By Will McClure
The Texas Cotton Ginner’s Association honored Rex Ford, manager of the Farmer’s Cooperative Society Gin, with their Ginner of the Year award. Ford, who had previously held positions in banking and within John Deere, applied for the manager’s position at the gin in 1992 after two years working on the farm. Taking over the position after the previous manager retired, Ford admitted that he did not know much about ginning at first, but the people there put faith in his abilities and allowed his love of agriculture to help him become the ginner he is today.
When first arriving at the gin, a good season amounted to 15,000 bales of cotton being processed. As Ford has grown as the manager, so has the gin itself, with a season of 35,000 to 40,000 bales considered to be underwhelming. Although the gin produced only 23,500 bales this year, it is still more than what Ford originally had to work with in his early years.
Ford is honored to receive the award and is very appreciative of the title “Ginner of the Year”. He says that, “I had no idea anything would happen to me like this. I am just really shocked and honored. In the past, I have always been happy for whomever won this award. So, you can imagine how I feel right now.” Although he is happy to receive the award, Ford points out that the success of the gin does not fall on him alone, but also owes the success to an excellent relationship with local producers and a reliable group of gin workers. Ford says that the people involved with the gin know what needs to be done and know the most important aspect of the business is listening. He tries to hold informal meetings and learning from the farmers and customers. He credits listening and talking to others as being key in helping him grow as a manager.
“To me, that’s the best way to become better at your job. At least, that is how we do it here. I appreciate having that kind of communication with other folks,” Ford said. Ford also gives credit to family, friends, farmers and fellow ginners for all of the success of the last 23 years. He believes that it is not all about him, but about the friends and co-workers that make it all possible. In addition to managing the gin, Ford serves as a Texas Cotton Ginner’s Association board member and is the current president of the Texas Ag Crop Council. Ford will officially receive the award during an awards banquet to be held at the Overton Hotel in Lubbock on Friday, April 10. Congratulations to Rex Ford on your amazing accomplishment!
Information courtesy of the Texas Cotton Ginner’s Association.