Local Farmers React to Combest Resignation - KCBD NewsChannel 11 Lubbock

11/12/02

Local Farmers React to Combest Resignation

"I was devastated," says Kris Thomas, Lubbock Cotton Gin Manager. "It gave me an empty feeling in the pit of my stomach, because I know what he means to us," says farmer, Harold Flournoy. When the news of Larry Combest's resignation hit Tuesday, it hit hard.

Combest has served in the United States Congress since 1984, and West Texas farmers say during his time in office, he was their only voice. "There's no single one person that's done more for cotton farmers in the last two years than Larry Combest. Without the current farm bill in effect, cotton farming would not be here today and neither would this cotton gin," says Thomas.

Kris Thomas manages the Lubbock Cotton Growers Gin on Martin Luther King. He says Combest understands the needs of West Texas agriculture, specifically the cotton industry. "The provisions in the farm bill for cotton are much more different and much more necessary, and that's where Congressman Combest has done us the greatest favor and that's why he'll be missed so much."

As a lifetime farmer, Harold Flournoy has experienced firsthand the ups and downs of the business. He says without Combest's support, Lubbock farmers will no longer feel secure. "Someone called me on the phone and told me to listen to the news and I thought the way the guy talked someone had died, and that's the way we feel," says Flournoy.

For these farmers it is like losing a friend. Combest is someone they have trusted for almost two decades. "He carries a lot of weight up there, and people respect what he says to get someone like that again is going to be really hard," says Flournoy.

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