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December 06, 2013

Mary Johnson
(334) 235-1406

Top photo, David Rich of Dow AgroSciences, left, and Alabama Farmers Federation President Jimmy Parnell, right, congratulate Zachary Burns of Marshall County on winning the Excellence in Agriculture contest. Bottom photo, Stewart McGill of Madison County, left, accepts first prize in the Discussion Meet from Mike Pigg and Camp Powers of First South Farm Credit, which sponsored the contest, and Parnell.

MONTGOMERY, Ala., — Two Alabama young farmers were recognized as competition winners during an awards ceremony Friday night at the Alabama Farmers Federation's 92nd annual meeting in Montgomery.

Stewart McGill of Madison County won first place in the final round of the Discussion Meet contest held Friday morning. Contestants participated in a simulated committee meeting and discussed the impacts of govenmental regulations on farming. McGill won a four-wheeler courtesy of First South Farm Credit.

The other Discussion Meet contestants were Adam Wilson of Calhoun County, Landon Lowery of Chilton County and John Bitto of Baldwin County. The four finalists were selected from 20 contestants in August at the organization’s Commodity Producers Conference in Birmingham.

Zac Burns of Etowah County was recognized as the Excellence in Agriculture winner and received a zero-turn John Deere mower courtesy of Dow AgroSciences. Burns, 29, owns a lawn care and landscape business, works with his family’s cattle farm and is employed by USDA’s Farm Service Agency (FSA). Excellence in Ag participants receive their primary source of income away from the farm.

As winners, McGill and Burns also received an expense-paid trip to the American Farm Bureau Federation’s (AFBF) annual convention in San Antonio, Texas, Jan. 12-15, courtesy of the Alabama Farmers Federation. The two will compete for national titles in their respective contests during the convention.

The Alabama Farmers Federation, a member of the American Farm Bureau Federation, is the state's largest farm organization with more than 360,000 members. The Young Farmers program provides opportunities for young farm families to get involved in the Federation and offers leadership training. For more information on the Young Farmers program, visit

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