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Calcot's Seitz dies; headed co-op 30 years

Former Calcot President and chairman emeritus of Amcot G.L. “Sam” Seitz, 92, died Nov. 22, in Bakersfield, Calif.

Seitz joined the Calcot staff in 1947 and served as assistant general manager, sales manager and executive vice president before being tabbed to head the cotton marketing cooperative in 1971. He retired as Calcot CEO in 1977, and served for a decade as the chairman of Amcot, and CEO of Amcot International, coordinating the cotton marketing activities worldwide of the U.S.'s four major cotton cooperatives.

According to Calcot president Tom W. Smith, under Seitz's 30-year tenure, Calcot rose “from what was basically a small-scale cotton merchandiser to a major marketing cooperative, handling well over a million bales per year.”

During his presidency, Calcot members also gained access to new markets previously untapped for U.S. cotton.

During Seitz's administration in 1974-75, Calcot's volume topped the million-bale mark for the first time at 1.42 million bales, up nearly 60 percent over the prior season.

“I attribute much of Calcot's modern-day success to Sam,” Smith said. “He was a key force in helping to make this organization what it is today, and he did so much more for the entire cotton industry for which he has never really gotten credit.”

Seitz was twice chairman of the Cotton Board and served on the board for 12 years, was a cooperative delegate to the National Cotton Council, and served on its board and executive committee, and was a member of the Agricultural Policy Advisory Committee for Trade Negotiations for USDA, and made numerous trips to Washington on a quest to obtain the best legislation for U.S. cotton producers in general and Far Western growers in particular.

But, Smith said, while Seitz's legacy to Calcot and its members is substantial, his “greatest legacy” is the educational foundation that bears his name.

Upon his retirement, Seitz established the non-profit Calcot-Seitz Foundation, with a personal contribution of $10,000. Today the Calcot-Seitz Foundation has over $600,000 in the fund, and this year awarded a record 17 scholarships totaling $51,000.

Seitz was preceded in death by his wife, Fannie Lee, in 1998. He is survived by daughter and son-in-law Dinah and Tharrell Ming of Bakersfield, and daughter and son-in-law Bee Gee and Bob Millinich of Alamo, Calif., and seven grandchildren and several great-grandchildren.

The family requests that in lieu of flowers, memorial donations be made to the Calcot-Seitz Foundation, P.O. Box 259, Bakersfield, CA 93302-0259.

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