MOULTON, Ala. - There's nothing more beautiful than north Alabama cotton fields ready to be picked. In Lawrence County, one family is sowing what they call “seeds of hope.” We met up with Mark Yeager and his daughter Anna Brakefield at Red Land Farms.
Mark says he’s been farming, “Pretty much all my life.” He’s been raising cattle and planting crops for 35 years. When we visited, two huge tractors were being used to plant cotton on 4,000 acres.
“I think Alabama can grow some of the best cotton around,” Mark said. But farming can be a lot like going to Las Vegas. “It’s the biggest gamble. It is,” Mark said laughing. Each year is a roll of the dice. “It’s a good coffee drinking occupation,” he added. “That’s about all I can say for it.” Mark chuckled again.
But those Lawrence county cotton crops are paying off for his family. It started when Mark’s daughter introduced him to social media. “Anna got me hooked up on Instagram,” he told us. He sent a video of a fork lift hauling cotton at the gin to his sister in Dallas. “She sent me back a message saying, I wish I had some sheets made out of that good looking Alabama cotton,” Mark said.
That got him to thinking. Mark told us, “The U.S. is growing a good bit of cotton but we’re shipping it all overseas.” Mark and Anna did a lot of research. They saw a new business opportunity. Their vision gave birth to Red Land Cotton. After meeting with a number of folks, they decided to use their Lawrence County Alabama cotton crop to make bed sheets. “It’s all made in South Carolina and Georgia,” Mark said proudly. “And actually it’s cut and sewn right off the square up here at Moulton.”
“We really hit the ground running and haven’t really stopped since,” Anna said with a smile. They started shipping sheets made from the cotton they’d grown last October. They wanted a product to take people back to a simpler time. “We searched for a while and eventually found an old 1920’s bed sheet,” Anna said. They recreated the sheets our grandparents slept on. “We’re just going back to what was old and good,” Anna added.
And its home grown and made in the USA. “It’s about seven pounds in a queen set,” Anna said proudly. “But they sleep really cool because they have that open weave.” Nothing goes to waste. Rather than throwing out 500 yards of material they didn’t think was good enough for sheets, they expanded their product line. “We took that fabric and had it made into tea towels and pillow covers and napkins,” Anna told us. They’re printed with some of our favorite southern sayings like “Fixin” and “Hold on one cotton picking minute.” It’s kinda been fun to share that southern culture,” Anna said with a grin.
To learn more about this home grown business and its products, click on this link to redlandcotton.com.