.”
If you have comments, please send them to: Cotton Farming Magazine, 7201 Eastern Ave., Germantown, Tenn., 38138. Contact Tommy Horton via email at email@example.com.