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He began collecting artifacts in the mid-80s – driving to neighbors’ farms to pick up the odd piece of out-of-date machinery.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

EPA Extends Comment Period on Dicamba Use with New Traits

April 29, 2016

The EPA has added another 30 days to the public comment period on the proposed registration of dicamba products for weed control in cotton and soybeans.

News

Monsanto’s Fraley Stresses Need for Science Education

April 28, 2016

Monsanto’s Robert Fraley told a group of Texas Tech researchers and students that communicating science and training next-generation STEM graduates are just as important as doing the science.

News

Texas Tech Honors Researcher for Excellence in Commercialization

April 27, 2016

Texas Tech University honored Dr. Seshadri Ramkumar with the 2016 President’s Excellence in Commercialization Award for his numerous contributions to nonwoven materials.

News

NCC Announces New Emerging Leaders Class

April 21, 2016

Twelve U.S. cotton industry members have been selected for the National Cotton Council Emerging Leaders Program class for 2016-17.

News

USDA Announces 2016 Cotton Loan Rate Differentials

April 18, 2016

USDA’s Farm Service Agency has announced the 2016-crop loan rate differentials for upland and extra-long staple cotton.

Product News

ReinCloud Promises Remote Control

April 18, 2016

New software set to combine irrigation management and data collection – all in the palm of your hand.

Product News

Search Begins for Deltapine Class of 17

April 14, 2016

Deltapine’s NPE program is nine years old, and the search for the company’s Class of 17 cotton varieties is underway.

Around The Gin
Product News

Meister Media Worldwide Website Relaunches With New Resources

April 22, 2016

Meister Media Worldwide — publisher of Cotton Grower magazine – has relaunched its corporate website, highlighting information and services available from one of agriculture’s leading media companies.

Product News

ReinCloud Promises Remote Control

April 18, 2016

New software set to combine irrigation management and data collection – all in the palm of your hand.

Product News

Search Begins for Deltapine Class of 17

April 14, 2016

Deltapine’s NPE program is nine years old, and the search for the company’s Class of 17 cotton varieties is underway.

Product News

Texas Farmer First to Plant Enlist Cotton Variety

April 11, 2016

Dean Hansen of El Campo, TX, was the first cotton grower in North America to plant the first commercially-available cottonseed with the Enlist cotton trait.

Product News

New Options for Roundup Ready PLUS Program

March 25, 2016

The Roundup Ready PLUS Crop Management Solutions program for 2016 includes a new tool for weed management and new incentives for farmers looking to fight insect pests in corn.

Product News

Greenleaf Launches easyFlow Closed Transfer System

March 24, 2016

Greenleaf Technologies has launched the company’s new easyFlow closed transfer system for the North American market.

Product News

AgLogic Launches Aldicarb Product in Georgia

March 15, 2016

Growers in Georgia will be able to use a new aldicarb pesticide in 2016 for nematode and early season pest control.

Product News

Moss Joins Mid-South Team for Brake Herbicide

February 29, 2016

Ag sales veteran Larry Moss has joined SePRO Corporation as a technical specialist for Brake herbicide in the Mid-South.

Latest News
News

EPA Extends Comment Period on Dicamba Use with New Traits

April 29, 2016

The EPA has added another 30 days to the public comment period on the proposed registration of dicamba products for weed control in cotton and soybeans.

News

Monsanto’s Fraley Stresses Need for Science Education

April 28, 2016

Monsanto’s Robert Fraley told a group of Texas Tech researchers and students that communicating science and training next-generation STEM graduates are just as important as doing the science.

News

Texas Tech Honors Researcher for Excellence in Commercialization

April 27, 2016

Texas Tech University honored Dr. Seshadri Ramkumar with the 2016 President’s Excellence in Commercialization Award for his numerous contributions to nonwoven materials.

News

NCC Announces New Emerging Leaders Class

April 21, 2016

Twelve U.S. cotton industry members have been selected for the National Cotton Council Emerging Leaders Program class for 2016-17.

News

NCC Disputes Turkish Actions in Anti-Dumping Investigation

April 18, 2016

The National Cotton Council is disputing the Turkish government’s decision to impose a 3% duty on all U.S. cotton fiber imports into Turkey, effective immediately.

News

USDA Announces 2016 Cotton Loan Rate Differentials

April 18, 2016

USDA’s Farm Service Agency has announced the 2016-crop loan rate differentials for upland and extra-long staple cotton.

News

Cotton Highlights from April WASDE Report

April 12, 2016

USDA’s April World Agricultural Supply and Demand Estimates report shows small adjustments to U.S. production numbers and stocks, while world stocks drop another 1.1 million bales.

News

New Webcast Explains Cotton Cultivated Website

April 11, 2016

A new webcast explaining the features of the new Cotton Cultivated website has been added to the Focus on Cotton online series from the Plant Management Network and Cotton Incorporated.

News

EPA Opens Comment Period on Dicamba Use with New Traits

April 1, 2016

The EPA has opened a 30-day public comment period, beginning April 1, regarding the in-crop use of dicamba herbicide with Bollgard II XtendFlex cotton and Roundup Ready 2 Xtend soybeans.

News

U.S. Consortium Commits $317 Million for Advanced Textiles Development

April 1, 2016

A newly-announced private/public collaboration will invest $317 million towards developing the next generation of textile innovations in the United States.

News

Nonwoven Innovations Focus of Upcoming TAPPI Conference

March 31, 2016

New innovations from fiber to nonwoven fabrics highlight the agenda of TAPPI’s Nonwovens International Conference in May.

News

Texas Tech Researcher to Receive Nonwovens Technical Award

March 24, 2016

A Texas Tech University researcher has been chosen as recipient of the nonwoven industry’s highest honor for technical achievement.

News

New Webcast Focuses on Soil Conductivity and Planning

March 21, 2016

A new webcast focusing on soil conductivity measurements has been added to the Focus on Cotton online series from the Plant Management Network and Cotton Incorporated.

News

Marriott Hotels to Use U.S. Made Cotton Towels and Mats

March 21, 2016

Marriott International will now offer its customers bath terry towels and mats made in the United States using U.S. grown cotton.

News

Cotton Highlights from March WASDE Report

March 9, 2016

U.S. cotton numbers are unchanged and global stocks are down slightly in USDA’s March World Agricultural Supply and Demand Estimates report.