Like most people in the south, Michael’s grandparents farmed in the 1800’s through the 1940’s. Hard working, God fearing, salt of the earth people.
Michael’s father, uncle and grandfather owned and operated a mechanic garage and body shop which is still successful today. It was here Michael learned many valuable lessons. His father bought him his first car, which was not pretty and lay in the back of the garage. He told Michael, “get it running and it’s yours.” Before he turned sixteen Michael had his ride.
Michael grew up in the heart of Tifton, Georgia. A city boy who learned country life the hard way. He scorned the child labor laws and at age 10 started cropping tobacco during the hot summers for various farmers in Tift County. He also had a year round paper route, which he used to scour the streets of Tifton and become wise beyond his years.
When Michael started dating Amy she was only fifteen years old. She had two sisters. Neither of the three girls were interested in anything farming, even though they lived in the country. Amy’s parents managed a cotton gin. Before long Michael became more like a son to them as he came back to his love of farm life from his childhood days.
It didn’t take long before Michael learned to pull cotton trailers and other jobs around the gin. He came to grips with the long hours and hard work it takes to put in and gather a cotton crop. Michael laughs, “I thought at first they were trying to run me off.”
Michael and Amy married in 1996 while Amy was finishing her teaching degree and Michael was completing his studies at the International Cotton Institute at Rhodes College in Memphis, TN. They purchased a farm and live there with their two children, John Michael and Julie Ann.
John Michael is often found on a tractor when home from college. Julie Ann pulls weeds and they pick up pecans to make Christmas money. John Michael also helps with various jobs with the Omega Farm Supply and Omega Gin Company. Both children have learned that hard work and dedication are the roots of farm life. Amy says they have both seen what it take to be a farmer and a farmer’s wife.
Amy teaches at a local middle school in Tift County. She enjoys putting up vegetables and preparing meals for her family.
Michael is still involved in all areas of cotton life. From his early days at the gin with Amy’s parents to marketing cotton straight out of college to growing his own cotton, he has enjoyed all aspects of this fiber. He uses his knowledge to help area producers have the edge they need to “make it happen”.
Michael is involved with various agriculture related businesses in the Tift area. And just as sure as Southerners’ have a drawl, Michael is dedicated himself to seeing Southern Drawl Cotton pulls the strings of success.