Farm Progress

Efficient cotton production practices, and a sound conservation program, were cited as factors in earning the award, sponsored each year by Farm Press Publications and the Cotton Foundation.

Ron Smith 1, Senior Content Director

March 3, 2017

19 Slides

Brent Hendon, Welch, Texas, is the 2017 High Cotton Award winner for the Southwest region. He receives the award this week at the Mid-South Farm and Gin Show in Memphis.

His commitment to efficient cotton production practices, and a sound conservation program were cited as factors in earning the award, sponsored each year by Farm Press Publications and the Cotton Foundation.

Hendon talks about his commitment to cotton. “It’s always been cotton. We have some peanuts (120 acres of conventional and 30 acres of organic), wheat, and triticale, but we have bought and paid for everything with cotton. We stay with it in good times and bad.”

That’s the way he feels about farming, too.  “I never considered doing anything else.” He started farming on his own as soon as he got out of high school and has been at it ever since. 

He strives to make good yields.

“We still have to make the pounds,” Hendon says, noting that 2015 was a good year, with a 1,600 pound average. “It was the best cotton I’ve ever made. That’s 3 bales an acre, and some made almost 4 bales. I’ve never quite made 4-bale cotton, but I’ve been close. “

With good years and bad years, a cotton farmer can only do so much, he says. “It kinda evens out. But God takes care of us every year. I have to do my job, and I am not going to miss a crop because I didn’t take care of it. I do all I know to do, and after that, it’s just the way it is. A little hard work goes a long way.”

Related:Tradition, conservation, efficiency define Hendon farming philosophy

Hendon’s wife, Bralie, also has agricultural credentials, with a Ph.D. in crop and soil sciences. She is currently a science teacher. Hendon thinks his son, Graham, 6, will want to follow in his footsteps and farm, if his early interest is any indication. Graham accompanies him to the field every chance he gets. “It’s in his blood, I guess,” Brent says.


About the Author(s)

Ron Smith 1

Senior Content Director, Farm Press/Farm Progress

Ron Smith has spent more than 40 years covering Sunbelt agriculture. Ron began his career in agricultural journalism as an Experiment Station and Extension editor at Clemson University, where he earned a Masters Degree in English in 1975. He served as associate editor for Southeast Farm Press from 1978 through 1989. In 1990, Smith helped launch Southern Turf Management Magazine and served as editor. He also helped launch two other regional Turf and Landscape publications and launched and edited Florida Grove and Vegetable Management for the Farm Press Group. Within two years of launch, the turf magazines were well-respected, award-winning publications. Ron has received numerous awards for writing and photography in both agriculture and landscape journalism. He is past president of The Turf and Ornamental Communicators Association and was chosen as the first media representative to the University of Georgia College of Agriculture Advisory Board. He was named Communicator of the Year for the Metropolitan Atlanta Agricultural Communicators Association. More recently, he was awarded the Norman Borlaug Lifetime Achievement Award by the Texas Plant Protection Association. Smith also worked in public relations, specializing in media relations for agricultural companies. Ron lives with his wife Pat in Johnson City, Tenn. They have two grown children, Stacey and Nick, and three grandsons, Aaron, Hunter and Walker.

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