The Memphis-based National Cotton Ginners Association (NCGA) elected its officers for 2009 at its annual meeting in Washington, D.C. The officers are: president, Sledge Taylor, who is president of Como Consolidated Gin in Como, Miss.; first vice president, Kirk Gilkey, Corcoran, Calif.; second vice president, Kent Fountain, Surrency, Ga.; third vice president, Lee Tiller, Odem, Texas; and chairman, Chris Breedlove, Harlingen, Texas. Harrison Ashley of Memphis serves as NCGA’s executive vice president.

In addition, Russell Kuhnhenn of Glendale, Ariz., was named the 2008 Horace Hayden National Cotton Ginner of the Year and Texas Cotton Ginners Association (TCGA) Executive Vice President Tony Williams is the recipient of NCGA’s 2008-2009 Distinguished Service Award.

Since 2005, Arizona native Kuhnhenn has overseen the Paloma Gin, which is part of the H-4 Farms and Heiden Land and Cattle operation in Buckeye, Arizona. He began his ginning career in 1981 working for Chickasha Oil Company at the South Mountain and Cashion gins. He joined Acme Gin in 1999 and managed that facility until coming to Paloma Gin.

Kuhnhenn has served on the Arizona Cotton Ginners Board of Directors since 1993, and served as its president in 1999. He served as NCGA’s president in 2006. A graduate of Arizona State University and the National Cotton Council’s Cotton Leadership Class, he also has served as a NCC director.

Williams, a native of Lubbock, Texas, is TCGA’s executive vice president. Since 1988, he has worked on key issues affecting Texas ginners, and was instrumental in developing TCGA’s Workers Compensation Company. A 1984 graduate of Texas Tech University, Williams worked for Monsanto and the NCC before joining TCGA. He has been involved on many agriculture-related organizations. He has co-chaired both the Texas Natural Resource Conservation Commission’s Agricultural Advisory Committee and the Texas Agricultural Council. He also is past chairman of the Texas Food & Fibers Commission Executive Advisory Committee and the Natural Fibers Committee.