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My Turn

The Gate

ray oliver

Old No. 2 died last night. I found her this morning in the “boot” pasture way over by the tree line. I knew it was coming for some time now, but somehow that didn’t lessen the disappointment. She had been having trouble getting to her feet and for a cow, not being able to do that is a death sentence. ... Read More »

‘Farming A Thousand Acres Of Everything’

tyson raper

I’m not sure why I fell in love with agriculture at a young age. I wasn’t pushed into agriculture, but I feel like I was pulled — much like the smell of a fresh pot of coffee has a way of pulling you out of bed. The ingredients were present. The first toy I remember was a 4000 series 1/16 ... Read More »

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 »