2021 Cotton Gin Safety Initiative Winner

Miller County Gin Company Wins 2021 Cotton Gin Safety Initiative

AgriTrust of Georgia has announced Miller County Gin Company of Colquitt, Georgia as the winner of the 2021 Cotton Gin Safety Initiative. 

Cotton has a long history in Georgia. In 1733, Georgia became the first colony to produce cotton commercially, and we have not stopped growing since. In the beginning, the cotton lint had to be separated from the seed by hand. It would take one person 10 hours to deseed 1 pound of cotton. Luckily in 1793, Eli Whitney revolutionized the industry when he invented his cotton engine (gin for short) that used wire teeth and a rotating drum to separate the fiber from the seed. While current gins still use some of the same principles of the first gin, many things have changed. The gins today have large machines that use hundreds of saw blades to gin the cotton and can produce a 500-pound bale of lint cotton in about a minute.

Unfortunately, the cotton gin can also be extremely dangerous. Because of all the unique hazards and severity of claims in a cotton gin, AgriTrust of Georgia created the Cotton Gin Safety Initiative. The Cotton Gin Safety Initiative is a program conducted by AgriTrust to encourage safety training by its cotton gin members.  Winners receive a $2,000 check if they had no lost-time claims during the ginning season. Miller County Gin Company will receive $2,000 as they had no lost-time claims.

Miller County Gin Company was founded in 1994 by a group of farmers. Since then, they have grown to include around 55 stockholders who elect a seven-member board of directors. Employing 12 year-round employees and up to 30 seasonal employees in a high-hazard environment requires a dedication to safety that starts from the top down.

At Miller County Gin it starts with the President & General Manager, Brett Davis and the Gin Superintendent Terry Reynolds. Both Bret and Terry, who was also a medic in the Army, believe in getting as much training as possible. In 2021, gin employees attended the virtual Ginner's Safety Roundtable sponsored by AgriTrust of Georgia and Southeastern Cotton Ginners Association.  They also had Miller County EMS certify all gin and warehouse personnel in Stop the Bleed training, and hosted the Colquitt Miller Fire Department with a walkthrough and familiarization of their warehouses, gin, seed-house and the fire containment and suppression equipment they have on site. Their dedication to safety has helped Miller County Gin Company win the 2021 Cotton Gin Safety Initiative and a check for $2,000.00. Congratulations for your success and safety.