A group doesn’t have to be a huge organization to have clout; it just needs to be energized and active.
That’s the 12-county Southern Rolling Plains Cotton Growers Association, based in Winters, Texas. When it comes to growing better cotton and promoting the industry, this association is one of the busiest.
• The Southern Rolling Plains has turned into a top cotton producer over 30 years.
• In 2007, the 12 counties in the Southern Rolling Plains harvested 301,848 bales.
• Growers organization tackles many fronts to help cotton.
The Southern Rolling Plains has gone from one of the least-productive cotton regions 30 years ago to one of the best cotton-growing areas today.
“Boll weevil eradication has been a big part of that,” says Randall Conner, SRPCGA executive director.
In 2007, the 12 counties harvested a total 301,848 bales in the SRP.
History of association
The SRPCGA, which had been part of the Rolling Plains Cotton Growers Association since 1964, became its own entity as the Southern Rolling Plains organization in 1989.
It functioned as a producer board until 1993, when the SRP zone became the first to launch the Texas Boll Weevil Eradication Program in the state, and it went back to being an association.
Weevil eradication was a notable success and paved the way to the 20 eradication zones, taking in all of Texas and New Mexico cotton production today.The SRP zone was first in Texas to eradicate the weevil.
Sid Long of Robert Lee, Texas, was executive director at the very beginning of the SRPCGA and served 15 years. He was involved in the boll weevil eradication effort from the start.
Conner is only the second executive director and has held the post the past 6.5 years.
“After the weevil eradication success, we have become more involved in cotton research, educational programs and political matters,” Conner says.
This article published in the December, 2011 edition of THE FARMER-STOCKMAN.