Each year the Corpus Christi Cotton Exchange gives an award of $1,500 to the grower that harvests and gins the FIRST BALE of cotton in the Coastal Bend Area. This bale is then auctioned to bidders from area and state ag-businesses at the CCCE FIRST BALE PARTY. The proceeds from that auction and from other contributions are used to fund a total of eight, $1,000 per-year scholarships, awarded to area students interested in agriculture.

This year, the producer of the first bale and winner of the $1,500 award is San Patricio County farmer Michael Mokry. Mr. Mokry farms approximately five miles east of Odem. The bale was ginned on Friday, August 10th, at EdCot Coop Gin by General Manager Sid Brough, and was delivered to Gulf Compress in Corpus Christi.