MEMPHIS, Tenn. – The late Kenneth Hood, a former National Cotton Council vice president, treasurer, vice chairman and chairman, received the Oscar Johnston Lifetime Achievement Award for 2022. He was honored at the National Cotton Council’s (NCC) 2023 annual meeting held February 10-12 in Dallas, Texas, with outgoing NCC Chairman Ted Schneider presenting the award to Hood’s daughter, Lou Ann Petro.
The annual award, established in 1997, is named for Oscar Johnston, whose vision, genius and tireless efforts were foremost in the shaping and organization of the NCC. The award is presented to an individual who served the cotton industry, through the NCC, over a significant period of his or her active business career. The award also recognizes those who exerted a positive influence on the industry and who demonstrated character and integrity as well as perseverance and maturation during that service.
Hood, a Mississippi native and Mississippi State University graduate, was active in local, state and national cotton organizations. He served on numerous NCC committees and chaired multiple committees, among them the Farm Program and Economic Policy Committee, Cottonseed Segment Representation Study Committee, its Bale Moisture Task Force, and the Beltwide Cotton Conferences Steering Committee. He continued serving as an advisor to the NCC until his death.
A former Delta Council president and chair of the American Farm Bureau Federation’s cotton committee, he also played a key role in Mississippi’s boll weevil eradication effort.
Hood was a partner in Perthshire Farms in Gunnison, Mississippi. He also was founder and board chairman of InTime, Inc., a precision agriculture consulting firm, was president of Hood Gin Company and Hood Equipment Company, and was a Board member of Staplcotn.
Schneider said Hood had a positive influence on his producer peers through his willingness to embrace cutting edge technology.
“Kenneth’s willingness to adopt new technology was unmatched as was his eagerness to work with researchers on projects aimed at improving farming efficiency,” Schneider said. “He inspired others to do the same.”
In addition, Hood was an active leader in ginner organizations. He was a former president of the National Cotton Ginners Association and the Southern Cotton Ginners Association.
A recipient of the NCC’s Harry S. Baker Award in 2008, Hood was honored over the years with many awards, among them Cotton Farming Magazine’s Farmer of the Year, Cotton Grower magazine’s Cotton Achievement Award, Progressive Farmer Magazine’s Man of the Year in Service to Mississippi Agriculture, Farm Progress’ High Cotton Award, Delta Council’s Outstanding Conservation Farmer, Delta Business Journal’s Ag Profile Leadership Award, and the New York Cotton Exchange Cotton Marketer of the Year. He also was ginner of the year for both the Southern Cotton Ginners Association and the National Cotton Ginners Association and recently was selected to Cotton Incorporated’s Cotton Research and Promotion Hall of Fame’s 2022 class.
“Despite these many accolades,” Schneider said, “Kenneth remained humble and was always willing to give of his time whether it was for neighboring producers and researchers or association staffers and journalists. He was an energetic and innovative producer and ginner as well as a tireless servant and leader.”