This International Women’s Day (8 March), we invited Angie Goodman (Founder) and Fran Jackson (President) of ACG Cotton Marketing to provide us with an interview on their experiences in the cotton industry:
ACG Cotton Marketing is a female founded and sister operated cotton merchant in Lubbock, TX. ACG was founded in 1996 by Angie Goodman. She and her sister Fran operated the company for the past 15 years. Angie retired in 2019 and Fran continues to carry the company torch.
Fran – When did you join the cotton industry?
In a way, I grew up in the cotton business. I hoed cotton for my grandfather and uncles as a kid, stomped cotton in cotton trailers, and later drove tractor and plowed the fields before planting. My husband and I farmed cotton and other crops during our early marriage and have recently returned to cotton farming. I worked at the USDA Cotton classing office in the mid 1980’s and became a cotton classer. Then in 2003 I started working for my older sister, Angie Goodman, at ACG Cotton Marketing as her bookkeeper. In 2019 she retired, and I took over the company.
Angie – When did you join the cotton industry?
I began my career In Cotton In 1978, working at the USDA classing office as a recorder, In the office, as supervisor of the ADP department, and finally attended classing school and worked one season as a cotton classer. I started working for Don Anderson, owner of Texas Cotton Marketing In Lubbock, in 1983. I was the bookkeeper and over the years he taught me the business. In 1996 I started my own company, ACG Cotton Marketing LLC.
Fran – What do you like the most about the cotton industry?
It is never dull. Every year brings new challenges to the table. Also, the people in the cotton industry, although they are often your competitors, are generous with their support and are willing to act as mentors.
Angie – What do you like the most about the cotton industry?
The challenges, ever changing weather, market conditions, and political changes from season to season. Our agents, mentors and many fine friends and colleagues I have done business with and had the pleasure of learning from. The relationships are priceless to me.
Fran – What are the biggest challenges you have had to face?
Tariffs, Coronavirus, so many things affect the markets that are definitely out of our control.
Angie – What are the biggest challenges you have had to face?
I will never forget March 4th of 2008 when the market took several good firms out of the cotton business and exposed risks that had not been known to many people in the business. A default in China was by far the biggest challenge I faced in the 23 years that I was shipping cotton. Two merchants who were competitors helped me to get my book covered and back in business. The support from competitors was something that I felt was unique to the cotton family.
Fran – What is it like being a woman in the cotton industry?
Well, we are certainly outnumbered! However, there is a certain camaraderie among people in the industry. Everyone is always so friendly and welcoming.
Angie – What is it like being a woman in the cotton industry?
I remember being invited to the ICA dinner in 1995 by Jens Techmeyer with Meredith Jones. I looked around St Georges Hall and wondered how I was included in this dinner where I saw only men, at this sit-down dinner for about 800. I later learned I was one of 4 women at the dinner. Kim Hanna was one of them. It was a bit overwhelming. I have always felt included and enjoyed my time in the business immensely
Fran – What do you think is the biggest challenge for women in the industry?
I guess that would be feeling accepted as a valuable part of the team in a male dominated industry.
Angie – What do you think is the biggest challenge for women in the industry?
I think the challenges faced by women in the cotton business are mainly the same as the challenges faced by men. I’m not sure I can address this one as I owned my own company. I do know the women I have known in the business are very smart and business minded.
Fran – What is your message to other women in the industry?
We can certainly compete with the men in the Industry, we are just as capable of running a business or filling important positions for our employers as anyone else.
Angie – What is your message to other women in the industry?
There are no limits as to what you can accomplish. Work hard, be innovative. Always keep an open mind. Think outside the box.