Gov. Jay Nixon visited Senath to recognize Charles Parker, co-owner of Parker & Jones Cotton Farm, with the Governor's Award for Agricultural Achievement, which honors outstanding farmers, growers and processors for their work with agricultural commodities and their communities.
"Agriculture has always been, and will always be, the heart of Missouri's economy, and farmers like Charles Parker are the reason why," Gov. Nixon said. "Missouri farmers not only clothe the world, they create jobs, support their communities and our economy. The farmers, ranchers and producers of Missouri are moving our state forward through innovation and are creating new opportunities for our future.
"The economic future of Missouri is getting brighter every day," the Governor said. "The jobs report for September showed our unemployment rate has reached the lowest level since December 2008. Coupled with our exports setting an all-time record last year, it's clear we are moving Missouri in the right direction."
During his visit, Gov. Nixon and Missouri's Director of Agriculture, Dr. Jon Hagler, toured the Parker & Jones operation, which includes approximately 4,100 acres of cotton, with an average yield of 1,300 to 1,400 pounds per acre. They presented co-owner Charles Parker with a certificate recognizing his support of Missouri agriculture and his leadership for Missouri's cotton industry.
Parker has a long history of agricultural leadership. He currently serves as chairman of Progressive Farm Credit in Sikeston and as chair of the Missouri Cotton Growers' Organization board, and also serves as a board member of the Southeastern Boll Weevil Eradication Foundation Inc. Parker is also co-owner of the Farmers Union Cotton Gin.
His past positions include serving as the 2011 chairman for the National Cotton Council, and as chair of the council's boll weevil action committee; as Missouri state chairman for the American Cotton Producers from 1995-2007; and as chairman of The Cotton Foundation in 2008-09 and as its president in 2007-08. Parker is a past president of the Cotton Producers of Missouri and the Arkansas Agricultural Council.
In 1995, he received Cotton Grower magazine's Cotton Achievement Award which recognizes growers who are outstanding innovators, sound stewards of the environment, and leaders in the cotton industry as well as their communities.
"Missouri farmers, like Charles Parker and the team at Parker & Jones, are among the most productive, most innovative producers in the world, and we are proud to recognize their outstanding contributions to our state," Director Hagler said.