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11-Year-Old Gets Hands-On Education in Cotton Production

Like most kids in his grade, 11-year-old Britton Pointer gets excited about his after-school activities. But instead of video games, Britton heads out onto the farm after the final school bell rings.

Pointer, a fifth grader from Littlefield, TX, is more involved than your average youngster on the farm. In fact, he had his own 10-acre circle to manage during the 2014 season.

“I had my own cotton, and had to keep an eye on everything,” Pointer says. “I liked it. It was a pretty neat deal. Getting to watch the cotton grow – that’s my favorite part of it.”

Pointer was involved in almost every aspect of production on his plot. He knows how to drive a tractor, he says, and is always learning about the best irrigation practices. Like most first-time farmers, Pointer says he learned a great deal during his first season – one filled with trials and errors.

“I learned that nothing is easy,” says Pointer.

Still, the youngster is remarkably knowledgeable about production agriculture in general. His parents say he devotes all of his spare time to agriculture – from participation in his local 4-H chapter to riding along with crop consultants. Britton, they say, is always picking the minds of more experienced ag professionals. Perhaps that’s why he’s developed strong opinions about his crop inputs over the course of the last year – including the type of cotton he prefers to grow.

“I had 10 acres of pivot-irrigated cotton on our home place,” Pointer says. “I planted FM 2484B2F last year, alongside some of our other FM 2011GT. I think I’m going to plant the FM 2011GT in my plot next year, because I just think it’s better on our tougher ground. I think it does better overall with storms, too.”

Like most cotton producers in his corner of the Cotton Belt, Britton had to learn quickly how to produce a crop in adverse growing conditions. The water scenarios on much of his farm were less than ideal in 2014, and the weather occasionally proved damaging. Still, every obstacle became a teachable moment for the straight A student. And at the end of the season, Britton was proud of what he had accomplished.

“Well, harvest time is my favorite time of the year,” says Pointer. “When it’s time to strip the cotton, I’m either at school or in the field. I love that time of the season.”

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