Texas' Very Own Royal Heir

Senator John Cornyn
2013-08-05 10:12:01
THE LONESTAR WEEKLY Senator Cornyn�s E-Newsletter *Texas� Very Own Royal Heir* By U.S. Senator John Cornyn There has been much excitement across the pond as of late over the birth of England�s newest heir to the throne. But did you know that Texas� very own royal bundle of joy has just arrived? Weighing in just shy of 2,000 pounds, the nation�s First Bale of King Cotton for 2013 was delivered by the Rodriguez Brothers Farm in Santa Rosa, Texas, to the La Feria Co-op Gin at 2:15 p.m. on Friday, June 21, 2013. In the time since then, it has been cleaned up in the ginning process and is now ready for its proper debut at Harlingen�s 2013 First Bale Auction and Scholarship Fundraiser. The tradition of certifying the nation�s First Bale of the year dates back to the 1800�s when the grower of the First Bale was required to transport the cotton to the Houston Cotton Exchange for certification. After verifying its status as the first bale of cotton to be harvested that year in the United States, the Exchange would put the bale up for auction. This process continued, uninterrupted, for many years until 1953, when the Harlingen Cotton Committee successfully petitioned the Houston Cotton Exchange for the rights to auction the First Bale. As a result of this hallmark agreement, for the past 60 years the Harlingen Cotton Committee of the Harlingen Area Chamber of Commerce has been solely responsible for certifying the nation�s First Bale of cotton each year. And for each of those 60 years, the First Bale has been grown in the fertile Rio Grande Valley. Every summer, a celebration is held in honor of the achievement, called the First Bale Auction and Scholarship Fundraiser. The event is hosted by the Harlingen Cotton Committee in conjunction with the Algodon Club, a non-profit, civic organization formed in 1953 that works to showcase the importance of cotton to the Rio Grande Valley economy. This year�s event, held on the evening of Thursday, August 8, will mark the 60th Anniversary. Hundreds of elected officials, agribusiness leaders, and residents from across the region are expected to attend. The First Bale will be auctioned off to the highest bidder. In recent years, the 500-600-pound bundle of ginned cotton has fetched between $8,000 and $9,000, but organizers are hopeful that the 60th Anniversary Bale will set a record. The first $3000 of the auction price historically goes to the farmer that brought in the bale, and any excess monies are used by the Harlingen Cotton Committee to fund collegiate agricultural scholarships. In the past several years, they have awarded $5,000 to agriculture students of Texas State Technical College, where their investment is matched by the TSTC Lozano Long Opportunity Scholarship. The proceeds of other items auctioned off after the First Bale go toward additional scholarships, awarded through the Algodon Club to high school seniors who commit to pursue a degree in an agricultural-related field at an accredited college or university. These scholarships are awarded at the annual Algodon Ball, which is held each June to culminate �Cotton Week,� and is presided over by the Queen of Cotton and her Royal Court. With agriculture comprising roughly one quarter of the Rio Grande Valley�s economy, celebrations such as the auction of the First Bale and other cotton-themed events are a source of pride and a time-honored tradition for members of the local community. I congratulate the Harlingen Cotton Committee, the Algodon Club, the farming families and all of the individuals who have worked hard to carry on the tradition of the First Bale for the past 60 years and wish them the best as they celebrate this year�s successor to the throne of King Cotton. � *Sources: The Algodon Club, The Harlingen Cotton Committee of the Harlingen Area Chamber of Commerce, *The Valley Morning Star News Releases* *August 5: Cornyn Op-Ed: Someone to Speak For and Protect Sexual Assault Victims [link 1] August 2: Cornyn Applauds CBP Efforts to Improve Texas Ports of Entry [link 2] August 2: After House Votes to Remove IRS from Obamacare, Cornyn Calls for Senate Vote [link 3] August 1: Sen. Cornyn: West Victims Need Assistance, Not Another Working Group [link 4] August 1: On Senate Floor, Democrats Preserve IRS�s Power to Enforce Obamacare [link 5] August 1: Cornyn Calls on IRS Chief to Endorse Bill Removing IRS from Obamacare [link 6] July 31: Cornyn: Jones Nomination Indicates Reckless Behavior Rewarded In Obama White House [link 7] July 30: Cornyn Praises Defense Budget Cutting Funds for Russian Arms Firm Supplying Assad [link 8] July 25: Cornyn Responds to Justice Announcement on Texas Voting Laws [link 9] July 25: Cornyn Announces Amendment to Bar Taxpayer Bailout for Detroit [link 10]* � Social Media* Sen. Cornyn regularly updates his profiles with the latest news and developments from around Texas and Capitol Hill. [image = cornyn.enews.senate.gov/images/twitter.gif] [link 11]� [image = cornyn.enews.senate.gov//images/user_images/instagram-logo-icon.jpg] [link 12]�� [image = cornyn.enews.senate.gov/images/facebook.gif] [link 13]� [image = cornyn.enews.senate.gov/images/youtube.gif] [link 14]� [image = cornyn.enews.senate.gov//images/user_images/Flickr.png] [link 15] Texas Times Column* *July 25: Experiencing Texas� Natural Beauty [link 16] July 1: A Day to Reflect and Recommit Ourselves to America�s Founding Ideals [link 17] May 24: Honoring the Fallen in Smithville, TX [link 18] April 23: Courage and Grace in West, Texas [link 19] March 18: Honoring Montford Point Marine Calvin Curtis [link 20] February 28: A Moment Bigger Than The Game [link 21] February 20: Texas Treasure Returns to the Alamo [link 22] February 5: Honoring Members of our Greatest Generation [link 23] January 28: Remembering the Crew of the Space Shuttle Columbia [link 24] December 14: Tales of Christmas Past In Texas [link 25]*

Texas� Very Own Royal Heir
By U.S. Senator John Cornyn

There has been much excitement across the pond as of late over the birth of England�s newest heir to the throne. But did you know that Texas� very own royal bundle of joy has just arrived? Weighing in just shy of 2,000 pounds, the nation�s First Bale of King Cotton for 2013 was delivered by the Rodriguez Brothers Farm in Santa Rosa, Texas, to the La Feria Co-op Gin at 2:15 p.m. on Friday, June 21, 2013. In the time since then, it has been cleaned up in the ginning process and is now ready for its proper debut at Harlingen�s 2013 First Bale Auction and Scholarship Fundraiser.

The tradition of certifying the nation�s First Bale of the year dates back to the 1800�s when the grower of the First Bale was required to transport the cotton to the Houston Cotton Exchange for certification. After verifying its status as the first bale of cotton to be harvested that year in the United States, the Exchange would put the bale up for auction. This process continued, uninterrupted, for many years until 1953, when the Harlingen Cotton Committee successfully petitioned the Houston Cotton Exchange for the rights to auction the First Bale. As a result of this hallmark agreement, for the past 60 years the Harlingen Cotton Committee of the Harlingen Area Chamber of Commerce has been solely responsible for certifying the nation�s First Bale of cotton each year. And for each of those 60 years, the First Bale has been grown in the fertile Rio Grande Valley.

Every summer, a celebration is held in honor of the achievement, called the First Bale Auction and Scholarship Fundraiser. The event is hosted by the Harlingen Cotton Committee in conjunction with the Algodon Club, a non-profit, civic organization formed in 1953 that works to showcase the importance of cotton to the Rio Grande Valley economy. This year�s event, held on the evening of Thursday, August 8, will mark the 60th Anniversary. Hundreds of elected officials, agribusiness leaders, and residents from across the region are expected to attend.

The First Bale will be auctioned off to the highest bidder. In recent years, the 500-600-pound bundle of ginned cotton has fetched between $8,000 and $9,000, but organizers are hopeful that the 60th Anniversary Bale will set a record. The first $3000 of the auction price historically goes to the farmer that brought in the bale, and any excess monies are used by the Harlingen Cotton Committee to fund collegiate agricultural scholarships. In the past several years, they have awarded $5,000 to agriculture students of Texas State Technical College, where their investment is matched by the TSTC Lozano Long Opportunity Scholarship. The proceeds of other items auctioned off after the First Bale go toward additional scholarships, awarded through the Algodon Club to high school seniors who commit to pursue a degree in an agricultural-related field at an accredited college or university. These scholarships are awarded at the annual Algodon Ball, which is held each June to culminate �Cotton Week,� and is presided over by the Queen of Cotton and her Royal Court.

With agriculture comprising roughly one quarter of the Rio Grande Valley�s economy, celebrations such as the auction of the First Bale and other cotton-themed events are a source of pride and a time-honored tradition for members of the local community. I congratulate the Harlingen Cotton Committee, the Algodon Club, the farming families and all of the individuals who have worked hard to carry on the tradition of the First Bale for the past 60 years and wish them the best as they celebrate this year�s successor to the throne of King Cotton.  

Sources: The Algodon Club, The Harlingen Cotton Committee of the Harlingen Area Chamber of Commerce, The Valley Morning Star

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Sen. Cornyn regularly updates his profiles with the latest news and developments from around Texas and Capitol Hill.

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