The Southern Cotton Ginners Associations Memorial Scholarship Award, honoring the late Henry D. “Duke” Shackelford of Hollyhurst Plantation, Jones, La., was presented to members of his family at the annual honors banquet of the Southern Cotton Ginners Association, held in conjunction with the Mid-South Farm & Gin Show at Memphis.
Shackelford, a producer, ginner, and leader in the cotton industry, died Sept. 24, 2007, at the age of 81.
John Shackelford, his son, Bonita, La., said, “My father loved all things cotton, and he would have been very pleased to have been chosen for this honor.”
Tim Price, executive vice-president of the SCGA who made the presentation, said, “We are pleased to honor his many contributions and his dedicated service to cotton and to agriculture,” said. “It is leaders like him who have helped our industry to achieve such remarkable progress.”
Shackelford, a cotton planter and ginner from the time he returned from World War II until his retirement, was active in cotton industry activities and organizations, serving as a delegate to the National Cotton Council from 1963-68, 1970-75 and in 1993. He served on the council’s board of directors 1971-72 and was a council advisor 1977-1992. He was a founding member of the Louisiana Cotton Producers Association, formed in 1968, and served as its second president.
In the late 1960s and during the decade of the 1970s, he played an active role in industry matters. His testimony during consideration of the 1970 farm bill was highly effective in convincing the Senate Agriculture Committee to ease up on acreage restrictions and to establish a fixed direct payment to producers.
He was “a progressive force” in bringing about an expansion of cotton acreage in the U.S. at a time when many farmers wanted to stick with the failing policy of rigid acreage controls and a high loan rate.
A long-time member of the Southern Cotton Ginners Association, he served as president of the Louisiana-Mississippi Ginners Association in 1967-68, and was instrumental in the foundation of the current Southern Cotton Ginners Association in 1967.
He served on the Board of Louisiana Cotton Warehouse Company, from its founding in 1971 through 1996, was a director of Cotton Incorporated from 1974 to 1982, and chairman of the Union Oil Mill at West Monroe, La., from 1981 to 1989.
The Gin Management Technology Program at Mississippi State University was launched with startup funding by the Southern Cotton Ginners Association and each year offers scholarships to deserving students from the five states that have ginner members in the association: Missouri, Arkansas, Tennessee, Mississippi, and Louisiana. The yearly memorial scholarship is in addition to the other awards.
A number of the scholarship recipients have gone on to careers in agriculture, either as gin managers or working in some other ginning or agriculture-related field, Price said.
“Our board of directors is pleased to honor the memory of Mr. Shackelford and his many contributions to U.S. agriculture and the ginning industry with this scholarship.”
“With this award, we recognize his love for cotton and his long, dedicated leadership to the industry.”