By Blair McCowen
In 1953, PCCA was established to help Texas High Plains cotton farmers get the most possible value from their cotton. While marketing remains at the cooperative’s core, other value-added processes have continually evolved and expanded over the past six decades of business. Around every corner, these additions and innovations have helped stabilize grower-owners’ bottom lines. From providing member services to farmers to offering software and technology services to cooperative gins, the PCCA of today is more than marketing.
As PCCA was founded by farmers, for farmers, the cooperative provides grower-based services to assist at both the individual farmer and local cooperative gin levels in its Member Services Division. Corey Smyth, Director of Cotton Services and Gin Accounting, said these services are integral to the operations of the cooperative.
“When you think of PCCA, probably the first thought that comes to mind is cotton marketing and warehousing,” he said. “PCCA is also instrumental in providing technology and software solutions to local gin offices and working with them along the way. By doing more than just cotton marketing, PCCA is able to add value at the regional co-op level and that flows down to the individual grower-owners and the local co-op level.”
In the Gin Accounting Department at PCCA, the staff works to provide systems to and assist with record keeping, financial statements, and more for cooperative gins.
“The Gin Accounting Department provides a full-service accounting package to cooperative gins,” Smyth said. “We also provide and support Module Tracking, Scale Ticket, and Gin Patronage programs for the gins.”
As the department name suggests, Smyth and his gin accounting staff also assist co-op gins with monetary distributions to their grower-owners.
“Something that grower-owners may not know about the Gin Accounting Department is that we process the gin dividend and retirement checks that get distributed at gins’ annual meetings as well,” Smyth said.
PCCA’s gin accounting capabilities support the farmer and the gin office from the field to the market, providing accurate and timely information along the way, Smyth said. This helps the grower-owners’ cotton be marketed as efficiently as possible.
“Our farmers know that a smooth-running gin office is essential to the cotton-marketing pipeline,” he said.
Another department within PCCA’s Member Services Division is Cotton Services. The department is responsible for many of the tasks that take place before and after grower-owners’ cotton has been marketed, as well as providing information relative to each of PCCA’s growers through the Member Access platform.
“The Cotton Services Department is instrumental in the cotton marketing process at PCCA,” Smyth said. “They process all of the cotton payments that come through and get distributed out of PCCA. That includes pool invoices, progress payments, The Seam® trades, as well as PCCA’s dividends and stock retirements. They are also vital in assisting the gin office with determining FSA eligibility and also providing accurate lienholder information.”
Even during the busiest time of year, the Cotton Services team keeps growers and gins up to date by using the Member Access website and app. Member Access provides PCCA grower-owners the ability to check their information from their mobile devices without making a trip to the gin office. The platform was specifically designed and built by PCCA’s Information Systems Department.
“Something grower-owners may not know about the Cotton Services Department is that they also support the Member Access System where grower-owners can access cotton and market information throughout the season, and get year-round tax info as well,” he said. “They also process contracts, paperwork, and anything that goes through PCCA that they are going to need in the marketing process.”
If you would like to sign up for Member Access, visit https://www.pcca. com/pcca-member-services/member-access/ or call PCCA’s Cotton Services Department at 806-763-8011.
As PCCA grower-owners are spread throughout Texas, Oklahoma, and Kansas, the cooperative has field offices in each state. This helps ensure that no matter where a grower may live and farm, PCCA is always accessible. The same services and support provided at its headquarters in Lubbock are also provided in other locations through member communications area managers. For example, in Corpus Christi, Texas, PCCA’s South Texas team handles much of the same cotton services and gin accounting tasks for farmers in the area, providing in-person support to grower-owners in the region. Under the leadership of manager Cris Gwinn, this field office is a valuable extension of the PCCA system.
Working Together, Adding Value
The Gin Accounting, Cotton Services, and South Texas departments are examples of how PCCA takes pride in adding value in every possible way to its grower-owners’ cotton. While they work in tandem on a daily basis, they also come together to host events and trainings for gin employees.
“These departments work very closely together,” Smyth said. “They have the same customer base, and that allows the gins and grower- owners to operate as seamlessly and efficiently as possible. They are a cohesive collaboration on things like system enhancements, gin workshops, and trainings. It provides a unique solution that you don’t see, and don’t get, anywhere else.”
PCCA has extended its operations beyond the world of cotton marketing and into that of service and innovation for the farmers and cooperative gins it serves. Smyth said this expansion helps the cooperative fulfill its mission statement.
“Grower-owners should know that PCCA is not just a marketing cooperative,” he said. “We are truly invested in your future and long-term profitability.”