Calcot’s Legacy

Calcot’s history is unique in the American cotton industry, as it’s as much the history of modern cotton production in the Far West as it is a corporate history. Understanding the history of the challenges faced by irrigated cotton producers in literally creating a multi-billion dollar industry from the ground up is key to understanding what makes our agricultural marketing cooperative unique.

With this in mind, and to better tell our story, we have put together a historic timeline. Included are key developments prior to and during our 1927 beginnings that were highly significant and influential in our founders’ decision to form a marketing cooperative, as well as other pivotal and subsequent events which have helped shape our cooperative into what it is today.

  • 1922:

    Capper-Volstead Act is passed by Congress and signed into law by President Warren G. Harding, granting farmers certain exemptions from U.S. antitrust laws and permitting the legal formation of Cooperative Marketing Associations
  • 1927:

    San Joaquin Cotton Growers Association is organized in Delano, California. Spearheading the effort is cotton producer Frank Green
  • 1930:

    In a period of financial crisis, C.C. Selden becomes manager
  • 1930:

    Lloyd W. Frick is elected president (today, chairman) of the board of directors
  • 1931:

    Headquarters move to Bakersfield, California, and the co-op is renamed the California Cotton Cooperative Association (CCCA)
  • 1936:

    CCCA initiates its own ginning program
  • 1939:

    CCCA severs ties with American Cotton Cooperative Association
  • 1944:

    Struggling in the wake of the Depression and World War II, Frick finds and convinces board to hire J. Russell Kennedy, who brings innovative ideas to cooperative marketing in California, particularly the Seasonal Pool
  • 1945:

    CCCA begins taking title to cotton bales and marketing cotton on members' behalf, instead of buying it outright, paying an initial advance at delivery, followed by progress payments and a final settlement
  • 1947:

    First CCCA warehouses built
  • 1950:

    CCCA offers first financing to co-op cotton gins
  • 1951:

    CCCA buys warehousing complex in Pinedale, Calif., just north of Fresno
  • 1953:

    Board officially changes name to Calcot Ltd., following long used shortened form of CCCA
  • 1955:

    Arizona farmers join Calcot
  • 1957:

    Calcot begins building warehouses in Glendale, Ariz.
  • 1959:

    Calcot greatly expands and remodels a new headquarters in Bakersfield
  • 1961:

    Warehousing space is built in Imperial, Calif.
  • 1971:

    Kennedy retires, and G.L. 'Sam' Seitz becomes president; Amcot is formed between partners Calcot, Plains Cotton Cooperative Association, Staplcotn and Southwestern Irrigated Cotton Growers (SWIG)
  • 1973:

    Calcot becomes first Western company to sell directly to China
  • 1977:

    A new warehousing complex is built in Hanford, Calif., as volume expands to as many as two million bales; Seitz retires and T.W. 'Tom' Smith begins 25-year tenure as president
  • 1980s:

    Record volume of two million bales is reached; record revenue of one billion dollars; Calcot is the nation's largest U.S. cotton exporter, shipping roughly 2,500 bales each and every workday to West Coast ports
  • 1989:

    'Zero Contamination' Program initiated; additional marketing options introduced for members
  • 1994:

    Calcot makes a record single sale of 233,000 bales to China
  • 1998:

    Pinedale property is shuttered, redeveloped and sold to various investors and businesses
  • 1999:

    Calcot becomes involved in almond marketing but exits the business two years later; Imperial facility is closed and sold
  • 2001:

    Cotton prices reach record lows and many growers begin removing cotton from their crop plans, particularly in California, turning instead to 'permanent' crops, especially almond orchards
  • 2002:

    Smith retires in lieu of his eventual successor, Robert W. 'Bob' Norris
  • 2005:

    Cotton from South Texas enters the cooperative for the first time as producers in the Gulf Coast approach the company for membership
  • 2006:

    Calcot acquires the members and assets of SWIG
  • 2009:

    Norris retires; Jarral T. Neeper is the seventh president in Calcot history
  • 2011:

    Cotton prices reach record highs and in 2012 Calcot will pay out the highest prices ever paid to members
  • 2017:

    The Hanford, Calif., facility is sold; Calcot receives its 70 millionth bale from members
  • 2018:

    Paul E. Bush becomes president

Thank you for your interest in Calcot. Please contact us if you have questions or would like additional information.