His 2010 crop was a little off from 2009, Seidenberger says; it was hurt by a too-wet June and earlyJuly and a too-dry August. Still, with a combination of good yields and excellent price, he expects a good cotton year. And he’ll soon be busy getting ready to make his next crop.

Busy as he is, Seidenberger still manages to give back to his industry, his family and his community. He serves on the Cotton Incorporated board, the Texas Pest Management Association, the Lions Club, and the St. Lawrence Cotton Growers. He’s a volunteer fireman and a Little League baseball and football coach.  He has served on the St. Lawrence Catholic Church Parish Council and FSA County Committee.

He’s devoted to his family, wife Christy (a school nurse), sons Reed, 8, and Owen, 6, and daughter Lacy, 2.

He says he’s never thought about doing anything other than farming— the long-ago banker’s advice notwithstanding. “While I was in school at Angelo State, I missed the farm; I found out pretty quickly what I wanted to do.”

He studied ag business in college, but says farming “is in my blood.”

It must be: He is the fifth generation — on both his father’s and his mother’s (Ellen) side — to farm. His mother’s Runnels County family farm was recently awarded the State of TexasHeritage Award for having been in the family for 100 years. “It’s still owned and operated by my mother’s family,” he says.

Farming is a heritage of which Eric Seidenberger is proud. He’s also proud that he’s been able to carry on that tradition and that he’s learned a lot about farming in16 years on his own — such as conserving soil and water make environmental and economic sense; technology pays dividends; and family is what matters most.

Oh yes, and bankers aren’t always right.