Richard Kelley Recipient of National Ginner Award

Richard Kelley, a Burlison, Tenn., ginner who served as the National Cotton Ginners Association’s (NCGA) chairman in 2014, was named the 2014 Horace Hayden National Cotton Ginner of the Year. He was recognized on February 6 during the NCGA’s 2015 annual meeting in Memphis.

February 12, 2015
Contact: Marjory Walker
(901) 274-9030

MEMPHIS, Tenn. – Richard Kelley, a Burlison, Tenn., ginner who served as the National Cotton Ginners Association's (NCGA) chairman in 2014, was named the 2014 Horace Hayden National Cotton Ginner of the Year. He was recognized here on February 6 during the NCGA's 2015 annual meeting.

That award is presented annually 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.

Active in service to the U.S. cotton industry, Kelley served as director of the National Cotton Council and is on the board of its export promotions arm, Cotton Council International. He is a past president of the Southern Cotton Ginners Association and was named the 2013 Southern Cotton Ginner of the Year.

Kelley is president of Burlison Gin Company, Kelcot Cotton Warehouse and Kelley Enterprises, a 20,000-acre farm -- much of which is devoted to cotton.

In making the award announcement, outgoing NCGA President Dwayne Alford said Kelley is noted for his talent for engineering and building. He said Kelley "is always trying to make improvements – even on new equipment" and that includes several modernizations he made to a gin he purchased in 1989.

Kelley, who grew up on a 2,500 head hog farm in West Tennessee, is a University of Tennessee at Martin graduate. His wife, Charlotte, and their daughters, Leslie Roane and Kerry Williams, are involved, along with their husbands, Michael Roane and Brad Williams, in the farming and ginning operations.

In addition, NCC President/CEO Mark Lange and NCC Senior Vice President of Washington Operations John Maguire were named as co-recipients of NCGA's 2014-15 Distinguished Service Award, which honors those who have provided a career of distinguished service to the U.S. ginning industry. Lange and Maguire are both retiring at the end of February.

Dr. Lange, who has been in his present post since 2003, has played a pivotal role in guiding the U.S. cotton industry's seven segments to reach consensus on critical policies affecting U.S. cotton. An economist who began his service with the NCC in 1990 as its director of Economic and Information Services, Dr. Lange holds bachelor and master's degrees in economics from Indiana State University and a Ph.D. in economics from Iowa State University.

Maguire, who has worked for the NCC for more than three decades, also has been in his current post since 2003 coordinating the NCC's Washington activities, including Congressional relations and working with Administration officials. He has been actively involved in policy development and implementation activities. Maguire earned bachelor and master's degrees in textiles at the Georgia Institute of Technology.

"When you consider the many times that they (Lange and Maguire) fought for us when the cotton program was under attack," Alford said, "or the many budget and appropriations battles that have included the fate of programs important to cotton, and the WTO and the Brazil case, there was no better choice."

The NCGA also elected its 2015 officers: president - Levin Lynch, Bennettsville, S.C.; first vice president – Ron Craft, Plains, Texas; second vice president – David Blakemore, Campbell, Mo.; third vice president – Stanley Creelman, Tulare, Calif.; and chairman – Dwayne Alford, Yuma, Arizona. Harrison Ashley of Cordova, Tenn., serves as NCGA's executive vice president.