by Blair White
Photos courtesy of TACC
Cooperative Ginner of the Year: David Wyatt
David Wyatt began his cotton gin managing career in 1979 at the age of 19. He has served for the past 29 years as the General Manager of Bayside-Richardson Co-op Gin in Woodsboro, Texas. In 2017, Bayside-Richardson was hit directly by Hurricane Harvey and left inoperable for the remainder of the ginning season. Through Wyatt’s leadership, the gin was repaired entirely and ready to serve its producers the following crop year. Wyatt supports many industry organizations such as the National Cotton Council, South Texas Cotton and Grain Association, the Texas Cotton Ginners’ Association (serving as president in 2018), and the Texas Agricultural Cooperative Council. He currently serves as chairman of the Gulf Compress Gin Manager Committee. He and his wife, Phyllis, have four children and six grandchildren and are active in their local community.
Distinguished Service Award: Ron Harkey
A native of the Texas High Plains and former President and CEO of Farmers Cooperative Compress, Ron Harkey received the TACC Distinguished Service Award this year. Beginning his co-op career in 1975, Harkey worked for a variety of organizations across the High Plains and Panhandle until landing at Plainview Co-op Compress in 1995, where he served as General Manager. In 1997, Plainview Co-op Compress merged with Farmers Cooperative Compress, with Harkey at the helm. He retired in July 2020. Harkey is a past president of TACC, a past director of CoBank, and an advisory board member of Plains Capital Bank. He has served as a delegate and Vice President of the National Cotton Council, executive board member and chairman of EWR Inc., and president of the Cotton Growers Warehouse Association, where he was an industry delegate to China. He and his wife, Donita, have three children and eight grandchildren and are very active in their church and community.
Distinguished Service Award: Kyle and Dana King
Co-recipients of this year’s distinguished service award, Kyle and Dayna King dedicated their careers to the ginning industry until their retirement last year. Kyle began his career at South Gin Co-op in Brownfield, Texas, in 1979. He and Dayna were married the same year. Later after working at Meadow Co-op Gin and Lamesa Co-op Gin, the Kings settled at Terry County Co-op. Together they have been in the cotton ginning industry for 41 years, 31 of which were at Terry County. With community and industry involvement being very important to the couple, they participate in the Texas Cotton Ginners Association, the Texas Agricultural Cooperative Council, the Brownfield School Board, coaching Little Dribblers, and leading singing at their church and local nursing homes. The Kings have three daughters and seven grandchildren.