A good crowd attended a Grower’s Meeting held at West Gin on Tuesday April 13. West Gin is one of the older gins in Terry County, but has new ownership in the last few years. Peter Banman purchased the gin plant in 2018 and has been managing it since then.
Geoff Cooper of the Terry County Extension Office, was the featured speaker for the day. Chemical and fertilizer representatives were also in attendance to speak with the growers about their needs for the upcoming year.
Door prizes were also given out. On the Border Mexican Grill catered the event.
A devastating fire occurred in December of 2018, as ginning was going on. This was the first ginning season for Banman in the West Gin plant.
Reports from that day stated,
“Homes and businesses in Brownfield were evacuated on Thursday afternoon after the West Gin in Brownfield caught fire.
“The fire started in the burr house around 1 o’clock in the afternoon, says gin owner Peter Banman.
“Banman had just left the gin and was on his way to Seminole when he received the call from his employees. “I couldn’t come here fast enough, I mean Brownfield was a long ways away, or it felt like a long way. They kept telling me well the seed house is now on fire and then the next thing I heard was there’s modules on fire and by they time I got here everything was in a flare.”
Homes and businesses in the area were evacuated. The sound of tires exploding could be heard all over town.
It was a tough way for Banman to begin his ginning operation, but he persevered and is still in business today. He was able to rebuild and refit all the areas damaged and today it is a high quality gin plant.
The gin, which has been in existence for many years, was purchased by a group of farmers in 1960. It ran every year until 2015, when the producers chose to close the gin. The gin was originally owned by Frank Weir and it ran on steam in its early years. Somewhere down the line, it was changed over to electricity.