The National Cotton Ginners Association's 2004 Distinguished Service Award recipient is Dr. Alan D. Brashears, who has served as research leader for the Cotton Production and Processing Research Unit of USDA's Agricultural Research Service (ARS) in Lubbock since 2002.

The agricultural engineer led research that resulted in modifications to commercial cotton strippers that reduced: (1) foreign matter in seed cotton and (2) the number of lint grades being reduced due to bark. He participated in work that demonstrated that the effect of grade reductions due to excess bark in lint did not accurately reflect the effect on yarn spinning during textile processing. He also has been involved in projects that demonstrate the effects of defoliation and desiccation on harvesting, field storage and ginning of stripper cotton.

An adjunct professor in Texas Tech University's Soil and Crop Sciences Department, Brashears has authored or coauthored more than 137 publications and abstracts. His body of research has been a significant influence on the regions growing stripper harvested cotton. He also has served on several NCGA committees and been a key reason its ginning schools have been successful.

“Alan has never found a problem that couldn't be solved,” NCGA Executive Director Bill Norman said. “His ‘can do’ attitude is a major reason he has enjoyed a successful career. Whether in a lead role or as a worker bee, he has always demonstrated his ability to be a true team player.”

Brashears earned bachelors and masters degrees in agricultural engineering from Texas A&M University and his Ph.D. in Engineering from Texas Tech University.