facebook_pixel

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
Planting

Conservation Tillage Can Pay Off in Georgia

October 24, 2017

Conservation tillage saves time and money and improves the soil, but only a small percentage of Georgia farmers currently use the system.

Planting

Seven Tips for Successful Cotton Planting

April 19, 2017

According to NC State Cotton Specialist Guy Collins, growers need to keep seven tips in mind at planting to help ensure a successful cotton stand.

Planting

More Cotton, Less Grain Likely in Texas in 2017

February 24, 2017

Cotton acres in Texas will likely increase this season, as producers seek an alternative to grains.

Planting

Optimize Irrigation and Fertility in High Plains Cotton

February 21, 2017

With many producers in the northern High Plains considering cotton this year, optimizing irrigation and fertility will be important to their bottom line.

Planting

Field Prep Underway for South TX Planting

February 2, 2017

With spring planting a few weeks away, growers in south Texas are making good progress on field preparation.

Planting

Cover Crop Costs Recovered on Rolling Plains Cotton

December 28, 2016

Irrigated cotton producers on the Texas Rolling Plains could potentially be reaping more dollars per acre if they include a cover crop on their continuous cotton.

Planting

Increasing Planter Capacity: Go Faster or Wider?

October 11, 2016

New technologies are giving growers more options to speed up planting. The best solution is the one better suited for your field shape and size.

Around The Gin
Product News

Bayer Looking for FiberMax One Ton Club Growers for 2017

November 16, 2017

Cotton growers who produce an average of 2,000 lb/A on 20 or more acres planted to FiberMax varieties in 2017 are eligible to be part of the 13th annual FiberMax One Ton Club.

Product News

Monsanto Delays NemaStrike for Additional Review

November 2, 2017

After finding cases of skin irritation, Monsanto is pulling its nematode seed treatment NemaStrike for further product review.

Product News

Intrepid Trio: Naturally Balanced Nutrition in Every Granule

November 1, 2017

Intrepid Trio contains three essential nutrients for cotton plants.

Product News

Save Time, Increase Efficiencies with Mixmate

November 1, 2017

Mixmate from Praxidyn is a precision chemical mixing system for small farms to large enterprises.

Product News

Crumpler Ironworks & Fabrication

November 1, 2017

Crumpler Ironworks & Fabrication is committed to providing the highest level of service, honesty and integrity, regardless of project size.

Product News

Delivering Proven Performance Across the Cotton Belt

November 1, 2017

Seed varieties, traits and crop protection products from Bayer deliver proven performance to growers across the Cotton Belt.

Product News

Growers Continue to Count on Americot and NexGen

November 1, 2017

Americot is dedicated to working with cotton growers throughout the Cotton Belt to provide elite performing NexGen varieties within the marketplace.

Product News

Deere Adds New Narrow Track Versions to 9RX Tractor Lineup

November 1, 2017

John Deere has added three new 9RX Narrow Track Tractors, expanding its lineup of high-horsepower machines.

Latest News
Planting

Conservation Tillage Can Pay Off in Georgia

October 24, 2017

Conservation tillage saves time and money and improves the soil, but only a small percentage of Georgia farmers currently use the system.

Planting

Timely Rains Boost Panhandle Cotton

August 11, 2017

Timely and widespread rains in the Texas Panhandle arrived in time to help put fields on track for a good season.

Planting

TX Cotton Growers Watching Moisture Levels Closely

May 25, 2017

There is some concern that soil moisture in 2017 could be problematic, especially for Texas dryland cotton producers.

Planting

Seven Tips for Successful Cotton Planting

April 19, 2017

According to NC State Cotton Specialist Guy Collins, growers need to keep seven tips in mind at planting to help ensure a successful cotton stand.

Planting

More Cotton, Less Grain Likely in Texas in 2017

February 24, 2017

Cotton acres in Texas will likely increase this season, as producers seek an alternative to grains.

Planting

Optimize Irrigation and Fertility in High Plains Cotton

February 21, 2017

With many producers in the northern High Plains considering cotton this year, optimizing irrigation and fertility will be important to their bottom line.

Planting

Field Prep Underway for South TX Planting

February 2, 2017

With spring planting a few weeks away, growers in south Texas are making good progress on field preparation.

Planting

Cover Crop Costs Recovered on Rolling Plains Cotton

December 28, 2016

Irrigated cotton producers on the Texas Rolling Plains could potentially be reaping more dollars per acre if they include a cover crop on their continuous cotton.

Planting

Increasing Planter Capacity: Go Faster or Wider?

October 11, 2016

New technologies are giving growers more options to speed up planting. The best solution is the one better suited for your field shape and size.

Planting

Managing Cotton after Uneven Emergence

June 13, 2016

Mississippi State University specialists offer guidelines for managing cotton fields with uneven plant maturity.

Planting

Guidelines for Replanting Decisions

May 24, 2016

There are no definitive guidelines for making replant decisions. But a list of factors to consider may help make those decisions a bit easier.

Planting

Improved Soil Moisture for Most Texas Cotton Fields

May 4, 2016

Improved soil moisture in most cotton fields in Texas are pushing growth and maturity in early-planted acres and are setting up the state’s northern acres for good planting conditions.

Planting

USDA Projects 9.56 Million Cotton Acres in 2016

March 31, 2016

USDA’s March 31 Prospective Plantings report projects that U.S. cotton growers will plant 9.56 million acres in 2016 – an 11% increase over last year.

Planting

March Rainfall Could Mean More Cotton Acreage

March 29, 2016

More acres may be shifting back to cotton in 2016. For producers who may be planting cotton for the first time in several years, variety selection can be a formidable challenge.

Planting

Preplant Burndown Time in NC

March 8, 2016

Mid-March through early April is the ideal time for preplant burndown applications in North Carolina cotton fields.