Home » About Us » History & Legacy

JSS History

In over 80 years, Jess Smith & Sons Cotton has grown from a local cotton brokerage operation into a major cotton merchandising firm. Mr. Jess Smith, from Jonesboro, Arkansas, founded the company in 1943. Since then the company has experienced solid, steady growth ever since. After the death of Mr. Smith in 1950, the company prospered under the capable leadership of Mr. Leo Smith, the son of Mr. Jess Smith. In 1976 a corporation was formed when Mr. Ernst Schroeder, Sr. became President. Since 1983, the Schroeder family has been the sole owner of the firm.

The challenges we encountered have been overshadowed by the illustrious milestones that mark our company’s achievement. In 1988, we established the Southern California Finance Company, allowing us to offer financial services to the grower community in California. Two years later, Jess Smith & Sons Cotton acquired a warehouse facility in Bakersfield, California.  This allows us to guarantee timely delivery to our mill customers.

In 2000, Ernie Schroeder Jr. became C. E. O. of Jess Smith & Sons Cotton. Under his leadership our company has continued to grow, providing sound and reliable service to our customers throughout the world, as we explore and act on opportunities as they present themselves.

Jess Smith & Sons Cotton will continue to provide reliable and excellent service to the grower segment in the U.S. as well as mill customers throughout the world, serviced through a network of extremely capable agents and representatives.


JSS Legacy

Since the company was founded in 1943, Jess Smith & Sons Cotton has been proudly serving and supporting our growers’ communities and families. 

While our company operates in all corners of the globe, our Headquarters are in Bakersfield, California, from where we proudly support your local economy and communities.  Our proceeds are recycled back into the US economy.  Please feel free to check out our Sponsored Charities List in our Members Section to see some of the many USA charities and organizations that we actively support in order to give back to the grower communities.