DALLAS, TX – Jerry Harris, a Lamesa, TX, cotton ginner, and a past president of the National Cotton Ginners Association (NCGA), is the recipient of that organization’s 2001 Horace Hayden Cotton Ginner of the Year Award.
Lee Todd, who has served as executive vice president of the Southern Cotton Ginners Association (SCGA) since 1986, received the NCGA’s 2001 Distinguished Service Award. The awards were presented at the recent NCGA annual meeting, held in conjunction with the National Cotton Council’s 63rd anniversary meeting in Dallas.
NCGA officers also were elected at the meeting and are: president, Michael Hooper, Buttonwillow, CA; first vice president, Richard Holder, Kinston, NC; second vice president, Sid Brough, Edroy, TX; and third vice president, Larry McClendon, Marianna, AR. Richard Bransford, Lonoke, AR, now serves as board chairman and Dr. Bill Norman, Memphis, TN, is executive vice president.
The Horace Hayden award is presented to the ginner providing outstanding leadership to the U.S. cotton industry, superior customer service and civic contributions.
Harris, who has been a ginner for more than 30 years and engaged in farming for 40-plus years, also has business interests in cotton warehousing, cotton merchandising and agricultural equipment leasing. He is an active leader in many industry associations, and has served as president of his local, state and national ginner associations.
Active in the political arena at all levels of government, Harris has lent support to those politicians who recognize the importance of the U.S. agricultural industry to Texas and to the
nation. He is involved with his state Farm Service Agency, currently serving on the state committee.
Outgoing NCGA President Richard Bransford said that in Harris’ nomination letters the words, "leadership" and "contribution" were repeatedly mentioned. He quoted one nomination letter, "no other ginner of my acquaintance has served the ginning industry, and indeed the whole cotton industry, in as many capacities as the nominee."
Harris has received the Distinguished Service Award by his state’s Vocational Agriculture Teachers Association, the "Mr. Cotton Award" by his local cotton growers association, the Man of the Year award by his state’s County Agent Association, The Gerald W. Thomas Award from Texas Tech University and the Distinguished Service to Agriculture Award by the USDA-Agricultural Stabilization and Conservation Service. He was named his state association’s Ginner of the Year in 2000.
In addition to his business interests, Harris is active in his church and community. He works with United Way, his local school board, Rotary and Chamber of Commerce. He also has coached Little League, girl’s softball, worked with 4-H and served as a Bible school teacher at the adult, high school and junior high levels in his church.
The NCGA Distinguished Service Award is given on behalf of the U.S. cotton ginning industry to the individual making outstanding contributions to the industry and to NCGA.
Todd, a graduate of the University of Tennessee, Martin, has been active in agricultural activities his entire life, including service as national vice president of the Future Farmers of America. He worked in advertising sales for Progressive Farmer, Delta Farm Press and Cotton Farming Magazine before joining the SCGA in 1983.
Todd has worked tirelessly on behalf of SCGA. The Farm & Gin Show, which it co-sponsors, has more than doubled in size during his tenure, and the association claims 95 percent membership among Mid-South gins. Todd also has worked actively on national ginning issues.
Note to Editors: Color photos of Jerry Harris, Lee Todd and the 2002-03 National Cotton Ginners Association officers will be available. Please contact T. Cotton Nelson at (901) 274-9030.