For more than a decade, I’ve had the opportunity to interview the Cotton Consultant of the Year winner each year, and it’s a job that I never get tired of. This award, co-sponsored by Cotton Farming and Syngenta, is truly one of the highlights of the year for our magazine. The consultant is one of the most important persons in the cotton industry – mainly because he helps farmers make crucial decisions during the year. Without consultants, production agriculture would look a lot different today. They are simply the eyes and ears for the farmer and monitor the progress of the crop every day – whether it’s walking the turnrow, soil sampling or doing research on a particular problem.
Our winner for 2012 is Tim White of Jonesville, La. Back in October, I drove from Memphis to Louisiana to spend some time with Tim and his wife Christie. It was a wonderful trip, and I now have a greater appreciation for the job he’s been doing for Louisiana cotton producers for more than 20 years. As you’ll notice in the special four-page section in our January issue, Tim knew at an early age that being a consultant is what he wanted to pursue for a career in agriculture. He had interned with Agricultural Management Services (AMS), one of the most respected consultant groups in the state. Following his graduation from Louisiana Tech University, he wound up accepting a job with AMS, and it’s a decision he’s never regretted. It’s hard to sum up Tim’s personality in a few words. But suffice it to say that he is one of the most energetic and positive persons I’ve ever been around. No matter what kind of challenge a farmer is facing with his crop, Tim will find a way to find a solution. You might call him the eternal optimist.
He certainly was surrounded by excellent mentors when he started his consultant career. You can’t find better teachers than Roger Carter, Ray Young, Grady Coburn and Harold Lambert. Those are some of the consultants who helped Tim learn the business, and how could anybody not be proud to be associated with such respected industry leaders?
My lasting memory of Tim and wife Christie is how they rolled out the welcome mat when I finally arrived at their house after the long drive from Memphis. I got lost several times before I eventually rolled into their driveway that evening. Christie prepared a wonderful dinner for the three of us, and we spent the rest of the evening talking about their individual careers as consultant and high school counselor. We shared stories about people we’ve known in the past 20 years and how special it is to be a part of the cotton industry. It was an opportunity to learn more about Tim’s consultant career and why he is respected by so many of his colleagues.
When I turned off the tape recorder that evening, I knew I had enough information to write a book. Unfortunately, we only had room for a four-page salute to Tim in the January issue of Cotton Farming. If you see Tim anytime soon, be sure and take some time to chat with him. He joins an impressive list of previous winners of this award, and he’s deserving of the recognition.
Congratulations again to Tim for being honored as the 2012 Cotton Consultant of the Year.