MEMPHIS, Tenn. – Kirk Gilkey, manager of the Cross-Creek II Gin in Corcoran, Calif., and who has provided many years of dedicated service to the U.S. cotton industry, is the 2018 Horace Hayden National Cotton Ginner of the Year.
The annual National Cotton Ginners Association’s (NCGA) award is presented to a ginner in recognition of: 1) able, efficient and faithful service to the ginning industry and 2) continuing those principles exemplified and practiced by Horace Hayden, a former NCGA executive secretary.
Gilkey, who received the award at NCGA’s recent 2019 annual meeting in San Antonio, is a National Cotton Council (NCC) director, and previously served as the chairman of the NCC's Joint Industry Bale Packaging Committee and the NCC’s Packaging and Distribution Program Committee. He was president and chairman of the National Cotton Ginners Association 2010 and 2011, respectively, and has served either as chairman or as a member of most of NCGA's committees and subcommittees. He also has been very active in the California Cotton Ginners and Growers Association, including service as chairman of the California Cotton Ginners Association in 1996. He was named the association's California Ginner of the Year in 2000.
Gilkey, born and raised in Corcoran, Calif., received a B.S. in Agricultural Business Management from California Polytechnic State University. He also serves as general manager of Gilkey Farming Enterprises and general manager of, and a partner in, Gilkey Five, a freight shipping and trucking company. Gilkey is a past president of the Corcoran Chamber of Commerce and served for a decade as a director of Corcoran's YMCA. He currently is a trustee for the Corcoran Methodist Church and the Corcoran Community Foundation.
The NCGA also recognized Dr. Ed Barnes, senior director for Cotton Incorporated’s Agricultural and Environmental Research Division in Cary, N.C., as recipient of the NCGA’s 2018-19 Charles C. Owen Distinguished Service Award. That award honors those who have provided a career of distinguished service to the U.S. ginning industry.
Barnes received his B.S. and M.S. in Biological and Agricultural Engineering from North Carolina State University. While pursuing his doctorate at Oklahoma State University, he worked as an Extension engineer. In 1995, he joined USDA’s Agricultural Research Service as an agricultural engineer at the U.S. Water Conservation Laboratory in Phoenix, Ariz., developing uses of remotely sensed data for agricultural management, with a focus on water optimization. He joined Cotton Incorporated in 2002 serving as an associate director of the Agricultural and Environmental Research Division before being named Division director in 2007. Barnes serves as an advisor on the NCC’s Joint Cotton Industry Bale Packaging Committee and is a member of the NCGA’s Technology Committee.
Barnes has been a member of the American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers (ASABE) for 30 years. He served as chair of its Engineering for Sustainability Committee, is a trustee of its Foundation, and has been an ASABE fellow since 2017. In 2013, he was awarded the National Conservations Systems Precision Agricultural Researcher of the Year award, and in 2014, the ASABE Mayfield Cotton Engineer of the Year Award.
During its annual meeting, the NCGA also elected its 2019 officers: president – Wes Morgan, New London, N.C.; first vice president – Curtis Stewart, Spade, Texas; second vice president – George LaCour, Jr., Morganza, La.; third vice president – Gene Seale, Pima, Ariz.; and chairman – Stanley Creelman, Tulare, California. Harrison Ashley of Cordova, Tenn., serves as NCGA’s executive vice president.