Brent Hendon, Welch, Texas, is the 2017 High Cotton Award winner for the Southwest region. He receives the award this week at the Mid-South Farm and Gin Show in Memphis.
His commitment to efficient cotton production practices, and a sound conservation program were cited as factors in earning the award, sponsored each year by Farm Press Publications and the Cotton Foundation.
Hendon talks about his commitment to cotton. “It’s always been cotton. We have some peanuts (120 acres of conventional and 30 acres of organic), wheat, and triticale, but we have bought and paid for everything with cotton. We stay with it in good times and bad.”
That’s the way he feels about farming, too. “I never considered doing anything else.” He started farming on his own as soon as he got out of high school and has been at it ever since.
He strives to make good yields.
“We still have to make the pounds,” Hendon says, noting that 2015 was a good year, with a 1,600 pound average. “It was the best cotton I’ve ever made. That’s 3 bales an acre, and some made almost 4 bales. I’ve never quite made 4-bale cotton, but I’ve been close. “
With good years and bad years, a cotton farmer can only do so much, he says. “It kinda evens out. But God takes care of us every year. I have to do my job, and I am not going to miss a crop because I didn’t take care of it. I do all I know to do, and after that, it’s just the way it is. A little hard work goes a long way.”
Hendon’s wife, Bralie, also has agricultural credentials, with a Ph.D. in crop and soil sciences. She is currently a science teacher. Hendon thinks his son, Graham, 6, will want to follow in his footsteps and farm, if his early interest is any indication. Graham accompanies him to the field every chance he gets. “It’s in his blood, I guess,” Brent says.