The variety also helped with a special project. Some of the lint from the seed block was ginned, spun, woven and dyed at the Cotton Incorporated research facility in Cary, N.C. Kater Hake, Cotton Incorporated Vice President for Agricultural Research, presented Eric and his wife Kim with a bolt of the cloth made from that cotton. Their daughter Kimberly, 13, cut about a yard of fabric from the bolt and made a dress for her 4-H project, earning a blue ribbon for the effort.

She plans to expand that project for district competition with a display showing the process of turning a cotton seed into an article of clothing. She’ll show steps from planting, to harvest, to ginning to manufacturing a finished product.

Silhan’s oldest son, Jacob, 17, plans a career on the farm after school and has worked on his own operation since he was about 12 years old. “He wants to sell calves,” Eric says. They maintain a herd of 65 mama cows and raise mostly club calves.

The Silhans also have a 9-year old son, Matthew.

Eric was watching the weather back in early April, hoping for a good “planting rain” to get the 2011 crop off to a good start. The area has been dry since last fall.

“It’s dry but I’m not that concerned about it,” he says. “I believe we will be blessed before it’s over. I’ll be optimistic. We always get a rain at some point. We always harvest something.”