Louis Colombini, manager of the Westside Farmers Co-op Gins in Fresno and an active ginner leader in California, received the National Cotton Ginners Association’s (NCGA) 2015 Horace Hayden National Cotton Ginner of the Year award. He was recognized during the NCGA’s 2016 annual meeting in Dallas, Texas, on February 5.
Barry Nevius, who has served as a safety and loss control specialist for the Southeastern Cotton Ginners Association and headed up its safety-related activities since 1998, is the recipient of NCGA’s 2015-2016 Charles C. Owen Distinguished Service Award. That award honors those who have provided a career of distinguished service to the U.S. ginning industry.
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The Ginner of the Year Award is presented annually to a ginner in recognition of: 1) able, efficient and faithful service to the ginning industry and 2) continuing those principles exemplified and practiced by Horace Hayden, a former NCGA executive secretary.
Colombini has served on numerous California Cotton Ginner Association committees including serving as its chairman in 2000 and 2001. He is a past chairman of the California Association of Grower Owned Gins. He served two terms on the San Joaquin Cotton Board and has participated on the national level through the National Cotton Council serving both as a ginner delegate and as a ginner director.
Colombini was raised on a small cotton and vineyard farm in Fresno, and received a B.S. degree in Agronomy from Fresno State University in 1967 and achieved the rank of lieutenant in the U.S. Navy before going to work for Producers Cotton Oil, managing its Corcoran and Angiola Gins.
From 1978 to 1980, he was the ranch coordinator for South Lake Farms before moving to the Buttonwillow Ginning Company as its operations manager and then general manager. He joined Westside in 2007.
Nevius has helped elevate the importance of gin safety during countless training sessions, including at the annual NCGA Ginner Schools, and has spoken on that topic at the annual Beltwide Cotton Conferences and at multiple Southern Southeastern meetings.
Nevius received his degree in Civil Engineering from North Carolina State University. He became affiliated with the cotton business in the early 1990s when he joined Cornwall and Stevens Insurance as a loss control specialist and broker. He worked with a number of gins and warehouses and developed many of the safety and loss mitigation standards that are still in use. In 1993, he wrote a paper for Lloyds of London on sprinkler design and evaluation for baled cotton warehouses that many people credit for keeping Lloyds in the U.S. market.