37 Years Of Honoring Achievement

One of the most gratifying and enjoyable parts of serving the U.S. cotton industry is interviewing and highlighting some of the truly great leaders who go above and beyond the ordinary in every aspect of the work they do. And once a year for the past 37 years, we’ve highlighted a single individual who’s work clearly stands out above the crowd through the Cotton Grower Achievement Award.

Now more than ever, the U.S. cotton industry needs to identify and amplify clear voices that are helping to illuminate the way to the future. Larry McClendon of Marianna, AR, the 2006 Grower Achievement Award Winner, is the kind of leader that offers inspiration and insight to an industry in the midst of seismic global change.

In these pages, we honor and celebrate the career so far of an outstanding grower, who as a boy never thought he’d return to the cotton fields, but after college fell in love with the industry and its people all over again. Now, no one descriptor accurately portrays McClendon, whose cotton resume includes grower, ginner, warehouseman, cotton-association executive, award winner, and dedicated family man. Except for, perhaps, “leader.”

We at Cotton Grower magazine welcome Larry McClendon to this elite class of individuals serving U.S. cotton with honor, and we were pleased to present the award to Larry in front of more than 250 cotton leaders at our annual Beltwide Luncheon at the Beltwide Cotton Conferences in New Orleans. We’ve learned a lot from our experience with him, and we hope that by sharing his story that you’ll be equally inspired.

Yours In Service,
The Editors

A special thank you to Monsanto Co. and Case IH for their sponsorship of the Cotton Grower Achievement Award, and for their support of leadership in U.S. cotton.

 

A Lesson In Leadership

Larry McClendon has made quite a life for himself in the cotton business, but it was no overnight success story. The Marianna, AR, grower produced his first crop in 1975, and then slowly over the course of three decades deepened his involvement in the industry to include ginning and warehousing as owner of McClendon, Mann & Fenton Gin Co., while also finding time to give back through association leadership. His dedication to excellence and remarkable success are the main reasons why McClendon was honored by his peers at the 37th Cotton Grower Beltwide Luncheon at the Beltwide Cotton Conferences in New Orleans as the 2006 Cotton Grower Achievement Award recipient.

‘Crazy Ideas’
In his remarks at the Luncheon, McClendon underscored some of the industry’s greatest accomplishments, noting that many of them had emerged and been discussed over the years at the Beltwide Luncheon.

“I’ve sat in this Luncheon for several years, and the biggest thing that’s come to me out of this meeting is that I’ve heard some of the wildest and craziest ideas that could ever surface,” he says. “I reflect back on those – herbicides we can spray over the top of cotton that kill everything but the cotton, insecticides that are contained within the seed, 6 row cotton pickers, cotton pickers that have on-board module builders, satellite imagery that allows us to better manage our crops … and strangely enough, as I stand before you today, most of these ‘crazy ideas’ now have practical applications on most farms across the U.S.”

McClendon grew his business by carefully watching these trends and others, and staying open-minded to change. His broad involvement in the industry includes involvement in the National Cotton Ginners Association, where he currently serves as chairman, and in the Southern Cotton Ginners Association, where he was president in 2000. He received both these associations’ highest honor as Ginner of the Year.

“Larry is just a good businessman,” says Tim Price, SCGA executive vice president. “He’s a guy who can tell you when a tractor got stuck on the back forty, and yet at the same time he may be entertaining a Chinese mill merchant. He has a great grasp of things going on around him and how all of these things have to work together.”

Work To Do

In accepting the award and acknowledging the industry’s many accomplishments, McClendon took a few moments to reflect on the work that U.S. growers must do to remain competitive domestically and globally in the midst of big market changes.

“I wonder today, as I stand before you, how will cotton fit in a new energy component in a modern world?” he asked. “I get concerned about how will we shape farm policy – we’ve got to protect the interest of the grower out here, but yet again, we’re influenced by the World Trade Organization, a new Congress, and non-governmental organizations like the Environmental Working Group. All those will have impact and influence on our decision-making.

“We’ve got to recognize that we’re in a world market,” he continues, “and we’ve got to be more efficient today with how we move cotton from the U.S. producer to our customers here in this country and overseas.”
In concluding his acceptance, he challenged his peers in the audience to stretch their thinking, and their businesses, to find ways to survive and thrive amid the shifting winds of the U.S. cotton industry.

“So I lay those issues out before you today, and those ideas. There’s been kind of a catch phrase in the media over the last month – when there is some discussion as to what President Bush would do in Iraq, the media guy asks, ‘Well, will he go big or will he go long?’ I want to say to you today in agriculture, that’s exactly what we need to be doing. We need to be thinking big and thinking long.

“So, I challenge you all to do that and next year, when I’m back (at this Luncheon), I’d like to hear some more crazy ideas from you.”

COTTON GROWER ACHIEVEMENT AWARD WINNERS
1970 Dan Pustejovsky 1980 Herman Majors 1990 Billy Griggs 2000 Jimmy Hargett
1971 John Nigliazzo 1981 Dalton R. Pittman 1991 Rick Parsons 2001 Hollis Isbell
1972 Jack Hamilton 1982 Tommy Funk 1992 Jay Hardwick 2002 Kenneth Hood
1973 William Falls 1983 Bill Pearson 1993 Steve Sossaman 2003 Larkin Martin
1974 Jack Funk 1984 Dr. Richard Kinzer 1994 Jack Frey/Bill Tracy 2004 Don Cameron
1975 Owen Bibb 1985 Wayne Bush 1995 Charles Parker 2005 Steve Verrett
1976 Joe Craven 1986 Chuck Youngker 1996 Jimmy Blythe 2006 LARRY MCCLENDON
1977 Duke Barr 1987 Robroy Fisher 1997 Jack Hoover    
1978 Ben Bearden 1988 Ray Young 1998 Allen L. Baucom    
1979 Marion Baskin 1989 Mark Borba 1999 Paul Good    

Leave a Reply

Planting Stories

Cotton Production

USDA Says Cotton Planting Nearly Complete, Early Crop in Good Shape

June 9, 2014

According to the June 8 USDA cotton crop reports, 89 percent of this year's crop has now been planted, and the early crop is off to a solid start.

Cotton Production

Cotton Planting in Many States Now Ahead of Five-Year Average

May 27, 2014

USDA reports that 62 percent of the U.S. cotton crop has now been planted, with eight states ahead of their five-year planting average.

Cotton Production

Southeast Shows Biggest Weekly Gains in Cotton Planting, Reports USDA

May 19, 2014

Based on the May 18 USDA Crop Progress report, overall cotton planting stayed on track with the five-year average for this date, with 46 percent of the U.S. now in the ground. But growers in the Southeast made the most of the past week, registering impressive gains in cotton seeding.

Cotton Production

Planting Surge Puts 2014 Cotton Acres Near Five-Year Average

May 12, 2014

According to the May 11 USDA Crop Progress Report, 30 percent of the U.S. cotton crop is now in the ground. That’s a 15 percent jump in planting in the past week, and only four percentage points below the five-year average for this date.

Cotton Production

USDA Reports Pockets of Progress in 2014 Cotton Planting

May 5, 2014

According to the May 5 USDA Crop Progress Report, planting of the 2014 cotton crop continues to track last year’s start, witih 16 percent of this year’s crop now planted

Cotton Production

New Webcast, Search Tool Added to Focus on Cotton Website

April 30, 2014

A new webcast focusing on cotton nutrition and a one-stop search tool that targets Extension cotton information from 17 states have been added to the Focus on Cotton webpage.

Cotton Production

Cotton Following 2013 Planting Patterns for Most States

April 29, 2014

Based on the April 28 USDA Crop Progress Report, 13 percent of the nation’s cotton crop has been planted – exactly the same percentage in the ground one year ago.

Around The Gin

Product News

PhytoGen Partners with Farmers to Aid Local Charities

October 17, 2014

Since becoming a partner in the Swisher Sweets/Sunbelt Expo Southeastern Farmer of the Year program three years ago, PhytoGen has made donations to 25 charities on behalf of state farmers of the year.

Product News

Enlist Duo Herbicide Approved; Enlist Weed Control System Now Cleared for Use

October 16, 2014

The Enlist Weed Control System from Dow AgroSciences has been approved for field use in corn and soybeans in 2015 by federal regulatory authorities, with introduction in cotton still scheduled for 2016.

News

Registration for 2015 Beltwide Cotton Conferences Opens as Program Takes Shape

October 3, 2014

Registration now is open for the 2015 Beltwide Cotton Conferences, set for January 5-7 at the Marriott Rivercenter in San Antonio, TX.

Product News

October 10 Deadline for Public Comments on Roundup Ready Xtend Crop System Plants

September 25, 2014

The public comment period on the draft environmental impact statement for cotton and soybean plants for Monsanto’s Roundup Ready Xtend Crop System will remain open through October 10.

Cotton Production

New Cotton Webcasts Focus on Using Yield Monitor Data for Precision Planning

September 10, 2014

Two new webcasts to help growers successfully capture and use data from yield monitors have been added to the Focus on Cotton online webcast resource, developed by Cotton Incorporated and the Plant Management Network.

Marketing

First Class Selected for Cotton Research and Promotion Program Hall of Fame

September 8, 2014

Five honorees have been elected to the first class of Cotton Incorporated’s newly-established Cotton Research and Promotion Program Hall of Fame.

Crop Inputs

FMC to Acquire Cheminova

September 8, 2014

Auriga Industries has agreed to sell its wholly-owned subsidiary Cheminova to FMC Corporation.

Crop Inputs

Bayer CropScience Opens New Cotton Research Greenhouse in Memphis

September 4, 2014

Bayer CropScience has opened its newest cotton research facility – a $17 million, 76,000-square foot state-of-the-art greenhouse and headhouse addition to its existing site at Agricenter International in Memphis, TN.

Latest News

Cotton Production

USDA Says Cotton Planting Nearly Complete, Early Crop in Good Shape

June 9, 2014

According to the June 8 USDA cotton crop reports, 89 percent of this year's crop has now been planted, and the early crop is off to a solid start.

Cotton Production

Setting New Yield Limits

June 4, 2014

A harvesting trip to Texas changed the way Tommy Butner thought about yields on his own Tennessee farm.

Cotton Production

Planting Pace Picks Up in the Southwest, First Squares Reported

June 2, 2014

The June 1 USDA Crop Progress report shows that Southwestern states made substantial progress in cotton planting over the past week, thanks to much-needed moisture.

Cotton Production

Cotton Planting in Many States Now Ahead of Five-Year Average

May 27, 2014

USDA reports that 62 percent of the U.S. cotton crop has now been planted, with eight states ahead of their five-year planting average.

Cotton Production

Southeast Shows Biggest Weekly Gains in Cotton Planting, Reports USDA

May 19, 2014

Based on the May 18 USDA Crop Progress report, overall cotton planting stayed on track with the five-year average for this date, with 46 percent of the U.S. now in the ground. But growers in the Southeast made the most of the past week, registering impressive gains in cotton seeding.

Cotton Production

Planting Surge Puts 2014 Cotton Acres Near Five-Year Average

May 12, 2014

According to the May 11 USDA Crop Progress Report, 30 percent of the U.S. cotton crop is now in the ground. That’s a 15 percent jump in planting in the past week, and only four percentage points below the five-year average for this date.

Cotton Production

USDA Reports Pockets of Progress in 2014 Cotton Planting

May 5, 2014

According to the May 5 USDA Crop Progress Report, planting of the 2014 cotton crop continues to track last year’s start, witih 16 percent of this year’s crop now planted

Cotton Production

New Webcast, Search Tool Added to Focus on Cotton Website

April 30, 2014

A new webcast focusing on cotton nutrition and a one-stop search tool that targets Extension cotton information from 17 states have been added to the Focus on Cotton webpage.

Cotton Production

Cotton Following 2013 Planting Patterns for Most States

April 29, 2014

Based on the April 28 USDA Crop Progress Report, 13 percent of the nation’s cotton crop has been planted – exactly the same percentage in the ground one year ago.

Cotton Production

Five Keys to Higher Cotton Yields

April 24, 2014

As growers in the Southern Cotton Belt begin shifting their planting focus to cotton, they should consider five optimum pre- and early season opportunities to manage for top yields.

Cotton Production

New Questions Facing Thrips Management

April 10, 2014

Control options for thrips still work, but potential issues bear watching.

Cotton Production

Cheminova Launches Statement Herbicide for Cotton and Soybeans

March 31, 2014

Cheminova, Inc. is launching Statement herbicide for control of glyphosate and ALS-resistant weeds in both cotton and soybeans.

Cotton Production

New Broadcast Spray-Hoods Help Reduce Drift, Improve Coverage

March 28, 2014

A new line of broadcast spray-hoods will offer growers greater drift control while also improving the spray coverage and efficacy of the chemicals being applied.

Cotton Production

EPA Approves Arcus ST Seed Treatment for Cotton Seedling Development

March 28, 2014

Cotton growers have another resource to help kick start young plants. FBSciences has received EPA registration of Arcus ST for use as a seed treatment for cotton and other crops.

Cotton Production

New Focus on Cotton Webcast Tackles Best Nematode Management Tactics

March 27, 2014

The latest Focus on Cotton webcast from the Plant Management Network and Cotton Incorporated helps pair cotton growers’ situations and needs with the right nematode management practices.