The Calcot cotton cooperative, based in Bakersfield, Calif., recently honored veteran agricultural journalist and Western Farm Press (WFP) Editor Harry Cline with an Award for Excellence for his 35 years of reporting trends, innovations, and changes in the fiber industry.

Calcot Board Chairman Ron Rayner presented the award to Cline during the cooperative’s 86th nnual meeting in Tempe, Ariz., in late September.

“Harry Cline’s involvement with the cotton industry helped pave the way for Pima cotton production in the San Joaquin Valley and the return of Upland cotton production to the Sacramento Valley,” Rayner told the crowd.

Rayner, in his third year as Calcot chairman, is a cotton grower and owner of A Tumbling-T Ranches in Goodyear, Ariz.

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“Harry has tirelessly advocated scientific advancements in integrated pest management and biotechnology as well as impartially reporting on controversial issues of interest to Western farm producers,” Rayner said.

Cline’s career spans more than 50 years as a journalist, first as a reporter and editor at West Texas newspapers. He later was a reporter for the Tucson Daily Citizen newspaper in Tucson, Ariz., where he covered a wide array of assignments, including agriculture.

The last 35 years of Cline’s career was as Western Farm Press editor.

Cline is widely respected in Western agriculture for his in depth reporting, and controversial commentaries which Rayner says “expressed justified support and criticism of various topics in agriculture.”

Cline accepted the Calcot award, sharing his gratitude to Calcot, the cotton industry, and Western agriculture.

“Western agriculture is an ag journalist’s dream,” the veteran ag journalist said. “I could not have done my job had you not allowed me on your farms, in your gins, and in your offices. You have trusted me, and I will be forever indebted.”

Cline added, “Cotton bought and paid for the dirt where many non-cotton crops thrive today, “including the tremendous winter vegetable industry in Yuma and the trees and vines and garlic, onions, and tomatoes in the San Joaquin Valley.”

Cline will retire Dec. 31.

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