Very few of us look out the window of our homes, offices or cars and see what is happening with a crop, much less know what cotton looks like day-to-day. Those plants ultimately will become that favorite pair of jeans or the luxurious sheets that ease our body & mind at night. Would that be cool to see? Well, thanks to Jimmy Webb (jlw1963webb on Twitter and jlwebb63 on Instagram) a farmer from Leary, Georgia you can hop on Twitter or Instagram and watch the cotton grow.
Farming in South Georgia
Jimmy says he got started by farming with family. Although his dad died when Jimmy was a teenager, he was able to farm with family. His uncle who helped him early on was really able to make a difference for him. That uncle is still farming at the age of 78! They have separate farming operations now.
One of the things that farmers do frequently is find crops that complement each other. For the Webbs, Jimmy says peanuts and cotton are the right mix. Part of that is the plants need different things, are vulnerable to different pests, etc. So they’ll plant peanuts in a field one year and go to cotton next. That also makes it fun in the social media feed… he shares some of both!
The Good, The Bad & The Ugly
There are lots of good and bad times in farming. I asked Jimmy to tell me a little about all of them.
On the good, he pointed to Cotton Incorporated and the Cotton Board. American cotton farmers like Jimmy and people importing cotton fiber and/or goods, pay into a marketing and research program. It’s the one that pays for the cool Fabric of our Lives commercials and other things. He’s had a chance to be on the board of directors of the programs! Not only did he have a chance to determine where funds would be used to help support the crop’s marketing & development but he says he really loved meeting others in the cotton industry all over the country who share a love of the fiber.
When it comes to the ugly, there is something that some in ag call farming ugly. And Jimmy says they have moved that direction. Farming ugly means the fields aren’t fully tilled which gave us beautiful rows of freshly turned dirt. That leaves some of the previous years plants, weeds, etc in the field making things a bit uglier but these practices also have a great benefit for soil health and Jimmy says it helps them capture rain and irrigation water.
In December, there was big news for the Webb family… a new granddaughter. As a proud grandpa, I think Jimmy may get that little girl in the buddy seat. And someday, she may be planting those crops!
Jimmy started the hashtag #watchthecottongrow in 2017 and shares the day to day… this was one of the first. You really should check it out!
— Jimmy Webb (@Jlw1963Webb) June 27, 2017