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Walkin' in high cotton

19-year-old Emily Branson uses her gift to spotlight cotton production while honoring her grandad.

Shelley E. Huguley, Editor

July 10, 2020

Thursday, July 9, I went to Roby, Texas, in search of cotton stories from two area farmers and cotton industry leaders: Jeff Posey, the 2010 Farm Press High Cotton winner and chairman of The Cotton Board; and Richard Gaona, chairman of the Rolling Plains Cotton Growers.

I began my visit at 3J Posey Farms, accompanied by Lauren Decker, Rolling Plains Cotton Growers executive vice president. We visited in the shade of Jeff and Phiny Posey's barn and walked with the couple through their cotton fields, along with their son Joe, talking about the 2020 season and Jeff's year as chairman. My Rolling Plains visit concluded with a delicious roast lunch in the home of Richard and Judy Gaona, along with a quick stop in their fields for pictures. It was over 100 degrees.  

See, A tornado, COVID-19, tariffs, low prices, don't deter Chairman Posey

But it was the unexpected that unfolded in the middle of those scheduled visits that made my day complete. Watch this video to learn more about 19-year-old Emily Branson and how she is using her artistic talent to highlight cotton production in her hometown while honoring the memory of her grandad Larry Williamson.

And if passing through Roby, be sure to stop by the Williamson-Branson Real Estate building at 108 E. South 1st Street and take a look at her masterpiece! 

See, Texas Rolling Plains cotton crop described as mixed bag

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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