The American Society of Agricultural Engineers is paying tribute to one of the cotton industry's most innovative and important production tools — the module builder. A May 29 ceremony on the campus of Texas A&M University will proclaim the development of the module builder, a national historical landmark.

“The module builder, developed with funding from Cotton Incorporated, revolutionized the cotton industry and is one of the top three innovations in mechanized cotton production including the cotton gin and mechanical harvester, says Dr. Edward Hiler, Texas A&M's vice chancellor and dean of agriculture.

Allowing producers to continue harvesting by eliminating cotton trailer backups at gin points and decreasing (from 40 percent to 20 percent) the percentage of the crop classed as light spotted, were two significant economic impacts the module builder afforded growers.

Created by a team of researchers led by Lambert Wilkes and J.K. (Farmer) Jones, of Cotton Incorporated, the three-year research project (1971-1974), first had to prove that cotton could be compacted, stored safely in the field and stay compacted during transport to the gin. Dr. Calvin Parnell with the Texas Extension Service went on a Texas tour to demonstrate the module builder to growers and ginners after its development.

“The development of the module builder is an excellent example of how cotton Research and Promotion checkoff dollars are used to make improvements in cotton production technology,” Worsham said.

A plaque commemorating the dedication will remain on display in Scoates Hall on the campus of Texas A&M University.