Why is cotton one of Arizona's 5 Cs?
Summary: Last week, our Valley 101 podcast explored Arizona's five Cs, focusing on citrus and its decline. This week, podcast editor Katie O'Connell digs in on another crop: cotton. The plant was included in the five Cs after its boom in World War I, but it's struggled in recent decades. To uncover more on cotton and its role in our state's identity, Katie spoke to Ron and Russ Rayner, a father-son duo who operate farms in the West Valley. Their consensus was clear. Cotton is still a vital part of the state's identity, bringing in between $400 to $500 million to the state's economy each year. In this episode, you'll hear: Philip VanderMeer, a retired Arizona State University professor of American and Arizonan history Ron and Russ Rayner, farmers from the West Valley Archival audio from an educational documentary from the 1950s