Seidenberger, who farms 2,950 acres – most of it cotton – said he was highly honored to be selected for the High Cotton award program, which marked its 17th year in 2011.

“Being a big football fan, I told my wife, Christy, I felt like I won the MVP at the Super Bowl. It really is the MVP among Southwest cotton producers. But there are many young farmers in my area and in the Southwest who are just as qualified as I am to receive this award.

Saying he “didn’t know where to start,” Southeast winner Ronnie Lee said he was very honored to receive the High Cotton award. “The only way I can do what I do is with the help of my family and my employees. All these things they talk about are things we producers all do.

“We just do it because that’s what we’re supposed to do. I always tell my boys we just need to do what’s right.”

Delta Farm PressEditor Elton Robinson, who presented the bronze Cotton Boll award to Makamson, said it was easy to see the Mid-South regional winner is considered a leader among his peers.

“It’s not just one thing; it’s several,” said Robinson. “It starts with a forward-thinking management style. He’s always thinking ahead. When it’s planting time, Ray is usually focusing on what he needs to do to make irrigation and the harvest go smoothly.”

Giving back to community

Besides having one of the most environmentally friendly farming operations in the Mississippi Delta, if not in the entire country, Makamson also has a special relationship with his employees at a time when labor shortages are hampering many farming operations.

“The relationship between Ray and his employees is neat. His workers are all from the Greenwood, Miss., area, and some are the sons of men who worked for him in the past. Ray has steadfastly given back to the community of this Mississippi town by hiring from the local labor pool.”