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He began collecting artifacts in the mid-80s – driving to neighbors’ farms to pick up the odd piece of out-of-date machinery.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.

Pages: 1 2

Leave a Reply

News Stories
News

Mark Pryor Named Chairman/CEO of The Seam

July 23, 2015

Mark Pryor has been named Chairman and CEO of The Seam, effective August 1, by the organization’s Board of Directors.

News

Focus on Cotton Series Adds Sulfur Fertilization Webcast

July 23, 2015

A new webcast to help growers identify and address sulfur deficiencies in cotton is now available as part of the Focus on Cotton webinar series.

News

Mid-South Cotton Producers to See Texas Agriculture

July 21, 2015

Ten Mid-South cotton producers are visiting Texas as part of the National Cotton Council’s 2015 Producer Information Exchange Program.

News

Lacy Named to Lead PYCO Industries

July 16, 2015

Robert Lacy has been named President and CEO of cottonseed processor PYCO Industries, effective October 1.

News

VA/NC Cotton Field Day Set for August 11

July 8, 2015

The Tidewater Agricultural Research & Extension Center in Suffolk, VA, will host the 2015 Cotton Field Day on August 11.

News

Southeastern Cotton Producers to See San Joaquin Valley Agriculture

July 7, 2015

Thirteen Southeastern cotton producers are visiting California’s San Joaquin Valley as part of the National Cotton Council’s 2015 Producer Information Exchange Program.

News

SePRO Corporation Realigns Business Units

July 7, 2015

SePRO Corporation has announced changes to its sales and marketing structure to help enhance visibility and growth in the agriculture and specialty chemical markets.

Around The Gin
Product News

Nufarm Introduces Panther SC Herbicide

July 24, 2015

Nufarm is introducing Panther SC herbicide, a new broad-spectrum herbicide for use in cotton and other Southern row crops.

Product News

USDA Deregulates Dow AgroSciences’ Enlist Cotton Trait

July 23, 2015

The USDA has deregulated Dow AgroSciences’ Enlist cotton trait in the United States.

Product News

Ratting Out Copper Theft

June 10, 2015

A simple alarm technology is helping to stop copper thieves who target irrigation systems.

Product News

EPA Approves New Premix for 2016 for Cotton, Soybean Weed Control

May 29, 2015

Cotton and soybean growers will have a new weed control option in 2016 with Warrant Ultra Herbicide, a premix of acetochlor and fomesafen.

Product News

Deltapine NPE Program Begins Eighth Year of On-Farm Variety Evaluation

April 28, 2015

Nearly 200 farmers will be part of the Deltapine New Product Evaluator program this year to help evaluate cotton variety candidates for the Deltapine Class of 16.

Product News

EPA Approves Enlist Duo Herbicide for Use in Additional States

April 2, 2015

The EPA has approved Enlist Duo herbicide for use in nine additional states, including four in the Cotton Belt.

Product News

New 2015 CROPLAN Cotton Varieties Feature Bollgard II XtendFlex Technology

March 19, 2015

WinField is adding Monsanto’s new Bollgard II XtendFlex cotton trait to two new CROPLAN cotton varieties for 2015.

Precision Technology

New Features for TeeJet Aeros 9040 Field Computer

March 18, 2015

TeeJet has added new features to its Aeros 9040 Field Computer for 2015.

Latest News
News

Mark Pryor Named Chairman/CEO of The Seam

July 23, 2015

Mark Pryor has been named Chairman and CEO of The Seam, effective August 1, by the organization’s Board of Directors.

News

Focus on Cotton Series Adds Sulfur Fertilization Webcast

July 23, 2015

A new webcast to help growers identify and address sulfur deficiencies in cotton is now available as part of the Focus on Cotton webinar series.

News

Mid-South Cotton Producers to See Texas Agriculture

July 21, 2015

Ten Mid-South cotton producers are visiting Texas as part of the National Cotton Council’s 2015 Producer Information Exchange Program.

News

Lacy Named to Lead PYCO Industries

July 16, 2015

Robert Lacy has been named President and CEO of cottonseed processor PYCO Industries, effective October 1.

News

VA/NC Cotton Field Day Set for August 11

July 8, 2015

The Tidewater Agricultural Research & Extension Center in Suffolk, VA, will host the 2015 Cotton Field Day on August 11.

News

Southeastern Cotton Producers to See San Joaquin Valley Agriculture

July 7, 2015

Thirteen Southeastern cotton producers are visiting California’s San Joaquin Valley as part of the National Cotton Council’s 2015 Producer Information Exchange Program.

News

SePRO Corporation Realigns Business Units

July 7, 2015

SePRO Corporation has announced changes to its sales and marketing structure to help enhance visibility and growth in the agriculture and specialty chemical markets.

News

Cotton Transition Assistance Program Enrollment Begins

July 6, 2015

Farmers in eligible counties may enroll in the Cotton Transition Assistance Program from July 6 through September 30.

News

Otahal Family Wins Kotton Kidz Prize for 2014

July 2, 2015

The Otahal family of Corpus Christi, Texas, is the grand-prize winner of the 2014 Kotton Kidz Photo Contest, sponsored by

News

USDA Updates Climate Change Adaptation Policy

June 23, 2015

USDA is taking additional steps to integrate climate change adaptation into the department’s programs and operations.

News

Koschnick, Barrick Promoted at SePRO

June 22, 2015

Dr. Tyler Koschnick and Sam Barrick have been promoted to new leadership positions at SePRO Corporation, manufacturers of Brake herbicide.

News

California Cotton Ginners Honor Patterson and Curlee, Name New Officers

June 17, 2015

The California Cotton Ginners Association honored Russell Patterson and Jesse Curlee, and named new officers and board members during the organization’s recent meeting.

News

Legé Joins PhytoGen as Cotton Development Specialist

June 1, 2015

Ken Legé has joined PhytoGen as a cotton development specialist for the Texas northern Plains and Oklahoma.

News

Spreading the Word About West Texas Ag

June 1, 2015

A Lubbock area cotton mom proudly carries the region’s food and fiber story to the National Farm Mom of the Year program.

News

USDA Issues Preliminary Deregulation Documents for Enlist Cotton

May 26, 2015

USDA is seeking comments on preliminary documents relating to pending deregulation of Enlist cotton from Dow AgroSciences.