The Certified Cotton Gin Program Has Suspended Operations (September 2008)
Details of the suspension of the program can be found below.
At this time, select content will remain available on this
site to continue the discussion on the importance of
good ginning practices. Note that the references to program
details will be out of date and should be treated accordingly.
Good ginning practices are enduring and we hope that the
information you find here serves as a guide.
Whatever role you play in the cotton industry, we encourage you to become familar with the benefits of good ginning practices and hope that you will seek out good ginning partners.
Two and a half years ago, the Certified Cotton Gin Program was launched in response to a growing problem of water damaged bales from water spray applicators that was hurting the reputation of all gins. Misinformation and a void of clear leadership left gins that were responsibly practicing moisture restoration at risk. Noting a similar deficiency in the promotion of other good ginning practices, the program was quickly expanded to cover other areas.
Over that period, the program has spent approximately $250,000 promoting the good ginning practices of its 50 members to cotton buyers and other industry members around the world. As you would probably suspect, it has been quite a challenge to get other industry segments to properly value the important role good ginning practices play in the supply chain. Our efforts have at times been frustrating and at times successful, but we have always strived to maintain a program that members could be proud of participating in and we have been honored by their participation.
To date, all of the program’s expenses have been paid for by the program’s sponsor, Samuel Jackson, Inc. In related events, and as you may be aware, Samuel Jackson has been involved in a legal action resulting from water sprayed bales. As often happens in the legal process, parties are restricted from commenting on the case and that has prevented us from providing you with many details. The purpose of this letter is to explain Sam Jackson’s involvement in the case and its impact on the Certified Cotton Gin Program.
Since the 1990’s, Samuel Jackson has a well documented stance against the use of water spray systems in modern ginning. Despite that well known stance, we were named in a lawsuit resulting from water spray damage by DG&G Cotton Gin in Parma, Missouri. The monetary value of the suit exceeded $10,000,000.
The claims alleged against Samuel Jackson involved DG&G’s use of the Vomax Bale Moisture Sensor. Those claims were without technical merit as the Vomax performed just as it was designed to do; it provided an average bale moisture reading. In fact, DG&G continued to use the same Vomax in subsequent seasons.
Despite the lack of merit to their claims, the costs of defending this case for two and a half years have been substantial. Recently the costs of continuing to defend this suit against an opposing party with unlimited resources forced Samuel Jackson to a point where the financially prudent option was to agree to a settlement. While we are happy to have the matter behind us, unfortunately the impact of such a large event on a small company does not occur without consequences.
The costs of defending the lawsuit coupled with the settlement have put Samuel Jackson in a position where they are no longer able to sponsor the Certified Cotton Gin Program at this time. Furthermore, legal counsel has strongly advised against continued sponsorship of the program. With the fresh wounds of being attacked in an unjust lawsuit, their advice carries considerable weight.
Based on the above, effective immediately, the Certified Cotton Gin Program is suspending operations.
As this may be my last communication as the program director, I want to take this opportunity to offer a few quick notes of thanks.
First, I want to all of our member gins. We appreciate your commitment to good ginning and your participation. Taking a stand and speaking up is often not politically popular. Our staff has had plenty of shots taken at us and I’m sure most of our members have as well. While not pleasant, these attacks have been easy to endure knowing the quality of gins and people the program was supporting.
Next, I want to thank our advisory board members. Lending your reputation, contacts and experience to our program made it stronger. Your help has been greatly appreciated and I hope you have enjoyed some satisfaction from your work in promoting the ginning industry.
Casey Newsom also deserves special recognition. He put an incredible amount of work, thought and passion into the program and promoting our members. He constantly sought out new opportunities to promote our message and educate cotton buyers about the value of good ginning. He didn’t receive any extra compensation or financial rewards but simply did it because he felt it was the right thing to do for our industry.
Finally, I owe a debt of gratitude to Chris Jackson for giving me the opportunity to fulfill a decade old desire to tell the world how great our customers are. He supported these efforts despite it offering no direct benefits to Samuel Jackson and despite it requiring a sizeable time commitment from several of his key people. I can assure you it didn’t win him any popularity contests either, but anyone who has witnessed his sacrifice should never doubt his status among the strongest believers and ardent supporters of the art of ginning cotton.
Whether or not the future holds a revived Certified Cotton Gin Program, rest assured that Samuel Jackson is committed to promoting good, efficient and profitable ginning.
Thanks for visiting our site. We hope you find plenty of information to aid you in your quest for better cotton and increased profitability.