REFLECTION: Everything Cotton, Everything Floods

Today we ventured further into the depths of southern Missouri. It is a completely different world than the central Missouri hills and valleys I’m used to. Primarily because the sides of the highway are littered with a different crop: cotton. Seeing defoliated cotton plants all the way to a finished bale from Charles Parker was one of the most interesting experiences I’ve had thus far.

Visiting with local producers is one of my most favorite activities. After an internship with the Farm Service Agency, I’ve learned that listening to farmers gives the best look into the biggest agricultural issues.

Milus Wallace’s spirit is commendable. A grin was glued to his face, even as he told us the events leading up to the flooding of his property. While we were trying to extract some feeling of grief or distress with our questions, Wallace assured us he and his family would recover. He wasn’t bashful with his opinion of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers; he called it like he saw it. That kind of voice is important to represent as journalists. That’s another feather I’ve learned.

-Lauren Schad, edited by Jessica England


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