This year marks the 20th anniversary of the High Cotton Awards. And Farm Press Publications and The Cotton Foundation are proud to announce another crop of outstanding High Cotton Award winners.

This year’s winners, who will be honored at a breakfast at the newly reconstituted Beltwide Cotton Conferences in New Orleans Jan. 7, include:

  • Danny Darnell, Hillsboro, Ala., Southeast
  • Kenneth Hood, Gunnison, Miss., Delta.
  • Steven Beakley, Ennis, Texas, Southwest.
  • Clyde Sharp, Roll, Ariz., Far West

“The High Cotton Awards continue to identify producers who are the best of the best when it comes to producing a high quality, profitable crop in an environmentally responsible manner,” says Greg Frey, publisher of the Farm Press Publications, which sponsor the High Cotton Awards through a grant to The Cotton Foundation.

“It has been a privilege for us to sponsor the High Cotton Awards for the last 19 years. We have had some memorable moments and met some great cotton producers through this program. And we have come to better understand how much growers care about the environment.”

The High Cotton Awards were initiated by Farm Press and the National Cotton Council as a way to demonstrate that cotton growers and their families are concerned about the environment and are the true stewards of their land, air and water.

Since 1995, 79 cotton producers from across the four regions represented by the Farm Presses (Southeast Farm Press, Delta Farm Press, Southwest Farm Press and Western Farm Press) have received the bronze Cotton Boll awards that are handed out to the winners each year. (There were two winners from the same regions three different years.)

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“When we began the High Cotton Awards, we had no idea how long it might be before we began to exhaust our supply of conservation and environmentally-minded farmers,” said Forrest Laws, content director for Farm Press.

“But each year we receive another group of nominees who have great stories to tell about what they are doing on their farms and in their communities to protect and preserve the land for future generations.”

Through the years, the Farm Presses have had a number of partners who have helped spread the message about conservation in agriculture. This year’s sponsors are Agro-Culture Liquid Fertilizers, All-Tex Seed, Americot/NexGen, AMVAC, Deltapine, Helena Chemical Company, John Deere, PhytoGen and Syngenta.