Lubbock farmer at cutting-edge of cotton industry innovation

Farmer-Inventor Buzz Vardeman
Farmer-Inventor Buzz Vardeman

LUBBOCK, TX (KCBD) - John Deere revolutionized the farming industry. But some farmers here in West Texas know that the company did not do it alone.

"It's been a privilege for us to have a customer in the category of Buzz Vardeman," said Joe Hurst, owner of Hurst Farm Supply.

Hurst says Lubbock County resident Buzz Vardeman is far more than just a customer, he is essential to the agriculture industry here in this region.

"There are lots of great farmers out in this country and a lot of people who have been innovative in making things happen, but I can't think of anyone who has been more innovative as Buzz Vardeman has been," Hurst said.

For example, farmers used to use two or four-row cotton strippers. But they say Vardeman was the first one to successfully invent an eight-row cotton stripper, which made it four times faster to harvest the crop.

And on top of the eight-row cotton stripper sits another one of Buzz's bright inventions.

"They told us we had one of the first three guiding systems made that they know of in the whole world," Vardeman said.

Vardeman says the guiding system is simple; all it takes is a touch of a button.

"When you turn around at the end of the row, you get lined up with the cotton; you just punch a button and turn your steering wheel loose," Vardeman said.

From sprayers to de-linters and everything in between, West Texans say the farming industry wouldn't be the same without Buzz Vardeman.

Vardeman says he continues to work hand-in-hand with John Deere. He says they are currently working on another one of his ideas that would speed up the cotton module making process.

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