The 2017 Young Farmers Committee is, front row from left, Chairman Jerry Allen Newby of Limestone County, District 1; Vice Chairman Lee Haynes of Cullman County, District 2; Secretary Adam Wilson of Calhoun County, District 3; Russell Miller of Walker County, District 4; and Cooper Holmes of Perry County, District 5. Back row from left are Taber Ellis of Autauga County, District 6; Spencer Williamson of Escambia County, District 8; Ben Maples of Limestone County, North Alabama At-Large; James Robert Parnell of Chilton County, South Alabama At-Large; and Young Farmers Director Jennifer Himburg. Not pictured is Matthew Gunter of Crenshaw County, District 7.
The Young Farmers Program:
- Develops leadership training and experience
- Expands the varied interests of young, rural Alabamians
- Creates awareness of the problems that face today's young farmers, and focuses on solutions to overcome these problems
- Promotes better understanding of agribusiness and current farm programs
- Broadens understanding about the organization, operation and policies of Alabama Farmers Federation
- Gives Alabama's young farmers the opportunity to have a voice in the largest farm organization in Alabama
- Recognizes the achievements of young farmers
Young Farmers Events:
- Young Farmers Conference — The purpose of the Young Farmers Conference is to build leadership skills in Young Farmers by engaging them in interactive and personal development opportunities, while building relationships and educating them about our organization. The 2017 Young Farmers Conference is in downtown Montgomery, Alabama at the Renaissance Mar. 3-5.
- Aspire Youth Leadership Conference — The Alabama Farmers Federation, Alabama Poultry and Egg Association, Alabama Cattleman’s Association and the Alabama Council of Cooperatives held a joint youth conference in July 2016. Information on the 2017 conference will be available soon.
- Young Farmers Annual Business Meeting — During the annual meeting of the Alabama Farmers Federation each year, delegates meet to elect State YF Committee members. All paperwork for the Young Farmers annual business meeting is due to the home office Nov. 1.
- Young Farmers Dinner at the Annual Meeting — During each annual meeting of the Alabama Farmers Federation, the Young Farmers hold a dinner and recognize the accomplishments of county Young Farmer programs as well as the State YF Committee.
State Young Farmers Committee FAQs:
The State YF Committee is composed of one member from each of the 8 districts (a map of the districts can be found in the links on the side of this page) and two members at large — one from North Alabama and one from South Alabama.
The purpose of the State Young Farmers Committee is to develop leadership skills and work to strengthen county Young Farmer programs across the state.
Committee members are appointed for a two-year term.
In even numbered years, Districts 2, 4, 6, 8 and the North at Large seat will be open for election. In odd numbered years, Districts 1, 3, 5, 7 and the South at Large seat will be open for election.
Age of nominees must be ages 17-33 on December 1 of the year of election.
Committee members are selected by voting delegates to the Young Farmers Business Meeting held at the Annual Meeting each year. Voting delegate certification forms are due from counties by November 1 each year.
Those interested in serving on the State YF Committee must submit a letter of support from the county president by November 1.
Contact information for the current State YF Committee can be found at the bottom of this page.
- Excellence in Agriculture — This competition is designed for those individuals who are involved in agriculture, but do not earn more than half their income from production ag. Candidates may compete as a married couple or as an individual. The competition consists of an application, a 15 minute PowerPoint presentation about your application and a 10-minute question and answer session. Prior competitors have included AgriScience education teachers, Extension agents, NRCS employees, veterinarians, part time farmers and ag lenders to name a few. Applications are due July 1, and the competition is held at the Commodity Conference in August. The 2016 Excellence in Agriculture winner will receive a zero-turn John Deere mower courtesy of Dow AgroSciences and an expense-paid trip to the national competition in Phoenix, Arizona, courtesy of the Alabama Farmers Federation. Finalists will all receive a Big Green Egg. Applications may be found in the links on the right of this page.
- Outstanding Young Farm Family — The goal of this contest is to recognize those who are doing an outstanding job on their farm and are serving in leadership positions in their communities and within the Federation. This contest is designed for those who have more than 50% of their income subject to normal production risk. An application can be found in the links on the right side of this page. Applications are due by Jan. 15. All three finalists receive a Yeti Cooler. The Outstanding Young Farm Family receives $35,000 toward purchasing a new GM vehicle, courtesy of Alfa Insurance. They also receive a John Deere 825i Gator, sponsored by Alabama Ag Credit and Alabama Farm Credit, as well as a lease on a John Deere tractor provided by John Deere, Snead Ag, Tri Green Equipment and SunSouth. Additionally, the 2017 winner receives an expense-paid trip to Nashville, Tennessee, for the national competition in January 2018. The remaining two finalists receive a $500 cash prize thanks to Alabama Ag Credit and Alabama Farm Credit.
- Discussion Meet — This competition simulates a committee meeting where discussion and active participation are expected from participants. The competitors discuss pre-selected topics, and the participants receive the topics in advance. The four bases of general discussion are cooperation, constructive criticism, problem solving and communication. The first round of competition is at the Commodity Conference in August, the second round is at the Annual Meeting in December. All four finalists receive a Big Green Egg. The 2016 Discussion Meet winner receives a four-wheeler courtesy of First South Farm Credit and an expense-paid trip to the national competition in Phoenix, Arizona, courtesy of the Alabama Farmers Federation. Applications are due July 1. The topics, manual and application may be found in the links to on the right side of this page.
- Collegiate Discussion Meet — A collegiate version of the discussion meet is held each November at Auburn University. Any student is welcome to participate. Check with the Auburn Young Farmers for more information.