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2019 Georgia Quality Cotton Awards

The 2019 Georgia Quality Cotton Awards were presented recently at the Georgia Cotton Commission’s 13th Annual Meeting and University of Georgia Cotton Production Workshop in Tifton. The awards are co-sponsored by the Georgia Cotton Commission and BASF and administered by the UGA Cotton Team.

The purpose of the awards is to recognize producers and ginners of high-quality cotton fiber and to identify their general management practices for the benefit of other growers.

“About 15 years ago, Georgia was experiencing cotton quality issues that made it hard for our farmers to compete in the marketplace,” says Taylor Sills, Georgia Cotton Commission, director of public affairs. “Since that time, advancements in cotton varieties and production techniques have resulted in significantly improved cotton quality across the state.

“The Georgia Quality Cotton Awards celebrate not just individual farmers, ginners and Extension personnel but also how great the quality of Georgia cotton is today.”

The producers and their gins received a plaque, and the winning producers received a $500 cash award. The UGA county Extension agent for each winner was also recognized as they work closely with the farmers during the growing season.

The 2019 Best Cotton Award recipient is Washington County’s Derek Davis, who was unable to attend the meeting. Accepting the award on his behalf are Ralph Sandeford (second from left) and Jason Cobb (second from right), Midville Warehouse Inc. Also pictured are Taylor Sills (left), Georgia Cotton Commission, and Mark Freeman, BASF Stoneville.

The awards represent three cotton acreage categories: 1) less than 500 acres, 2) 500 to 1,000 acres and 3) greater than 1,000 acres within the four regions of the state. Winners are determined by the loan value and premiums of their cotton.
Their achievements are due largely to management practices and expertise. The program sponsors congratulate the 2019 recipients.

Region 1
Less than 500 acres

  • Grower – Beth NeSmith, Turner County
  • Ginner – Sconyers Gin and Warehouse, Sycamore
  • UGA Extension Agent – Guy Hancock

500-1,000 acres

  • Grower – Mark Thompson, Pulaski County
  • Ginner – Arabi Gin Co., Arabi
  • UGA Extension Agent – Jay Porter

1,000+ acres

  • Grower – Ronnie Conner, Wilcox County
  • Ginner – Worth Gin & Warehouse, Sylvester
  • UGA Extension Agent – Holly Anderson

Region 2
Less than 500 acres

  • Grower – Derek Davis, Washington County
  • Ginner – Midville Warehouse Inc., Midville
  • UGA Extension Agent – Tammy Cheely

500-1,000 acres

  • Grower – Buckhead Creek Farms, Jenkins County
  • Ginner – Midville Warehouse Inc., Midville
  • UGA Extension Agent – Katie Burch

1,000+ acres

  • Grower – Dean Johnson, Burke County
  • Ginner – Bryant’s Gin, Bartow
  • UGA Extension Agent – Peyton Sapp

Region 3
Less than 500 acres

  • Grower – Randall Webb, Tift County
  • Ginner – Omega Gin Co., Tifton
  • UGA Extension Agent – Justin Hand

500-1,000 acres

  • Grower – Chris Exum, Brooks County
  • Ginner – BCT Gin Co. Inc., Quitman
  • UGA Extension Agent – Stephanie Hollifield

1,000+ acres

  • Grower – Brian & Ken Ponder, Tift County
  • Ginner – Omega Gin Co., Tifton
  • UGA Extension Agent – Justin Hand

Region 4
Less than 500 acres

  • Grower – Andrew Rayburn, Thomas County
  • Ginner – BCT Gin Co. Inc., Quitman
  • UGA Extension Agent – Sydni Barwick

500-1,000 acres

  • Grower – Stacey & Stuart Jones, Worth County
  • Ginner – Worth Gin & Warehouse, Sylvester
  • UGA Extension Agents – Scott Carlson and Bryce Sutherland

1,000+ acres

  • Grower – Brian Rayburn, Thomas County
  • Ginner – BCT Gin Co. Inc., Quitman
  • UGA Extension Agent – Sydni Barwick

The final category in the Georgia Quality Cotton Awards is the Best Cotton Award that recognizes the Georgia cotton producer with highest loan value and premium.

The 2019 Best Cotton Award recipient is Washington County’s Derek Davis with a loan value of 56.82 cents per pound and a premium of 4.82 cents per pound.

To view additional photos, visit Georgia Cotton Commission on Facebook.

The Georgia Cotton Commission contributed this article.