"This is part of our fleet of module trucks. We have eight module trucks," says Compton Cornelius about Associated Cotton Growers located just outside Crosbyton's city limits.
He says that 30 years ago people did not believe the dream of building the world's largest cotton processing plant would come true for Crosbyton. But the dream did come true in 1973 when three cotton gin cooperatives sold their old cotton equipment, put their money together, and merged with one another. A.C.G. is built on 40 acres, and the ginning equipment is protected by yellow metal siding, not typical to the tin or gray color that West Texans are used to seeing. It is a big building.
Nine men, who were leaders in their rural communities, formed a committee prior to the co-op merger to discuss things that would benefit the cotton industry on the South Plains. Cornelius was one of those men who say the merger needed to happen in order to solve gigantic problems the cotton industry was facing.
Long-time Crosbyton resident Clayton Hash says he remembers the merger was a big deal for Crosbyton. "We got a lot of extra people here to see that thing. I suppose the restaurants got more out of it than anyone. But there were a lot of people who were here to help build the gin," says Hash.
Back then, the gin was known as American Cotton Growers, and it processed 46,400 cotton bales from the crop of five counties. A.C.G., which now stands for Associated Cotton Growers, is still successful. "We have between 90,000 to 100,000 acres of cotton that comes to this gin," says Cornelius.
Even though it may not be the largest cotton producing gin in the world any more, one thing is true -- big dreams can happen, even in small town Crosbyton. Cornelius says that A.C.G. is one of the single largest cotton processing plants in the state.