April 23, 2014
The Alabama Farmers Federation Equine Division Director Nate Jaeger recently delivered a $5,000 donation from Alfa Insurance to Storybook Farm in Opelika to continue the farm’s mission of serving children who are facing life challenges. From left are Jaeger and Alfa agent James Layson with Storybook Farm’s founder Dena Little and Program Coordinator Lynn Slocum.
A bill making the cotton checkoff automatic, SB 255, will be on the July 15 ballot as a constitutional amendment. The Alabama Farmers Federation will work to educate people to vote “yes” on the amendment, and keep cotton growing strong.
-Carla Hornady, division director
The U.S. Commerce Department will enforce “fair value” pricing to protect Alabama’s catfish industry from unfairly priced Vietnamese imports. The decision, following a letter spearheaded by Alabama Sen. Jeff Sessions, will use Indonesia as a surrogate country for Vietnam to ensure imports are priced fairly.
Jane Russell of Lapine and Jerry Dwyer of Auburn were recently appointed by Gov. Robert Bentley to serve on the Alabama Forestry Commission.
-Rick Oates, divisions director
The Alabama Peanut Producers Association (APPA) is working with state school districts to provide factual information concerning nut allergies. APPA is an important resource for educational materials and clarification on the issue, with experts who can answer questions.
-Jim Cravey, interim division director
Greenhouse, Nursery & Sod; Bee & Honey; Horticulture
The USDA’s Food and Nutrition Service and the Alabama Department of Agriculture & Industries sponsored a SNAP Sign-Up Day last month to increase the number of farmers capable of processing debit, credit and SNAP payments. Visit marketlink.org for more information.
-Mac Higginbotham, divisions director
Beef farmers can learn about calf management at the Auburn University Cow Calf Conference June 13-14. Topics covered will include whether to wean early to help mama cows rebound from winter and whether it’s worth it to wean and background calves. Register online at ag.auburn.edu/ansc.
-Nate Jaeger, division director
Experts predict the Porcine Epidemic Diarrhea Virus (PEDV) outbreak will cause losses of 6-7 million pigs in the U.S in 2014. PEDV has been confirmed in 26 states but is not in Alabama. It has no impact on food safety because it only infects pigs. The National Pork Board is committing $1.7 million in checkoff funds for PEDV research.
-Guy Hall, division director