facebook_pixel

Texas Grower Turns Passion for History Into a Treasure Trove for His Community

For Dan Taylor, collecting agriculture artifacts and mementos has always been a passion. The Ropesville, TX, farmer has always felt a sentimental connection to history – something that goes beyond standard nostalgia.

“I’ve always had an appreciation for preserving some of the past,” Taylor says. “Even when I was a little kid, I can remember hating to see an old church tore down, or things like that. It was always sentimental to me.”

Now, after a career spent in agriculture, Taylor has taken a step back from teaching, ginning and farming to focus on that passion for history.

He began collecting artifacts in the mid-80s – driving to neighbors’ farms to pick up the odd piece of out-of-date machinery. From those simple beginnings Taylor has amassed a mountain of historical agriculture artifacts – from diesel-powered gins to decades-old classing records. On his property near Ropesville, Taylor houses two large showrooms of museum-ready displays. And these are only what are left from the substantial donations he has made to the newly-named Bayer Museum of Agriculture in nearby Lubbock, where he serves as Chairman of the Board.

To tour Taylor’s showrooms on his property is to realize he missed his calling as a tour guide. His enthusiasm for the pieces on display is readily apparent. To spend years collecting such a massive amount of history is one thing – to have the enthusiasm of sharing with outsiders is quite another. Taylor says that comes from a life spent enjoying what agriculture has to offer.

“In my short years left, I hope I’m able to give something back,” says Taylor. “Agriculture has been very good to me.”

Finding His Calling

Growing up in the north-central Texas town of Blum, Taylor says he was dead set on avoiding agriculture as a career.

“People used to ask me what I was going to do for a living,” Taylor says. “My standard issue was that I don’t know, but I know what I won’t do. I won’t have anything to do with farming or anything to do with cotton.”

At the time, his idea of working on a cotton farm involved hand-weeding and hand-harvesting – backbreaking labor “in the hot sun of central Texas” that simply didn’t interest the young Taylor. But after one semester at an agricultural college, Taylor said he realized he had a future in agriculture. He transferred to Texas Tech University immediately.

After graduating in 1964, he set out to become a teacher, landing at a small high school just outside of the Lubbock city limits. He taught agriculture, and before long found himself farming a 10-acre plot as a hands-on tool for teaching his pupils.

“You would have thought that 10-acre plot was the biggest thing in the world,” Taylor says, laughing. “I was so proud of it.”

It was around this time that he married his wife, Linda, and the two both taught high school and raised three children from a small four-room house.  Taylor says he is proud of the agricultural education program he was a part of as a teacher in those years. In fact, he’s carried the educational mission throughout the latter stages of his career.

“Texas still appreciates the agriculture program,” Taylor says. “I’ve been on the Texas FFA Foundation for 24 years, and we’ve gone from 85,000 members to 103,000 in a five year period. The urban growth of agriculture programs has been phenomenal in Texas. They’re recognizing the value.”

After 11 years as an educator, opportunity came knocking for the young Taylor family. Through his side-project of farming, Taylor had begun to develop contacts in the farming community around Lubbock. It didn’t take long for one of those contacts to see the potential in Taylor.

“I was very blessed. I loved teaching, and I had no plans to get out of it,” Taylor said. “But I loved farming, too, and we had a chance to buy into this gin that was just about to close – they had ginned 1,100 bales the last year. So I decided to try it.

Leave a Reply

News Stories
News

Coloring Cotton with Cotton

April 18, 2017

A collaborative program between Archroma and Cotton Incorporated has resulted in a process to dye cotton with cotton.

News

USDA Announces 2017 Cotton Loan Rate Differentials

April 19, 2017

The USDA’s Farm Service Agency has announced the 2017-crop loan rate differentials for upland and extra-long staple cotton.

Cotton Sprayer
Product News

UPI Adds New Herbicide Products

April 14, 2017

UPI has added two new herbicides to its portfolio of high quality crop protection products for the U.S.

News

Survey Studies U.S. Cotton Sustainability Versus Synthetics

April 10, 2017

A University of Georgia student’s survey of the U.S. cotton industry found that the crop can compete with synthetic fibers and will continue to be economically and environmentally feasible into the future.

Product News

Deltapine NPE Program Kicks off Tenth Year

April 10, 2017

Nearly 200 growers will participate in the tenth season of the Deltapine New Product Evaluator (NPE) Program.

News

NCC Conveys Farm Law Priorities in DC Hearing

April 4, 2017

National Cotton Council Chairman Ronnie Lee outlined cotton’s priorities for the next farm bill before the House Agriculture Committee’s Subcommittee on General Farm Commodities and Risk Management.

News

NCC Comments on EPA’s Chlorpyrifos Decision

March 31, 2017

The National Cotton Council supports EPA’s decision to focus on scientific evidence to maintain registration for chlorpyrifos.

Around The Gin
Product News

UPI Adds New Herbicide Products

April 14, 2017

UPI has added two new herbicides to its portfolio of high quality crop protection products for the U.S.

Product News

FiberMax One Ton Club Membership Tops 1,000

April 14, 2017

A record number of growers qualified for the FiberMax One Ton Club in 2016 with four-bale and higher yields with FiberMax varieties.

Product News

Deltapine NPE Program Kicks off Tenth Year

April 10, 2017

Nearly 200 growers will participate in the tenth season of the Deltapine New Product Evaluator (NPE) Program.

Product News

BASF Expands Dicamba Manufacturing Facility

March 22, 2017

BASF has completed a $270 million expansion of its Beaumont, TX, facility – the largest agricultural products facility investment in company history.

Product News

Topguard Terra Label Amendments for Cotton Root Rot in Texas

March 7, 2017

Texas growers now have additional preplant and post planting options for using Topguard Terra to control cotton root rot.

Product News

Advanced Traits from PhytoGen Protect Yield and Quality

March 6, 2017

PhytoGen varieties offer more and better in-plant, native trait protection to help cotton thrive, protect quality and optimize yields.

Product News

Six Greenleaf Nozzles Approved for Use with XtendiMax

February 24, 2017

Six TurboDrop D Series nozzles from Greenleaf Technologies have been approved for use with Monsanto’s XtendiMax herbicide with VaporGrip Technology.

Product News

EPA Approves DuPont’s FeXapan Dicamba Herbicide

February 17, 2017

DuPont has received EPA registration for FeXapan herbicide plus VaporGrip Technology, a low-volatility dicamba formulation for use on cotton and soybean varieties carrying traits that provide tolerance to dicamba and glyphosate herbicides.

Latest News
News

USDA Announces 2017 Cotton Loan Rate Differentials

April 19, 2017

The USDA’s Farm Service Agency has announced the 2017-crop loan rate differentials for upland and extra-long staple cotton.

News

Coloring Cotton with Cotton

April 18, 2017

A collaborative program between Archroma and Cotton Incorporated has resulted in a process to dye cotton with cotton.

News

Cotton Highlights from April WASDE Report

April 11, 2017

The continued strength of U.S. cotton exports are reflected in USDA’s WASDE report for April.

News

Survey Studies U.S. Cotton Sustainability Versus Synthetics

April 10, 2017

A University of Georgia student’s survey of the U.S. cotton industry found that the crop can compete with synthetic fibers and will continue to be economically and environmentally feasible into the future.

News

NCC Conveys Farm Law Priorities in DC Hearing

April 4, 2017

National Cotton Council Chairman Ronnie Lee outlined cotton’s priorities for the next farm bill before the House Agriculture Committee’s Subcommittee on General Farm Commodities and Risk Management.

News

NCC Comments on EPA’s Chlorpyrifos Decision

March 31, 2017

The National Cotton Council supports EPA’s decision to focus on scientific evidence to maintain registration for chlorpyrifos.

News

Lubbock Ag Day Speakers Offer Tips for Cotton and Allied Sectors

March 23, 2017

Active involvement and participation are needed to help push the cotton, textile and related sectors forward, noted speakers at the recent Lubbock Chamber of Commerce Salute to Ag Luncheon.

News

NCC: President’s Recognition of U.S. Agriculture Encouraging

March 22, 2017

The NCC found President Trump's National Agriculture Day proclamation encouraging, based on his comments about the value of America's farmers and ranchers.

News

Webcast Focuses on Value of Cotton Variety Selection

March 17, 2017

A new webcast on the economic value of choosing the correct cotton variety has been added to the Focus on Cotton online series from the Plant Management Network and Cotton Incorporated.

News

Ag Groups: Productive Trade Meeting with Trump Administration

March 17, 2017

Leaders from 11 major U.S. agricultural and agribusiness organizations engaged in a substantive and productive meeting with the Trump administration on the continued growth of food and agriculture exports.

News

Bayer Opens $16.7 Million Southwest Cotton Breeding Station

March 13, 2017

A new Bayer breeding and research station near Lubbock, TX, focuses on drought-resistant cotton varieties and traits for limited-input situations.

News

A Man on the Move

March 9, 2017

Ronnie Lee is ready to do cotton’s work as 2017 NCC Chairman. Just don’t count on him slowing down in the process.

News

Cotton Highlights from March WASDE Report

March 9, 2017

The March WASDE report for cotton shows incremental increases in estimated U.S. production and exports based on current market conditions, while global consumption and stocks remain, on average, virtually unchanged.

News

Required Training for Auxin Herbicides in Arkansas Now Online

March 6, 2017

Required online training for agricultural applicators planning to apply new auxin herbicides on Enlist or Xtend crops in Arkansas in 2017 is now available.

News

NCC Praises Appointment of Starling as Trump Ag Assistant

February 28, 2017

The appointment of Ray Starling as Special Assistant to the President for Agriculture, Trade and Food Assistance by President Donald Trump has drawn praise from the National Cotton Council.