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My Turn

Chronicling Cotton Through A Nikon

Sarah Beaugez

“I’m just a cotton pickin’ Coast girl with a camera and a pen.” I didn’t grow up around cotton and didn’t know what a boll of cotton looked like until I was 18 years of age in 1978, as a freshman at Delta State University in Cleveland, Mississippi. That doesn’t mean it didn’t affect my life on a daily basis ... Read More »

From Farm To Front Door

Kari Hobbs

We live in Wayne County, North Carolina, where my great-grandfather, E.K. Sanderson, and my grandfather, Joe Sanderson, grew cotton for a long time before the boll weevil came in. People in our area got away from cotton for a while — but are now coming back to it. Today, my dad, Kenneth Sanderson, and my brother, Matt, run the farming ... Read More »

The Little Gin That Could

texas cotton gin museum

Can you say a building watches over a community? Well, I think it can and I know one that does. These days in a part of Texas where most people don’t naturally think “cotton,” sits a building whose history was dependent on it. The 1914 Burton Farmers Gin is in little Burton, Texas, population 300. I am proud to say ... Read More »

The Farm Bill: Hurry Up And Wait

Jimmy Webb

Well, it’s time for another Farm Bill to make its way through Congress. It sure would be nice to get it out early so we can see what we’ve got to work with. Georgia producers didn’t want to change what we had because of the way generic base worked with peanuts. We were fortunate as we had a transition payment, ... Read More »

Master Bug-Buster On A 40-Year Roll

gus lorenz

I was raised on a farm in Arkansas, but we didn’t grow cotton. When I went to college, somebody said I should take an entomology class. I didn’t know what that was, but I enjoyed it and decided to take another one. That was my sophomore year at the University of Arkansas in Fayetteville. The guy teaching the class came ... Read More »

Motorola Radios, Windowsill Cotton

patrick turnage

When I was a young boy, I went everywhere with my grandfather and daddy, constantly bugging them to let me drive everything. I wanted so badly to be a farmer. One day we were walking through the John Deere dealership. I was following my grandfather like a dog on a leash, asking one farming question after another. Papaw, why do ... Read More »

A Cotton-Pickin’ Exciting Time

francis & sally hulshof

Like many kids growing up in the Missouri Bootheel, cotton was the center of our lives. It drew the whole community together. From everyday lunches at the local grocery store to “cotton tales” so memorable they have lived on through the years. Francis Hulshof: In 1942, I was in the eighth grade. Cotton was picked by hand and hauled to ... Read More »