Adams Named Ginner of the Year

Thursday, March 8, 2018
Dennis Adams (left) with SCGA president Randy Ainsworth
courtesy photo

Just when trucks were hauling modules in from the fields and cotton was falling through the gin stands during the 2017 bumper crop at Graves Gin, a call from the CEO of Southern Cotton Ginners Association Tim Price sent Dennis Adams to the phone. The purpose of the call was to inform Adams of his selection as 2017 Ginner of the Year. The presentation of the award took place at the group's annual meeting and convention, held this past weekend in Memphis. At the awards banquet held on Thursday evening in the Venetian Room at the Peabody Hotel, Adams received the prestigious recognition.

Gin owners, managers, cotton industry leaders and their families attend the annual event which begins with meetings and receptions on Thursday, concluding with the Farm and Gin Show on Friday.

“After they called my name at the banquet on Thursday night, it was time for my two-minute speech. I looked at that room full of people and thought there must be thousands in attendance,” Adams remarked.

A large crowd did enjoy the evening due to the fact ginners and industry leaders from Arkansas, Missouri, Tennessee, Mississippi and Alabama attended. Each gin manager and owner, and others, had an opportunity earlier in the season to nominate a candidate for recognition as Ginner of the Year. With a collection of nominees in hand, the Southern Cotton Ginners board of directors made the selection.

Criteria for selection focus on a multitude of industrial standards, the efficiency and professional operation of the gin(s), and the foundation of the business model presented daily by the gin and its personnel, specifically the ginner nominated.

Adams’ career in the cotton industry began 37 years ago at the Holly Island gin. In 1992, he became manager of the Morris Farm Center which was later sold to MFA in 1995, and in 1996 that Adams joined Graves Enterprises. Over the course of his 31 year career with Graves Gin Corporation, he became manager of the gin and its operations including fertilizer sales and truck management.

“Chace (Sain) and Derek (Matheney) handle the seed and chemical sales now,” he explained. “Chase takes care of the grid sampling.”

“Since I was about 26 years old, I’ve been working in a gin,” he offered. “I was assistant ginner and learned much of what I know from Fred Henfling who came to Graves Gin when I did.”

Henfling has since retired and lives in Kennett.

Adams considers his award a “ginners family award.” “My name is on the plaque, but we would not be considered for the award without the entire operation,” he offers. “Scott Stirnaman, Matt Vaughan and Leonard Banning are our main ginners.”

Adams did note how pleased he was to bring the award to Graves Enterprises this year, for 2017, since Gregg Sain, the face of the Graves’ family business, was selected for the award in 2015.

Concluding his remarks, Adams expressed much appreciation to the entire Graves family for the confidence they have placed in him.

“Their trust in me to manage this operation is humbling. I could not, though, ever receive an honor without all my co-workers who handle all the hands-on work,” he explained. “I have done that work and know how vital their performance is to our operation.”

Chase Sain said of Dennis Adams’ selection as Ginner of the Year, “Very well deserved.”

Adams was also joined by Ami Stirnaman in receiving awards for excellence in meeting safety standards at both the Rector and Kennett gins.

Adams’ family joined in the celebration of his recognition in Memphis. Dennis’ wife, Beverly, and all the children and grandchildren were present. Their daughter, Dana Adams Wilson (Rector Sports Hall of Fame inductee), and husband Paul along with Davis and Drew celebrated the award. In addition, Clint Harris and Mandy with Owen and Kate, Kathy Forrester, Cody and Luke, and Ryan and Lacy Sawyer joined in the congratulatory activities.

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