MEMPHIS, Tenn. -- Two Mid-South ginners have completed requirements for the National Ginners Association’s certified ginner program. They are Kevin Harpole, McClendon Mann & Felton, Marianna, Ark., and Felix Ramirez, Cowart Gin Co., Charleston, Miss.

The awards were announced at the annual meeting of the Southern Cotton Ginners Association at Memphis by Larry McClendon, Marianna, Ark., the new president of the National Ginners Association.

Obtaining certified ginner status requires an intensive educational program, a comprehensive written exam, a minimum of three years’ experience working for a commercial ginning operation, Red Cross standard or other OSHA-approved first aid certification, and a written recommendation from an established ginner detailing the applicant’s knowledge, skill, experience, and character.

“This program has greatly expanded since its inception in 1992,” McClendon said. “We now have over 300 ginners actively participating in the program.”

To remain certified, each participant must complete a minimum 12 hours of continuing education course credits over a three-year period.

Three ginner school sessions are held annually in the South, Southwest, and West. The session for the South will be held June 14-16 at Stoneville, Miss.

“The schools’ curricula and certification program continue to be closely reviewed to insure that all participants receive the latest information and training to equip them for present day needs and future challenges,” McClendon said.

hbrandon@primediabusiness.com