“Safety is what keeps us in business," George LaCour, president of the Southern Cotton Ginners Association, told 2012 winners of awards for outstanding safety achievements at their gins.
The award winners were honored at a luncheon held in conjunction with the Mid-South Farm and Gin Show.
"When the SCGA leaders appointed a Gin Safety Committee 14 years ago to develop a program to focus on gin safety and accident prevention, we couldn't have envisioned that it would have become as successful as it is today," LaCour said. "The dedication shown by the management and employees of our member gins has resulted in an exceptional record in reducing accidents and injuries.
"Much of the credit for this goes to Larry Davis, director of safety, and to SCGA leadership in making available the necessary resources for development of safety programs that include an extensive array of educational and training materials. Larry has been diligent in keeping safety at the forefront of gin operations, and the cooperation of gin management in making safety a No. 1 priority is commendable."
Safety in ginning operations "starts at the top with owners and managers," Davis says. "When they put safety at the top of their must-do list, it pays dividends all down the line. With everyone working together to keep attention focused on these goals, we can do everything possible to keep our workplaces accident-free."
Gins are continually striving to improve their safety scores and win higher awards, Davis says. "But even the Bronze Award represents a very high level of achievement. Every award winner should be proud of what they've accomplished toward a safer workplace."
Scoring for the awards is as follows, based on a 100-point system: Bronze Award, 94-96.9; Silver Award, 97-99.5; Gold Award, 99.6-99.7; and Platinum Award, 99.8-100. A new category, the Diamond Award, requires earning a 99.8-100 score five years in a row.
See more photos from this year's Mid-South Farm & Gin Show at:
2013 Mid-South Farm and Gin Show photos
Certified Ginners 2013
2012 SCGA Diamond Safety Award Winners
Youthful energy: FFA members package10,000 meals for needy during Farm and Gin Show
PLATINUM AWARD winners for Arkansas included, from left, Billy Smith and Herbert Shelton, GPS Gin Co. Inc., Portland, Ark.; Ben Pittman, Griffin Gins, Helena, Ark.; Henry Boyer, McClendon, Mann & Felton, Marianna, Ark.
PLATINUM AWARDS were also earned by, from left, Daniel Williams, Yazoo Planters Gin Co., Yazoo City, Miss.; Donna Watts, McGehee Producers Gin Inc., McGehee, Ark.; Josh Maxwell, Tri-Parish Gin LLC, Lettsworth, La.; and Graydon Flowers, Mattson Gin Inc., Dublin, Miss.
MISSOURI PLATINUM AWARD winners included, from left, Karen Dawson, Bernie Farmers Gin, Malden, Mo.; Steve Harris, Farmers Union Gin Co. & Warehouse Inc., Senath, Mo.; Willima Pierce, Terry White and Juan Alanis, White Oak Gin Co. Inc., White Oak, Mo.
ALSO WINNING PLATINUM AWARDS were, from left, Chris Lacey, Sandy Ridge Cotton Co. LLC, Malden, Mo.; Charlotte Kelley, Burlison Gin Co. Inc., Burlison, Tenn.; Jorge Perez and Frank Villalobos, Espey Gin Co. Inc., McLemoresville, Tenn.
PLATINUM AND GOLD AWARD WINNERS were, from left, Platinum Award winner Ward Phillips, McClendon, Mann and Felton Gin, Marianna, Ark.; Larry Davis, SCGA safety director; and Gold Award winner Henry Boyer, McClendon, Mann & Felton Gin #3, Brickeys, Ark.
PLATINUM AND GOLD AWARD WINNERS were, from left, Platinum Award Winner Adams Land Company, Leachville, Ark., Hose Esparza & Pedro Renteria; Gold Award Winner McCord Gin Company, Gideon, Mo., Sandra Marlow and Otoniel Villa.
ALSO WINNING GOLD AWARDS were, from left, Kenny Britton and Danny Jeffcoat, Hi Grade Gin Corporation, Winona, Miss.; Gaye Carson, Midway Gin of Yazoo County Inc, Benton, Miss.; Gail Acton and Stephan Booker, DG&G Inc, Parma, Mo.
GOLD AWARD WINNERS were, from left, Dennis and Delores Wills, HB Hood & Son Gin #2, Gunnison, Miss.; Carolyn Cochran, Avon Gin Inc., Avon, Miss.; Celeste Malatesta, Columbus Gin, Shaw, Miss.
SILVER AWARD WINNERS included, from left, Lee Imboden, Keich-Shauver Miller, Monette, Ark.; Scott Short, Service Cooperative Gin Co. Inc., Marvel, Ark.; Sondra Welch & Kacey Lucius, Calhoun County Gin, Calhoun City, Miss.; Tim Hastings, Willow Gin, Wilson, Ark.
ALSO WINNING SILVER AWARDS were, from left, Robbie Winston, Peach Orchard Gin, Gideon, Mo.; Gary Redden and Roger Weeks, Caruthersville Gin, Caruthersville, Mo.; Barbi Pemberton, Dalton Cotton Co., Senath, Mo.; Ray Carter, Graves Kennett Gin, Kennett, Mo.
BRONZE AWARD WINNERS included, from left, Eddie Pierce, Dixie Gin of Poinsett County Inc., Trumann, Ark.; Eddie Scherm, Portland Gin & Warehouse, Inc., Portland, Ark.; Jessica Senter, Senter & Sons Gin LLC, Osceola, Ark.; Jonathan Moore, Good Luck Co-op Gin, Marvell, Ark.
EARNING MOST IMPROVED AWARDS were, from left, Arkansas — Barbi Anderson, Graves Gin Corporation, Rector; Mississippi — Haywood Wilson, Cowart Gin Co. Inc., Charleston; Missouri — Cindy Wilkins, 4-Way Gin, Senath, Mo.; SCGA and Tennessee Most Improved Award — Eason Williams, Union Gin Co. Inc., Brownsville, Tenn.