"This is their gin and what goes on here is just adding money back into their pockets," explains Cary Eubanks, assistant manager of Slaton's Co-Op Gin. The facility has served the farmers and the community of Slaton for more than 70 years, it takes $400,000 to operate during ginning season, but the benefit is priceless: the revenue stays right here in Slaton.
Some of the seed that is separated from the cotton at the Co-Op gin is sent to Supreme Feed Mills. It is used to make a feed supplement that is sold throughout West Texas and Eastern New Mexico. "It's a perfect place to be with the producers that we have here that not only grow the crops that we make the feed with but they also feed the livestock as well," says Richard Davis, who runs the mill.
He says his grandfather started this business in the 1930's, and has thrived in Slaton thanks to the ranchers, producers, stockmen and the Santa Fe Railroad. The railway brings in products like corn, wheat and soybeans that are key ingredients of the feed."We can also send products that are grown in this area out by rail to the West Coast and where they don't produce these types of products.
And one product home grown in Slaton puts money in not only Slaton's pocket but millions of others across the country. Triangle Fibers Limited processes a part of the cotton called moat. "Surprisingly enough, the moat cotton is the basic product for the paper that the United States currency is printed on," explains Clark Self, director of economic development in Slaton. In fact, 60 % of the moat grown in Slaton is shipped straight to Pennsylvania where it's converted and printed into cold, hard cash.
One place that Slaton likes to spend it's money is at United Supermarkets. "We're proud to see that and we just hope they grow even larger, they are a very good community partner," says Self.
Also, the economy is driven by the "drive." Two Slaton car dealers claim at times they out-sell Lubbock dealers. "You drive by, they've got the best looking vehicles you'll see. They're enticing, that's what we want to do with Slaton," he adds.