Jerry Harris, a Lamesa, Texas, cotton ginner, and a past president of the National Cotton Ginners Association, is the recipient of that organization's 2001 Horace Hayden Cotton Ginner of the Year Award.

The award was presented at the recent NCGA annual meeting, held in conjunction with the National Cotton Council's 63rd anniversary meeting in Dallas.

The Horace Hayden award is presented to the ginner providing outstanding leadership to the U.S. cotton industry, superior customer service and civic contributions.

Harris, who has been a ginner for more than 30 years and engaged in farming for 40-plus years, also has business interests in cotton warehousing, cotton merchandising and agricultural equipment leasing. He is an active leader in many industry associations, and has served as president of his local, state and national ginner associations.

Active in the political arena at all levels of government, Harris has lent support to those politicians who recognize the importance of the U.S. agricultural industry to Texas and to the nation. He is involved with his state Farm Service Agency, currently serving on the state committee.

Outgoing NCGA President Richard Bransford said that in Harris' nomination letters the words “leadership” and “contribution” were repeatedly mentioned. He quoted one nomination letter: “No other ginner of my acquaintance has served the ginning industry, and indeed the whole cotton industry, in as many capacities as the nominee.”

Harris has received the Distinguished Service Award by his state's Vocational Agriculture Teachers Association, the “Mr. Cotton Award” by his local cotton growers association, the Man of the Year award by his state's County Agent Association, The Gerald W. Thomas Award from Texas Tech University, and the Distinguished Service to Agriculture Award by the USDA-Agricultural Stabilization and Conservation Service. He was named his state association's Ginner of the Year in 2000.

In addition to his business interests, Harris is active in his church and community. He works with United Way, his local school board, Rotary and Chamber of Commerce.

NCGA officers also were elected at the meeting and are: president, Michael Hooper, Buttonwillow, Calif.; first vice president, Richard Holder, Kinston, N.C.; second vice president, Sid Brough, Edroy, Texas; and third vice president, Larry McClendon, Marianna, Ark.

Richard Bransford, Lonoke, Ark., now serves as board chairman and Bill Norman, Memphis, Tenn., is executive vice president.