By Nathan Smith

Most years on the Southern High Plains of Texas, farmers like Brandon Patschke and his family are busy growing the fabric of our lives—cotton. Brandon is a Texas Farm Bureau member and grows cotton on his family farm near Lubbock.

Farmers like Brandon come from generations of families with decades of practice weathering the good and the bad. Through floods and drought, they care for the land and work together to leave the farm in better shape for the next generation. Last year, record drought and heat devastated the Texas cotton crop and pushed some farmers out of business altogether. Without rain, 2012 could be an ugly sequel. It’s years like 2011 that make me wonder why Texas farmers and ranchers do what they do. The answer is simple… because they love it.

Growing up on a cotton farm myself, I know there is no glamour or glory associated with agriculture. It’s hard work, it’s a gamble and sometimes it doesn’t pay off. Can you imagine where we would be without families like the Patschkes? I’m not sure I want to. 

The shirt or skirt you are wearing might have gotten its start in one of Brandon’s cotton fields. If not his, likely another farmer in Texas or the U.S. grew the fiber that serves us in so many ways. 

For lots of fun facts about Texas cotton, visit Meet Brandon and his family through the video below.