Sunday, October 28, 2007

New Book: High Cotton

High Cotton:
Four Seasons in the Mississippi Delta
by Gerard Helferich
976.24 H474H (2007)

Author Helferich spends a year in the cotton fields on Zack Killebrew's Tchula, MS farm during the tumultuous 2005 season. Beginning in the spring, one learns the unique attributes of the Mississippi River Delta land. A land so rich in nutrients from silt deposits it grows the best grade cotton in the world.

Helferich’s style engages readers with chapters displaying a formula akin to flashbacks. We start in Killebrew’s truck discussing the green, boll weevil traps then jump to a history lesson on the potent pesticide DDT. Before the chapter ends, the reader finds himself back in the truck and heading for home.

Don’t let the history lessons fool you this is a story of modern day cotton farming. Our Agricultural students will profit the most from readings, but also students of History and Business will find it beneficial.

Note to Ag Instructors: This book would be an excellent supplement in the classroom. Broken down into ten chapters, an instructor might assign weekly readings. For instance, one could read a chapter over the weekend and be prepared to discuss it come Monday morning. An affordable paperback edition will be available for the fall 2008 semester.

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