The 2012 Beltwide Cotton Conferences, held Jan. 3-6, at the Orlando World Center Marriott, provided once again an abundance of information on pest control, the cotton market, new technologies, cotton varieties, site specific applications, cost control and resistance management.
Orlando is a great place for fine-tuning one’s attitude, and not just because it was warm and sunny in January. If Walt Disney can turn 28,000 acres of swampland into a billion dollar business called Disney World, almost anything is within the realm of possibility.
One may have to look hard, but there are a lot of connections to the cotton industry in Disney World. In fact, I’m thinking Disney World should come up with some new thrill rides based on cotton production. For example, on Disney’s Space Mountain roller coaster, you’re on a rocket hurtling through the dark with no idea of where you were going or what is around the corner. It’s fast and scary and you’re always in fear of what’s ahead.
But I think a similar ride called the Commodity Market Gravity Defier would make Space Mountain look like Spinning Teacups.
On Disney’s Splash Mountain, you’re chasing a rabbit you can’t catch, until you finally crash headfirst into a large body of water. It may be scary, but would pale in comparison to the 2011 Mid-South Spring Planting Season and Rowboat Ride.
If you want to know why farmers keep coming back to plant again despite the ups and downs of a season, our High Cotton Award winners provided an interesting glimpse at what makes them tick as they accepted their awards in Orlando.
“Farming is about stewardship, fellowship, and passion,” said Shawn Holladay of Lamesa, Texas, who received the High Cotton Award for the Southwest states. “My wife Julie and I have farmed all of our lives and every penny has come from the land. We are the stewards of the country and we’re very passionate about it.”
Coley Bailey, Jr. of Coffeeville, Miss., who received the High Cotton Award for the Delta States said, “Every day I get to get up and do what I love to do.”
Don Cameron of Helm, Calif., the Western states High Cotton winner said, “We love what we do and thank God everyday for what we do.”
Southeast states High Cotton winner Kent Wannamaker of Matthews, S.C., said, “We look forward to the years ahead to continue to do what we love to do.”
In the spirit of Disney World and High Cotton, I’ll close with four lines from a Disney sentimental favorite, not just to rev up growers for the coming season, but to encourage all our young boys and girls who aspire to become farmers.
“When you wish upon a star, makes no difference who you are.
Anything your heart desires will come to you.
If your heart is in your dream, no request is too extreme.
When you wish upon a star, as dreamers do.”