"My first bale of cotton," says Dustin McFadden. He has just become a fifth generation farmer.
"I had a first bale back when I first started farming," said Mark McFadden, his father. Friday, Mark took Dustin to the Olton co-op gin where his bale had the honor of being the first of the season.
What does he get for that honor? asked NewsChannel 11. "Well, hge gets to be on your tv show," laughed manager Chris Breedlove. In addition to that, he gets a dollar a pound, 60 cents more than the normal price. "It's going to be a tough year this year even to make it," said Mark. He's been farming for 27 years, watching the price of fuel, farm equipment, and fertilizer go up while cotton stays the same. "We have to get efficient and try to make things work," he said.
"It's gotta be in your blood, you gotta love it to do it, otherwise we'd do something else," said Breedlove. Which brings us back to Dustin. "I had a few bugs but they weren't that big a problem," said Dustin. At 17, this is actually his second year farming, but last year his crop got hailed out. "I had to plow up my cotton and plant milo," he said.
That experience got him watching the weather. It's also enough to get a young man thinking about the future. "I'm gonna plant one more crop and then decide from there," he said.
His crop this year was planted on an area about the size of two football fields, which, coincidentally, is where he was later that night. A 17-year-old mustang, living in that precious twilight between battling bobcats and boll weevils.