Even as they deal with a drought for the third straight year, Texas Cotton Ginners’ Association members remain hopeful that timely rains will occur this summer, allowing cotton to be harvested and ginned in a timely manner.
That was the mood of TCGA members attending the organization’s summer meeting on June 22-27 while enjoying a trip on a Carnival Cruise ship in the Gulf of Mexico. A crowd of 238 from TCGA traveled on the cruise, which departed Galveston and made stops in Progresso and Cozumel, Mexico. The attendees included TCGA members, Associates and their families.
In total, 34 gins were represented at the meeting.
“Our members continue to stay optimistic despite the drought conditions,” says TCGA Executive Vice President Tony Williams. “The weather can be spotty throughout the state, but there is no denying that we are in the third straight year of a drought.”
Even as the drought continues, Williams says there has been enough rainfall in various parts of the state to get the crop started.
“In west Texas, we have had some storms and rain, and we might even regain some dryland acres that we haven’t had in several years,” he says.
In addition to receiving crop updates from TCGA members representing various districts across the state, the board heard the following reports:
• Farm Bill update from National Cotton Council member services representative Rick King.
• Special cotton market report from Robert Luehrs of Allenberg Cotton.
• Audit report from Tony Williams.
• Budget report from ginner Sid Brough.
• Safety seminar report and internship update from Aaron Nelsen.
• Report from TCGA Technical Services Director Kelley Green on new emission factors being implemented for gins. He also provided updates on electric rate cases and the TCGA aggregation program.
• Williams concluded the meeting by discussing the drought conditions and potential impact on the state’s cotton infrastructure. He also reviewed the previous legislative session in Texas, as well as funding for cotton, wool and mohair research, and boll weevil eradication. He finished by discussing the status of hurricane and tropical storm insurance for South Texas gins and contamination issues connected with plastic wrap used for round modules.
One of the highlights of the meeting occurred when Williams was honored for his 25 years of service to the organization. He began his tenure as executive vice president in August of 1988 and is now working with his 26th different TCGA president.
Under Williams’ leadership, TCGA now collects dues on 98 percent of the cotton ginned in the state. Other benefits available to member gins include: affordable workers compensation insurance through the Texas Cotton Ginners Trust, representation with regulatory agencies, including environmental, trucking and utility rates. TCGA works with Texas cotton producers and offers assistance on numerous issues that affect gin customers. Williams also represents TCGA by working with the state legislature on key issues that affect cotton gins.
Texas Cotton Ginners’ Association contributed information for this article.