Consultant’s Mission – Helping The Farmer

By Tommy Horton
Editor

Sometimes it pays to be unconventional when packaging stories in a magazine. For lack of a better description, that is exactly how our editorial staff decided to approach this issue of Cotton Farming. Why not salute a sector of the industry that continues to be a major contributor to how cotton is produced in this country? And why not do it in a different way? That is precisely what we did in preparing this Tribute To Consultants issue. It seemed like the logical approach as we prepare for the Consultants Conference at this year’s Beltwide Cotton Conferences in New Orleans.

Anyone familiar with cotton production knows that the consultant is the eyes and ears for the producer on the turnrow. His input is crucial in those important decisions that are made throughout the season – from pre-planting all the way through harvest. There is no down time for consultants. As soon as the crop is harvested, the planning and strategy begin for the next crop. That’s when soil sampling, variety decisions and crop mixes are analyzed – and the list goes on and on.

Everybody has a different approach to this job, and that’s why we sought out consultants from each production region. Mainly, we wanted to know why they love their jobs. We also thought it would be informative if each consultant shared an experience that was particularly positive in 2013. You’ll hear from these consultants: Wes Briggs (Bainbridge, Ga.), John Beasley (Screven, Ga.), Tucker Miller (Drew, Miss.), Harold Lambert (Innis, La.), Beck Johnson (Weatherford, Okla.), Justin Chopelas (Odem, Texas), Doyle Stewart (Buckeye, Ariz.) and Mark Carter (Los Banos, Calif.). Their reports can be found on pages 12, 13 and 14.

Our magazine’s relationship with consultants spans many years, beginning with the Cotton Consultant of the Year award co-sponsored by Syngenta and Cotton Farming. This award has been presented annually since 1981. In a special four-page insert in this issue, you can read about the 2013 winner of this prestigious honor – Bob Glodt of Plainview, Texas. If you’ve never met Bob, we hope you’ll have a chance at the Consultants Conference in New Orleans. Even though he is a Texas consultant, he has gained a stellar reputation across the Belt for his contract research business in Plainview, Texas, and expertise on water issues.

To complete our salute, we will have our regular Cotton Consultant’s Corner page sponsored by Dow AgroSciences on page 9. This month we are featuring consultant Trent LaMastus of Cleveland, Miss. And, in an appropriate conclusion to this magazine’s editorial messages, Arkansas consultant Chuck Farr has written a very emotional My Turn column on page 42. He reflects on his 24-year career and thanks everyone who had an influence on his life.

What else can we say about consultants that hasn’t already been said? They are some of the finest folks you’d ever want to meet in agriculture. They don’t seek out the spotlight but derive a lot of satisfaction when their producer-customers succeed and deliver an excellent cotton crop. They are partners with the farmer through both good and bad times and are willing to do research on any issue to come up with the best recommendation.

It’s hard to imagine what cotton production would be like without consultants. True, not every farmer has one. But, for those who do employ these unheralded heroes, I’m sure we all can agree on one thing. Producing cotton would be a lot more difficult without consultants. For that reason, we say thank-you to our consultant friends everywhere. We’re very proud of what you do on a daily basis.

If you have comments, send them to: Editor, Cotton Farming Magazine, 1010 June Road, Suite 102, Memphis, Tenn., 38119. Or send e-mail to: thorton@onegrower.com.

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