Larry McClendon, president of McClendon, Mann & Felton Gin in Marianna, Ark., is the 2005-06 president of the Memphis, Tenn.-based National Cotton Ginners Association. He was installed at the NCGA's annual meeting in Washington, D.C.

McClendon, who served as NCGA first vice president in 2004, has been farming since the 1970s and ginning since 1989. He has served on several NCGA committees and served as a director of the National Cotton Council and Cotton Council International in 2004. The University of Arkansas graduate also was NCGA's 2003 Horace Hayden Cotton Ginner of the Year.

Other NCGA officers elected include: first vice president, Russell Kuhnhenn, Buckeye, Ariz.; second vice president, Van Murphy, Quitman, Ga.; and third vice-president, Chris Breedlove, Olton, Texas. Outgoing president Sid Brough, Edroy, Texas, now serves as board chairman, and Bill Norman, Memphis, Tenn., is executive vice president.

Michael Hooper, manager of Farmers Cooperative Gin in Buttonwillow, Calif., was named the 2004 Horace Hayden National Cotton Ginner of the Year. This NCGA Award is given to those individuals who have provided a career of distinguished service to the U.S. ginning industry.

Hooper's nomination letter stated that “he manages one of the premier ginning operations in California, providing both upland saw ginning and Pima roller ginning.” It also stated that he “handles his operations and customers with a high degree of professionalism, performance and quality control. Under his leadership, Farmers Cooperative Gin keeps pace with the needs and the demands of his customers.”

Hooper began his career with Calcot, Ltd. He then joined Cottonwillow, a family-owned business, and later went to Farmers Coop Gin as assistant manager in 1988. In 1990, he was promoted to his present position. He is a past president of the California Association of Grower Owned Gins and is a director and first vice chairman of the California Cotton Ginners Association. He has been active in many capacities with NCGA, having served as its president in 2002-03. He also was California Cotton Ginners Cotton Ginner of the Year in 1999.

Hooper received an associate of arts degree from the College of the Sequoias and a bachelor's degree from California State University, Bakersfield. He also is a Calcot Classing and Marketing School graduate.

The NCGA's 2004 Distinguished Service Award recipient is Alan D. Brashears, who has served as research leader for the Cotton Production and Processing Research Unit of USDA's Agricultural Research Service in Lubbock, Texas, since 2002. The agricultural engineer led research that resulted in modifications to commercial cotton strippers that reduced: (1) foreign matter in seed cotton and (2) the number of lint grades being reduced due to bark. He participated in work that demonstrated that the effect of grade reductions due to excess bark in lint did not accurately reflect the effect on yarn spinning during textile processing. He also has been involved in projects that demonstrate the effects of defoliation and desiccation on harvesting, field storage and ginning of stripper cotton.

An adjunct professor in Texas Tech University's Soil and Crop Sciences Department, Brashears has authored or coauthored more than 137 publications and abstracts. His research has been a significant influence on the region's growing stripper-harvested cotton. He also has served on several NCGA committees and been a key reason its ginning schools have been successful.

“Alan has never found a problem that couldn't be solved,” Bill Norman, NCGA executive director, said. “His can do attitude is a major reason he has enjoyed a successful career. Whether in a lead role or as a worker bee, he has always demonstrated his ability to be a true team player.”

Brashears earned bachelors and masters degrees in agricultural engineering from Texas A&M University and his Ph.D. in engineering from Texas Tech University. He began his career in 1961 as a research assistant at Texas A&M, then joined USDA's Agricultural Marketing Service in College Station, Texas, as an agricultural engineer. In 1962, he joined USDA's Agricultural Research Service in Albany, Ga., before returning to take an agricultural engineer post with USDA-ARS in Lubbock.