Saturday, May 18, 2024

An Invitation To Take ‘Your Turn’

All of us at Cotton Farming would like to thank everyone who has contributed to the My Turn column through the years. Many of our readers have told us it’s one of their favorite pages in the magazine.

As we embark on a new year, we pause to reflect on last year’s submissions and invite more members of our “cotton family” to tell us their stories. Here are some memorable excerpts from 2022.

January 2022, Cindy Faulkner: “Peanut was 100% house cat, not a barn cat. I took her up the steps of the picker on my shoulder. Then she jumped off and walked over to the door waiting for me to get up the ladder to let her in. The rest is history. She has picked cotton with me for 16 consecutive years.”

February 2022, Eric Best: “I think the challenges of working with cotton in West Texas provided me with an understanding not only of how demanding the crop can be, but also how durable and resilient the growers are. Twenty-five years professionally involved in cotton have been humbling.”

March 2022, Janice Smith: “So, Fred and Sandra had just finished eating a big, hard green peach. They nonchalantly wandered back to the front porch, doing a little eavesdropping as they went. That’s when they heard Uncle Will say, ‘Walter, did you hear about the children who died from eating green peaches?’ Two sets of ears perked straight up, and two hearts skipped a beat.”

April 2022, Dorothy Young: “Guess I better tell you my bestest crop consultant that I have been talking about is Ray Young from Wisner, Louisiana. Come see us. We’d love to feed you country cooking and talk about crop consulting and raising crops on this wonderful land God has entrusted to us.”

May 2022, Neil Joiner: “Wind, rain and house-shaking rumbles of thunder came with that ominous cloud, but late in the day a waning sun peeked through the ethereal quietness that sometimes follows a storm. Delicate fingers of light brushed soft pastels onto a canvas of tranquility.”

June 2022, Anne Boyd: “And, before I could think of what I wanted to say, I looked around at some of the photographs and memorabilia in my cotton-filled house and thought I would want to include a lot about how cotton has been a major part of my life.”

July 2022, Guy Collins: “I can remember packing cotton in trailers for friends whose fathers grew it. I can also remember when the first module builders showed up. If I remember right, a new one cost between $30,000 to $40,000. My grandfather thought it would be hard for anyone to justify the cost of such a luxury. That’s laughable now.”

August 2022, Vern Crawford: “Driving a car is an integrated endeavor requiring multiple skills, a lifetime of learning, a few hiccups along the way and always the frustration of never getting where you want to go fast enough. It’s almost like Integrated Pest Management.”

September 2022, Steve M. Brown: “Remember the old Maytag washing machine commercials? Because Maytag products were so reliable, they never broke down; consequently, no one ever needed or called the repairman. The worst thing for an Extension professional is to be irrelevant. Not needed. Never called.”

October 2022, Neil Joiner: “I had not mentioned two things for which he is well known — fishing and hunting. Many of us have tales about the ones that got away. William’s stories are about the ones that didn’t.”

November 2022, Dean Fisher: “There was much debate as to whether cloth or paper was better for baby, and also what was best for the environment. We opted for cloth diapers, using a service that picked up, washed at 190° F, and then delivered — still preferring cotton.”

December 2022, Ron Smith: “One of our county agents organized a cotton-picking field day with the local schools. I was the guest speaker and prepared a set of ‘How to hand pick cotton’ rules for the

To read these My Turn columns in their entirety, visit our My Turn archives. To submit a My Turn column, please contact Carroll Smith at or 901-326-4443. We look forward to hearing from you!

– Carroll Smith

Editor, Cotton Farming

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