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By Bev Odom/The Red River Sun—
WELLINGTON – A 2020 graduate of Wellington High School, Parker O’Rear planned all along to stay right here in Collingsworth County and farm with his dad, Richard O’Rear.
Parker did not even realize at the time they began the 2020 harvest that their cotton would be the first bale at Farmers Cooperative Society #1.
“We started stripping at the Kelso place just northwest of Wellington on Monday, Oct. 5,” O’Rear said. “The module trucks began picking it up the next day.”
On Oct. 14, the gin cranked up and got going.
“I like to see young farmers like Parker taking over,” said Kim Martindale, gin manager. “For the year, the quality of the cotton is very good although we are going to gin less than our average.”
Farmers Co-op ended the 2019 ginning season with 112,249 bales, just 1,739 less that 113,988 for 2018 and almost the same as 2017 at 112,267.
“Once we get going 24/7, we can gin 1,000 bales a day,” Martindale said. “We are waiting to get our night crew going as soon as possible. For some reason, the same guys from prior years aren’t wanting to come up this year.”
Although young in years, O’Rear is knowledgeable about growing cotton. He said the NexGen variety of dryland cotton made over a bale per acre, which is pretty good for how dry it’s been in his opinion.
William O’Rear, Parker’s grandad, died Dec. 2, 2018 at the age of 97. A lifelong farmer, he hauled bales of cotton to Hollis from the Rolla gin for many years. William’s dad, Levi Wallace O’Rear, farmed in the area as well. Levi’s dad settled at Rolla in 1903, according to the Collingsworth County History Book, Volume I.