Slaton Co-op Gin Manager Tony Newton is laser-focused on providing the best service for his grower-owners.
“It’s important to make money for our producers year after year,” he said. “We have a huge sense of responsibility from the gin to our producers.”
That responsibility is clear as Newton, a third-generation co-op gin manager, explained the constant updates in equipment and technology to increase efficiency and turnout at Slaton Co-op Gin. In just the last two years, Newton and his team have added 16 cylinder cleaners to improve ginning efficiency and have implemented Intelligin, a technology specifically geared to monitor leaf grade and color, thus enhancing turnout when possible.
Newton refuses to take sole credit for the progress. “This is an absolute team effort among all of us working the gin,” he said. “Kudos go to the team and work ethic of everyone at the gin.”
As for being part of a co-op, it’s all Newton has ever known – and something he said he recommends to all those along the supply chain.
“At the end of the day, it’s all about profitability,” Newton said. “A co-op is open book, and when a gin makes money, you make money. We’re (co-ops) all working together to make sure everyone is profitable. It’s that straight-forward.”
As a co-op gin manager, Newton said being profitable for his grower-owners is that much more of a responsibility, and he’d have it no other way.
“It’s a lot harder for me to spend someone else’s money than it is for me to spend my own,” he said. “That’s the responsibility we all feel here at the gin. They (grower-owners) will be taken care of.”
It’s obvious Newton and his team are close with their grower-owners. In fact, Newton refers to the gin’s grower-owners as his “tight-nit” group.
“Producers work harder and risk more than anybody,” he said. “That’s admirable, and that’s why it’s our job to take care of the product they bring to us.”
Newton oozes work ethic. Yet he credits his father, Steve, with what was instilled in him. And, just a stone’s throw from the gin office sits Newton’s home, where he and his wife, Beth, hope to pass along that same work ethic to their three young children, ages 7, 5 and 3.
“We’re regularly working seven days a week, so there are lots of dinners out here on the gin floor with the kids,” he said. “They’re seeing all that’s going on, and interested in what’s happening. My Dad instilled my work ethic in me, and I hope to pass it along.”
No doubt, he will. After all, Newton exemplifies all that is The Co-op Advantage®️.