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My Turn

Cotton And Earl’s Pecan Pie

ramey stiles

My great grandfather, William Stiles, settled the family here in Lee County, Arkansas, and started acquiring land in the community where we live and work today. My grandfather, Earl Wayne Stiles, and my dad, Earl Ramey Stiles, worked some of the same land in the 1940s. On my mother’s side, my grandfather, Claude Smith, and his son, Kirby Smith, lived ... Read More »

Growth Stages Of A Cotton Consultant

hank jones

It’s been said that the first 40 days of a cotton plant’s life are the most important. That may be true, but it’s hard to remember the first 40 days by the time you get to September and Tropical Storm Gordon is headed your way. In a couple of weeks, I’ll make it to 40 years old — an age ... Read More »

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 »