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From left to right, Brianna and Chris Hellmann of Priestly Farms, Sam Simmons, Harlingen Cotton committee chair and Mark Kelling, BASF southwest area manager, congratulate the Hellmanns for their first harvested bale in the United States contribution.  (Courtesy photo.)

The 2021 First Bale Auction and Scholarship Fundraiser event raised $20,500 in support of local agriculture student scholarships. BASF was the winning bidder. The final total includes proceeds from the purchase of the first bale, add-ons by supporters, and Priestly Farms donating their first bale proceeds back to the event.

Additional funds from a live and silent auction added significantly more to the evening’s total earnings. The bale was harvested July 18, 2021, by Walter Priestly, Larry Hellmann, and Chris Hellmann of Priestly Farms in Robstown, Texas. The variety harvested is BASF FiberMax 1830 GLT. They took the first bales of the 2021 season to Pat Ritter and Brandon Benton of King Ranch Gin. The bale is scheduled to be shipped to Vidalia Mills in the U.S. Priestly is an e3 Sustainable Cotton grower.

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