Registrations are being sought for the '12 Western Ginner Schools set for Las Cruces, N.M., on May 8-10. Online registration is atwww.cotton.org/ncga/ginschool/index.cfm. More than 145 participated in the Southwest school, held last week in Lubbock. The Stoneville Ginners School is set for Stoneville, Miss., on June 12-14. All schools are conducted at the USDA ginning laboratories.

National Cotton Ginners' Assoc. (NCGA) Executive Vice President Harrison Ashley said the Level I, II and III courses run concurrently from 8 am–5 pm each day. He said each level of the coursework is built on the previous level of instruction, with Level I serving as the foundation. It is recommended that all new students, regardless of gin experience, start with Level I.

Level I courses are: Introduction to Cotton Ginning and the Industry; Maintenance of Auxiliary Gin Components; Basic Hydraulics; Basic Gin Safety; Maintenance and Adjustments for Seed Cotton Cleaners, Gin Stands, and Lint Cleaners; Air Utilization and Drying; and Electricity in the Gin.

The Level II offerings include: Purpose and Operating Principles of Individual Gin Machines; Efficient Operation, Adjustment, and Maintenance of Gin Equipment; Pneumatics and Waste Collection; Electrical Systems; Hydraulic Systems; Gin Safety; Management Tips; and Roller Ginning (at the Western School only).

Level III features: Review of Functions of a Ginning System; Electrical Systems; Air Systems in the Gin; Drying and Moisture Restoration Systems; Matching Machinery Capacities in the System; Seed Cotton Unloading Systems and Management of Seed Cotton Handling Systems; Bale Presses and Hydraulic Systems; Safety Programs and Labor Regulations; Cottonseed Handling Systems; and Roller Ginning (at the Western School only).

In addition to Levels I, II and III, the ginner schools feature a two-day continuing education (CE) course for certified ginners and gin managers/superintendents.The two-dayCE course at the Western school will be held on Tuesday and Wednesday, May 8-9.

A summary of CE topics at the Western school follows:

  • A session on all aspects of air -- from the module feeder to cyclones -- which will feature several problem-solving presentations, including proper fan sizing and efficient operation
  • Computer and phone applications to assist ginners with module logistics and gin equipment monitoring
  • A review of automatic bale strapping, tying and bagging systems
  • A presentation by ginner Dwayne Alford about the use of facial recognition for payroll records
  • A session on safety and maintaining a safe work environment

School cooperators include USDA's Agricultural Research Service, USDA Extension Service, NCGA and its member associations, NCC, Cotton Incorporated, gin machinery/equipment manufacturers and suppliers, Cooperative State Research, Education and Extension Services, and select land grant universities. For more information, contact NCGA at (901) 274-9030 or www.cotton.org/ncga/ginschool/index.cfm.