Nearby to Stewart Weaver’s Edmondson, Ark., farm office, a concrete slab marks the spot where a two-story commissary-type building once stood. His grandparents lived on the top floor; on the bottom floor was a small grocery store, with a post office in the back.

“My grandmother was postmaster here — forever, it seemed — from the early 1900s until she passed away in 1995.”

The family used to also have a gin across the railroad tracks.

“My father was born and raised here,” Stewart says. “I was, too. I’m a third-generation farmer. My nephew, who came on board this year, represents the fourth generation.” Edmondson is certainly home for us.”

Edmondson is a few miles south of I-40 and a short drive west of Memphis. The bulk of the Weaver’s land is right around town, although they farm 1,200 acres just south of West Memphis.

“We’re very fortunate to have our land close -- not a lot of travel. This year, we had about 430 acres of grain sorghum, 425 acres of cotton, and 3,800 acres of soybeans and 490 acres of wheat.”

Cotton commitment

Weaver vows that cotton will always be a part of the operation.

“We gin at Crittenden Gin, just north of Marion. The cotton acres are definitely down and what they run through the gin is not what it once was. We ginned 85,000 bales in 2006 and just over 26,000 in 2013.

“For the most part, though, the group that gins there is committed to cotton. We’re going to stay with it. We’ve invested in the needed equipment and infrastructure.”

The operation is at the bare minimum of cotton acres unless the price “goes way below 50 cents.”

But if Weaver went away from cotton, he jokes, “I’m scared my grandfather would kick all the dirt off his grave and come get me! We are committed to cotton.

“My father has always said, ‘We’re able to make a living because of cotton. We’re where we are today because of cotton. Don’t give up on it.’

“We come to cotton honestly and that will continue.”

Weaver’s father was once chairman of Cotton, Incorporated, a board his son is currently a member of. Weaver is also involved with Cotton Council International, is a National Cotton Council advisor, and a director of STAPLCOTN.