The Southern Cotton Ginners Association (SCGA) board of directors has approved additional contributions to support research and scholarship programs.

Bobby Todd, SCGA president and president of the Louisiana Cotton Ginners Association, said the SCGA will donate an additional $100,000 to the Southern Cotton Ginners Foundation, with interest to be used for research and educational projects for the betterment of the ginning industry.

The announcement was made at the SCGA summer meeting at Biloxi, Miss.

Todd said the organization will also donate $25,000 to the Cotton Museum currently under development in Memphis. “These funds will be used for a cotton ginning display section in the new museum,” he noted.

The Memphis Cotton Exchange and the cotton community are sponsoring the museum, to be devoted to the story of cotton “From Field to Fabric.”

The facility, which will feature the latest in electronic interactive technology and animatronic displays, as well as an array of historic photographs, artifacts, and oral histories by people in the industry, will be located on the 5,000 square foot floor of the historic Exchange building in downtown Memphis.

The SCGA directors also voted to increase its Mississippi State University memorial scholarship award to $3,200 per academic year and to award this year's 2001-02 John Howard Freeman memorial scholarship to Justin Hart, an MSU senior.

Todd said the board also voted for its 2002-03 student scholarship to the Gin Management and Technology course at MSU to be in honor of J.W. “Soapy” Thompson, owner of Mounds-Neighbors Gin at Rector, Ark., recognizing his “long-time active membership and involvement in our association and for his many contributions to the cotton ginning industry.”

The SCGA “continues to have strong support” from ginners in the Mid-South region, he said, with 100 percent membership of Tennessee and Missouri gins, 94 percent of Louisiana gins, and 93 percent of Mississippi and Arkansas gins.

Planning is already in progress, Todd said, for the 2002 Mid-South Farm & Gin Show at Memphis, sponsored by the SCGA and Delta Farm Press.

“This will be our 50th anniversary show,” he noted, “and Lee Todd (SCGA executive vice president) is planning an excellent program to celebrate this milestone. He assures me it will be the best show we've ever had.”