MEMPHIS – Two long serving harvesting and ginning researchers, who are retiring from USDA’s Agricultural Research Service (ARS), were recently honored by their friends and peers.
W. Stanley Anthony, research leader at the USDA-ARS Cotton Ginning Laboratory in Stoneville, Miss., and Alan Brashears, research leader for the Cotton Production and Processing Research Unit of USDA-ARS in Lubbock, Tex., were recognized during the National Cotton Ginners Association’s (NCGA) reception at the recent 2006 Beltwide Cotton Conferences in San Antonio.
National Cotton Council Vice President Charlie Owen, a Pima, Ariz., ginner and former NCGA president, said both Anthony and Brashears have provided unique contributions to the harvesting, handling and ginning of the U.S. cotton crop, in addition to providing capable leadership at their respective laboratories.
“Stanley has been a prolific researcher throughout his career at the Stoneville Gin Lab,” Owen said. “Even as he took on the responsibilities of Research Leader of the Stoneville Ginning Lab, Stanley continued to produce a large number of valuable publications for our industry. His work related to bale packaging has been significant in improving the quality of U.S. cotton, and he has served as a valued advisor to the Joint Cotton Industry Bale Packaging Committee as that committee has worked to improve our bale package. In addition, Stanley’s well known work in gin process control will benefit our industry for years to come.”
Brashears led research that resulted in modifications to commercial cotton strippers that reduced: 1) foreign matter in seed cotton and 2) the number of lint grades being reduced due to bark. He participated in work that demonstrated that the effect of grade reductions due to excess bark in lint did not accurately reflect the effect on yarn spinning during textile processing. He also has been involved in projects that demonstrate the effects of defoliation and desiccation on harvesting, field storage and ginning of stripper cotton.
“Alan’swork to improve the quality of stripper harvesting is an important reason that the quality of West Texas cotton has been steadily on the rise,” Owen said. “Many of us in the cotton growing regions dominated by machine picking may not be that familiar with Alan’s research, but his work teamed with research at the Lubbock Gin Lab to improve the quality of ginning stripper harvested cotton has been a very valuable body of work. He also has proven to be a respected mentor to the young research staff at the Lubbock lab, as well as to other young cotton engineers during his years serving as the lab’s Research Leader.”
NCGA President Larry McClendon, a Marianna, Ark., ginner, said that besides their USDA/ARS research and administrative responsibilities at their respective gin labs, “both of these gentlemen have played key roles in making our NCGA Ginning School program the success that it has become. Their willingness to provide support to this program by making local arrangements, arranging for instructors, serving as instructors themselves and providing general leadership and guidance to the program since its inception, is just one example of the service that Alan and Stanley have both exhibited over their careers.”
Brashears earned bachelors and masters degrees in Agricultural Engineering from Texas A&M University and his Ph.D. in Engineering from Texas Tech University. He began his career in 1961 as a research assistant at Texas A&M, and then joined USDA’s Agricultural Marketing Service in College Station, Tex., as an agricultural engineer. In 1962, he joined USDA’s Agricultural Research Service (ARS) in Albany, Ga., before returning to take an agricultural engineer post with USDA-ARS in Lubbock.
A native of Indianola, Miss., Anthony earned B.S. and M.S. degrees in agricultural engineering at Mississippi State University and is a graduate of the U.S. Army Engineer Basic and Advanced Schools, the Command and General Staff College, and the U.S. Army War College.