More than 300 ginners across the Sunbelt are now participating in the cotton ginner certification program sponsored by the National Cotton Ginners Association.

“We're extremely pleased to have such a high level of participation in this excellent program to provide professional management training to ginners,” says Dick Bransford, Lonoke, Ark., who is serving this year as the association's president.

“This program involves some very detailed, rigorous training in all aspects of gin management, and those who complete all the course work and testing are truly the cream of the crop.”

At the recent annual meeting of the Southern Cotton Ginners Association at Memphis, Bransford presented certification awards to two area ginners who had completed all program requirements. They are Michael Finch, Alvin Samuel Gin, Inc., Paragould, Ark., and Wayne Arledge, Planters Gin Co., Altheimer, Ark.

Bransford said the ginner certification program has been a resounding success since it was begun in 1992, with enrollment numbers increasing yearly.

The association also conducts three ginner short courses and continuing education courses for the certification program each year.

“Our Gin School Subcommittee closely reviews these programs to insure that all participants are receiving the latest information and training to equip them for present-day needs and future challenges.”

The committee, Bransford says, has developed a new “Special Topics” level of instruction to provide more advanced training in a number of management areas.

“This course will be offered for the first time this summer at the western school at Mesilla Park, New Mexico.