Bruce Heiden, a former National Cotton Council president and board chairman, is the recipient of the 2006 Harry S. Baker Distinguished Service Award for Cotton. He was recognized at the National Cotton Council's 2007 Annual Meeting held in Austin, Texas.
The Arizona cotton, alfalfa and grain producer was honored for his exceptional leadership and dedicated service to agriculture. Heiden became NCC board chairman in 1990 after serving as NCC president in 1989. He also was the first Arizonan to be elected as board chairman of Calcot, having served in that capacity from 1995-2003. He also has been chairman of the Committee for the Advancement of Cotton's Steering Committee since 1992.
Heiden's years at the NCC's helm were marked by: 1) the successful passage of the 1990 farm law, which included an improved marketing loan, 2) legislation to provide an increase in Cotton Incorporated's funding, and 3) a significant expansion in program activities and funding for Cotton Council International.
Outgoing NCC Chairman Allen Helms said, “Those who are close to Bruce know that he is someone who is quick to attribute success to others rather than discussing his own accomplishments, which are numerous. He is always quick to give credit to others.”
In 1990, Heiden was selected as the Progressive Farmer Magazine “Man of the Year” in Southwest agriculture. He was inducted into the National Cotton Hall of Fame in 1996. Heiden and his wife, Helen, have four children, all of whom are involved in the family businesses. Heiden's operations, near Buckeye and Gila Bend, include H Four Farms and Heiden Land and Cattle Co., a cattle-feeding business.
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. Previous award honorees include Duke Barr, Bruce Brumfield, Lloyd Cline, Sen. Thad Cochran, R-Miss., Robert Coker, Rep. Larry Combest, Charlie Cunningham, William B. Dunavant Jr., Duke Kimbrell, Bill Lawson, Lon Mann, Frank Mitchener, Albert Russell, Jimmy Sanford, Earl Sears, B.F. Smith, Charles Stenholm, Jack Stone and Charlie Youngker.