Texas Legacy Title Image Texas Legacy Title
 skip to content



Larhea Pepper

Region: Panhandle

Topics: Cotton, Organic Farming, Retail, Agriculture

Together with her husband Terry Pepper, LaRhea Pepper farms 960 acres in dryland organic cotton near the Panhandle town of O'Donnell, Texas, avoiding genetically-modified seed and chemical fertilizers and pesticides, and relying on crop rotations, cover crops and compost to maintain soil fertility, naturally-occurring lady beetles and lacewings to control pests, and North Texas' hard freezes to defoliate cotton plants for harvest.

Mrs. Pepper has also been active in helping create the processing, distribution and markets to support organic cotton farmers, which still represent only 1/10 of 1% of all cotton planted in the U.S.. In the early 1990s, she co-founded the Texas Organic Cotton Marketing Co-op, to ensure an adequate supply of raw fiber to the industry, and organized two firms to convert this fiber into finished products ready for sale: Cotton Plus and Organic Essentials. Cotton Plus exists to buy back farmers' ginned cotton and to contract spinning and weaving into prints, plaids, flannels and other fabrics. Organic Essentials sells organic cotton personal care products, such as cotton balls, swabs, rounds and tampons.



October 12, 2002
O'Donnell, Texas
Reel 2242

Please see a brief Real Media video excerpt from our interview with Mrs. Pepper.

Please see the video (reel 2242) or the  transcript of Mrs. Pepper's full interview.





Conservation History Association of Texas
Texas Legacy Project

 Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a
Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 2.5 License