Industry News For February 2019

2019 Cotton Specialist Of The Year Hails From Tennessee

Tyson Raper, Tennessee
Tyson Raper,

During the recent Beltwide Cotton Conferences in New Orleans, Louisiana, Dr. Tyson Raper was named the 2019 Cotton Specialist of the Year.

Raper is the small grains specialist for the University of Tennessee Agriculture Extension Service. The award, sponsored by BASF, was presented to Raper at the event’s annual award dinner and reception attended by cotton specialists from across the Cotton Belt.

“We’re pleased to recognize Dr. Raper’s outstanding accomplishments and contributions to the cotton industry,” says Steve Nichols, global agronomic services manager at BASF. “His expertise in agronomy and experience in the field has allowed him to make significant contributions to the cotton growers of Tennessee and to the industry. His strong leadership and working relationships with producers, consultants and key stakeholders is widely recognized amongst his peers.”

Dr. Bob Hayes, director and professor of the West Tennessee Research and Education Center, works closely with Raper.

“He is an outstanding young cotton specialist,” Hayes says. “He joined us about four years ago and has really hit the ground running.”

He says that even as a young specialist, Raper has showcased his leadership throughout the industry. Cotton specialists in the 17 states where cotton is grown vote each year on who among them will be chosen for the highly esteemed award.

Raper, an Alabama native, earned a bachelor’s degree in agricultural business and economics from Auburn University, a master’s in agronomy from Mississippi State University and a doctorate in crop physiology from the University of Arkansas.

Texas Farm Bureau Supports Eminent Domain Reform

Calling eminent domain reform “the property rights issue of our time,” Texas Farm Bureau President Russell Boening joined State Rep. DeWayne Burns (R-Cleburne) recently in Austin to roll out the reform bill, House Bill 991.

“We understand the rapid growth of our state will call for sacrifice, careful planning and yes, eminent domain,” Boening says. “However, Texas farmers, ranchers and rural property holders have a constitutional right to fair treatment and just compensation.”

Farmers, ranchers and rural landowners continue to complain of property takings for pipelines, utilities and other uses that do not treat property owners fairly. Complaints of “lowball” offers and land not restored in a satisfactory way are common.

“It’s time for transparency in all property takings, with landowners clearly understanding their rights,” Boening says. “There must be true good faith offers and consequences if that does not occur.

“When the law allows private entities to take private property, it should also protect the rights of those property owners. They cannot walk away from the table. They only have two options — accept an offer or get taken to court.”

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