I am sure the actor Robert De Niro would be the first to disagree with me, but I am convinced the Farm Press High Cotton Award is actually a more prestigious honor than the Oscar given each year to the top talent in the motion picture industry.
De Niro is certainly a talented and successful actor. He won the Best Actor Oscar in 1981 for Raging Bull and Best Supporting Oscar in 1975 for the Godfather Part II. Winning an Oscar is no easy task, but neither is winning the High Cotton Award. Actually, it takes more grit, determination, and hard work to win the High Cotton Award than it does to win an Oscar.
As in the past, this year’s High Cotton Award winners are stars just as De Niro, Tom Hanks, Meryl Streep, and other Oscar winners. Not to knock these famous actors, but I maintain the contributions of award-winning cotton farmers are far greater than those of award-winning actors and filmmakers.
This year’s High Cotton Winners are Jerry Hamill of Enfield, N.C., for the Southeast, Doug Scott of Sikeston, Mo., for the Mid-South; Robbie Robbins of Altus, Okla., for the Southwest; and Hansen Ranches of the San Joaquin Valley, Calif., for the West. The winners are described as veteran farmers, innovators, marketers, and industry leaders.
They are known and respected by their peers for growing top quality, sustainable cotton. They credit crop rotation, technology, field variety trials, and soil health management, along with their families and employees for their success. The 2021 winners are the 27th Class of the Farm Press High Cotton Awards.
Those awarded Oscars are honored and recognized as winners for life, but so are High Cotton winners. I’ve never met or even seen an Oscar winner in person, but I have met many High Cotton Award winners during my time at Farm Press. All of them are not only outstanding cotton farmers, but solid folks as well.
In my book, a High Cotton winner beats an Oscar winner every time.