The National Cotton Ginners Association recently canceled all 2020 Ginner Schools due to the uncertainties regarding reopening dates for states and travel restrictions placed on instructors.
NCGA Executive Director Harrison Ashley says, “After 33 continuous years of Ginner Schools, the decision to cancel the schools was difficult. Even if reopenings occur, the phase-in protocols will require limiting meeting sizes, and social distancing will limit what is considered non-essential travel. We hope that we will resume our schools in 2021.”
Ashley says one of the schools’ most important functions is to help train gin employees on safety in the gin, air requirements, equipment/proper settings, correct speeds and material flow, to name a few. He says a great deal of information that can be used to help fill the void created by the schools’ closure is available on NCGA’s website — http://www.cotton.org/ncga/.
Under the Technical and Safety Publications’ tab on the site are safety materials and videos. Additional information can be found under that tab in the current Ginners’ Handbook. In addition, many gin associations will have regional, district or state meetings, as harvest and ginning seasons get closer.
To remain in good standing, Ashley says that certified ginners are required to have a minimum of 12 hours of continuing education credits over a three-year period. Many ginners fulfill this requirement by attending the ginner schools. However, there are other ways of achieving these credits, such as attending gin association meetings and seminars.
There is a form that can be used to report these hours at http://www.cotton.org/ncga/ginschool/certification.cfm. If certified ginners have questions pertaining to their hours and requirements, they can contact Jana Jackins at email@example.com or 901-484-1937.
Ashley notes that this country’s ginners, who are busy repairing, upgrading and preparing for the upcoming ginning season, were asked early in the COVID-19 pandemic to donate N95 masks to local hospitals, clinics and emergency medical technicians. He says numerous ginners came through, with thousands of masks donated.
The National Cotton Ginners Association contributed this information.