WASHINGTON, DC – Lee Tiller, an Odem, TX, ginner, was named the 2013 Horace Hayden National Cotton Ginner of the Year. He was recognized here on February 8 during the 2014 annual meeting of the National Cotton Ginners Association (NCGA).
That award is presented annually to a ginner in recognition of: 1) able, efficient and faithful service to the ginning industry and 2) continuing those principles exemplified and practiced by Horace Hayden, a former NCGA executive secretary.
In making the announcement, outgoing NCGA President Richard Kelley, a Burlison, TN, ginner, said that Tiller has demonstrated dedication to the U.S. cotton industry at both the state and national levels.
A member of the National Cotton Council's (NCC) 1990-1991 Cotton Leadership Class, Tiller was president of the NCGA in 2013 and now serves as NCGA's chairman. Currently a NCC director, he chaired the Joint Industry Bale Packaging Committee from 2004-07 and has served and continues to serve on a number of important NCC committees. He is past president of both the Texas Cotton Ginner's Association and the Texas Agricultural Cooperative Council. He is a director and past president of South Texas Cotton and Grain Association and a current board member of the Texas Cotton Ginners' Trust.
Tiller, who grew up on his family's South Texas cotton and grain farm, earned his Bachelors of Business Administration in Finance in 1975 from Texas A&M University. After working in investments and banking, he became manager of Smith Gin Co-op, a position he has held since 1986.
Kelley noted that "Tiller is an innovator and has embraced new technology. He was an early adopter of the automated bale strapping and bale bagging systems and was at the forefront of handling new round modules with an automated system."
To be announced later this year is the recipient of NCGA's 2013-14 Distinguished Service Award, which honors those who have provided a career of distinguished service to the U.S. ginning industry.
The NCGA also elected its 2014 officers. The new slate is: president - Dwayne Alford, Yuma, AZ; first vice president - Levin Lynch, Bennettsville, SC; second vice president – Ron Craft, Plains, TX; third vice president – David Blakemore, Campbell, MO; and chairman - Richard Kelley, Burlison, TN. Harrison Ashley of Cordova, TN, serves as NCGA's executive vice president.