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My Turn

Bobby Skeen: Spreading The ‘Gospel’ of Agriculture

Although I was not raised on a farm nor from a farming family, I always loved animals, especially cows and horses. I considered myself a cowboy and planned to major in pre-veterinary medicine when I started college at the University of Louisiana at Monroe (at the time, Northeast Louisiana University) in August 1996. My academic advisor encouraged me to pursue ... Read More »

A Proud Player on Team Cotton

Sixteen years ago, I was a college student at Texas Tech University in Lubbock, two hours away from my family’s cotton and peanut farm on the Texas Rolling Plains, searching for long-term significance – and a part-time job. As I was perusing the classifieds in the Lubbock Avalanche-Journal, my eyes settled on an ad for a newsroom clerk. I had ... Read More »

My Favorite MARtian

My Favorite MARtian This essay is a brief description of the contributions to cotton farmers made by my major professor, mentor and friend, Luther S. Bird, Ph.D., professor of genetics and of plant pathology, Texas A&M University, College Station. Dr. Bird developed cotton varieties resistant to biotic (diseases and insects) and abiotic (heat, cold and drought) stresses as well as ... Read More »

A lifetime in Agriculture

I grew up on a farm in Louisiana and have been involved in agriculture my entire life. Serving as state vice president and president of Future Farmers of America (FFA) while in high school and college set the course for my agricultural career. While I was state FFA president, I scouted cotton and participated in what was at that time ... Read More »

Twists Of Fate Guided Me To Cotton

It surely must be those indelible moments etched in youthful memories that somehow mold or guide us toward what we eventually become. For me, it could have been that family friend I visited often in McComb, Miss., on what many folks might call “Old McDonald’s Farm,” or possibly our annual summer vacation to Georgia where I picked peaches with my ... Read More »

Law of Physics and Economics

When I was invited to write this column, I was asked “to tell some stories of things, people and events you may have encountered through your career.” Quite frankly, some of those stories are best told and not written. I was blessed to have known and worked closely with many legends in the cotton industry, some departed: Drs. Bob Bridge, ... Read More »

Setting The Record Straight

The hardest part of writing this story is that even though I can remember it like yesterday, it happened 38 years ago. Well, at least the first part of it did. This recounting will attempt to set straight a couple of events that, over time and telling by folks other than myself, turned into a grand myth that’s better than ... Read More »