• Madison Wynne

Feel the Burr

Being in the state pageant this year, we did something called "State Fun Fashion" that demonstrated our state's or county's agriculture background. Since I represent the Hunt County area, I did my state fun fashion costume based on the fascinating cotton history in Texas, specifically in my county. Looking more and more into it, I wanted to really emphasize how essential the cotton industry is to Hunt County and Texas.

Greenville's history with cotton is what made the town get its mark on the map. In Northeast Texas, there are deep, rich soils and suitable weather conditions for cotton to grow and successfully produce. By the mid-1880s, Greenville began creating a major impact on the city's economy and population by becoming a leading producer of cotton. Due to the success of Greenville's cotton production, the city became the "Cotton Captial of the World" and is well known for the world's largest inland cotton compress, setting records in 1911 and 1912, being able to compress 2,073 bales within 10 hours in 1912. Railroads were built, new markets were forming, and more farms would startup. As of today, there now stands the Audie Murphy American Cotton Museum that provides more education on the significance of cotton and its history in Greenville, which also displays the engine of the record-breaking compress today.

Not only is cotton important in Greenville's history, but it is essential in Texas too! The Texas Farm Bureau says that Texas was the country's top cotton producer in 2019, with Georgia being 2nd. Not only is Texas a champion with producing cotton, but the U.S. exports 75% of cotton around the world (Cottonworks Traceability). On McKee, one of their writers talks about how Texas is not only the largest cotton producer, but cotton is the largest cash crop for the state as well. With 6 million acres of land, Texas produces roughly 25% of America's total cotton crop. In Texas, 9 major regions are highlighted within the state and each handles the production of cotton differently based on the conditions and environment (if you want to learn about each of these regions, when they plant cotton, and more, you can learn more information HERE). Cotton production is SO important for the U.S. because it generates around 200,000 jobs for individuals in America (McKee) and stimulates over $120 billion for our economy that makes cotton the "number one value-added crop" in the U.S. (Cotton Counts)...isn't that crazy? The U.S. is even number one in exporting our cotton worldwide, BUT the U.S. lands in third for its production, following China and India (McKee).

Not only are people normally unaware of the production of cotton, but people don't understand that it can be used for WAY more than just clothes and personal/beauty supplies. Every part of the cotton plant has a powerful use for different things that benefit our daily lives at the end of the day.

-Lint or fibers: Used to make things like plastics, explosives, incorporated in high-quality paper, processed into batting, and other products.

-Cottonseed: crushed and divided for 3 different products...

a) Oil: shortening, cooking oil, and salad dressing

b) Meal and Hulls: used combined or individually for livestock, poultry, and fish feed or even fertilizer!

-Stalks and leaves: usually plowed into the soil to enrich it!

Thank you for reading and I hope y'all have learned something from this! Havea. comment, questions, or know fun facts about cotton?? Comment below!!!

Thank a farmer and GO LOCAL!

Want to learn some extra facts and information? Use these links to learn more! All information was used through the links below!

Cotton Counts- The Story of Cotton

BarnHardt- The Story of Cotton: How Cotton is Grown, Processed, and Used

Texas Farms Bureau- Cotton production Figures in 2019

Cotton Works- Cotton Sustainability

Cotton Works- Circularity of Cotton

Cotton Works- Cotton Sustainability Basics

Cotton Works- Recycled Cotton

Cotton Works- U.S. Cotton Traceability

Cotton Works- Sustainability Goals for U.S. Cotton

Uses of GPS in Agriculture and Farming

An Overview of Cotton Production in Texas

Audie Murphy American Cotton Museum

TSHA- Greenville, TX History

Youtube: Journey of Cotton from Farm to Fabric

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