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What will Cora remember about her grandfather?

Shelley E. Huguley, Editor

March 6, 2019

3 Min Read
Cora Elin Hancock, left, with her grandfather D.K., Dahlen Hancock.

Introducing the Farm Press/Cotton Foundation High Cotton winner each year is a highlight. U.S. farmers work tirelessly, day-in and day-out, risking everything to produce the world’s safest food and fiber, so when we have the opportunity to spotlight one of them, in a way it’s like spotlighting all of them.

This year I get to present Dahlen Hancock of New Home, Texas, the 2019 High Cotton Award for the Southwest states. While Dahlen has accomplished many great things on the farm and on behalf of the cotton industry, serving in various capacities, it’s his connection to his late grandfather, D.W. Hancock, that caught my attention.

In our interview, Dahlen recalled growing up around his grandfather on land he had acquired through an FHA loan program in the 1940s — land they still farm today. He described his grandfather as a man he dearly loved and who was very engaged in farming. D.W. enjoyed playing dominos, trotline fishing, and his hound dogs. Dahlen recalls tanks full of goldfish at the farm. “Growing up, I was around those fish all the time, which was fun as a kid. I’ve always loved the farm.”

But after Dahlen graduated from high school, he left, wanting to get away from the farm. “This is not for me,” he said. But after two years in college and being an electrician for a couple of years, he says he started feeling the call to return home. “It’s an OK world out there,” he says, “but I found that I kind of liked those farm roots.”

Upon returning home and eventually taking on a quarter section of land, he says his grandfather continued to be an influence in his life. One of the things he particularly admired was is how he had employees helping him. “I saw that and I liked it. If somebody wasn’t at work one day, things were still going.” He wanted to manage his farm operation like his grandfather and began working toward that goal. 

D.W. has since passed away, and Dahlen himself has become a grandfather to a five-year-old little girl with big blue eyes and contagious energy —  Cora Elin Hancock. He will unabashedly tell you she is his world, his future, the reason he’s trying to leave the land better than the way he found it. He wants a future for her on the farm.


I wonder: What will she remember about her grandfather. Will it be his servant’s heart at church and within the agricultural industry? Will it be his sustainable practices on the farm today so she can have a viable inheritance with which to raise her family in the future? Or maybe it’s how he adores his wife and her, teaching her the value of a woman in a family and a business.

Whatever it is, you can’t downplay the power of a grandparent. Congratulations, Dahlen Hancock, on a rich heritage and a bright future!

Read more about Dahlen:


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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