The 2014 Georgia Quality Cotton Awards were presented at the Georgia Cotton Commission’s 8th annual meeting and University of Georgia Cotton Production Workshop on Jan. 28 in Tifton, Ga. The awards are co-sponsored by the Georgia Cotton Commission and Bayer CropScience, and administered by the UGA Cotton Team.
The purpose of the awards are to recognize producers and ginners of high-quality cotton fiber and to identify their general management practices for the benefit of other growers. 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.
Georgia Cotton Commission Chairman Mike Lucas said that “we have some of the best cotton farmers here in Georgia and this award recognizes the great achievements that our growers accomplish year after year.” Josh Mayfield with Bayer CropScience notes that “over the last several years that I have been involved in the Georgia Quality Cotton Awards, I have been very appreciative of the growers who have participated, and especially the gins and UGA Extension offices across the state who have encouraged and supported participation in recognizing their local farming community.”
The awards are given in each of these 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 in these categories are determined by the loan value and premiums of their cotton. The winners’ excellent achievements are due largely to their management practices and expertise. The sponsors of this program congratulate all of the following winners:
Region 1: Less than 500 acres – Mark Thompson of Pulaski County, Arabi Gin, with agent Mark Freeman. 500 to1,000 acres – Brad Griffin of Turner County, Sconyers Gin, with agent Josh Gravitt. Greater than 1,000 acres – Willis Collins of Turner County, Arabi Gin, with agent Josh Gravitt.
Region 2: Less than 500 acres – Van Hiebert of Jefferson County, Midville Gin and Warehouse with agent Pamela Sapp. 500 to 1,000 acres – Alton Walker of Burke County, Bryant’s Inc., with agent Peyton Sapp. Greater than 1,000 acres – Dean Johnson of Burke County, Midville Gin and Warehouse/Bryant’s Inc., with agent Peyton Sapp.
Region 3: Less than 500 acres – Sawyer Wider of Brooks County, BCT-Quitman, with agent Stephanie Hollifield. 500 to 1,000 acres – River Bottom Farms of Lanier County, BCT-Quitman, with agent Jeremy Taylor. Greater than 1,000 acres – Dewitt Farms of Brooks County, BCT-Quitman, with agent Stephanie Hollifield.
Region 4: Less than 500 acres – Charles and Percy Tolbert of Early County, Clover Leaf Gin, with agent Brian Creswell. 500 to 1,000 acres – North American Farms of Seminole County, Clover Leaf Gin, with agent Rome Ethredge. Greater than 1,000 acres – Sapp Brothers Farm of Mitchell County, BCT-Berlin, with agent Andy Shirley.
The final award given was the overall Best Cotton Award. This was awarded to the Georgia cotton producer with highest loan value and premium. The 2014 Best Cotton Award went to Van Hiebert with a loan value of 57.55 cents/lb and a premium of 5.55 cents/lb.