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August 01, 2015

Mary Johnson
(334) 235-1406

Georgia Farm Bureau President Zippy Duvall addressed farmers at the closing banquet of the Alabama Farmers Federation Commodity Producers Conference Aug. 1 in Montgomery. Duvall is running for American Farm Bureau Federation president.

Alabama Farmers Federation members welcomed Georgia Farm Bureau President Zippy Duvall at the closing banquet of their annual Commodity Producers Conference in Montgomery tonight.

Duvall, who has been endorsed by the Federation board of directors in his race for American Farm Bureau Federation (AFBF) president, told his Southern neighbors he's committed to the AFBF and its members. 

"The members are the heart and soul of this organization," Duvall said. "Our policy book is your voice. It's important. This organization is not driven from the top to the bottom; it's driven from the bottom up. That's what makes us so strong."

Duvall is a poultry, cattle and hay farmer from Greshamville, Georgia. He rose through the ranks of Georgia Farm Bureau starting in the Young Farmers program, a track similar to that of Alabama Farmers Federation President Jimmy Parnell.

"He shares the values of our members, and he understands the challenges facing Southern farmers," Parnell said as he introduced Duvall. "Zippy has shown great vision and leadership in his role at Georgia Farm Bureau, and I'm confident he will use those same skills to take the nation's largest farm organization into the future."

This was the first Farm Bureau group Duvall addressed since announcing his candidacy.

The songwriting group "The Heart Behind the Music" provided entertainment during the closing banquet.

Earlier in the day, farmers attended educational workshops on agricultural issues including feral hog management, the endangered species act, livestock breeding and the irrigation initiative.

State Climatologist John Christy, PhD, also provided an update on Alabama's irrigation tax credit. He said from 2011 to 2013, 244 Alabama farmers claimed a tax credit for installing irrigation equipment. In return, the state receives $5 to $12 in tax revenue for every dollar of tax credit.

"An irrigated farm in Alabama out produces the Midwest," Christy said. "Irrigation helps stamp out the gamble of farming and hoping for rain."

WSFA Chief Meteorologist Josh Johnson presented "Five Common Questions About Meteorology."

"The graphic that changes the most (in a forecast) is also the one that is the most popular -- the seven-day forecast," Johnson said. "Our weather has always been crazy, and it will continue to be crazy."

Other highlights from the third day of the conference included an address from Alabama Law Enforcement Agency Secretary Spencer Collier and a screening of the Farmland film.

Winners were announced in the State Women's Leadership Committee sewing, quilting and tablescape contests and the State Young Farmers Excellence In Agriculture and Outstanding Young Farm Family competitions. Four finalists for the Young Farmers Discussion Meet were selected and will compete in December at the Federation's annual meeting.

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