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Co-ops Through The Eyes of Grower-Owners

By Jayci Cave

Farmers are continually hearing the pros and cons of doing business with a certain company, choosing a specific variety of cotton seed, or buying a certain piece of equipment from the businesses that are trying to sell their goods and services. Have you ever heard the benefits of this from other growers? There is no one better to take advice from than the very people who are facing the same situations, hardships and decisions you are. Continue reading to learn more about how your fellow growers benefit from their investment in grower-owned cotton cooperatives.

Long-Term Investment

“For one thing, it is a retirement plan. When you decide to retire, the dividends may be cut back, but the old stock as it is retired provides an income for several years after you retire. You are continually putting money in-but it is coming back to you and the taxes are paid as you put it in. So when it comes back to you it is tax free money, and you can use it on whatever you want at that point.” -TONY STREETY

You Have A Voice

“When we started this gin in Winfield, we made it a cooperative because we didn’t want it to be known as our gin. We got everybody in the community that had cotton involved in it and made it a community a air. It has made it work because more people have an interest in that cooperative, and they grew cotton and weren’t worried about whether the gin made a profit or not on them because it was paying back dividends to them if it did make a profit. So, it has worked in our scenario to have a cooperative here in Winfield.” -MIKE SEELIGER

“There are huge benefits to us working cooperatively with others in the industry. I am a big believer in the co-op system. We actually have ownership in our gin, in our warehouse, our marketing division, our oil mill and cottonseed. We have direct involvement in those industries, and it is very important to us to have that. If we all work together we can be much stronger, have a bigger voice and be better farmers.”CLINT ABERNATHY

Added Value

“Originally when I got into farming and I was asking people what I should do on being in the pool and all those kinds of things, everyone was giving me their advice and so now I have come to find out that being a member of the co-ops and being part of all of that is really good for my operation because it helps me have a vested interest farther down the supply chain. My cotton, once it hits the gin, it isn’t gone. I have a vested interest in the oil mill; in marketing that cotton and everything else so it helps me and my small operation have a wider reach, being part of the co-ops, than it would if I wasn’t involved in them.” -TRAVIS MCCALLISTER

“The farmers run it and if it makes any money, the farmer makes money. I just think it’s the way to go. I’ve had both ways. I have ginned at the co-op and ginned at the independent gin. It didn’t take me very long to figure out where my interests were.” -POWELL ADAMS

“The reason I choose to work with cooperatives is just the infrastructure they have I think helps the industry. When you get through with your crop, you always have those dividends that you are a part of those companies. The cooperatives, the oil mill, the compress, PCCA, it is just something that helps your bottom line if nothing else. I remember the first year I didn’t do it there was a local gin that was close to me and I went to that. It wasn’t a cooperative. At the end of the year, my dad and uncle were getting extra checks that I didn’t get, and I said that was it. So, I have been a member of a cooperative for 34 years of farming. There’s ups and downs, but for the most part they are always there. You have more bulk/volume in selling your crops than just me doing it individually. Then you have experts in the eld. If PCCA is selling your crops, you have people who know what they are doing. I need to be doing what I know best, which is farming, and let those guys take care of the other parts that they know what they are doing.” -RICHARD ADAMS