By Brandy Reed
Editor’s Note: The following is a continuation of the story that appeared in the Spring 1998 issue of Commentator featuring Texas and Oklahoma gins that recently have signed onto the marketing programs and services offered by Plains Cotton Cooperative Association (PCCA). In the spring issue, Commentator featured Progreso Coop Gin, south of Progreso, TX; Brownsville Coop Gin, near Los Fresnos, TX; Waterloo Gin, near Taylor, TX; Grady County Gin Association, in Minco, OK; Powell Gin Co., in Powell, TX; Edroy Coop Gin, near Corpus Christi, TX; and Petronila Coop Gin, in Robstown, TX.
Hamlin Farmers Coop
Hamlin Farmers Coop Gin Manager Melissa Lee says her gin’s board of directors decided to join PCCA upon the suggestions of the coop’s accountants and people who had used PCCA’s services in the past. Hamlin Farmers sits in the southeastern outskirts of Hamlin, TX, in Jones County.
“It was better than the way we were going,” Lee says. ” We had been acting as an independent gin, but signing on with PCCA brought us back into a more coop atmosphere,” she continues. Lee also says several aspects of PCCA’s services, including the dividends paid and the mill option program, appealed to her gin’s members.
Farmers Coop Gin
The members of Farmers Coop Gin in East Bernard, TX, opted to begin utilizing PCCA’s services in February 1998. Growers there expressed an interest in PCCA, and after the board of directors had investigated all options, decided to sign on.
“Producers like the fact they don’t have to worry about marketing the cotton themselves if they sign into the marketing pool,” Gin Manager Lonnie Beseda says. They also are interested in good prices, which the pool has consistently provided, he adds.
The original gin was established as a cooperative in 1942 and was rebuilt in 1965. Currently, the coop serves more than 300 members.
Farmers Coop Society #1
Farmers Coop Society #1, in Haskell, TX, ginned 6,835 bales last year, its largest volume in the last four years, says Gin Clerk Joyce Ramirez.
The gin was first built and established as a cooperative in 1929 with 14 original stockholders and survived despite the Great Depression, says Gin Manager Tommy Matthews. The coop also has withstood fires and a tornado and currently has 171 stockholders.
In 1974, Lumus equipment was installed, and four years later the gin was upgraded with a universal density press, Stuller suction and Signode strapping heads.
Matthews says the coop’s members did not want to sell cotton again at low prices like last year’s, so the proven performance of PCCA’s marketing pool encouraged them to sign on for marketing assistance and the availability of forward crop contracts.
Hereford Farmers Gin Association
The Hereford Farmers Gin Association, Inc., located south of Hereford, TX, in Deaf Smith County, was built in 1953. After it had been idle “for a couple of years,” a group of farmers purchased the gin in April 1973 and established it as a cooperative.
Gin Manager David Varner says the coop decided to sign on with PCCA in February because many new farmers were coming into the gin who did not know how to market their cotton, and they wanted more marketing options.
Hereford Farmers currently has 67 members. Production has risen from the original 200-300 bales ginned in 1973 to just under 21,000 bales last season, and Varner says the coop has a high potential for future growth.