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Cotton classing automation system under construction

Progress continues on USDA AMS Cotton and Tobacco Cotton Classification Complex

Shelley E. Huguley, Editor

May 28, 2021

Progress continues at the building site of the USDA AMS Lubbock Cotton Classification Complex, located on Texas Tech University campus. The state-of-the-art facility is the first to be located on a university campus. 

The complex will not only class the region's cotton but serve as a learning facility for students and others. 

Deputy Administrator Darryl Earnest, USDA AMS Cotton and Tobacco Program, spoke with Farm Press about the progress, slight delays and areas of the facility designed to give spectators or students a clearer view of the classing process.


USDA AMS Cotton and Tobacco Program Deputy Administrator Darryl Earnest, center, gives Greg Wakefield, left, and Bryant Rawley, right, Wakefield Inspection Services, a tour of the facility. (Photo by Shelley E. Huguley)

Construction began in May of 2020. The new facility will class upwards of 50,000 samples per day.


USDA AMS Cotton and Tobacco Program Deputy Administrator Darryl Earnest stands in what will eventually be the conference room. The windows behind him will enable spectators to view the cotton classing automation system from an elevated spot versus at ground level. (Photo by Shelley E. Huguley)

To read more about the facility, click on the following links:

About the Author(s)

Shelley E. Huguley

Editor, Southwest Farm Press

Shelley Huguley has been involved in agriculture for the last 25 years. She began her career in agricultural communications at the Texas Forest Service West Texas Nursery in Lubbock, where she developed and produced the Windbreak Quarterly, a newspaper about windbreak trees and their benefit to wildlife, production agriculture and livestock operations. While with the Forest Service she also served as an information officer and team leader on fires during the 1998 fire season and later produced the Firebrands newsletter that was distributed quarterly throughout Texas to Volunteer Fire Departments. Her most personal involvement in agriculture also came in 1998, when she married the love of her life and cotton farmer Preston Huguley of Olton, Texas. As a farmwife, she knows first-hand the ups and downs of farming, the endless decisions made each season based on “if” it rains, “if” the drought continues, “if” the market holds. She is the bookkeeper for their family farming operation and cherishes moments on the farm such as taking harvest meals to the field or starting a sprinkler in the summer with the whole family lending a hand. Shelley has also freelanced for agricultural companies such as Olton CO-OP Gin, producing the newsletter Cotton Connections while also designing marketing materials to promote the gin. She has published articles in agricultural publications such as Southwest Farm Press while also volunteering her marketing and writing skills to non-profit organizations such as Refuge Services, an equine-assisted therapy group in Lubbock. She and her husband reside in Olton with their three children Breely, Brennon and HalleeKate.

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