In late July, the Commodity Commission Ex-Officio Committee met to make appointments to the Georgia Cotton Commission Board of Directors. Bulloch County cotton farmer Greg Sikes was selected to fill the seat of Lee Cromley, who had served on the Commission’s board since 2011. Morgan County cotton farmer John Ruark and Toombs County cotton farmer Chris Hopkins were each reappointed to another three-year term on the Commission’s board of directors.
Greg Sikes is a first-generation farmer, and along with his wife and son, produces cotton, peanuts, and corn in Bulloch and Bryan Counties. Sikes, a Bulloch County native, worked locally in agribusiness and for local farmers for several years after earning a degree from Abraham Baldwin Agricultural College. A co-worker helped him get started farming on his own 25 years ago and his operation has grown steadily ever since. Sikes regularly conducts trials on his operation with UGA Cooperative Extension and private industry. He is also invested in several agribusinesses that complement his farming operation. Sikes is a member of the National Peanut Buying Points Association board of directors and the advisory board for Bulloch First Bank. Regarding his appointment to the Commission board, Sikes said, “I am honored to be selected to represent Georgia’s cotton farmers in this role and look forward to using my unique perspective as a first-generation farmer to find new ways to promote cotton consumption and to help improve cotton production here in Georgia.” Sikes and his wife Jennifer live in the Nevils community and have two adult children. The Sikes family attends Statesboro Primitive Baptist Church.
John Ruark is a multi-generational farmer, and farms cotton, soybeans, wheat, cattle, and poultry alongside his father, son, and cousin in Morgan, Walton, and Oconee Counties, as well as operate a cotton gin, Bostwick Gin & Supply. He has been a member of the Commission’s board since 2014. Ruark is a director of Cotton Incorporated, Southern Cotton Growers, and the Boll Weevil Eradication Foundation of Georgia. He also serves as an advisor to the board of the National Cotton Council of America. Ruark is married to his wife, Tamie, and has four adult children and five grandchildren. The Ruarks attend Apalachee Baptist Church.
Chris Hopkins is also a first-generation farmer and has served on the Commission’s board since 2017. He grows cotton, peanuts, corn, and rye in Toombs and Tattnall Counties. He holds degrees from the University of Georgia’s College of Agricultural & Environmental Sciences. Hopkins and his wife, Marilynn, started their operation on 50 acres in 2005. He serves as a director of Cotton Incorporated and Southern Cotton Growers and as a producer delegate to the National Cotton Council of America. Locally he serves as the president of the Toombs County Farm Bureau and the chairman of the community board of directors for Ameris Bank. Hopkins and his wife Marilynn have two sons and are members of First Baptist Church of Lyons.
The Georgia Cotton Commission is a producer-funded organization located in Perry, Georgia. The Commission began in 1965. Georgia cotton producers pay an assessment enabling the Commission to invest in programs of research, promotion, and education on behalf of all cotton producers of Georgia. For more information about this and other topics please call 478-988-4235 or visit us on the web at www.georgiacottoncommission.org.