Cotton Research & Promotion Program
Dr. Harold L. “Hal” Lewis (deceased) had a lifelong dedication to agriculture and research, notably in the cotton industry. As Director of Research for Cotton Incorporated (1970-1973), Dr. Lewis was instrumental in the development of the module builder and played a key role in the research program for boll weevil eradication. His experience and knowledge as a plant breeder led him to develop three commercial cotton varieties. Dr. Lewis served as a board member for both the National Cotton Council and the Cotton Board, and was inducted into the Arkansas Agricultural Hall of Fame in 2006. Before his death, he also served as president and general manager of his own business, Scientific Seed Co. and H.L. Lewis Farm and Enterprises.
Hilltop Lakes, TX
Dr. William M. “Bill” Lyle has had a revolutionary impact on the cotton industry with the research and development of the Low Energy Precision Application (LEPA) system in the 1980s. His contributions as a cotton farmer, agricultural engineer, and scientist are recognized both nationally and internationally. Dr. Lyle has served as a consultant to the United States Congress, John Deere and Company, and the American Society of Agricultural Engineers Water Supply and Conveyance Committee. He has also been the recipient of the John Deere Gold Medal Award (1998), the High Plains Research Foundation’s Agricultural Research Scientist of the Year Award (1981), the Texas Association of Agricultural Consultant Public Servant of the Year Award (1992), and the Secretary of Agriculture Group Research and Extension Award (1994), among others.
Lawson “Sykes” Martin (deceased) is recognized for his strong leadership in the cotton industry, having served in organizations on both local and national levels. Mr. Martin had a long career at the National Cotton Council, beginning as a delegate in 1977 and finishing as an Advisor to the Council in 1993. He also held board positions at Cotton Incorporated, Southern Cotton Growers, the American Cottonseed Association, and The Cotton Foundation. In 1987, he was named the National Cotton Farmer of the Year by Cotton Farming Magazine, and was also the recipient of the Alabama Farm of Distinction Award in 1993.
The Cotton Research and Promotion Hall of Fame recognizes and honors individuals who have made significant contributions to the Cotton Research & Promotion Program and to the cotton industry in general.