Bob McLendon, a Leary, Ga., cotton producer, is the recipient of the 2008 Harry S. Baker Distinguished Service Award. He was recognized at the National Cotton Council's (NCC) 2009 recent Annual Meeting.

The Baker Award, named for the late California industry leader and NCC President Harry S. Baker, is presented annually to a deserving individual who has provided extraordinary service, leadership and dedication to the U.S. cotton industry.

Outgoing NCC Chairman Larry McClendon said Bob McLendon, like Harry S. Baker, “has given freely of his time, and through uncommon leadership, has provided distinguished and invaluable service to the cotton industry.”

McLendon, who has been a cotton, corn and peanut farmer since 1974, serves as president of the MAC Peanut Company, the president of Edison Gin Co-op and the president of Sunshine Warehouse of Arlington. He also is a partner in Moultrie Warehouse and Storage as well as Albany Cold Storage and is a director of the First State Bank of Blakely and member of the Staplcotn Board.

Reaching well beyond his operations, Bob McLendon has provided exceptional leadership and dedicated service to agriculture and his community. He was the NCC's president in 2000 and is a past president of Southern Cotton Growers. He served as a member of the advisory board for the Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta and presently is chairman of the Calhoun County Farm Service Agency Committee.

McLendon is the recipient of numerous awards, including being recognized at the Lancaster Sunbelt Expo as the Georgia Farmer of the Year in 1999. Along with being the NCC's president, he provided leadership in many other capacities for the organization, including service as the NCC's treasurer, vice-chairman of the American Cotton Producers and chairman of the NCC's Executive Committee.

“During Bob's year as the Council's president, he led the industry in its successful effort to obtain supplemental AMTA payments under the provisions of the FAIR Act,” McClendon said. “He was also the industry's point man for consolidating support for a much improved farm bill in 2002, beginning with adequate budget authority. As the Council's Executive Committee Chairman, he later served as the lead-off witness for the House's in-depth farm bill hearings in 2001. Bob continued to provide outstanding leadership when he was asked by Chairman Echols to serve as chairman of a special committee to study the future role of the Council. Under Bob's leadership, that committee introduced a number of operational changes that that strengthened major programs and significantly reduced the Council's budget.”

A University of Georgia graduate, Bob and his wife, Barbara, have four children.