Lanier County FSA Participants Win Big in Georgia Cotton Awards

Ronnie Courson, a Lanier County, Ga., farmer won the highest cotton award in the state.

By Terrie Wolford, County Executive Director, Lowndes County, Ga.

The Lanier County Farm Service Agency in Georgia congratulates owners of three farms that won awards for having the highest quality cotton in the surrounding 20 counties in the Southeast portion of the state. The awards were presented at the Georgia Cotton Commission Annual Meeting and UGA Cotton Production Workshop held at the UGA Tifton Conference Center earlier this year.

Ronnie Courson was the overall state winner of the Georgia Quality Best Cotton Award — the highest award given — for producing cotton with the highest loan value and premium. He also won the Georgia Quality Cotton Award for acreage below 500 and to top it off, he won a $250 gift card as a door prize. Courson participates in the Direct and Counter Cyclical Program and the Non-Insured Crop Disaster Assistance Program. He also has benefitted from the FSA Livestock Assistance Program. Courson has been farming his entire life and produces cotton, peanuts, olives and raises livestock. 

Pictured (l to r) Greg, Glyndon (their father) and Glyn Register

Greg and Glyn Register received the Georgia Quality Cotton Award for acreage over 1,000. The brothers received a direct loan for beginning farmers that provided money to purchase seed, chemicals and supplies to run their operation. “It’s nice to be recognized for the work we’ve done,” said Glyn. “We put in a lot of hours from sunrise to sunset.”

Greg has been in business for 10 years, producing cotton, corn, peanuts and recently wheat products. Within the past two years Glyn joined his brother and began working the farm full-time. The brother’s cotton premium and yield enabled them to make the best of their 2012 cotton crop.

Kevin and Gayla Shaw, owners of River Bottom Farms received the Georgia Quality Cotton Award for acreage above 500. “This is a great honor for Lanier County. We have the smallest county in the state and come out on top in cotton quality in our region,” said Kevin.

Gayla (left) and Kevin Shaw

River Bottom Farms has been in business for 20 years and participated in many FSA programs, including Farm Storage Facility Loan Program, Conservation Reserve Program and the Direct and Counter Cyclical Program. The couple produces cotton, corn, peanuts, wheat and soybeans. In the late 90’s, Kevin and his wife Gayla began grinding naturally grown white corn for personal consumption. Family and friends raved over the grits, so they began bagging and giving “Gayla’s Grits” as gifts.

The awards are cosponsored by the Georgia Cotton Commission and Bayer CropScience to recognize producers and ginners of high-quality cotton fiber and to identify their general management practices for the benefit of other cotton growers.

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