Kirk Gilkey, manager of Cross Creek II Gin in Corcoran, California, was recognized as the 2018 Hayden National Cotton Ginner of the Year for his years of service to the U.S. cotton industry.
The annual award is presented to a ginner who provided able, efficient and faithful cotton ginning service and continued those principles exemplified and practiced by Horace Hayden, a former National Cotton Ginners Association executive secretary.
“This is well deserved and a long time coming for one of the industry’s tireless contributors,” according to a statement from the California Cotton Ginners and Growers Association.
Gilkey, born and raised in Corcoran, has deep roots in the cotton industry. He attended high school in Corcoran where he was a star football player. He was so good that he received a scholarship to play football at Arizona State University.
He left Arizona State and attended California Polytechnic State University where he received a Bachelor of Science degree in agricultural business management. In 1980, he was selected to tour the British Islands with a California rugby squad, which competed against British rugby teams.
Local And National Leader
Gilkey is one of the most active ginners in the CCGGA. He has served for many years as a board member. Gilkey also served as chairman in 1996 and was named the association’s recipient of California Ginner of the Year in 2000.
He has been a longtime ginner delegate to the National Cotton Council, NCC board member and past president, and chairman of the NCGA in 2010 and 2011. In addition, he has served either as chairman or as a member of most of NCGA’s committees and subcommittees.
He served several years on the NCC’s Joint Industry Bale Packaging Committee and as chairman of the NCC’s Packaging and Flow Program Committee.
Currently, Gilkey is manager of Cross-Creek II Gin, general manager of Gilkey Farming Enterprises, and general manager of and a partner in Gilkey Five. He also is a trustee for the Corcoran Methodist Church and the Corcoran Community Foundation.
Gilkey also served as past president of the Corcoran Chamber of Commerce and on the board of directors of Corcoran’s YMCA for more than 10 years.
Previous California winners of the Horace Hayden award include Louie Colombini, Buttonwillow Ginning and Westside Farmers Co-op; Stan Creelman, Mid-Valley Cotton Growers; Michael Hopper, Farmers Co-op Gin; Loyd Colbert, Modern Ginning; Bob Faris, Elbow Enterprises; Ken Rowan, Broadview Co-op; Tom Miller; and Macon Steele, Producers Cotton Oil.
The California Cotton Ginners and Growers Association would like to congratulate Kirk Gilkey, recognize all of his contributions to the California cotton industry and say job well done!
The National Cotton Council and the California Cotton Ginners and Growers Association contributed to this article.