AS A SPONSOR of this year's awards, and a leader in southeastern agriculture, Southern States congratulates the 2001 High Cotton Award nominees and winners for their outstanding achievements. We know how much dedication and hard work it takes to earn this kind of recognition.

Farming in the south isn't just in our name, it's our business. That's why whatever makes sense on your farm, we make it our business to provide. Crop production is about commitment. You put everything into doing it right. And you should expect no less from your farm inputs supplier. That's why it pays to rely on Southern States.

Southern States, one of the largest U.S. farmer owned and operated cooperatives, was born to meet the needs of farmers - to grow solutions for their problems, and to continuously open up new possibilities to make the business of farming pay better. Founded as the Virginia Seed Service in 1923, today the cooperative serves 25 states and supports 1300 retail locations.

For today's cotton producer, our GrowMaster[R] Crop Services deliver cost-effective, agronomically sound and environmentally responsible solutions for everything from planting to picking. In addition to top quality seed, fertilizer and crop protectants, cotton producres can count on Southern States for certified application, soil nutrient management planning, record keeping, crop management recommendations and much more.

Southern States also supports producers once their cotton has been picked with a range of marketing services that include five cotton gins in Georgia and the Carolinas. The cooperative not only buys cotton through its own and other gins, we also market cotton to both domestic and international buyers. Plus, Southern States offers producers direct access to 55 leading cotton buyers through the TELCOT electronic marketing system.

For more information about Southern States products or services, talk to your Southern States GrowMaster[R] Crop Services professional or local dealer today. Or visit us on the web at www.SouthernStates-coop.com.