AG News 2010
Brooks, Gilbert honored at banquet
By THOMAS JENKINS
A 34-year veteran of the West Texas cotton industry, local producer Marty Brooks holds many different titles, and the lifelong Howard County resident can add 2010 Ag Producer of the Year to his list of accolades.
Brooks, among family and friends, accepted the award Thursday afternoon during the Big Spring Area Chamber of Commerce Ag Appreciation Luncheon at the Dorothy Garrett Coliseum.
Staring down at the plaque commemorating the award, Brooks' first thought was to thank the woman who was instrumental in his early career as an agricultural producer in the Crossroads area.
“I just wish my mother could have been here to see this,” a very emotion Brooks told the audience after accepting the award. “She passed away recently, and i know she would have been proud of this.”
Brooks is a 1975 graduate of Coahoma High School who grew up in a farming family. Shortly after his graduation from high school, Brooks entered into a partnership with his mother and brother. In 1982, the local farmer and his mother began the operation that would span 25 years with farm land located in both Howard and Glasscock counties.
According to Agriculture Committee member Donnie Reid, Brooks and his sons — Michael and Collin — currently farm approximately 5,000 acres of dry land cotton, 150 acres of drip irrigation cotton, 300 acres of wheat and run approximately 70 head of shorthorn and commercial cattle.
Brooks wasn't the only local resident recognized during the ceremony, as Ag Service owner James A Gilbert was awarded the 2010 Ag Business of the Year award.
The award was presented to Gilbert by Ag Committee Chairman Ronnie Wood, who was quick to point out the local businessman's talent with and love for tractors.
“He enjoys all sorts of tractors, especially antiques,” Wood told the audience. “He and his tractor buddies travel all over Texas and Oklahoma each year to visit with antique tractor and engine owners. During the week he repairs his customer's tractors, but on weekends he regularly works on and restores old tractors and motors.”
Gilbert graciously accepted the award with a quick nod and smile toward the audience.
Also during the luncheon, Wood announced the winners of the First Bale Contest being held by the Chamber of Commerce, recognizing local ag producers Fred and Terry Peterson as having delivered the first bale of cotton of the season.
Wood said the bale — which was raised in Howard County and ginned by Big Spring Gin Co-Op — will be on display at the county courthouse.