Chris Breedlove, a veteran Texas ginner who has provided outstanding service and leadership to the U.S. cotton industry, was recognized by the National Cotton Ginners Association (NCGA) as the 2021 Horace Hayden National Cotton Ginner of the Year.
The NCGA also recognized both Jimmy Stover and Russell Sutton as recipients of the organization’s 2021-22 Charles C. Owen Distinguished Service Award, honoring those who have provided a career of distinguished service to the U.S. ginning industry.
Breedlove, Stover, and Sutton were recognized during the 2022 NCGA annual meeting in Houston, TX.
Horace Hayden National Ginner of the Year
The National Cotton Ginner of the Year award is presented to a ginner in recognition of able, efficient, and faithful service to the ginning industry and continuing the principles exemplified and practiced by former NCGA executive secretary Horace Hayden.
Breedlove, general manager and CEO of Willacy Co-op Gin in Raymondville, TX, has provided dedicated service to the industry through his participation in multiple organizations. He served as NCGA’s president in 2008, a past president of Texas Cotton Ginners’ Association, and current treasurer of the Texas Cotton Ginners’ Trust. He is a graduate of the National Cotton Council (NCC) Cotton Leadership Program and currently serves as a NCC director representing the ginner sector.
The West Texas native graduated with a degree in Agricultural Engineering from Texas A&M University in 1980 before joining Anderson Clayton & Company’s oilseed processing division in Phoenix. He soon moved to Abilene to oversee eight of the company’s cotton gins. He was later hired to oversee the cotton gin and elevator at Sebastian Cotton & Grain. In 2002, he was named general manager of Olton Co-op Gin and, several years later, was named to his present post at Willacy Co-op Gin.
Charles C. Owen Distinguished Service Award
The Charles C. Owen Distinguished Service Award honors those who have provided a career of distinguished service to the U.S. ginning industry.
Stover was a cotton and wheat producer and cattle rancher in Oklahoma prior to building cotton module equipment. He also was instrumental in the organization and building of Tri County Gin in Chattanooga, OK, where he served on its Board for a number of years.
In 1989, he built the Stover Module Retriever – his first module retriever bed to which he later modified to reduce the potential of seed cotton contaminants reaching the gin. He later designed and built the Stover Unwrapper GIS which removed plastic wrap from round modules at the gin. After the first unit sold in 2007, Stover turned it into an electric machine that allowed gin employees to remove the plastic wrapping while the module rotated to make sure plastic contamination did not get into the gin’s disperser cylinders.
In 2008, he won the ASABE AE50 Outstanding Innovations Award for his invention.
Through the years, Stover has designed and built many lines of cotton equipment including Stover Gin Mover, Stover Field Mover, 6 Bale Module Trailer, Stover Cotton Train that hauls 10 round modules, the Stover Moving Floor Module Feeder, Stover Chain Bed Module Feeder, Stover Module Builder, and the Stover Big Red Cotton Cart.
Sutton, a native of Snyder, TX, and Texas Tech University graduate, has been involved with ginning his entire life as his family owned and operated a cotton gin. He has worked for many of the nation’s gin equipment manufacturers, traveling across the Cotton Belt and throughout the world. He worked with Horn Gin Machinery, Consolidated HGM, and Consolidated Gin Company before joining Lummus Corporation in Lubbock, where he serves as Vice President of Business Development.
Sutton’s nominators cited his unmatched willingness to provide resources through technical knowledge and his dedication to ensuring the ginning sector’s viable future, including his commitment to helping develop talented ginning industry members.
Based on information provided by the National Cotton Ginners Association
0 1 5 NCGA Honors Go to Breedlove, Stover, Sutton