It was day of celebration on Friday, Oct. 22, as a reception was held in recognition of the 1,000,000th bale of cotton ginned at Cotton Growers, Inc., a farmer owned operation.
The 1,000,000th bale belongs to Clarence and Pat Crosskno of Dell. The bale came from a farm located in the Lone Oak Community a few miles north of the gin. The farm has been in the Crosskno family for over 50 years. Mr. Crosskno is an original board member and serves as president of the Board of Directors.
Ironically, Mr. Crosskno was the one who pulled the very first load of cotton into the gin 20 harvest seasons ago.
The gin was established in 1991. Original incorporators included Clarence Crosskno, Paul Fleeman, Danny Bourland, Allen Donner, and Joe Dilldine. The original Board of Directors included Crosskno, president; Fleeman, vice president; Joe Dilldine, Allen Donner, L.H. Gaines, Louis Lammers, and Bailey Wiener.
Joe Dilldine served as Board member until 1999 when he resigned due to health reasons. His son, Tommy Dilldine, filled the vacancy and served as board member until his death in 2010. Tommy's widow, Karen Dilldine, filled the vacancy following his passing.
The current board of directors include Crosskno, president; Fleeman, vice president; Karen Dilldine, Allen Donner, L.H. Gaines, Louis Lammers, and Bailey Wiener.
The gin has 62 stockholders. Improvements have been made throughout the years keeping up with the latest technology available.
The original gin plant was installed in 1991 with an additional line installed in 2001. In 2004 the second gin was built.
Tim Gipson, plant superintendent, has been with the gin since the beginning. He talked briefly on the equipment, this year's harvest and grade and gave an overall update for the year.
Paul Fleeman said the seven member board has always discussed and voted on decisions.
"I can remember only one time in all these years when the president had to break a vote," Fleeman said. "It has been a good group to work with."
The 1,000,000th bale may be broken down into smaller decorative bales and shared so everyone can have a part of it.
On hand for the celebration were Clarence and Pat Crosskno, Kenneth Crosskno, Elton Robinson, editor of Delta Farm Press; Harrison Ashley, National Cotton Council; Bobby Skeen, Cotton Board; Whit Keasler, Staplcotn-Cotton Marketing Division; Jason Orton, Staplcotn -- Warehouse Division; Board of Directors Karen Dilldine, Allen Donner, Paul W. Fleeman, L.H. Gaines, Bailey Wiener; Barry Braden, general manager of Cotton Growers; Tim Gipson, plant superintendent Cotton Growers, Inc.; Lisa Hitchcock, office manager; and Terri Fleeman, assistant office manager.