Readers praise special issue

What a great issue of Southwest Farm Press! The features on Plains Cotton Growers Inc. was a step back in time for folks like me. PCG was, and still is, I believe, the finest commodity organization ever developed. Leaders like congressman George Mahon, Bob Poage and their counterparts always listened to PCG members — and this marked the quality of both the Congress at the time and PCG leadership.

Don Johnson, Cotton Fanning and the other PCG executives I knew well in the 1963-1973 era were always home run hitters — they had a job to do, and they did it well! Past presidents, such as Wilmer Smith, Don Anderson, Donnell Echols, Ray Joe Riley, Don Marble — and all the others — were part of the team. And they knew the Plains cotton farmer was their reason for being. And PCG had the support of the South Plains business leaders — including the Lubbock Avalanche-Journal newspaper and the farm editor Duane Howell.

I have dealt with many farm and ranch groups in my over 40 years of print, radio and TV enterprises — and none have approached the caliber of Plains Cotton Growers and their supporters. I just wish the Texas beef cattle producer had an organization with the political and membership clout and recognition as does Plains Cotton Growers Inc.

Again, my congratulations to a great PCG organization, to the leadership and thanks for bringing back many good memories of the 10 years I worked out of Lubbock — and with members and leaders of this great group.
Horace McQueen
Latexo, Texas

A great issue — thanks for getting all this information together on PCG's. Congratulations!!!
Ed Runge
Former Soil & Crop Sciences Department Head, TAMU, College Station

Response to wildfires coverage

I just wanted to pass along a note of thanks and appreciation for your coverage of the rangleland wildlires up in the Panhandle. I just received the April 6 issue and was so touched by the photos and articles on the cover. Clint Rollins, our range management specialist out of Amarillo, really had a heart for trying to understand ranchers' immediate needs as well as trying to help them get together a plan for the future.

Your article, “First year deferral is a key practice” really depicted our agency's recommendations, as well as Clint's personal desire to help ranchers in this difficult time. We appreciate that very much.

Your other cover story, “Rancher Survives Close Call in Blaze” was about my former neighbor, LH Webb. I lived on the JLB Ranch, neighboring LH on the southern boundary of his property. We were neighbors from 1997 to 2002. I still have many friends in the area, including the Webbs, and first became aware of the fire when one of my friends from McLean called me the Sunday night the fires started. She just said, “Widlfires are everywhere. We've been evacuated. It's awful. Please pray.”

That was about 6 p.m. She called me at 10 p.m. to report that their home had been saved but they had lost their barn and corrals right next to their house. I also knew all the people in Gray County that lost homes and cattle.

It has been a horrible experience and conversations with those friends have left me in tears many times. I am just so thankful for the sensitivity of so many media outlets, such as Southwest Farm Press, to help America understand the plight of these ranchers. My friend talked to LH the other day and he told her he still has a lot of injured cattle in his corrals, but if they will eat and drink he isn't putting them down or selling them — he's doing everything he can to save them. It's just a sad situation.

Mostly - I just wanted to extend a special thanks to you for your recent coverage of the wildfires, but also for your consistent coverage of the good news about farming and conservation practices farmers are implementing. I know you work with Quenna Terry in our Lubbock office quite a bit, but if there is ever anything I can help you with, please don't hesitate to call.
Dee Ann Burkes
USDA-NRCS State Public Affairs Specialist
Temple, Texas