David DeFelix is a 4th generation cotton farmer from Campbelton. He learned the art of farming from his father David, and his grandfather Curtis Paulk who taught him how to raise peanuts, corn and beef cattle. After graduating from Graceville High School in 1995, DeFelix began farming on his own while attending Chipola College. His first year, he farmed cotton and peanuts on 65 acres. DeFelix graduated from Troy University in 2004 with a Bachelor’s Degree in Business Management and later married his wife Kim. David and Kim have two children, Trent and Sara Catherine.
Over the years DeFelix has expanded his operation, and today farms 1200 acres. This year he grew approximately 800 acres of cotton, 300 acres of peanuts, and 100 acres of corn. DeFelix has some irrigated acres, but the majority is not irrigated. On his dry-land acreage he uses strip tillage to help retain soil moisture during periods of drought. DeFelix credits GPS guidance, and grid soil sampling as major contributors to his success. He grows Delta Pineland cotton varieties, and believes 1050 to be the best for his farm.
In addition to farming full-time, DeFelix has also served as a Cotton Board Representative for the Florida for the last three years and as a board member for the Florida Peanut Producers for the last two years. By serving in these roles he is able to represent the industries that are vital to this region.
DeFelix’s goals for the future are to increase the irrigated acres on the land he currently farms, as well as to increase his total acreage. He believes that keeping his labor costs the same while increasing his acreage will help him continue to be successful in the future.
When asked what has helped him the most in his farming, DeFelix said, “I’ve made a lot of mistakes but I’m grateful for everyone who has helped me along the way.” DeFelix is also grateful for the never-ending support of his family, especially his wife Kim, for always being understanding of the long hours he puts in, and her willingness to help him be successful.
The Cotton Farmer of the Year is selected each year by the Jackson County Extension Service with the assistance of the local Cotton Gins.