The National Cotton Council has named Kenneth Hood, a Gunnison, Miss., producer and ginner, as the recipient of the 2007 Harry S. Baker Distinguished Service Award. He was recognized at the National Cotton Council’s 2008 annual meeting in Memphis, Tenn.
The Baker Award, named for the late California industry leader and NCC President Harry S. Baker, is presented annually to a deserving individual who has provided extraordinary service, leadership and dedication to the U.S. cotton industry.
Outgoing NCC Chairman John Pucheu said Hood, like Harry S. Baker, has given freely of his time, and through uncommon leadership, has provided distinguished and invaluable service to the U.S. cotton industry.
Since 1962, Hood has been a partner in Perthshire Farms, a 12,000-acre cotton, soybean, peanut, grain sorghum and wheat operation near the Mississippi Delta community of Gunnison, Miss. He also is involved in H.B. Hood and Sons Gins, Hood Equipment Co., and InTime Inc., an aerial imagery-based precision farming service.
Reaching well beyond his operations, Hood’s resume is a profile of leadership and service to agriculture. He was NCC chairman in 2002, and is a past president of the National Cotton Ginners Association, Southern Cotton Ginners Association and the Delta Council.
Others also have acknowledged Kenneth Hood’s leadership qualities. The New York Cotton Exchange named him the Cotton Marketer of the Year in 1992. He was named the National Cotton Ginner of the Year in 1997, and was recognized in 2000 as the Delta Council’s Outstanding Conservation Farmer of the Year.
Pucheu noted that while serving as NCC chairman, Hood delivered the organization’s message to House and Senate leaders before and during the 2002 farm bill conference committee. These efforts helped achieve a substantial moderation of the objectionable payment limit provisions in the conference committee’s bill.
A Mississippi State University graduate, Hood is known as one of the most innovative growers in America. Others who are close to him have attested to the work schedule he maintains simultaneous with his willingness to serve and his effectiveness in various leadership roles.
Previous award honorees include cotton producers Duke Barr, Bruce Brumfield, Lloyd Cline, Robert Coker, Bruce Heiden, Frank Mitchener, Jimmy Sanford, Jack Stone, and Charlie Youngker; ginner Lon Mann; merchants William B. Dunavant Jr. and Bill Lawson; textile manufacturer Duke Kimbrell; association executives Albert Russell, Earl Sears and B.F. Smith; congressional members Sen. Thad Cochran and Reps. Larry Combest and Charles Stenholm; and USDA official Charlie Cunningham.